Happy New Year and Our Most Read Posts of 2020

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Happy New Year to all our readers! As a supplement to Gail Lythgoe’s wonderful review of the year on EJIL:Talk! I am posting our traditional list of most read posts of 2020. This is a list of what inspired most interest among you the readers. As is to be expected, the topic that dominated the attention of readers, and which appears most often in this list is how international law applies to, or deals with, various issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. About two thirds of the 20 most read posts relate to the pandemic. Some of those posts assess how international law concepts (like due diligence, state responsibility etc) might be used to promote or assess state action related to the pandemic, others examined the legality of particular measures taken by states, while others considered actual or potential international institutional responses (by the World Health Organization, the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice) to the pandemic.

The other issue that captured the interest of our readers was the killing, almost a year ago, by the United States of Iranian General Soleimani. A quarter of the most read posts deal this issue.

Just three posts make the list that are neither to do with the pandemic or the Soleimani killing, all three analysing court judgments – one of the Dutch Supreme Court, and two of the ICJ. Quite unusually for the blog, only one of the posts that was most read last year was not published in the year. This is probably a sign that the year was so tumultuous that much of our attention has spent on thinking about the issues of the moment with less time devoted to reflecting on broader issues that came to seem less important. Let’s see what 2021 bring us. Hopefully, it will much better than what 2020 delivered!

  1. Peter Tzeng, “Taking China to the International Court of Justice over COVID-19” (April 2020)
  1. Mary Ellen O’Connell, “The Killing of Soleimani and International Law” (January 2020)
  1. Antonio Coco & Talita de Souza Dias, “Part I: Due Diligence and COVID-19: States’ Duties to Prevent and Halt the Coronavirus Outbreak” (March 2020)
  1. Gian Luca Burci, “The Outbreak of COVID-19 Coronavirus: are the International Health Regulations fit for purpose” (February 2020)
  1. Marko Milanovic, “The Soleimani Strike and Self-Defence Against an Imminent Armed Attack” (January 2020)
  1. Federica Paddeu & Freya Jephcott, “COVID-19 and Defences in the Law of State Responsibility: Part I” (March 2020)
  1. Marko Svicevic, “COVID-19 as a Threat to International Peace and Security: What place for the UN Security Council?” (March 2020)
  1. André Nollkaemper & Laura Burgers, “A New Classic in Climate Change Litigation: The Dutch Supreme Court Decision in the Urgenda Case” (January 2020)
  1. Alessandra Spadaro, “Do the containment measures taken by Italy in relation to COVID-19 comply with human rights law?” (March 2020)
  1. Caroline Foster, “Justified Border Closures do not violate the International Health Regulations 2005” (June 2020)

  1. Marko Milanovic, “Mistakes of Fact When Using Lethal Force in International Law: Part I” (January 2020)
  1. Federica Paddeu & Freya Jephcott, “COVID-19 and Defences in the Law of State Responsibility: Part II” (March 2020)
  1. Erin Pobjie, “Covid-19 as a threat to international peace and security: The role of the UN Security Council in addressing the pandemic” (July 2020)
  1. Marko Milanovic, “ICJ Indicates Provisional Measures in the Myanmar Genocide Case” (January 2020)
  1. Marko Milanovic, “I Will Survive, Coronavirus version” (March 2020)
  1. Craig Eggett and Sarah Thin, “Clarification and Conflation: Obligations Erga Omnes in the Chagos Opinion” (May 2019)
  1. Marko Milanovic, “Iran Unlawfully Retaliates Against the United States, Violating Iraqi Sovereignty in the Process” (January 2020)
  1. Marko Milanovic, “Mistakes of Fact When Using Lethal Force in International Law: Part II” (January 2020)
  1. Sandrine De Herdt, “A Reference to the ICJ for an Advisory Opinion over COVID-19 Pandemic” (May 2020)
  1. Oliver Hailes, “Epidemic Sovereignty? Contesting investment treaty claims arising from coronavirus measures” (March 2020)


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