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Por Ricardo Arredondo

Cuando todavía no se han acallado las repercusiones de las expulsiones de diplomáticos generadas por el envenenamiento del ex espía ruso Sergei Skripal, el Gobierno griego ha decidido expulsar a dos diplomáticos rusos e impedir el retorno al país de otros dos, a quienes acusa de interferir en sus asuntos internos y de conductas ilegales contra la seguridad nacional griega.
El Gobierno de Alexis Tsipras, quien se diferenció de sus pares europeos y miembros de la OTAN al negarse a expulsar diplomáticos rusos como consecuencia del caso Skripal, dejó en claro que estas expulsiones no están relacionadas con las relaciones bilaterales entre ambos países sino con hechos puntuales: los intentos de los funcionarios rusos de ampliar la influencia rusa en Grecia, principalmente dentro de la Iglesia Ortodoxa griega, sumado a la tentativa de obtener y hacer circular información y de sobornar a funcionarios griegos, lo que habría fracasado. Asimismo, se ha señalado que Rusia habría estado implicada en protestas contra el acuerdo alcanzado entre Grecia y Macedonia respecto al nombre de la antigua república yugoslava.
Estas conductas están expresamente prohibidas por las Convenciones de Viena sobre Relaciones Diplomáticas (CVRD) y sobre Relaciones Consulares (CVRC). Estas reglas se derivan del principio de soberanía del Estado, que los restantes Estados no pueden perturbar. Fomentar la inestabilidad de un gobierno, inmiscuirse en su política interna, criticar al gobierno, contribuir al deterioro de las relaciones entre el Estado receptor y terceros Estados, entre otras, son actividades que implican una interferencia en los asuntos internos del Estado receptor y de las cuales un diplomático extranjero debería abstenerse. Ello no solo genera tensiones entre los Estados acreditante y receptor y puede llevar a que la persona sea declarada non grata y expulsada del país, que es lo que ocurrió en este caso.
Grecia hizo uso de esa norma contemplada en el artículo 9 de la CVRD afirmando, a través del portavoz del Gobierno, Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, que “El Gobierno griego no puede tolerar una conducta que viole el derecho internacional y que no muestra respeto al Estado griego. Consideramos que ha habido tal conducta y por esa precisa razón se tomarán todas las medidas necesarias”.
La declaración de persona non grata ha sido utilizada en incontables ocasiones como respuesta a conductas personales de los diplomáticos, que van desde contrabando de mercaderías, narcotráfico, abuso sexual hasta faltas de tráfico. Por ello, Grecia ha advertido de que cualquier respuesta en represalia por parte de Moscú solo contribuirá a deteriorar las relaciones, ya que ningún diplomático o cónsul griegos en Rusia ha actuado al margen de los estrictos parámetros de su misión.
A pesar de ello, el Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores ruso ya ha anunciado que responderá de forma simétrica a la decisión de las autoridades griegas, lo que es una práctica habitual de casos semejantes.
Resulta difícil entender qué se logra desde el punto de vista práctico con estas expulsiones recíprocas de funcionarios. Es comprensible que los Estados a veces deseen expresar su disgusto con otros Estados (particularmente en un incidente de alto perfil en el que hay pocas otras opciones para represalias inmediatas). Sin embargo, la expulsión de diplomáticos que no están acusados de estar implicados en un incidente, tomado como una represalia entre los dos Estados, es poco más que un gesto simbólico, y simplemente contribuye a empeorar las relaciones diplomáticas y consulares entre esos Estados.

Here is the information.

A fantastic idea of my favourite international law journal! Here is the retrospective, which includes great pieces illustrating EJIL’s unique intellectual scope and ambition in its first quarter century. Congratulations!

I have a post commenting on this project here. It is a very interesting project, and there is plenty of time to send a proposal. Good luck, and also to Jessie and Dan with this superb project.

Dr Jessie Hohmann, QMUL, and Dr Dan Joyce, UNSW, invite contributions to an edited volume on International Law’s Objects: Emergence, Encounter and Erasure through Object and Image. The project interrogates international law’s material culture and everyday life.

The study of international law is highly text based. Whether as practice, scholarship or pedagogy, the discipline of international law both relies on and produces a wealth of written material. Cases, treaties, and volumes of academic writing are the legal sources through which most of us working in international law relate to the subject, and, at times we might come to feel that these texts are our major project and output.

Yet international law has a rich existence in the world. International law is often developed, conveyed and authorised through objects or images. From the symbolic (the regalia of the head of state and the symbols of sovereignty), to the mundane (a can of dolphin-safe tuna certified as complying with international trade standards), international legal authority can be found in the objects around us. Similarly, the practice of international law often relies on material objects or images, both as evidence (satellite images, bones of the victims of mass atrocities) and to found authority (for instance, maps and charts).

Motivating this project are three questions:

  • First, what might studying international law through objects reveal? What might objects, rather than texts, tell us about sources, recognition of states, construction of territory, law of the sea, or international human rights law?
  • Second, what might this scholarly undertaking reveal about the objects – as aims or projects – of international law? How do objects reveal, or perhaps mask, these aims, and what does this tell us about the reasons some (physical or material) objects are foregrounded, and others hidden or ignored?
  • Third, which objects will be selected? We anticipate a no doubt eclectic but illuminating collection, which points to objects made central, but also objects disclaimed, by international law. Moreover, the project will result in a fascinating artefact (itself an object) of the preoccupations of the profession at this moment in time.

Further information, including the timeline for submissions, can be found in the Call for Papers [pdf]. The Call for Papers closes 18 April 2015.

I have got a nice email asking “Do you have an idea for a new book?” If so, maybe the new series on Human Rights and International Law of Routledge Law is the place to submit your proposal. The email says:

Edited by Professor Surya P. Subedi (University of Leeds), this series will explore human right law’s place within the international legal order, looking at how human rights impacts on areas as diverse and divisive as, for example, security, terrorism, climate change, refugee law, migration, bio-ethics, natural resources, and international trade. The objective of the series will be to publish books that explore the interaction, interrelationship and potential conflicts between human rights and other branches of international law.

We are now inviting anyone interested in writing a new book to submit your proposals. If you can offer a unique perspective, expert critical analysis and dynamic new ideas on this rapidly developing subject area then please get in touch.

Find out more here.

Very interesting! Junior Research Fellowship in International Law and the History of Political Thought at King’s College, University of Cambridge. Here is the information. Good luck!

I have uploaded a new paper on the Judgment of the International Court of Justice in Jurisdictional Immunities of States (2012). It was written for the Conference ‘The ICJ’s Judicial Year in Review’, which took place in 25-26 April 2013 at the European University Institute. The conference was superbly directed by professors Andreas Zimmermann and Eyal Benvenisti. Here is the abstract of the paper which will be publish with the rest of the presentations in the next issue of the Journal of International Dispute Settlement (October 2013).

Of Plumbers and Social Architects: Elements and Problems of the Judgment of the International Court of Justice in Jurisdictional Immunities of States

Carlos Espósito

Abstract

This analysis of the judgment of the International Court of Justice in the Jurisdictional Immunities case is conducted in two parts. The first briefly presents the basic elements of the judgment of the Court in Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Germany v Italy: Greece intervening); the second part identifies and discusses some problems raised by the judgment. These include the legal character of the rule of state immunity, the limits of the positivist methodology to establish state practice as evidence of customary international law and its exceptions, and the troubles with a strictly procedural approach to consider a possible exception to immunity for serious violations of international law and international humanitarian law. The comment concludes with a brief general assessment of the judgment of the Court, its role and the future development of the law of state immunities by national courts.

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