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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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Destination: the Wasteland of Academic Overproduction (Part 1)

  We, international lawyers, publish too much, way too much. We know it too well and yet continue to produce scholarship by the truckload. We carry on with writing even if it comes at the expense of the breadth of our reading or the quality of our teaching.

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The Ituri Conundrum: Qualifying Conflicts between an Occupying Power and an Autonomous Non-State Actor

Last week, Trial Chamber VI of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued the long-awaited judgment in the Ntaganda case. The judges found the defendant guilty on all 18 counts, including the ICC’s first ever conviction for sexual slavery. Although the Chamber is yet to resolve matters related…

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The Security Council and Climate Change - Too Hot to Handle?

Introduction The Security Council, the only body of the United Nations that can adopt binding coercive measures, has so far been reluctant to train its sight at climate change. As the consequences of climate change become ever more severe, an important question is therefore whether the Security Council will address…

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20 Years of the Second Protocol to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in Armed Conflict: Have All the Gaps Been Filled?

Just over twenty years ago, on the 26th of March 1999, the Second Protocol to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (hereafter Second Protocol) was adopted. Following the Balkan wars, there was a sense that the 1954…

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Conference Announcement: Frankfurt Investment Law Workshop 2013 & Amsterdam Seminar on International and National Legal Orders

1) The Frankfurst Investment Law Workshop 2013 will take place on March 22 and 23. The Workshop, which provides a  forum for the discussion of conceptual issues of international investment law, is organised by the Merton Centre for European Integration and International Economic Order, University of Frankfurt in…

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Taking the 'Union' out of 'EU': The EU-Turkey Statement on the Syrian Refugee Crisis as an Agreement Between States under International Law

Almost one year after its conclusion, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has eventually made clear the real nature of the 'so-called' EU-Turkey Statement. The 'Statement' is a document that was primarily aimed at preventing irregular migrants reaching the EU from Turkey, and established a…

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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