Two weeks in review, 29 August – 11 September

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In his post, “Ecocide: an Ambiguous Crime?”, , discusses the possibilities of anchoring ecocide in existing International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law. De Hemptinne, focuses specifically, on the proposition made by the Stop Ecocide International Foundation to directly incorporate ecocide into the ICC Statute. He concludes that: 

‘If the consequence of such incorporation remains unclear (depending on whether the ICC Statute is considered to be jurisdictional or substantive in nature), it would undoubtedly contribute to a wider recognition of ecocide as a criminal offence at the international level and, through the complementarity mechanism, at the national level too. This temptation led the Expert Panel, aspiring to even a slight chance of success, to propose an overly restrictive definition of ecocide. Given, however, that the ICC is currently unsuited to prosecute and try this type of criminality, it is likely that any success in adding ecocide to its jurisdiction will remain purely symbolic.’    

Read the full post here.

In his post, , engages with Joost Pauwelyn and Krzysztof Pelc’s research “The WTO Secretariat’s ‘Open Secret’: Unpacking the Controversy” (see here, here, here and here). In his reply, he focuses the discussion on the following questions:

  • Is it true that the WTO Secretariat (Legal and Rules divisions) has such an extensive, unique role?
  • Is this by design or as an unforeseen result of the set-up?
  • What are the criteria for deciding whether this situation is not acceptable and needs to be corrected?
  • What are the preconditions for such a correction?

Sacerdoti argues that the situation in practice is not detrimental as argued by Pauwelyn and Pelc and rejects the suggestion that the names of the Secretariat’s members assigned to each panel be disclosed.

Read the full analysis here


In his post, “Casual Vacancies in the ICJ: Law, Practice, and Policy”, discusses the upcoming casual election in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Specifically, focussing on the expectation that a casual vacancy of a judge from a non-P5 member should result in the election of a replacement of the same nationality. Perez Aznar argues that nationality should not impede the discussion among states as to whom among the nominees is the best one to fulfill the role of Judge in this context.

Read the full post here

In her post, “Jurisdictional Immunities v Grave Crimes: Reflections on New Developments from Ukraine”, , discusses the implications of recent decisions by the Supreme court of Ukraine. By accepting claims against Russia for compensation to Ukraine citizens, the Ukrainian Supreme Court departed from the rule of state immunity in foreign domestic courts. Badanova argues that although the decisions of the Ukrainian Supreme Court might seem to be progressive, from a practical perspective it could turn out to be an obstacle rather than a tool for fair compensation for the victims of aggression against Ukraine:

‘When deciding to deny Russia’s sovereign immunity and opening the gate for numerous individual lawsuits, the Ukrainian Supreme Court should have accounted for these concerns and approached the issue of fairness more seriously. It should have acknowledged that where resources for compensation are mostly likely finite, it will not be possible to award individual sums without understanding the whole picture of the needs of others. While the sovereign immunity principle is a complicated, psychologically twisted principle of international law to explain to the general public, it may in the end be useful when dealing with war-related compensation on a massive scale.’

Read the full post here.


, explores the Human Right to Leave as a part of the freedom of movement. Mainly, in the context of departure prevention and how various measures aimed at containing migrants or would-be migrants in certain countries relate to their right to leave, right to seek asylum, and the prohibition of refoulement. Gürakar Skribeland notes:

‘There is room to argue that the right to elect destination is an inherent element of the right to leave in each and every case. Without this key element of choice, the right to leave would lose a lot of its meaning and content. And given the clear wording of both the ICCPR and the ECHR (i.e.everyone shall be free to leave any country), the availability of this component of the right should not be conditional on the legality of entry or stay, or on other migratory categories or statuses. In other words, it should be available also to those persons who are in the country illegally and are being removed.’

Read the full post here

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