Two Weeks in Review, 11 May – 24 May 2020

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COVID related posts

 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.

addressed the impact COVID-19 is having on asylum seekers, such as access to primary healthcare, and asked whether health emergencies can affect the scope of States’ obligations relating to the principle of non-refoulement.

 wrote a two part post on whether there should be an international commission of inquiry relating to COVID-19. In the first post he considered what the mandate of any commission might be and what institutions would have the powers to create it. In the second post Becker addressed the composition of any commission, how it should organise its work and how it could maximise good faith cooperation by all states.

 focused on the advisory capacity of the ICJ, considering whether the Court would have jurisdiction and why it might consider not giving an advisory opinion on COVID-19.

We published the Oxford Statement on the International Law Protections Against Cyber Operations Targeting the Health Sector, containing a list of consensus protections that apply under existing international law to cyber operations. The Oxford Statement was opened for signature by international law scholars (see here for updated list of signatories) and if you would like to add your name, please send an email to oxfordcyberstatement{at}

and  considered the new UN Guidance on the use of lethal weapons on law enforcement in light of concerns related to COVID-19 emergency measures and the excessive force used on occasion under the pretence of responsing to the pandemic.

 reported on the 73rd World Health Assembly, including the expected ‘clash’ between China and the US and the resolution adopted by the Assembly detailing the WHO’s ‘leadership role’, declaring the COVID-19 vaccine a ‘global public good’, and requesting the WHO Director-General conducts an evaluation of IHR implementation and the WHO’s response to the pandemic.

Non-COVID related posts

 wrote about the recent landmark IACtHR judgment finding state responsibility for violations of the right to a healthy environment, adequate food, water and cultural identity under Article 26 of the ACHR, arguing the Court can still address pressing issues on the reparations for environmental damages.

 addressed the ECtHR decision in M.N. and Others v Belgium, which found that those seeking humanitarian visas in embassies do not fall within the jurisdiction of ECHR parties, explicitly imposing a requirement of ‘de facto control’ and ‘physical power’ over them, which despite the reasoning of the Court being formally convincing and politically unsurprising, was still a disappointment given the political rhetoric about saving lives. 

 responded to the Dutch Prosecution’s opening statement in the MH-17 Trial, noting the lack of any charges related to war crimes and considered some of the reasons for and implications of this decision.

and  noted the statement by Côte d’Ivoire to withdraw the right of individuals and NGOs to submit direct complaints to the African Court on Human and People’s Rights, noting it was the third country in just 6 months to do so, and explored the implications of Côte d’Ivoire’s decision.


Finally, you can review all recent Announcements and Events here.

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