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The Myth and Mayhem of ‘Build Back Better’: Human Rights Decision-Making and Human Dignity Imperatives in COVID-19

Human rights were already under siege everywhere around the world before COVID-19.  But there is also a dawning race now against reaching the ‘twilight of human rights law’, due to: 1) authoritarian regimes’ dismissal of the relevance of human rights while using this pandemic to expand and consolidate their power, such as to silence speech, quash dissent, dismantle media, or execute mass arrests, detentions, or shootings; 2) the growing prevalence of utilitarian reasoning that instrumentalizes human rights as just a set of ‘costs’ that can only be met by a privileged few; and 3) the resurgence of the age-old relativist attacks on ‘universal’ human rights, seeking to recast the latter as mere forms of ‘Western neo-imperialism’ against today’s new hegemonic powers such as China. The latter claims had long been debunked in Steve L.B. Jensen’s excellently researched historical and archival analysis rejecting the putative exclusivity or dominance of ‘Western’ authorship of international human rights instruments, stressing evidence of the crucial role in the 1960s of Asia, Africa,…

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Two Weeks in Review 11 May – 24 May 2020

COVID related posts Poonam Shokar considered whether COVID-19 will bring about another decade of austerity in the UK and what this might mean for economic, social, and cultural rights. Salvo Nicolosi addressed the impact COVID-19…

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Announcements: WILIG Scholarship Prize; UN Audiovisual Library of International Law; COVID-19 Crisis from a German, European and International Perspective; Research Assistant Vacancy, State Silence Project

1. WILIG Scholarship Prize. The Inaugural WILIG Scholarship Prize Committee (Lori Damrosch, Adrien Wing, Viviana Krsticevic, Nienke Grossman and Milena Sterio) is excited to announce the inaugural WILIG Scholarship Prize.  The WILIG Scholarship Prize aims to highlight and promote excellence in international law scholarship involving women and girls, gender, and feminist approaches. This prize, awarded every two years, recognizes…

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Pandemic Intrigue in Geneva: COVID-19 and the 73rd World Health Assembly

The 73rd World Health Assembly took place on 18 and 19 May, 2020. It is a yearly gathering of all 194 Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) taking place in its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. As established in Articles 18 to 23 of the Constitution of the WHO, the World Health Assembly is its maximum…

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Are "Transparency" Procedures and Local Community "Consultations" Enough? A Human Rights "Feedback Loop" to International Economic Law Reforms of 2018

It is nearly the end of 2018, and so many "reform" efforts are underway throughout all realms of international economic law that one is inclined to think all our good intentions must lead somewhere, eventually.  There is an UNCITRAL Working Group for Reforming Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) that…

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Objectivism and Managerialism in the Law of Statehood: the Tradition Renewed by Vidmar's Democratic Statehood

Jean d'Aspremont is Professor of Public International Law at the University of Manchester The law of statehood is a regulatory, explanatory and epistemological project. The law of statehood is an explanatory project in the sense that it seeks to make sense of…

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The Jadhav Case and the Legal Effect of Non-Registration of Treaties

Those following the legal tangle of the Jadhav Case closely would have noticed India’s (attempted) coup de grâce in its oral submissions regarding the bilateral Agreement on Consular Access of 21 May 2008 between India and Pakistan (“2008 Agreement”, Annex 10 in India’s Application Instituting Proceedings)…

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Due Diligence Obligation in Times of Crisis: A Reflection by the Example of International Arms Transfers

This post is part of the ESIL Interest Group on International Human Rights Law blog symposium on 'The Place of International Human Rights Law in Times of Crisis'. In this blog post, I would like to take up a question that I discussed at…

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Western Sahara before the CJEU

Just a quick heads-up to our readers that yesterday Advocate General Wathelet of the Court of Justice of the EU delivered his opinion in Case C‑266/16, Western Sahara Campaign UK, The Queen v Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, Secretary of State for  Environment,…

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International Law in “Turbulent Times,” Part I

Note from the Editors:  This week we hold the first EJIL:Talk! Contributing Editors' Debate, where some or all of our distinguished Contributing Editors lend their views on broad themes of international law and the state of the art, science, and discipline of international law.  Our thanks to Andreas…

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The Editors of EJIL:Talk! Are:

Dapo Akande

Marko Milanovic

Diane Desierto

Associate Editors:

Kate Mitchell

Mary Guest

Gail Lythgoe

Contributing Editors:

Freya Baetens

Michael Fakhri

Douglas Guilfoyle

Monica Hakimi

Lorna McGregor

Anthea Roberts