Two Weeks in Review, 11 – 24 April 2022

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The situation in Ukraine

 comments on three potential options for the UNSC veto reform in light of the situation in Ukraine. Nollkaemper sketches three options: overruling the veto, reining in the use of the veto, or abolishing the veto. Read analysis on UNSC veto reform here.

Editorial: There is a #VetoInitiative by Liechtenstein and 57 cosponsors that would give the UNGA a ‘standing mandate’ when a veto is cast. The revised draft resolution will be considered by the UNGA on 26 April. Read the first draft of the resolution in full here.

 offers a critique of some of the ‘well-intention’ and ‘nominally progressive’ critical takes on the situation in Ukraine: 

I argue that these calls for introspection on the part of some Western and Global South international lawyers inadvertently reproduce a Western-centric vision of the world, and international law’s role therein, while effacing the voices of Ukrainians who, in this case, are the paradigmatic case of a subaltern people responding to imperialist aggression, including through the emancipatory language of international law. By discounting this reality, some critiques may be doing actual harm to Ukraine, which is hard to reconcile with any progressive vision of international law.

Read Labuda’s thoughtful intervention in the discourse about responses to the situation in Ukraine.

 looks at some of the difficult questions that have been posed for Europe’s human rights protection system. He asks: ‘Beyond Russia’s expulsion, how will the organisation respond to the war? What role could or should the CoE play in post-conflict Ukraine? Does it have the authority, capacity and the legitimacy to do so? What about ECHR rights-holders in occupied territories?’ Read Forde’s reflections on the role of the CoE.

 addresses the decision by FIFA/UEFA to suspend Russian teams from participating in competitions and the arguments put forward by Russia contesting this decision, including that FIFA/UEFA had no legal grounds to suspend Russia. Jain also examines the legal justifications that could be used by FIFA/UEFA to justify their decision to suspend Russian teams. 

and  comment on the seizure of the Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plants by Russian forces in February. They discuss the legal implications of these nuclear power plant seizures and highlight several problems with international humanitarian law as it relates to nuclear power plants. 

Source: The Guardian. Photograph: Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images

, and , appointed by the OSCE to its expert Mission, give a summary of their report on Violations of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity Committed in Ukraine since 24 February 2022. Read their summary here.

 asks: “When did the Armed Attack against Ukraine become ‘Imminent’?” in his post. Milanovic argues that Ukraine offers a case study that can give some useful lessons on the notion of imminence. He argues:

if the legal standard of imminence is that a state – its leader – has irrevocably committed to attacking another state, the basic problem that we may have on our hands is that this standard might be too demanding, while any conceivable alternatives are too loose and permissive….had Ukraine launched a missile barrage against Russian airfields or fuel depots on (say) 17 February or 23 February, before waiting for the first blow to come, would that have been a justified case of self-defence against an imminent armed attack?

Read Milanovic’s detailed analysis on when the armed attack against Ukraine became imminent

Other posts

and  comment on the entry into force of the Council of Europe’s Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property on 1 April 2022, arguing ‘a major milestone has been reached’. In their post, Chanaki and Papathanassiou offer analysis on the scope of the convention and the substantive criminal law provisions.

and  write about the growing practice of submitting third party interventions, or amicus curiae briefs, to UN Treaty Bodies. They argue ‘[third party interventions] are not only important because of their informative value, but also because they make international justice more accessible and democratic’ and that amicus curiae briefs have been influential in a number of UN treaty body decisions. Read more about this growing practice of third party interventions

 

All recent Events and Announcements can be found here.

The European Journal of International Law has new advance articles and advance reviews available to read online.

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