Groningen Journal of International Law

International Law Under Construction

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Public International Law and Internet Shutdowns: Time to unpack emerging norms?

Yohannes Eneyew Ayalew

1.   Introduction

On 25 June 2020, the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice ruled that the deliberate internet shutdowns in Togo imposed in 2017 were illegal and violated applicants rights to freedom of expression. Also, domestic courts — including in  India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe –  have ruled in favour of internet restoration against shutdown measures. This would give rise to the question how the issue of internet shutdown is resurfaced under public international law? The aim of this post is therefore to flag how internet shutdown can be examined from the perspective of two bodies of public international law, i.e., — international human rights law and international telecommunications law. Continue reading

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Assessing the WTO Consistency of India’s Recent FDI Policy Reform for Preventing Acquisition of Distressed Assets During a Pandemic – Part II

Abhishek Rana and Rishabha Meena

In the first part of the blog series, the authors discussed the specifics of India’s recent FDI policy change and its criticism by China. The discussion further delved into China’s inability to bring a successful claim against India at the WTO under GATT and TRIMS. The second part of the blog series thereby attempts to address the possible violations of provisions under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), and the likely way forward for India. Continue reading

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Assessing the WTO Consistency of India’s Recent FDI Policy Reform for Preventing Acquisition of Distressed Assets During a Pandemic – Part I

Abhishek Rana and Rishabha Meena


While the COVID-19 (also referred to as ‘coronavirus’) pandemic has been declared as a public health emergency of international concern by the WHO -with the health sector of many economies in crisis, this virus has had an equally significant impact on the global economy too. To deal with issues surrounding the outbreak of this pandemic, numerous countries have taken multiple economic measures like the imposition of restrictions on exports of specific goods and services, the shutdown of factories and industries, changes in investment policies, et cetera. UNCTAD through its Investment Policy Monitor’s special issue, published on May 4, 2020, highlighted the responses of various countries to this ongoing crisis by analysing the investment policy measures undertaken for the facilitation of investment, support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), foreign investment screenings, and other incentives to the domestic industries. The pandemic has affected the foreign direct investment (“FDI”) flows as well, where the recent report from the UNCTAD’s Global Investment Trade Investment Monitor noted that there is a 40% expected decline in such global FDI flows during the 2020-21 period. Numerous countries, mostly being developed economies, like Italy, Germany, Australia, France, and Spain have interestingly already amended their domestic legislation(s) concerning FDI. For instance, Australia amended its FDI policy requiring approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) in all types of foreign investment irrespective of its value; whilst Italy amended its Golden Power law empowering the government to regulate and screen investments in new sectors too with such amendment being enforced until December 31, 2020. Continue reading

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Statement: Support for Black Lives Matter

The members of GroJIL would like to extend their support to #BlackLivesMatter, a movement that is ultimately one for basic human rights. We would like to share some different ways to help and support the movement with our audience as we believe this should be a collective effort involving people from all over the world, no matter their race, gender, sexuality or otherwise, that want to fight against racism and for equality and justice. Find the variety of ways to help below.  Continue reading

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The not so Universal Notion of Impunity in the UN Principles to Combat Impunity and in the Transitional Justice Model

Andrea Trigoso


The UN principles to Combat Impunity established a universal model to fight against impunity in Transitional Justice societies. The question that this model rises is whether it is possible to have a universal notion of impunity and, therefore, a universal model to combat it. Continue reading

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International Migration and Refugee Law in Times of Health Crisis: When Movement is Restricted and Social Distancing is Impossible

Jasmin Lilian Diab, ABD


While the core motivation for migration is typically ‘the pursuit of a better life,’ migrant populations often experience weighty, systemic challenges to their physical, mental, and social well-being. They often face unversed social, political and cultural norms, language barriers, poor living standards, exploitative working conditions, as well as restricted access to health care services. Subsequently, migrants are specifically the type of group that international human rights frameworks are designed to protect. International human rights recognize the enjoyment of the highest achievable standard of health as a fundamental human right of every individual, irrespective of race, gender, religion, political affiliations, economic or social condition, and legal status. And the right to the highest possible standard of health carries both national and international obligations. It places duties upon States in relation to individuals within their borders. Continue reading

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Update: GroJIL COVID-19 Announcement

Due to the decisions made by the Dutch government in regards to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Crisis, GroJIL’s announcements and planned events will be postponed until further notice. Furthermore, the editorial process will be taking longer than usual due to the preventative measures taken. However, we will still be accepting article submissions and the team will be working from home, making it still possible for you to contact us for any questions or concerns.
For now please stay tuned regarding our future updates and news regarding events publications! And please make sure to stay safe and take the preventative measures as recommended by the Dutch government.


Evaluating the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 in India: Perspectives from International Refugee Law

Atul Alexander


On 11thDecember 2019, the Indian parliament passed the controversial Citizen Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA). The amendment seems to cherry-pick on specific religious groups while omitting others by labelling them as ‘illegal migrant’ courtesy Section 2(1)(b) of the said act, unless and otherwise Continue reading