Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Johns: International Law and the Provocations of the Digital: The 2021 Annual Kirby Lecture in International Law

Fleur Johns (Univ. of New South Wales - Law) has posted International Law and the Provocations of the Digital: The 2021 Annual Kirby Lecture in International Law (Australian Year Book of International Law, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
Based in Montevideo, and recently valued at US$5 billion, the payments platform DLocal enables companies such as, Amazon and Uber to transact in local currencies in 29 countries. It specializes in the “emerging economies” of Latin America, the Asia Pacific, the Middle East and North Africa. Among international lawyers, however, Montevideo is best known for another form of international infrastructure. That is the 1933 Montevideo Convention, or at least its first article, standardizing the template of modern statehood. At the time, as scholars of international legal history have shown, this amounted to a radical reformatting of the fundaments of international law, driven by semi-peripheral states, as part of a widespread effort of reconstructive codification after the Great War. Today, DLocal’s Montevideo is emblematic of a very different kind of international legal reformatting now underway. A digital logic, and associated circuits of value and aggregations of power, are becoming embedded – even predominant – in many of international law’s most routine operations. To shed light on this phenomenon, this address – delivered as the 2021 Annual Kirby Lecture in International Law at the ANU in Canberra, Australia – will revisit each component of the Montevideo Convention’s well-known formula for statehood: permanent population; defined territory; government; and the conduct of international relations. Taking efforts of so-called digital humanitarianism as illustrative, it will examine how each of these Montevideo properties is being rerouted and recomposed digitally, often in tension with an analogue logic characteristic of international law. And in the ensuing dislocations sometimes in evidence between analogue and digital aspects of international legal work, it will identify some possibilities for collective reworking.

Call for Papers: Workshop on Race and International Relations

The International Race and Rights Lab at the University of Notre Dame has issued a call for papers for a workshop on "Race and International Relations," to take place March 31, 2023. The call is here.

Okeke: Human Trafficking and the “Commercial Activity” exceptions to International Immunities

Edward Chukwuemeke Okeke has posted an ASIL Insight on Human Trafficking and the “Commercial Activity” exceptions to International Immunities.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Sands: The Last Colony: A Tale of Exile, Justice and Britain’s Colonial Legacy

Philippe Sands
has published The Last Colony: A Tale of Exile, Justice and Britain’s Colonial Legacy (Weidenfeld and Nicolson 2022). Here's the abstract:

After the Second World War, new international rules heralded an age of human rights and self-determination. Supported by Britain, these unprecedented changes sought to end the scourge of colonialism. But how committed was Britain?

In the 1960s, its colonial instinct ignited once more: a secret decision was taken to offer the US a base at Diego Garcia, one of the islands of the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, create a new colony (the ‘British Indian Ocean Territory’) and deport the entire local population. One of those inhabitants was Liseby Elysé, twenty years old, newly married, expecting her first child. One suitcase, no pets, the British ordered, expelling her from the only home she had ever known.

For four decades the government of Mauritius fought for the return of Chagos, and the past decade Philippe Sands has been intimately involved in the cases. In 2018 Chagos and colonialism finally reached the World Court in The Hague. As Mauritius and the entire African continent challenged British and American lawlessness, fourteen international judges faced a landmark decision: would they rule that Britain illegally detached Chagos from Mauritius? Would they open the door to Liseby Elysé and her fellow Chagossians returning home – or exile them forever?

Taking us on a disturbing journey across international law, THE LAST COLONY illuminates the continuing horrors of colonial rule, the devastating impact of Britain’s racist grip on its last colony in Africa, and the struggle for justice in the face of a crime against humanity. It is a tale about the making of modern international law and one woman’s fight for justice, a courtroom drama and a personal journey that ends with a historic ruling.

New Issue: International Journal of Human Rights

The latest issue of the International Journal of Human Rights (Vol. 26, no. 8, 2022) is out. Contents include:
  • Cinthia Obladen de Almendra Freitas, Danielle Anne Pamplona & Dânton Hilário Zanetti de Oliveira, Duty to protect and responsibility to respect: data privacy violations in pandemic times
  • Nicolas Parent, Commitments to forced migrants in African peace agreements, 1990–2018
  • Jeffrey S. Bachman, US Congress and partisanship on Yemen among Democrats from Obama to Trump
  • Ivana Radačić & Marija Antić, Criminalisation of sex workers: rethinking the public order
  • Jasper Krommendijk & Kris van der Pas, To intervene or not to intervene: intervention before the court of justice of the european union in environmental and migration law
  • Gabriel Pereira, Leigh A. Payne & Laura Bernal Bermúdez, Justice from below: corporate accountability in Argentina
  • Cornelia C. Walther, Compassion for change. Nurturing the motivation of staff in UN institutions dedicated to the promotion of human rights
  • Andreas von Staden & Andreas J. Ullmann, Seeking overlap and redundancy in human rights protection: reputation, consistency and the acceptance of the UN human rights treaties’ individual communications procedures

New Issue: Journal of Conflict Resolution

The latest issue of the Journal of Conflict Resolution (Vol. 66, no. 9, October 2022) is out. Contents include:
  • Special Feature: Citizens in Peace Processes
    • Felix Haass, Caroline A. Hartzell, & Martin Ottmann, Citizens in Peace Processes
    • Karin Dyrstad, Helga M. Binningsbø, & Kristin M. Bakke, Wartime Experiences and Popular Support for Peace Agreements: Comparative Evidence from Three Cases
    • Sabine C. Carey, Belén González, & Christian Gläßel, Divergent Perceptions of Peace in Post-Conflict Societies: Insights from Sri Lanka
    • Neophytos Loizides, Charis Psaltis, Edward Morgan-Jones, Laura Sudulich, Raluca Popp, & Tekin Baykiz, Citizens and Peace Mediations in Divided Societies: Identifying Zones of Agreement through a Conjoint Survey Experiment
    • Vera Mironova & Sam Whitt, Due Process and Accountability Under Transitional Justice: Evidence from Mosul, Iraq
  • Data Set Features
    • David Cingranelli, Skip Mark, James B. Garvey, Jordan Hutt, & Yuri Lee, A Brutality-Based Approach to Identifying State-Led Atrocities
    • Isak Svensson, Susanne Schaftenaar, & Marie Allansson, Violent Political Protest: Introducing a New Uppsala Conflict Data Program Data Set on Organized Violence, 1989-2019

Monday, September 26, 2022

Conference: 2022 ASIL Midyear Meeting

On November 10-12, 2022, the American Society of International Law will hold its Midyear Meeting in Miami. Program and registration are here.

Conference: International Law Weekend 2022

The American Branch of the International Law Association will hold International Law Weekend 2022 in New York City on October 20-22. The theme is "The Next 100 Years of International Law." The program is here.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Natarajan & Dehm: Locating Nature: Making and Unmaking International Law

Usha Natarajan
(Columbia Univ.) & Julia Dehm (La Trobe Univ.) have published Locating Nature: Making and Unmaking International Law (Cambridge Univ. Press 2022). The table of contents is here. Here's the abstract:
For those troubled by environmental harm on a global scale and its deeply unequal effects, this book explains how international law structures ecological degradation and environmental injustice while claiming to protect the environment. It identifies how central legal concepts such as sovereignty, jurisdiction, territory, development, environment, labour and human rights make inaccurate and unsustainable assumptions about the natural world and systemically reproduce environmental degradation and injustice. To avert socioecological crises, we must not only unpack but radically rework our understandings of nature and its relationship with law. We propose more sustainable and equitable ways to remake law's relationship with nature by drawing on diverse disciplines and sociocultural traditions that have been marginalized within international law. Influenced by Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL), postcolonialism and decoloniality, and inspired by Indigenous knowledges, cosmology, mythology and storytelling, this book lays the groundwork for an epistemological shift in the way humans conceptualize the relationship between law and nature.

Hilpold: The Ukraine Crisis and the Nuclear Threat

Peter Hilpold (Univ. of Innsbruck) has posted The Ukraine Crisis and the Nuclear Threat. Here's the abstract:
The Russian aggression against Ukraine has unleashed new fears of a nuclear war, also due to direct and indirect threats by the Russian side. As a consequence, it seems appropriate to re-open the debate about the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons, a debate led to somewhat inconclusive results by the ICJ Opinion of 1996 on the “Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons”. If some elements of rationality are left in this war, nuclear weapons will not be employed in Ukraine. The major casualty of this rhetoric could, however, be the far-reaching de-legitimization of nuclear warfare achieved in the past. Therefore, time has come to re-examine the ICJ assessments of 1996 and to take a clearer stance in this regard which should be more appropriate as to the exigencies of modern international society. It is argued here that now the ICJ would come to different conclusions if seized again with the same questions as in 1996.

New Volume: Australian International Law Journal

The latest volume of the Australian International Law Journal (Vol. 27, 2020) is out. Contents include:
  • Natalie Klein, Responding to Law of the Sea Violations
  • Samuel Saunders, Untangling the High Court's Approach to Interpreting Domestic Statutes that Incorporate Treaties
  • Britta Maunder, An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: The Role for International Law in Preventing Pandemics
  • Chloe Wood, Protecting Indigenous Rights at Home: A Comparative Analysis of the Way Forward for Domestic Implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Daniel Kang Wei-En, Adapting GATT Article XXI(b)(iii) to Climate Change Threats: An Overdue Rethinking of Security Blues for an Urgent Green Way Forward?
  • Benjamin Mostyn, Interpreting the 1988 United Nations Drug Convention: Does it Allow Decriminalisation of Drug Possession?
  • Georgia Hinds, A War Crime by Any Other Name: Domestic Prosecutions of Conduct Constituting War Crimes
  • Gabriel Amvane, International Criminal Justice: Threat or Strength to State Sovereignty?
  • Gregory Rose, Legal Considerations concerning Recognition of Israeli Sovereignty over the Golan Heights

Kulick: Corporations as Interpreters and Adjudicators of International Human Rights Norms – Meta‘s Oversight Board and Beyond

Andreas Kulick (Univ. of Tuebingen) has posted Corporations as Interpreters and Adjudicators of International Human Rights Norms – Meta‘s Oversight Board and Beyond (The Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
Social media platform corporations such as Meta (Facebook), Twitter etc. find themselves in a position having to interpret international human rights norms, in particular Article 19 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) (freedom of expression). Millions or even billions of content moderation decisions need to be taken on the platforms each day that affect users’ human rights interests. Since content moderation is integral to the technical and commercial set-up of these platforms, corporate decision-making vis-à-vis human rights and thus corporate interpretation of international human rights norms is inevitable. Yet, corporations are flawed interpreters. Whereas they act, like a court or tribunal, as triadic decision-makers, they, unlike a court or tribunal, do not share the neutrality, impartiality and independence of the latter. In particular, they are responsible to their shareholders and they pursue commercial interests when moderating content. This article seeks to grapple with the theoretical and doctrinal implications of flawed but inevitable corporate human rights interpretation. Taking the early practice of the Oversight Board, a body established by Meta, Inc. (Facebook) in order to tackle the ‘hard cases’ of content moderation, as a case study, the pitfalls and challenges of corporate human rights interpretation become apparent. In the end, I submit a few suggestions in order to remedy what seems to be here to stay with us at least for as long as an important part of public discourse will be channelled through social media platforms.

Workshop: 2022 CIBEL Global Network Young Scholars Workshop

On September 28, 2022, the China International Business and Economic Law Centre at the University of New South Wales will host online its 2022 Global Network Young Scholars Workshop. The theme is: "Changes in international economic law: Digitalisation, sustainability and beyond." Details are here.

Finkelstein, Fuller, Ohlin, & Regan: Between Crime and War: Hybrid Legal Frameworks for Asymmetric Conflict

Claire Finkelstein (Univ. of Pennsylvania), Christopher J. Fuller (Univ. of Southampton), Jens David Ohlin (Cornell Univ.), & Mitt Regan (Georgetown Univ.) have published Between Crime and War: Hybrid Legal Frameworks for Asymmetric Conflict (Oxford Univ. Press 2022). The table of contents is here. Here's the abstract:

The threat posed by the recent rise of transnational non-state armed groups does not fit easily within either of the two basic paradigms for state responses to violence. The civilian paradigm focuses on the interception of demonstrable immediate threats to the safety of others. The military paradigm focuses on threats posed by collective actors who pose a danger to the state's ability to maintain basic social order and, at times, the very existence of the state. While the United States has responded to the threat posed by non-state armed groups by using tools from both paradigms, it has placed substantially more emphasis on the military paradigm than have other states. While several reasons may contribute to this approach, one may be the assumption that a state must use each set of tools strictly according in accordance with the principles that underlie each paradigm. Implicit in this assumption may be the sense that the only alternative to the civilian paradigm is the unqualified military one.

The chapters in this book suggest, however, that we need not see the options as confined to this binary choice. It may be profitable to consider borrowing elements from each paradigm on some occasions to act more expansively than the conventional civilian paradigm allows, but less expansively than the conventional military paradigm would permit. At the same time, the mixing of the categories comes with its own ethical and legal risks that should be scrutinized.

Nakajima: The International Law of Sovereign Debt Dispute Settlement

Kei Nakajima
(Univ. of Tokyo) has published The International Law of Sovereign Debt Dispute Settlement (Cambridge Univ. Press 2022). Here's the abstract:
The first two decades of the twenty-first century witnessed a series of large-scale sovereign defaults and debt restructurings, in which sovereigns struggled to negotiate with recalcitrant bondholders, particularly hedge funds. Also, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 heralded a bleak financial outlook for many developing and emerging market countries, requiring sovereign debt restructuring in times of great macroeconomic uncertainty. Given the absence of a multilateral mechanism for sovereign debt restructuring equivalent to domestic corporate bankruptcy system, however, defaulted sovereigns often suffer from holdout litigation wrought by bondholders. This book proposes ways in which such legal actions could be regulated without the undue expense of bondholders' remedies by exploring the mechanism of balancing bondholder protection and respect for sovereign debt restructuring at various stages of litigation and arbitration proceedings.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Rödiger: Staatsverbrechen im Völkerrecht: Zivilgesellschaftliche Interventionen als Grundlage eines neuen völkerrechtlichen Konzepts der Aufarbeitung

Sarah Leyli Rödiger
has published Staatsverbrechen im Völkerrecht: Zivilgesellschaftliche Interventionen als Grundlage eines neuen völkerrechtlichen Konzepts der Aufarbeitung (Mohr Siebeck 2022). Here's the abtract:
Staatsverbrechen wie Ökozide, Migrations- oder Kriegsverbrechen sind jüngst durch zivilgesellschaftliches Engagement in das öffentliche Bewusstsein gelangt. Menschenrechtsorganisationen reichen Strafanzeigen bei Gericht ein, um öffentliche Debatten anzuregen. Mit ihren Interventionen vor dem Internationalen Strafgerichtshof machen sie die Öffentlichkeit auf Verbrechen des Globalen Nordens aufmerksam, die bislang wenig sichtbar sind. Diese strategische Prozessführung verfolgt einen rechtlichen und sozialen Wandel. Dabei nutzen zivile Akteure das Recht als Werkzeug, um breite Aufarbeitungsprozesse zu initiieren. Zugleich geraten die Akteure weltweit unter Druck und ihre Handlungsräume werden zunehmend eingeschränkt. Starke Zivilgesellschaften haben eine menschenrechtsschützende Funktion, insoweit sind völkerrechtliche Strategien zur Einbindung im Kontext der Aufarbeitung wichtig.

New Issue: Human Rights Law Review

The latest issue of the Human Rights Law Review (Vol. 22, no. 3, September 2022) is out. Contents include:
  • Fae Garland, Kay Lalor, & Mitchell Travis, Intersex Activism, Medical Power/Knowledge and the Scalar Limitations of the United NationsGet accessArrow
  • Hsien-Li Tan, Adaptive Protection of Human Rights: Stealth Institutionalisation of Scrutiny Functions in ASEAN’s Limited RegimeGet accessArrow
  • Aishani Gupta, Taking Dignity Seriously to Protect Manual Scavengers in India: Lessons from the UN Human Rights CommitteeGet accessArrow
  • Tim Opgenhaffen, The Universal Right to Legal Capacity—Clearing the HazeGet accessArrow
  • Veronika Fikfak & Lora Izvorova, Language and Persuasion: Human Dignity at the European Court of Human Rights
  • Sean Molloy, Advancing Children’s Rights in Peace Processes: The Role of the Committee on the Rights of the ChildGet accessArrow
  • Nils-Hendrik Grohmann, Tracing the Development of the Proportionality Analysis in Relation to Forced Evictions under the ICESCRGet accessArrow

Calamita & Giannakopoulos: ASEAN and the Reform of Investor-State Dispute Settlement: Global Challenges and Regional Options

N. Jansen Calamita
(National Univ. of Singapore - Centre for International Law) & Charalampos Giannakopoulos (National Univ. of Singapore - Centre for International Law) have published ASEAN and the Reform of Investor-State Dispute Settlement: Global Challenges and Regional Options (Edward Elgar Publishing 2022). Here's the abstract:

The reform of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is a subject of ongoing debate in international institutions, yet an ASEAN perspective on the subject has been largely absent to date. This book addresses that gap by presenting, analysing and assessing ISDS reform from an ASEAN perspective, taking into account the experience, needs and concerns of ASEAN as a community and of its member states.

The book provides a consolidated summary of the range of ISDS reform proposals that have been put forward internationally, alongside a systematic overview of the ISDS provisions of over 300 international investment agreements concluded by ASEAN and its member states. Combining this information, the authors critically analyse the content, structure and modalities of reform proposals from an ASEAN standpoint, including their ability to address reform concerns particular to ASEAN member states. Chapters explore a wide range of topics, covering the rationale, modalities and concerns involved in ISDS reform.

Call for Papers: Sustainability in the Sea: A Gaze from the Mediterranean Barcelona

A call for papers has been issued for a conference on "Sustainability in the Sea: A Gaze from the Mediterranean Barcelona," to be held December 19, 2022. The call is here.

Gholiagha: The Humanisation of Global Politics: International Criminal Law, the Responsibility to Protect, and Drones

Sassan Gholiagha
(European Univ. Viadrina) has published The Humanisation of Global Politics: International Criminal Law, the Responsibility to Protect, and Drones (Cambridge Univ. Press 2022). Here's the abstract:
This book observes a growing humanisation of global politics relating to the appearance of individual human beings in discourses of global politics. It identifies a mismatch concerning International Relations theory and International Law and the study of the humanisation of global politics. To overcome this mismatch, Sassan Gholiagha proposes a novel theoretical framework based on feminist and constructivist International Relations theory and non-statist theories of International Law scholarship. The book applies this interdisciplinary framework together with an interpretative analytical framework to three cases: the discourse on prosecution, studying international criminal law and the work of the International Criminal Court; the discourse on protection, focusing on the Responsibility to Protect; and the use of drones in targeted killing operations. Drawing on these case studies and the frameworks, the book identifies how individual human beings as participants in global politics position themselves and are positioned by others in these various discourses.

New Volume: Asian Yearbook of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

The latest volume of the Asian Yearbook of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (Vol. 6, 2022) is out. Contents include:
  • Part 1 Festschrift: Professor Shaheen Sardar Ali
    • Ayesha Shahid & Javaid Rehman, In Conversation with Professor Shaheen Sardar Ali 
    • Shaheen Sardar Ali - Curriculum Vitae 15 Surya P. Subedi, The Status of Dalit Women in Nepal 
    • Mashood A. Baderin, Prophet Muhammad as “A Mercy for the Worlds”: A Human Rights Perspective in Relation to the Blasphemy Laws and Respect for the Rule of Law in Pakistan 
    • Nadjma Yassari, Caught Between Religion and Law: The Case of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) in Iran 
    • Shahbaz Ahmad Cheema, Women’s Status in Islam: An Analysis from the Perspective of Private and Public Spheres 
    • Lena-Maria Möller, Marital Choice and “Suitability” in a Heterogeneous Society: Some Reflections on Kafāʾa in the United Arab Emirates 
    • Mamman Lawan, Al-Shaybani and Grotius: An Inquiry into Comparative International Law 
    • Musa Usman Abubakar, Interrogating the Plea of Grave and Sudden Provocation In Islamic Criminal Law: Case Study of Pakistan 
    • Ayesha Shahid, Child Domestic Workers in Pakistan: Challenges, Legislative Interventions, and Finding a Way Forward 
  • Part 2 General Articles
    • Siobhan Smith, The Role of Education in Protecting the Right to Culture of Indigenous Peoples and Ethnic Minorities and in Peacebuilding: The Rohingya 
    • Ahmed Almutawa & Hajer Almanea, Analyses of Non-compliance to Legislation by Signatories to the Arab Charter of Human Rights: A Framework for National Observance and Regional Enforcement 
    • Mohammad Danyal Khan, Redefining the Interaction Between Patents and Access to Medicines; Will World Trade Organisation (WTO) show Solidarity by Accommodating Human Rights?
  • Part 3 Developments in State Practice
    • Alexander Gilder, Contracting Space for Opposing Speech in South East Asia and Restrictions on the Online Freedom of Expression 
    • Mamman Lawan, Nexus between Underdevelopment, Corruption and Legal Disorder in Nigeria 

New Issue: Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Institutions

The latest issue of Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Institutions (Vol. 28, no. 3, July-September 2022) is out. Contents include:
  • Isis Gonsalves, Small, Young, and Female: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on the United Nations Security Council from the Perspective of the Political Coordinator
  • Vanessa F. Newby, Offering the Carrot and Hiding the Stick? Conceptualizing Credibility in UN Peacekeeping
  • Ali Balci & Talha İsmail Duman, Muslim Solidarity in the UN General Assembly: Evidence from Elections of Rotating Members to the Security Council
  • Brooke Coe & Kilian Spandler, Beyond Effectiveness: The Political Functions of ASEAN’s Disaster Governance
  • Max-Otto Baumann, Policy Advice in UN Development Work: High Expectations and Practical Constraints
  • Hai Yang, Politicizing Global Governance Institutions in Times of Crisis: The Case of World Health Organization during the Coronavirus Pandemic
  • Bernabé Malacalza & Debora Fagaburu, Empathy or Calculation? A Critical Analysis of Vaccination Geopolitics in Latin America

Friday, September 23, 2022

Baumgärtel & Miellet: Theorizing Local Migration Law and Governance

Moritz Baumgärtel
& Sara Miellet have published Theorizing Local Migration Law and Governance (Cambridge Univ. Press 2022). The table of contents is here. Here's the abstract:
In many regions around the world, the governance of migration increasingly involves local authorities and actors. This edited volume introduces theoretical contributions that, departing from the 'local turn' in migration studies, highlight the distinct role that legal processes, debates, and instruments play in driving this development. Drawing on historical and contemporary case studies, it demonstrates how paying closer analytical attention to legal questions reveals the inherent tensions and contradictions of migration governance. By investigating socio-legal phenomena such as sanctuary jurisdictions, it further explores how the law structures ongoing processes of (re)scaling in this domain. Beyond offering conceptual and empirical discussions of local migration governance, this volume also directly confronts the pressing normative questions that follow from the growing involvement of local authorities and actors.

Binder, Nowak, Hofbauer, & Janig: Elgar Encyclopedia of Human Rights

Christina Binder
, Manfred Nowak, Jane A. Hofbauer, & Philipp Janig have published Elgar Encyclopedia of Human Rights (Edward Elgar Publishing 2022). Here's the abstract:
Comprising over 340 entries, presented alphabetically, and available online and in print, the Encyclopedia addresses the full range of themes associated with the study and practice of human rights in the modern world. Topics range from substantive human rights to the relevant institutions, legal documents, conceptual and procedural issues of international law and a wide variety of thematic entries. The Encyclopedia has a distinct focus on international human rights law but at the same time is enriched by approaches from the broader social sciences, making it a truly unique and multi-disciplinary resource.

Ohlin: #Genocide: Atrocity as Pretext and Disinformation

Jens David Ohlin (Cornell Univ. - Law) has posted #Genocide: Atrocity as Pretext and Disinformation (Virginia Journal of International Law, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:

This Article addresses the problem of false accusations of genocide. In the past, scholars and lawyers have fretted about the pernicious impact of genocide denial, but false accusations represent the opposite side of the disinformation coin. Instead of deny-ing the existence of a real genocide (as in Holocaust denial), the new accusations falsely accuse a state of genocide when no such genocide occurred. For example, Russia accused Ukraine of genocide against Russian-speaking civilians in Eastern Ukraine and then used that false accusation as a pretext for launching a military invasion of Ukraine. This Article investigates whether international law can, or should, address genocidal accusations that are used as false pretext and disinformation. The answer is a qualified yes, because such accusations are implicitly prohibited by the Genocide Convention and possibly by a broader requirement of good faith and honesty that applies in all international relations.

By way of background, Part I examines international law’s approach to disinformation and shows how the major frameworks—sovereignty, self-determination, and human rights—fail to adequately regulate or capture the distinctive harm of false accusations of genocide. Part II then looks at the specific role that the Genocide Convention might play in prohibiting false accusations and how the International Court of Justice might assert jurisdiction over such a dispute. In that analysis, the Article finds the seeds of a larger “axiomatic” principle under general international law that could prohibit false accusations leveled against other states. Part III then addresses the connection between genocidal accusations and the military campaigns that are launched under their banner. Part III concludes that rather than seeing this use of genocide as the natural outgrowth of the late-1990s debates over humanitarian intervention, we should instead see them as a distinct contemporary phenomenon: hybrid warfare and the use of disinformation to support territorial conquest. The reason for this reframing is that prior debates involved the use of real genocides as a justification for intervention, while the current moment involves wholly fictitious inventions of genocide. Finally, Part IV explores how Russia has used its genocidal accusation as a pretext to wage its own genocidal campaign against Ukraine—the ultimate endgame of a perverse form of disinformation that threatens the international legal order in ways that go beyond the prohibition on the use of force.