The current geopolitical and military troubles between the West and the Russian Federation are simultaneously also international legal troubles. One of the interesting aspects of the Western sanctions against Russia since 2014 has been that Moscow has criticized them as ‘illegal’. There are two elements in Moscow’s unexpected argument. On the one hand, Moscow denies any wrongdoing, from international legal perspective, in Ukraine.
In preparation for the European Society of International Law (ESIL) 13th Annual Conference, we asked some of our authors to reflect on this year’s conference theme ‘Global Public Goods, Global Commons and Fundamental Values: The Responses of International Law’. How should international law respond to the fundamental challenge of defining and regulating global public goods, global commons, and fundamental values?
Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 was a watershed in international relations because with this act, Moscow challenged the post-Cold War international order. Yet what has been fascinating is that over the last years, Russia’s President and Foreign Minister have repeatedly referred to ‘international law’ as one of Russia’s guiding foreign policy principles.