Two Weeks in Review, 13-26 September 2021

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 examines the impact of the pandemic of the recent work of the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) and UN Open Ended Working Group. Aitken suggests that while the move to virtual meetings was necessary to continue the work and may even have helped speed up some of the discussions, the many in-person side meetings were instrumental to securing agreement. Aitken also argues that cyber-security threats against the healthcare sector caused states to find agreement over contentious issues, including agreeing that ‘malicious cyber activities against the healthcare sector constituted a threat to international peace and security’ and recognising that the healthcare sector constituted ‘critical infrastructure’.

 responds to call for lawyers to sign the World Lawyers’ Pledge on Climate Action by setting out why he cannot sign it:

While I strongly believe that the law needs to change, this belief has nothing to do with my expertise as a legal scholar. Using the lectern or the bar to advocate for what I believe to be right, when this belief doesn’t rely on my professional expertise as a lawyer, would be mixing two irreconcilable projects—one about understanding the law as objectively as possible (as a lawyer); the other about promoting legal change, through reinterpretation or even misinterpretations of the law, in order to promote a cause that I hold dear (as an advocate).

Read more about his argument here.

 looks at the debate in Bangladesh over abortion laws and argues that while comparativist approaches to constitutional law may be useful, they may also be precarious. Referring to a recent challenge in the Supreme Court of Bangladesh which relies heavily on the US Roe v Wade case, Wadud notes the fragility of this decision in US politics today and argues that the case seeking to overturn the abortion ban in Bangladesh would be bolstered by referring to international human rights law. 

 suggests that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon is on ‘life support’ and explores some of the reasons for the recent ‘puzzling’ and sudden collapse in funding, given support for the institution remained consistent despite ongoing criticism of the tribunals and its flaws. Blick asks: How did the tribunal survive for so long?

 comments on the ‘remarkable’ finding by the ECtHR that Russia was responsible for violating the right to life of Alexander Litvinenko in Carter v. Russia. Milanovic notes that this is the very first time that the Court held expressly that the ECHR applied to extraterritorial assassinations, essentially disregarding its own findings in Banković and suggests that the Court adopted a ‘functional approach to jurisdiction as control over rights’. The Court also applied Article 8 of the ILC Articles on State Responsibility which Milanovic thinks ‘is the first time that the Court has actually applied Art. 8 ASR regarding attribution of the conduct of private individuals on the basis of state instructions, direction or control, and it does so in a rather spectacular fashion.’

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