Two Weeks in Review, 8 June – 21 June 2020

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We announced that Devika Hovell is joining Dapo, Diane and Marko as co-editor of EJIL: Talk! and that Kate Mitchell will be joining us as an associate editor. We had to say a sad goodbye to our longstanding – and outstanding – associate editor, Helen McDermott. Thank you Helen and welcome aboard Devika and Kate!

Episode 3 of EJIL:The Podcast! was released. This episode focuses on the application of international law to cyber operations by states and non-state actors. For this discussion, Sarah, Nouwen, Marko Milanovic and I are joined by Harriet Moynihan (Chatham House), and Tilman Rodenhäuser (ICRC). The particular context for the discussion is the recent rise in cyberattacks against the health care sector, especially in the context of the fight against COVID-19. However, the discussion ranges widely across a range of international law issues that might arise in the context of cyber operations.


You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or TuneIn

COVID related posts

 reflects on the right to education during the pandemic and argues that this pandemic exposes some of the problems with the pre-pandemic priorities in the education sector in Bangladesh.

examines the application of so called ‘war’ clauses in potential investors claims arising out of States’ measures, such as lockdowns over export restrictions and requisitions, stimulus legislation and infection tracking, in the fight against COVID-19.

 addresses the question of whether states have been breaching the International Health Regulations by closing their borders to travellers from locations including China, the source country of COVID-19, contrary to WHO advice. Foster argues these actions may be justified in dealing with emerging global public health emergencies.

argues, in contrast to other posts on the subject, that the WHO does have the implied power to monitor and evaluate states’ compliance with human rights obligations in the context of a COVID-19 response. 

non COVID related posts

 responds to Raffaela Kunz’s recent EJIL article on the relationship between domestic and international courts in human rights adjudication, adding that more attention should be given to the agency of courts and the judicial politics that shape the relationship.

and  note the Islamabad High Court landmark judgment in the case of Kaavan the elephant, including its framing of the issue as the interdependence between human and animal rights, and discuss the projected role of rights in the Anthropocene as a result.

and  discuss the Iranian satellite, Nour 1, launched in April 2020, and whether its launch violated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), UNSC Resolution 2231, and the provisions of the Outer Space Treaty (OST) on peaceful uses of outer space.

 addresses the request by the ICC Prosecutor for a ruling on the ‘territory’ over which the ICC may exercise its jurisdiction. Applying the Monetary Gold doctrine, Akande asks: ‘Assuming that Palestine is a state and that the ICC has jurisdiction over crimes committed within its territory, can the ICC determine the extent of Palestinian territory in circumstances where some of that territory is also claimed by Israel? In short, can the ICC determine a territorial dispute between States?’

 notes the report from the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities finding that Hungary violated international law, discusses Hungary’s obligations to promote disability rights and highlights potential actions the EU can take to safeguard rule of law and human rights in Hungary.

Black Lives Matter and International Law Symposium

This week, we launched a symposium with the aim of bringing together legal experts on various intersecting issues relating to the Black Lives Matter movement, police violence in America, and the historic racism and inequality that is demonstrated by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and many other Black Americans at the hands of the American police force. Our aim is to discuss a variety of global and international law issues related to these events, and to consider how international law could play a part in the movement for social justice.

The first two posts in this symposium have been published.

, the UN Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial summary or arbitrary executions, wrote about the need to learn from what is happening in the US streets and argues ‘its time – past time – to refound the human rights project so that it more powerfully, authoritatively and with consequence applies universality, indivisibility and interdependence.’

, member of the UN Human Rights Committee, focuses on the right to life and argues that the human rights project, requires us to ‘equalise up’ rather than ‘equalise down’. This means there needs to be accountability for lives that are lost to violence, which, Heyns argues, requires a special focus on places where the problem is biggest.

All posts in this symposium will be available, once published, to read here.


Finally, all recent Announcements and Events can be found here.

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