Mike Becker Profile picture
Adjunct Assistant Professor @TCDLawSchool, Researcher @cambridgelaw. Former lawyer at International Court of Justice. @YaleLawSch, @ENS_ULM, @AmherstCollege
Mar 16 19 tweets 5 min read
A few initial observations about the #ICJ's order today indicating provisional measures in #Ukraine v #Russia. The bottom line is that the Court has ordered Russia to suspend immediately, without qualification, the military operation against Ukraine begun on 24 February. 1/19 As expected, the #ICJ found a dispute was established prior to seisin of the Court based on Russia’s conduct since 2014, incl criminal proceedings brought by Russia against Ukrainian officials for alleged acts in violation of the Genocide Convention. 2/19
Mar 6 11 tweets 6 min read
One of the issues in the provisional measures hearings in #Ukraine v #Russia this week is how the parties and the #ICJ deal with the requirement of plausibility of rights. Ultimately, I do not think this should pose a barrier to the ICJ indicating some form of measures. 1/11 Recall that #Ukraine is asking the #ICJ in the main case to find that Ukraine itself has not committed any acts of genocide, contrary to Russia’s accusations. This type of request is novel at the ICJ. 2/11
Mar 4 12 tweets 6 min read
As expected, the UN Human Rights Council (@UN_HRC) has established an international commission of inquiry for #Ukraine. The structure & mandate of the new body combines aspects typical of commissions of inquiry with elements of the new ‘investigatory mechanism’ model. #HRC49 1/11 By that I mean that the #Ukraine COI has a typical structure (a three-member panel) and a typical mandate: to investigate all violations and abuses of IHRL & IHL, to examine factual circumstances and the root causes of violations, and to recommend accountability measures. 2/11
Sep 24, 2021 35 tweets 14 min read
Well that didn't take long. After #Armenia initiated an #ICJ case against #Azerbaijan last week re #CERD violations, Azerbaijan said it would respond in kind. Yesterday, Azerbaijan filed its own case against Armenia, also under the CERD and also seeking provisional measures. 1/35 Since I summarized #Armenia’s claims last week, it seems only fair to provide an overview of #Azerbaijan’s claims now. Another #CERD case, another long thread from me (sorry). 2/35
Sep 23, 2021 31 tweets 11 min read
We finally have the long-awaited decision in #TheGambia’s lawsuit in US federal court against #Facebook seeking disclosure of material for use in its pending case against #Myanmar at the #ICJ (alleging genocide against the #Rohingya). Here's an overview. 1/30 In brief, the federal magistrate judge handling this matter rejected #Facebook’s statutory & policy arguments and granted an order compelling Facebook to produce to #TheGambia the bulk of the material requested, but denying its request to depose a Facebook representative. 2/30
Sep 16, 2021 20 tweets 12 min read
An overview (w/some preliminary observations) of the new #ICJ case by #Armenia against #Azerbaijan based on alleged violations of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (#CERD). This is the fourth CERD-based case at the ICJ since 2008. 1/20 #Armenia alleges that #Azerbaijan has subjected individuals of Armenian ethnic/national origin to racial discrimination for decades and fosters hatred towards Armenians as a matter of state policy. (Both parties acceded to the CERD in the 1990s.) 2/20
Oct 16, 2020 14 tweets 6 min read
The #ICJ has named the four experts that it has commissioned to produce a report on #DRC’s damages claims in the #ArmedActivities case. I previously discussed the decision to seek this opinion. Now we have the list of names, which is very interesting. 1/14 icj-cij.org/public/files/c… Recall that the expert opinion is supposed to address three heads of damages sought by the #DRC from #Uganda: (i) civilian deaths and compensation due; (ii) quantity and valuation of natural resources plundered; and (iii) scale and cost of property damage. 2/14
Sep 23, 2020 20 tweets 6 min read
A few points of note on the #ICJ’s order deciding to appoint experts on the question of #reparations in #DRC v #Uganda, which is available here: icj-cij.org/files/case-rel… 1/19 Recall that in its 2005(!) judgment, the Court found that Uganda bore responsibility for unlawful use of force, unlawful intervention, atrocities inflicted upon the Congolese that violated IHRL and IHL, and the unlawful exploitation of natural resources. #ArmedActivities 2/19
Sep 17, 2020 4 tweets 3 min read
Today marks the first meeting of the @WHO-established Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness & Response. The inquiry has its own snazzy website (theindependentpanel.org) and twitter account (@TheIndPanel). Panel is to agree on fact-finding methods & ways of working today. The list of panel members is here (theindependentpanel.org/panel-members). Contrary to some earlier press reports, there is gender balance here (this is good). But absence of international law experience still jumps out to me given the many legal questions implicated by the #COVID19 pandemic.
Sep 5, 2020 12 tweets 7 min read
UPDATE: In the ongoing litigation between #TheGambia and @Facebook in the US, The Gambia has submitted its response to FB’s surreply (meaning that the application for an order compelling discovery under §1782 has now been fully briefed). Here’s a rough summary: 1/12 Recall that Facebook’s position is that the Stored Communications Act, a US privacy law, would prevent it from being able to comply lawfully with the request for documents that #TheGambia seeks (including posts by #Myanmar officials & affiliated groups that FB removed). 2/12
Sep 3, 2020 11 tweets 5 min read
Update in #TheGambia v Facebook litigation in the US, where @Gambia_MOJ seeks a court order compelling Facebook to disclose various materials re #Myanmar. The Court has allowed another round of briefing, and @Facebook has filed a sur-reply. Here's what's happening. #Rohingya 1/11 Facebook argues that The Gambia’s application under §1782 asks for a subpoena with which Facebook could not lawfully comply. Recall that The Gambia seeks disclosure of posts by Myanmar officials & affiliated groups that FB has removed, plus drafts & private communications. 2/11
Sep 2, 2020 6 tweets 5 min read
Wow, this is a major development in #TheGambia v #Myanmar case at the #ICJ. The Netherlands and Canada have announced their joint intention to intervene in the case. #Rohingya #GenocideConvention canada.ca/en/global-affa… The joint statement is thin on details, but Canada and The Netherlands will presumably seek to intervene as non-parties under Article 63 of the ICJ Statute (based on their status as parties to the #GenocideConvention).
Aug 19, 2020 17 tweets 6 min read
#TheGambia has filed its reply in US Federal Court to @Facebook’s arguments opposing discovery under §1782 in relation to the #genocide case against #Myanmar at the #ICJ. Here’s a thread summarizing The Gambia’s argument. For Facebook’s argument, see my prior thread (below). 1/17 #TheGambia argues that Facebook wrongly claims its hands are tied by US law, precluding its co-operation. The Gambia’s main argument is that the Stored Communications Act (SCA) (invoked by Facebook) doesn't cover the requests, or, if it does, that statutory exceptions apply. 2/17
Aug 5, 2020 15 tweets 7 min read
Update: @Facebook has filed its opposition to #TheGambia’s §1782 request in US Federal Court for discovery re the #genocide case against #Myanmar at the #ICJ. @Gambia_MOJ seeks access to a wide range of public and private communications by Myanmar officials. #Rohingya 1/15 A short summary: @Facebook argues that the proposed discovery order would require it to violate the Stored Communications Act (SCA)(§ 2702(a)), a US law that prohibits providers of an ‘electronic communications service’ from disclosing the content of user communications. 2/15
Jul 12, 2020 10 tweets 7 min read
The @WHO is moving ahead with its #COVID19 panel of inquiry, called the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (#IPPR)), to be chaired jointly by @HelenClarkNZ and @MaEllenSirleaf. I have a few initial thoughts. 1/10 who.int/news-room/deta… @DrTedros of the @WHO has said the #IPPR’s terms of reference will be developed in consultation with Member States, so it’s unclear how closely the mandate will track para 10 of the 19 May 2020 resolution by the World Health Assembly, available here: apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_f… 2/10
Jun 10, 2020 7 tweets 7 min read
Fascinating development in #ICJ case against #Myanmar: @Gambia_MOJ has taken legal action in US federal court to compel @Facebook to produce documents from Myanmar government & military-linked Facebook accounts that it suspended or took down. #Rohingya courtlistener.com/recap/gov.usco… 1/6 It’s not clear to me from the @Gambia_MOJ application whether the request would reach only material that was posted publicly on @Facebook by the named accounts & pages or would also cover private communications using Facebook messenger. No mention of WhatsApp. #Rohingya 2/6
Feb 25, 2020 8 tweets 4 min read
The #Maldives has announced its intention to intervene in the #Gambia v #Myanmar case at the #ICJ concerning alleged acts of genocide against the #Rohingya. While many will undoubtedly welcome this move, I'm skeptical about the value of such an action. foreign.gov.mv/index.php/en/m… 1/8 #Maldives will presumably seek to intervene as a non-party pursuant to Article 63 of the #ICJ Statute, and it has every right to do so as a party to the #GenocideConvention. Assuming Maldives complies with Article 82 of the ICJ Rules, the request will presumably be granted. 2/8
Jan 27, 2020 9 tweets 5 min read
Last week’s #ICJ order requires #Myanmar to report back to the Court after 4 months on its implementation of provisional measures, and then every 6 months thereafter. So how unusual is this sort of reporting requirement in a PM order by the ICJ? #Rohingya @Gambia_MOJ 1/9 In short, it is neither unprecedented nor typical. The Court's decision re #Myanmar is especially noteworthy in light of other recent provisional measures decisions in which the ICJ might have imposed a reporting requirement to promote compliance, but didn’t. 2/9
Jan 22, 2020 13 tweets 3 min read
#Myanmar's Independent Commission of Enquiry (ICOE) has released an Executive Summary of its final report: president-office.gov.mm/en/?q=briefing…. A few initial thoughts here. #Rohingya 1/13 It is tempting to attack the ICOE report purely on the ground that ICOE appears to lack independence & impartiality due to its close government ties. But I think it will ultimately be quite important to respond directly to specific assertions and findings in the ICOE report. 2/13
Jan 20, 2020 12 tweets 6 min read
The #ICJ will announce its ruling on #Gambia’s request for provisional measures against #Myanmar on Thursday, in the case alleging #genocide against the #Rohingya. A few thoughts about what to look out for in the Court's ruling in this thread. 1/12 The threshold question is whether #Gambia established all of the required elements to allow the #ICJ to grant provisional measures (prima facie jurisdiction, plausibility of claims, link between PMs requested and the rights at issue, urgency, and risk of irreparable harm)? 2/12
Nov 13, 2019 5 tweets 3 min read
In view of #TheGambia case versus #Myanmar at the #ICJ alleging genocide against the #Rohingya, there may be calls for other states to file their own cases or to intervene under Article 63 of the ICJ Statute. A few thoughts here about why I'm skeptical about such proposals. 1/5 For example, this piece by @PhelimKine urges other states to file their own #ICJ cases ‘to create a critical mass of international opprobrium’ targeting #Myanmar. The underlying idea is well-intentioned, but I think it is unnecessary and risks being counter-productive. 2/5