Groningen Journal of International Law

International Law Under Construction


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The Situation in Tigray and the Duty to Investigate Serious Violations in the Context of Armed Conflicts under International Law

Fikire Tinsae Birhane

Background

It has been noted by various commentators, including myself, that there has been a non-international armed conflict (NIAC) between the Federal Government of Ethiopia and the dissident forces of the former ruling party of the Tigray region of Ethiopia, the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) since around the late hours of 3 November 2020 (see here, here, here, and here). In addition to the two opposing parties to the conflict, Eritrean forces have also been taking part in the conflict on the side of the Federal Government. Such involvement of a foreign state does not change the non-international character of the conflict.

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Bringing responsibility home: What next for parent company liability?

By Russell Hopkins

Introduction

The dust is settling on the UK Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Lungowe v Vedanta. In a judgment laced with metaphors, Lord Briggs depicts the English court as having “one hand tied behind its back” since the European Court of Justice held in Owusu v Jackson that proceedings against a UK-domiciled defendant could not be stayed on forum non conveniens grounds. His Lordship laments that the court’s other hand has been “effectively paralysed” by prior cases wrongly treating the risk of irreconcilable foreign judgments as a “trump card” to be deployed by claimants in favour of English jurisdiction. Meanwhile, the court is left “beating its head against a brick wall” by repeated failures to keep jurisdictional litigation within proportionate bounds. This is vivid imagery woven into a thorough analysis of whether England really ought to be the place to litigate environmental harm from a Zambian mine. Continue reading


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The Universal Declaration at 70: What Next for Human Rights?

This post is a summary of the keynote lecture given by Professor Gearty during the workshop ‘The Universal Declaration at 70: What Next for Human Rights?’ on 26th November 2018. The event was co-organised by the Groningen Journal of International Law and the University of Groningen’s Centre for Religion, Conflict and Globalisation.

Professor Conor Gearty 

How serious are current threats to the post-war international order of which the protection of human rights is such a central part?

Three potential challenges in particular come immediately to mind.  

First there is the outright rejection of the very idea, with states organizing themselves formally around systems of rule in which individuals are allowed to be explicit casualties of passing state interests.  Of course, not even the worst states put it quite like this, and with the passing of the era of the Cold War no substantial ideology sets its face against human rights in quite this explicit way: indeed, not even the Soviet Union did so at its height, preferring a different version of human rights (economic and social rights) to having none at all.

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The Horizontal Effect of International Human Rights Law

By Lottie Lane |c.l.lane@rug.nl

This blog post summarises some of the main findings of the author’s PhD thesis, entitled ‘The Horizontal Effect of International Human Rights Law: Towards a Multi-Level Governance Approach’. The findings are taken from an extensive comparative analysis of the extent to which international human rights law is applied to non-State actors (i.e. the horizontal effect of human rights) in jurisprudence at the international, regional and national levels.

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