Middle East

I have seen a number of suggestions recently in the media that Turkey's invasion of Syria could lead to NATO being dragged into the conflict as a result of Art. 5 of the NATO treaty. Art. 5 provides, in relevant part, as follows: The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America...

In the late hours of 6 October 2019, the White House announced the withdrawal of US forces from northeastern Syria after a telephone call between US President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The announcement shocked defense and intelligence officials and drew rare criticism from Republican lawmakers, who were not consulted before Trump’s decision and who viewed the withdrawal of US...

A couple of weeks ago, a group of Yezidi women kidnapped, enslaved, and raped by the Islamic State (IS) lost what could have been a landmark case at the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal. The women sought damages from an Australian-born IS fighter, Khaled Sharrouf, under the terms of New South Wales' victim compensation scheme. Sharrouf himself is...

I am quoted in a long article by Ali Younes for Al Jazeera about a new communication to the ICC asking it to investigate the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, which was committed one year ago today. The communication advances two theories for why the Court has or could have jurisdiction over Khashoggi's murder. The article quotes me responding to one:...

As most readers will know by now, Pre-Trial Chamber II has partially granted the OTP's request for leave to appeal the PTC's refusal to authorize the Afghanistan investigation. Eulogies for the investigation are thus premature. A few thoughts on the PTC's decision follow. To begin with, it remains scandalous that it took the PTC this long to certify the appeal. The...

The irreplaceable Carmi Lecker called my attention yesterday to a proposal by Switzerland to deem the intentional starvation of civilians a war crime in non-international armed conflict (NIAC). At present, it is only a war crime in international armed conflict (IAC) -- Art. 8(2)(b)(xxv) of the Rome Statute. Here is the text of the proposal: Add to article 8, paragraph 2...

[Victor Kattan is a Senior Research Fellow of the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore where he heads the Transsystemic Law Cluster. He is also an Associate Fellow of NUS Law. ] Steven Kay QC and Joshua Kern’s rebuttal to my critique of their Article 15 Communication to the Office of the Prosecutor (“OTP”) of the International Criminal Court (“ICC”) (see here and here) is an...

Steven Kay QC is Head of Chambers at 9 Bedford Row.  Joshua Kern is a barrister at 9 Bedford Row). On 3 July 2019, we submitted a communication to the Office of the Prosecutor (“OTP”) of the International Criminal Court (“ICC”) (summarised here)  which argued that Palestine’s objective legal status as a non-State entity, as well as Palestine’s indeterminate sovereign territorial claim, operate...

[Jean-Pierre Gauci is the Arthur Watts Senior Research Fellow in Public International Law at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (UK) and the Director of The People for Change Foundation (Malta). Eleni Karageorgiou, is a Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Law at Lund University and Researcher at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (Sweden).] Two shipwrecks close...

[Victor Kattan is a Senior Research Fellow of the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore where he heads the Transsystemic Law Cluster. He is also an Associate Fellow of NUS Law. This is the second part of a two-part post.] Recognition of Palestine’s Statehood Since 1988, 138 states (72 per cent of UN members) have recognised a Palestinian state in the territories occupied by Israel on 4 June 1967. The...

[Victor Kattan is a Senior Research Fellow of the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore where he heads the Transsystemic Law Cluster. He is also an Associate Fellow of NUS Law. This is the first part of a two-part post.]  The post in Opinio Juris submitted by Steven Kay QC and Joshua Kern of 9 Bedford Row based on their Article 15 Communication to the Prosecutor...

Ernesto J. Sanchez is an attorney in Miami, Florida who concentrates his practice on appellate and international dispute resolution matters. He is also the author of The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act Deskbook, published by the American Bar Association. As tensions between Iran and the United States continue, Opinio Juris readers will most likely consult the numerous superb legal commentaries on whether the United...