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The First Report of the OPCW’s Investigation and Identification Team on Syria

In April 2020, the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) formed by the Director General of the Organisation for Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to identify the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic released its First Report (First IIT Report). The IIT was established pursuant to a decision of the Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (Convention) taken on 27 June 2018 (27 June Decision). The First IIT Report, noting the lack of assistance information from Syrian authorities, relied upon individual interviews, documentary and photographic evidence, witness testimony, and forensic examination of samples collected from the attack sites as provided by local, regional and international actors (Annex 2-4) to support its findings. It concluded, inter alia, that there were reasonable grounds to believe that the Syrian Arab Air Force employed sarin and chlorine in attacks carried out on 24, 25 and 30 March 2017 in Ltamenah, Syria (First…

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New Issue of EJIL (Vol. 31 (2020) No. 1) – Now Published

The latest issue of the European Journal of International Law  (Vol. 31 (2020) No. 1) is now out. As usual, the table of contents of the new issue is available at EJIL’s own website, where readers can access those articles that are freely available without subscription. The free access article in this issue is…

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Is the National Security Exception in the TRIPS Agreement a Realistic Option in Confronting COVID-19?

It has been suggested by some scholars and commentators that states can invoke the national security exception in the TRIPS Agreement as part of measures to tackle COVID-19 (see here, here, and here). This would entail invoking the security exception to suspend the enforcement of patent rights in order to facilitate either the importation or…

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‘That Which Is Hateful to You, Do Not Do to Your Fellow! That is the Whole Torah; The Rest is Interpretation’ (from the Elder Hillel in Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 31a)

I am creeping up to the age where some friends and former students have approached me with the idea of a Festschrift (Mélange, Liber Amicorum). Of course I was touched and moved by the expression of friendship and respect. But it took me no more than a few nanoseconds politely to decline, having Hillel’s version of the Golden…

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So, you want to do a PhD in international law?

I’ve become frustrated recently at the lack of practical information for those contemplating PhD level study, especially in my own field. Information about the practical pitfalls, perils and joys of further study. So I decided to write a series of blog posts on the topic, pointing to relevant…

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Mandatory Derogation from Human Rights in Overseas Armed Conflicts? A Response to the Policy Exchange Proposals

    A recent paper published by Policy Exchange, Resisting the Judicialisation of War, sets out a range of policy and legislative proposals for the incoming UK government. In this blog post, I raise concerns over three recommendations in the paper. Contextualising the proposals…

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Leap Ahead or More of the Same? The European Commission’s Proposed Revisions to the Dublin System

On 4 May, 2016, the European Commission published a series of proposals in the field of Home Affairs, including proposed revisions to the contentious Dublin Regulation. This package of proposals signals the start of a process of revising the Common European Asylum System (CEAS),…

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Drones, Just War and Due Process

Readers might be interested in two very good recent articles on drones and President Obama’s direct involvement in targeted killing decisions: in the Boston Review, David Luban examines Obama’s alleged reliance on just war theory in deciding on targeted killing policies, while Paul Daly…

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Preliminary Thoughts on the Kosovo Opinion

Zoran Oklopcic is Assistant Professor, Department of Law, Carleton University, Ottawa. Hs previous EJIL:Talk! post on Self-Determination and the Status of Kosovo can be found here. As we digest the meaning and implications of the recent Advisory Opinion, Separate and Dissenting Opinions, I’d like to offer two…

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Trumping International Law? Implications of the 2016 US presidential election for the international legal order

Any assumptions about the implications of the 2016 US presidential election for international law are premature and tentative. There is no proper foreign policy programme against which one could evaluate the future policy of the new administration. We know from Trump’s announcements and from a foreign policy speech…

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