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Edited by Paul Nihoul and Pieter Van Cleynenbreugel

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Edited by Paul Nihoul and Pieter Van Cleynenbreugel

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Edited by Paul Nihoul and Pieter Van Cleynenbreugel

Rapid technological innovations have challenged the conventional application of antitrust and competition law across the globe. Acknowledging these challenges, this original work analyses the roles of innovation in competition law analysis and reflects on how competition and antitrust law can be refined and tailored to innovation.
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Edited by Paul Nihoul and Pieter Van Cleynenbreugel

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Edited by Paul Nihoul and Pieter Van Cleynenbreugel

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Andrea Broderick

The traditional dichotomy of rights between civil and political rights, on the one hand, and economic, social and cultural rights, on the other hand, has been increasingly eroded in scholarly and judicial discourse. The interdependence of the two sets of rights is a fundamental tenet of international human rights law. Nowhere is this interdependence more evident than in the context of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD or UN Convention). This article examines the indivisibility and interdependence of rights in the CRPD and, specifically, the positive obligations imposed on States Parties to the UN Convention, in particular the reasonable accommodation duty. The aim of the paper is to analyse, from a disability perspective, the approach adopted by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR or ‘Strasbourg Court’) in developing the social dimension of certain civil and political rights in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), namely Articles 2 and 3 (on the right to life and the prohibition on torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, respectively), Article 8 (on the right to private and family life) and Article 14 ECHR (on non-discrimination). Ultimately, this paper examines the influence of the CRPD on the interpretation by the Strasbourg Court of the rights of persons with disabilities under the ECHR. It argues that, while the Court is building some bridges to the CRPD, the incremental and often fragmented approach adopted by the Court could be moulded into a more principled approach, guided by the CRPD.

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Tsvetelina van Benthem

Terrorist propaganda spreads like a pandemic across online platforms. In this volatile climate, control over social media is increasingly seen as a determinant bastion of power by both terrorist groups seeking to exploit the ubiquity of internet platforms and states aiming to impose restrictions on content disseminated online. Social media actors are gradually taking centre stage in the fight against terrorism as they attempt to curb incitement to violence in its evolving manifestations via sophisticated algorithms. While such measures are necessary for the protection of the general population's right to life and security of the person, these measures carry inherent risks of over-caution and threaten freedom of expression – a core right in democratic societies. This article argues that, notwithstanding the risks in granting quasi-judicial functions to online intermediaries, they should be employed as a carefully tailored tool to secure protection against arbitrary domestic measures, particularly in the fight against terrorism.

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Johanna Aleria P Lorenzo

More than being funders of development projects, international financial institutions (IFIs) should also be viewed as international law-makers, or more specifically as participants in the international law-making process relating to sustainable development. Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as endorsed by the UN General Assembly, relies not only on the IFIs’ continued performance of their economic functions, but also on their collective efforts to set and apply standards for integrating economic, environmental and social considerations in development projects. In presenting IFIs as law-makers in the field of sustainable development, this article focuses on the ‘safeguard systems’ that IFIs have individually created in order to ensure the sustainability of the development projects they finance. Through the safeguard system and its components’ respective functions, IFIs clarify, elaborate and operationalise the concept of sustainable development, and thereby participate in the international law-making process relating to this concept. Additionally, the IFIs’ participation involves enabling other non-state actors to also participate in development decision-making at the international level. The law-making functions of IFIs and the emergence of a droit commun among them bear valuable insights and implications on the current discussion surrounding the new institutions, whose entry into the multilateral development banking system has elicited anxiety about a race to the bottom in sustainability standards. This article shows why this speculated outcome is not a foregone conclusion. It suggests that preventing a race to the bottom in sustainability standards entails strengthening one component of the safeguard system, the independent accountability mechanism, which interprets the system's other component, ie the IFIs’ environmental and social policies. The ongoing efforts to harmonise the IFIs’ safeguard policies should likewise be encouraged. As specialised international organisations and members of the international community, the IFIs (and their member states) should react to adverse competitive pressures with the overarching consideration of responding to the demands and expectations of the international community. This approach means continuing to implement the global commitment to the sustainable development principles of integration and public participation, as well as maintaining the protection of the rights and interests of people affected by development projects.

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Róisín A Costello

This article analyses the current duties of non-state actors, specifically digital platform providers, to preserve and report content useful in the later prosecution of international criminal offences. The article illustrates the shortcomings of current legal mechanisms both at an international and national level by which such duties to preserve and/or report are imposed and proposes solutions which countenance a more developed role for the International Criminal Court in collecting and preserving open source evidence independent of non-state actor cooperation.

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Tania Penovic and Ronli Sifris

International civil society has played a key role in shaping the international consensus which has facilitated the normative expansion of international law to accommodate abuses experienced by women. We examine this process of ‘feminisation’ with reference to the extent to which international law has accommodated women's lived experiences of violence and their struggle to secure the means to control their own fertility through access to reproductive health services, including abortion. While the movement to recognise violence against women as a human rights issue has garnered substantial support, the efforts of women's groups to advance consensus around reproductive rights, and particularly the right of safe access to abortion, have been highly contested. Conservative religious actors have mobilised to obstruct consensus at the international level and taken direct action at the local level to impede access to abortions. This direct action will be examined through a case study drawing on empirical research conducted in Australia. We will examine the activities of anti-abortion protest groups, their impact on the rights of others and the effectiveness of legislation put in place to restrict these activities within the radius of designated geographic zones. The consistency of these legislative regimes with international norms is evaluated within the framework of feminisation of international law.