international law

2018 May

International Law in 2050

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This occasional paper provides an account of the development of the international legal system over the next three decades. It suggests that, by the year 2050, the period of classic international law will be drawing to a close. We will have entered a new stage of hybridity where the actors, processes and institutions of classic international law intermingle with a wide range of transnational actors, processes and institutions.

2015 July

International Law and Drone Warfare: What is all the Fuss About?

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In July 2015, I gave a presentation on the international law aspects of drone warfare at St Athan in Wales. I focused primarily on the questions arising under the rules governing the use of force (jus ad bellum) and those governing the conduct of hostilities (IHL). One of the points I emphasized was that unmanned aerial vehicles are not unlawful weapons systems as such, a point which by now seems to be generally accepted. However, I also suggested that the actual use of these systems does raise a number of legal difficulties.

2014 March

Ukraine Insta-Symposium: When does the Breach of a Status of Forces Agreement amount to an Act of Aggression?

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This post examines the deployment of Russian troops in Crimea as part of a symposium on the Crimea crisis convened by Opinio Juris.I argue that a strong case can be made that the Russian Federation is in material breach of the Black Sea Fleet Status of Forces Agreement and as such is responsible for committing an act of aggression within the meaning of Article 3(e) of the Definition of Aggression.

2014 February

International Law and Civil Wars: Intervention and Consent

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International Law and Civil Wars: Intervention and Consent. Eliav Lieblich. London and New York: Routledge. 2013. 286pp. £80. ISBN 978-0-415-50790-5. Foreign military intervention into internal armed conflicts is a long-standing practice in international relations, yet its legality is fraught with doubt. A broad consensus exists only on one fundamental point: outside intervention in situations of

2012 February

HPCR Live Seminar

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On 26 January 2012, I contributed to an online seminar on Regulating the Conduct of Military Personnel in Peace Operations, hosted by the Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research at Harvard University. Repeated reports about human rights abuses committed by members of peace support operations have raised important questions about the legal framework applicable to peace operations and the need to hold the perpetrators of such abuses to account. My contribution focused on the role of status of forces agreements in this context.

2011 November

Kompetenzlehre Internationaler Organisationen / Norman Weiß

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Norman Weiß, Kompetenzlehre internationaler Organisationen (Theory of the Powers of International Organisations) (Springer, 2009) 540 + xviii pp., ISBN: 978-3-642-03377-3.   Competence is a defining feature of international organizations much in the same way as sovereignty (still) is a defining feature the State, albeit for different reasons. Both concepts, competence and sovereignty, may be understood