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Russia’s Non-Appearance Before the ICJ Against Ukraine: Of Not So Vanishing Vanishing Acts and their Vanishingly Thin Justification

On 9th March 2022, Russia announced through it Foreign Ministry that “in light of the apparent absurdity of the lawsuit” launched against it by Ukraine before the ICJ, it would not “attend the hearing” on provisional measures. One can certainly have reservations about the Ukrainian strategy of invoking the Genocide Convention even if one is sympathetic to their cause; but nothing suggests that it is anything other than a good faith attempt to resolve a dispute between two states over what is, evidently, a massive disagreement. Indeed, at the same time, Russia did make a submission to the ICJ in which it seems to blame its absence on the fact that “it would be difficult, if not impossible, to take all necessary decisions regarding the participation in the proceedings and conduct proper analyses of the Request” in the short time allotted. It is thus somewhat unclear at this stage whether this initial non-appearance reflects a principled aversion to appearing to face Ukraine or an early fumbling amplified perhaps…

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The International Law of Protected Spaces and the Collapse of the Humanitarian Corridors in Ukraine

As the war in Ukraine deepens, the UN Refugee Agency has warned that Europe sits on the precipice of its ‘largest refugee crisis this century’. Over a million people have already fled the Russian invasion within the first seven days of conflict alone, and numbers are expected to rise exponentially. Simultaneously, while the refugee crisis grows…

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Russia’s Submission to the ICJ in the Genocide Case; Russia’s Withdrawal from the Council of Europe

A quick update on two important developments. First, the ICJ has put up on its website a submission it received from the Russian Federation in the Ukraine v. Russia genocide case, in which the Court’s provisional measures decision is pending. Because Russia has declined to participate in the proceedings – at least for now –…

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Preventing Genocide and the Ukraine/Russia case

Ukraine’s recent application against Russia at the International Court of Justice raises the question of the permissibility of the use of force outside the exceptions in the Charter of the United Nations for the purpose of preventing genocide. When the application is read together with the statements made by Ukraine’s…

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Ahead of the game? Sporting sanctions against Russia following the invasion of Ukraine

“I am always amazed when I hear people saying that sport creates goodwill between the nations, and that if only the common peoples of the world could meet one another at football or cricket, they would have no inclination to meet on the battlefield” George Orwell, The Sporting Spirit (1945) Almost immediately after the invasion of…

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