Zoom Out

Procedural rules in WTO dispute settlement in the face of the crisis of the Appellate Body

1. Introduction In the last years, serious criticisms have paved the way for a profound crisis of the dispute settlement system of the World Trade Organization (WTO).[1] Indeed, the US has been challenging the legitimacy of the Appellate Body case law against the letter and the spirit of the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU), at the...

Forthcoming

ITLOS procedural rules: Between change and stability

1. Introduction ITLOS’ procedural rules, its case law concerning their application and interpretation, as well as its working practice constitute a topical example of the ‘special balance between the need for change and adaptation to the special interests of the parties and the need to ensure stability of international dispute settlement’. Largely inspired by those...

Making and enforcing procedural law at the International Court of Justice

1. Introduction The International Court of Justice (ICJ or the Court) appears to enjoy a relatively wide freedom in procedural matters. The ICJ’s Statute does not contain detailed rules and the Court has considerable leeway in interpreting them and, eventually, in filling the gaps. States parties to the Statute have few means at their disposal...

Procedural rules of international courts and tribunals: Between change and stability

Introduced by Beatrice I. Bonafé   International procedural law has drawn increasing attention in the last years. This Zoom-out is dedicated to an aspect of international procedural law that nonetheless is generally overlooked, that is, the very characteristics of international procedural rules when conceived of as sources of international law. Basically, two main sets of...

The Chagos request and the role of the consent principle in the ICJ’s advisory jurisdiction, or: What to do when opportunity knocks

1. Introduction When the request for an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965 came to the International Court of Justice (ICJ or Court), a unique opportunity knocked on the doors of the Peace Palace. With its answer to the questions asked by the General...

Decolonisation revisited and the obligation not to divide a Non-Self-Governing Territory

1. Introduction A central question in the current ICJ advisory proceedings on Chagos is whether obligations existed to prevent Britain from separating the islands from the non-self-governing territory of Mauritius in 1965 prior to its independence in 1968. The Chagos archipelago is a group of small islands and atolls in the Indian Ocean, 2,200 km...

Reflections on the effectiveness of peremptory norms and erga omnes obligations before international tribunals…

By means of Resolution 71/292, of 22 June 2017, the United Nations General Assembly requested for an Advisory Opinion (AO) of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965.[1] At the current stage in the proceedings the discussion that takes precedence concerns...

The concept of duress in the world of decolonization

1. Introduction 23rd September 1965, 10 AM, 10 Downing street, London: Discussions on the future of Mauritius. The United Kingdom (UK), the colonial power, represented by Prime Minister Harold Wilson is on one side and Premier Ramgoolam, acting on behalf of Mauritius, the colonial entity, on the other side of the negotiating table. The colonial...

Déjà Vu in The Hague – the relevance of the Chagos arbitral award to the proceedings before the ICJ

1. Introduction On 18 March 2015, an UNCLOS Annex VII tribunal constituted under the auspices of the Permanent Court of Arbitration issued its award in the Chagos Arbitration, finding that the UK’s establishment of a Maritime Protected Area (MPA) in the archipelago was in violation of international law.[1] The decision features among the documents attached...

Two points for the International Court of Justice in Chagos: Take the case, all of it – It is a human rights case

The International Court of Justice is currently deliberating in the case of Chagos. Two cardinal points are humbly put forward, with a view to support the Court in its deliberation. 1. First point: Take the case. All of it The International Court of Justice (ICJ or the Court) has developed a multitude of techniques over...

Chagos: A Chance for the ICJ to do more for advancing human rights through the rule of law?

An objective of the St. Gallen workshop on the advisory opinion concerning the Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965 was to discuss hidden and so far, untold perspectives and dynamics that have framed the Chagossians’ long legal struggle to return. In the following I focus on some untold...