Groningen Journal of International Law

International Law Under Construction


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The Gambia, Myanmar and the International Court of Justice – A Path to Justice?

Ryan Bocock

Introduction

It has been over two years since the UN Human Rights Council urgently dispatched an Independent International Fact-Finding Mission (“FFM”) to report on the ongoing persecution of Rohingya Muslims, as part of “clearance operations” carried out by Myanmar’s security forces, with “genocidal intent”. While the UN Security Council (“UNSC”) remains silent on the more than 700,000 Rohingya refugees who have fled into neighbouring Bangladesh, The Gambia has filed an application at the International Court of Justice (“ICJ”). The Gambia allege Myanmar is violating the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (“Genocide Convention”), to which it signed in 1957. There is a growing push amongst the international community to hold Myanmar’s military leaders to account. Why is this being led by the smallest country in continental mainland Africa? How can the ICJ help Myanmar? And why might the connection between The Gambia and Myanmar be a key factor in determining the ICJ’s jurisdiction? Continue reading


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The Legal Framework for the activities of the Ocean Cleanup: the freedom to use the high seas to protect and preserve the marine environment

Talitha Ramphal

1.         Introduction

Plastic marine litter is growing, negatively affecting ecosystems, biodiversity and human health globally, and luckily awareness of this issue has grown as well on the international stage. For example, the EU adopted the Single Use Plastic Directive, which states in its preamble that the ‘Union must play its part in preventing and tackling marine litter and aim to be a standard setter for the world’. With this Directive, the EU aims to achieve an ambitious and sustained reduction of single-use plastic products within its Member States. The private sector also pursues another way to tackle this issue, e.g., the  Ocean Cleanup, which is a foundation registered in the Netherlands that develops technologies to clean up ocean plastic pollution.

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Discussing the Difference in the Pre-Charter and Post-Charter Modalities of ASEAN

Harsh Mahaseth

There has been a shift in how ASEAN has been functioning pre and post the ASEAN Charter. ASEAN was initially a political creature which mainly reached agreements through an informal process called the ASEAN Way. Continue reading


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The Missing Human Rights Nexus in Climate Change Governance

Aisha Binte Abdur Rob \ aisha.rob@bracu.ac.bd

I.  Introduction

There is increasing recognition of the human costs of climate change as cumulating evidence is solidifying the links between, for instance, rising global temperatures and destroyed livelihoods. The adverse impacts on health, food, housing and other fundamental human needs are now manifest. Continue reading


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The Acquittal of Gbagbo and Blé Goudé and the ICC Prosecutor’s Appeal

Dr Douglas Guilfoyle | douglas.guilfoyle@adfa.edu.au

On three occasions the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has sought to bring proceedings against heads of State or government, these being the situations inCôte D’Ivoire, Kenya and Darfur, Sudan. None have thus far met with much success. The (now former) President of Sudan, Mr Al Bashir, has been ruled to have no immunity from the Court’s processes but is not in custody after more than 10 years. The case against President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya collapsed in 2014. Continue reading


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TRICI-Law Project

Prof. Panos Merkouris | p.merkouris@rug.nl

In international law, interpretation is ubiquitous and is the process through which the interpreter attempts to determine the meaning of the rule that is being interpreted. Every case brought before international courts and tribunals raises questions of interpretation. For written agreements between States, this process has been codified in Articles 31-33 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT). Based on these articles, some of the elements that are taken into consideration are the text, the context of the treaty, and its object and purpose as evidence of the intention of the parties. However, a key issue is that these VCLT articles refer only to interpretation of treaties and not of customary international law (CIL).
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