Two Weeks in Review, 15 – 28 February 2021

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compares and contrasts the jurisdictional methodologies employed by the International Court of Justice in its Iran v. US and Qatar v. UAE judgments. Desierto compares how the Court characterised the ratione materiae in each dispute and the Court’s treaty interpretation under Article 31 of the VCLT, given the Court favoured a textualist reading of the 1955 Treaty of Amity in Iran v. US, but adopted a textual and contextual interpretation of the CERD in Qatar v. UAE.

and  discuss the Supreme Court of Norway judgment, People v Arctic Oil, which addressed the right to a clean and healthy environment in the Norwegian Constitution and the extraterritorial effects of oil and environmental policies.

and  recount and discuss the most recent UNCITRAL Working Group III online deliberations where, despite states not having agreed the proposals, there was a decision to move to drafting some of the text of the reforms.

 writes a rejoinder to David Hughes’ reply to his article in volume 31:3 of EJIL that concerned the commitment of the UN to the rule of law in its management of the occupied Palestinian territory. You can read Hughes’ reply and Imseis original article. Imseis argues that Hughes addresses a claim that he did not make and that Hughes fails to engage with the central claim of the article.

 discusses The Hague Court of Appeal judgment in three cases brought by Nigerian farmers against Royal Dutch Shell and its Nigerian subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company, that concerned large-scale oil spillages in Niger Delta, which rendered the claimants’ farmlands and fishponds unusable. This is the first time a parent company has been found liable for a breach of duty of care regarding abuses committed abroad by its subsidiary. Tiruneh discusses what this judgment means for improving the ability of victims, particularly those in developing countries who are affected by subsidiary companies, to seek and obtain remedy from the parent company in a different jurisdiction.

 examines a difference of opinion between the ICJ and the CERD Committee on the interpretation of the term ‘national origin’ in Article 1(1) CERD and discusses how the ICJ ought to approach the practice by UN human rights treaty bodies. Ulfstein discusses whether the ICJ should approach this from position of judicial dialogue or superiority.

and  propose an agenda for discussion on the issue of protecting the functioning of civilian societies in military cyber operations and argue that there should be new protections to shield critical societal processes from military cyber threats during armed conflict.

 considers some issues related to the ECtHR judgment on the merits in Georgia v. the Russian Federation (II) such as its implications for the Court’s future cases, specifically, for the Ukrainian individual and Ukrainian and Dutch inter-state complaints and analyses the exercise of jurisdiction under the ECHR.

and  write about the European Committee of Social Rights decision in International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and Inclusion Europe v. Belgium and the complex issues this decision addresses including the ‘inherent yet complicated link between equality and inclusive education’ for those perceived of as having disabilities.

 argues that ‘a rock is a rock’ and that the award in the South China Sea Arbitration adopted a teleological interpretation of Article 121(3) of UNCLOS which ignored the ordinary meaning of the words used, the history of the negotiation, and the general practice of States. Guillaume suggests that Award should be explained by the specific circumstances of the case and should not set a precedent.

 discusses the recent ‘coup d’état’ in Myanmar where the military seized power from the democratically elected government and considers whether the UN General Assembly could refuse to accept the credentials of Myanmar’s military junta representatives and deny them the right to represent Myanmar in the UNGA.

discusses two recent developments on extraterritoriality in relation to human rights. First is the judgment of the ECtHR in Hanan v. Germany and the finding that Germany has an obligation to investigate the conduct of German forces in Afghanistan. Second is the ‘genuinely ingenious’ new interstate claim filed by Ukraine against Russia on the assassination of political opponents abroad.

You can find all the recent Announcements and Events here.


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