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Immobilised Assets, Extraordinary Profits: The EU Council Decision on Russia’s Central Bank Reserves and Its Legal Challenges

On 28 February 2024, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced that ‘it is time to start a conversation about using the windfall profits of frozen Russian assets to jointly purchase military equipment for Ukraine’. This statement comes on the heels of a decision adopted by the Council of the European Union (EU) on 12 February 2024, which was hailed as the ‘first step to use Russia’s frozen assets for Ukraine’. According to this decision, Central Securities Depositories (CSDs) holding more than EUR 1 million in assets and reserves of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) that are frozen (‘immobilised’) under EU sanctions are mandated to account for them separately and prohibited from using profits generated by these assets. This move paves the way for a future financial contribution to the EU budget from these profits, which – at least, until von der Leyen’s statement – was expected to be directed to assist Ukraine’s reconstruction through the newly established ‘Ukraine Facility’.

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ICJ’s Judgment in Ukraine v. Russia regarding CERD’s Scope of Racial Discrimination: ICJ’s Approach to CERD Committee’s Views

On 31 January 2024, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered its judgment on the merits of the case in Application of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Ukraine v. Russian Federation). One of the issues was Ukraine’s assertion…

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What role artificial intelligence could play in evaluating the compliance of military operations with international humanitarian law: The case study of the conduct of hostilities in Ukraine

On the 23rd of January 2024, the Russian Federation launched a “massive” airstrike on the cities of Kyiv and Kharkiv, firing 41 missiles. The air defences shot down 21 of these missiles. These strikes exemplify a pattern. On the 1st of January 2024, the Russian Federation launched one of the biggest air…

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Unfulfilled Promises of the ICJ Litigation for Ukraine: Analysis of the ICJ Judgment in Ukraine v Russia (CERD and ICSFT)

1. Summary and Context On 31 January 2024, the ICJ delivered its long-awaited Judgment on the merits in the case Ukraine v Russia concerning alleged violations of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (ICSFT) and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). It was…

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Ukraine’s ICJ Provisional Measures: A Narrow Path to Remedies

On February 2, the International Court of Justice dealt Ukraine’s case against Russia under the Genocide Convention a heavy blow when it dismissed the majority of the claims for lack of jurisdiction. The decision effectively transformed the case into one about whether Ukraine violated international law (by committing genocide), a far cry from…

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