Two Weeks in Review, 24 March – 7 April 2024

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Developments in the law regarding genocide

Jinan Bastaki considers the role of forced displacement in respect of genocide. Whilst forced displacement, in its various forms, is both a war crime and a crime against humanity under the Rome Statute, to date courts and other bodies have been reluctant to find it constitutes genocide. The author considers whether the situation in Gaza may impact this position, in particular as the ICJ examines acts which may constitute genocide. You can read the full post here.

Yusra Suedi and Justine Bendel review the complicated relationship between the recent genocide cases and public interest litigation, in light of  Nicaragua’s instituted proceedings before the ICJ against Germany for complicity in genocide (following on from The Gambia v Myanmar, South Africa v Israel and Nicaragua v Germany).  The authors consider the pros and cons of public interest litigation with respect to the Genocide Convention. You can see the full post here.

Other international law implications of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East

Fuad Zarbiyev considers the role of international law after Gaza, hypothesising that Gaza, along with the invasion of Ukraine, constitutes a moment of international life giving international lawyers pause, forcing them to ask themselves deeply challenging questions about teaching international law. Fuad concludes that recent events have left the “rule of law in international affairs increasingly looks like humbug”. The full post can be found here

Rodolfo Ribeiro reviews the recent developments in respect of the funding of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), following the announcement by some of its major donors that they were suspending funding over allegations that some of its employees were involved in the 7 October attacks in Israel. In his post, Rodolfo discusses the impacts such defunding (as well as possibly the disbanding of the UNRWA) would have on the legal protection of Palestinian refugees and displaced persons, including for states outside the region, given that UNRWA plays a unique role in providing vital, government-like services  for Palestinians across five operation areas. The full post is here.

Other international conflicts 

Christian Henderson provides a reply to Leonie Brassat’s recent piece on this blog in respect of the military strikes against the Houthis in Yemen. He explores the issues of necessity and proportionality in the context of a self-defence justification for those strikes, and finds that the acting states attempts to engage with the jus ad bellum in justifying their military strikes appears to have raised as many questions as answers. Christian’s full reply can be found here

Davide Genini explores the the EU’s new Ukraine Assistance Fund (“UAF”), finding it to be an important step forward in EU military assistance to Ukraine, ensuring greater predictability, as well as an important  legacy of the current High Representative ahead of the next elections in June this year. However, he also explores some key issues with the UAF, including lack of foresight and financial resources to provide a serious response to Ukraine’s needs. The full post can be read here

Artificial Intelligence 

The recent discussions on this blog in respect of Artificial Intelligence continue through Annika Knauer’s review of the first UN General Assembly resolution on AI, which considers the circumstances of the resolution’s adoption, the differing interests of States regarding AI, and the contents of the resolution. She concludes that – despite being largely symbolic – the resolution holds some promising conclusions, committing the member States to ensure the safe handling of the technology consistent with human rights obligations. Annika’s full post can be read here

More posts

Cristian González Ruiz reviews plea negotiations in international criminal law, sharing lessons from Colombia’s special jurisdiction for peace whilst considering some of the advantages and criticisms of plea bargaining for international criminal justice. He offers some thoughts on the design of future institutions that could enhance victims’ participation in negotiated justice proceedings, whilst also providing a more comprehensive account of atrocities committed. You can read the full post here

In their post, Dr. Natalie Klein and Jack McNally discuss what happens after an international court or tribunal hands down its judgment, in the context of the dispute settlement bodies of the UNCLOS. They find a strong track record of compliance at the 30th anniversary of the entry into force of UNCLOS, reflecting well on both UNCLOS and the integrity of the dispute settlement bodies created pursuant to it. Their full post can be read here

Daniel Nicholas and Putra Pakpahan provide a comment on the case of Elliott Associates v. Korea, with a focus on whether the commercial acts of public pension funds can be attributed to the sovereign. Could the exercise of shareholder voting rights by Korea’s National Pension Service in the context of a merger vote qualify as “measures adopted or maintained by” Korea under the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement? Access the full post here

All recent Events and Announcements can be found here.

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