Two Weeks in Review, 22 May – 4 June 2023

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In his post, ‘Ukraine’s Involvement in Cross-Border Raids by Russian Paramilitary Groups: Illegal Use of Force and Intervention or Lawful Self-Defence?’, Stefan Talmon explores the legality and classification of the 22 May 2023, cross-border raids from Ukraine into Russia. The raid was conducted by two Russian paramilitary groups and raise a searies of questions. Talmon argues that the assistance provided by Ukraine to these groups is covered by Ukraine’s inherent right to self-defense. And so, while exercising that right, Ukraine may carry the war to Russia, either by using its own troops or by taking advantage of Russian armed opposition forces.

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Andrew Forde reflects on the Council of Europe’s Heads of State and Government summit, held on 16 – 17 May 2023 in Reykjavík. The Summit focused principally on four main issues: ensuring accountability for Russia’s crimes in Ukraine, reviving commitment to the ECHR control system, reiterating fundamental principles of democracy, and advancing the agenda of human rights and the environment. Forde concludes that

The Reykjavik Summit is a critical point of inflection for the CoE but the system will only be strengthened if Member States actively implement the spirit of the Declaration, in particular in the way they resource, defend and champion the values they have voluntarily subscribed to at home. As German Chancellor Olaf Schloz noted in his speech there is an inseparable link between the rule of law, democracy and the protection of human rights at the national level and peaceful coexistence at the international level.Whether the future of the Council of Europe will be characterised by fire or by ice remains to be seen.

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The Ejil: Talk! editorial team is deeply saddened by the news of Thomas Buergenthal passing. Our deepest condolences to his family and dear ones.

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

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