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Assessing the Legality of ECOWAS Planned Military Intervention in Niger

On July 26th, a military junta overthrew Niger’s democratically elected president, Mohamed Bazoum. International condemnation followed culminating in the ECOWAS order, on August 10th, to deploy “its standby force to restore constitutional order in Niger”. In an excellent article published on West Point Lieber Institute, Professors Russell Buchan and Nicholas Tsagourias argued that an ECOWAS military intervention would be legal because it has been invited, either in an abstract treaty-based manner, or based on an invitation by President Bazoum. As I argue below, I respectfully disagree: The argument of an abstract treaty-based invitation not supplemented by an ad hoc consent has no support from the AU nor the ECOWAS practice. In any case, Niger has clearly revoked its consent to the relevant treaty. As to an ad hoc invitation by the deposed President, Mr. Bazoum does not seem to enjoy the required international recognition to consent to a military intervention in the context of competing governments. Accordingly, the envisaged military intervention would be illegal and, consequently, the current…

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Contested Statehood and Jurisdiction: Palestine and the Mangisto and al-Sayed Case

On 23 March 2023, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Committee) issued the first-ever decision against the State of Palestine of an international human rights body with the competence to hear complaints from individuals. The Mangisto and al-Sayed v the State of Palestine decision pertains to the disappearance of two Israeli…

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The UN Independent Institution on Missing Persons in the Syrian Arab Republic A marathon, a sprint, or a hurdle race?

On 29 June 2023, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution A/77/L.79 to create an Independent Institution on Missing Persons in the Syrian Arab Republic. This new institution will have two aims: (1) to clarify the fate and whereabouts of all missing persons in Syria and (2) provide adequate support to victims,…

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‘Try Again, Fail Again, Fail Better’: The International Law Commission is back on International Organizations

At its latest session in Geneva, the International Law Commission (ILC) inaugurated the discussions on its new project on the settlement of disputes to which international organizations (IOs) are parties. This is the fifth time in which the ILC focuses on IOs, after its projects on international responsibility, the representation of states, status, privileges…

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Recommendations on the Russian Federation’s Proposed Outer Continental Shelf in the Arctic Area

On 6 February 2023 the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) made its recommendations to the Russian Federation under Article 76(8) and Article 3 of Annex II to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in regard to the Arctic area. The Russian submission was initially made in…

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