Spring 2024

E-Newsletter – Spring 2024

In the recent months, there have been a number of significant developments in international law.

On 1 March 2024, the Republic of Nicaragua instituted proceedings at the International Court of Justice against the Federal Republic of Germany under the Genocide Convention and requested the indication of provisional measures.  On 30 April 2024, the International Court of Justice determined that the circumstances did not require the exercise of the Court’s power to indicate provisional measures.

On 11 April 2024, the United Mexican States instituted proceedings at the International Court of Justice against the Republic of Ecuador under the Pact of Bogota, following Ecuador’s raid and arrest of the former Vice-President of Ecuador on the premises of the Mexican Embassy in Ecuador.  On 29 April 2024, the Republic of Ecuador instituted separate proceedings at the International Court of Justice against the United Mexican States, also under the Pact of Bogota and arising out of related facts.

On 23 to 25 April 2024, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights convened in Bridgetown, Barbados to hold a public hearing in the matter concerning the request for an advisory opinion on the climate emergency and human rights.  The Inter-American Court is holding its second public hearing in the same matter in Brasilia, Brazil and in Manaus, Brazil on 24 May and 27 to 29 May 2024 respectively.

On 21 May 2024, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea delivered its advisory opinion on the obligations of States Parties to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in connection with climate change, including as regards the impacts of ocean warming, sea level rise and ocean acidification.

On 24 May 2024, the International Court of Justice reaffirmed its previous provisional measures and indicated further provisional measures in the Genocide Convention case between the Republic of South Africa and the State of Israel. The Court had previously indicated provisional measures on 26 January and 28 March 2024. Volterra Fietta reported on the Court’s original provisional measures order here.

Below, Volterra Fietta also highlights recent key developments in the areas of trade and foreign investment protection, energy security, business and human rights and the rights of coastal States to explore and exploit their offshore seabed.


Volterra Fietta continues to be actively engaged in many of these developments on behalf of our clients around the world.

Membership by end 2024:  United Kingdom on track to accede to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, with new benefits for member States and investors

The United Kingdom has announced that it is set to join the Comprehensive Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (“CPTPP”) by end 2024.  It cleared a major hurdle to do so in March 2024, when the UK’s CPTPP bill received Royal Assent and was enacted into domestic law.

UN Secretary-General convenes new Panel on Critical Energy Transition Minerals

In April 2024, in a move to build trust and certainty towards harnessing the potential of critical energy transition minerals, UN Secretary-General António Guterres appointed a newly established Panel on Critical Energy Transition Minerals.  It will be co-chaired by Ambassador Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko of South Africa and the European Commission’s Director-General for Energy Ditte Juul Jørgensen of Denmark.

Breakthrough for EU supply chain due diligence law:  EU adopts compromise text

After many years in the making, the EU announced the approval on 24 May 2024 of its new Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive.  This followed the Directive’s adoption by the EU Parliament on 24 April 2024 and the EU Council approving the Directive in March 2024 – just in time for the European Parliament’s final session before upcoming EU elections in June 2024.

Recent seabed claims by the United States highlight its absence from major UN oceans treaty

On 19 December 2023, the United States announced the outer limits of its extended continental shelf.  In doing so, the US cited the inherent interest in clarifying the seabed areas in which the US is entitled to exercise sovereign rights.  Its announcement has not been without controversy, prompting diplomatic reactions from Russia and China in March and April 2024. 


Recent and upcoming firm events


  • On 22 February 2024, Partner Robert Volterra and Counsel Angela Ha hosted a virtual seminar titled “New frontiers in international law: recent developments in cyberconflict”.
  • In February 2024, Partner Robert Volterra and Counsel Angela Ha published a book review article in the ICSID Review on EU investment protection law.
  • On 8 March 2024, Partner Gunjan Sharma discussed the legal issues arising out of artificial intelligence in space innovation, at the invitation of King’s College London, as part of AI UK 2024.
  • On 19 March 2024, Associate Margarita Adadurova guest-tutored a construction arbitration class for LLM students at Queen Mary University of London.
  • On 8 April 2024, Associate Magdalena Kowalczuk Asher spoke at the 13th Annual Conference of the Cambridge International Law Journal on issues of peace and sustainability in reparations under international law.
  • On 22 April 2024, Partner Gunjan Sharma spoke at a seminar on a distinguished panel of human rights experts on the “Impact and Challenges of International Human Rights Law” at the University of West Indies, Barbados.
  • On 26 April 2024, Partner Gunjan Sharma spoke about fraud and bribery on the tribunal in international arbitration at the sixth annual Arbitration and Crime Conference, which this year was held at the Sciences Po Law School in Paris, France.
  • On 8 May 2024, Partner Robert Volterra was interviewed about a recent UK Supreme Court decision on State immunity and related issues of international law on the Bloomberg UK Politics Podcast.
  • On 16 May 2024, Partner Gunjan Sharma delivered a training session in partnership with MBL Seminars on “Effective Cross-examination in International Arbitration: Procedural, cultural and logistical challenges”.
  • On 16 May 2024, Consultant Florentine Vos gave a lecture on the topic of reparations in international law at the University of Amsterdam.
  • On 23 May 2024, Partner Robert Volterra spoke in Milan at Bocconi University’s Conference on “When International Arbitration Meets the Rule of Law:  Lessons learned and challenges ahead”.

Volterra Fietta and its lawyers will be engaged in the following events in the coming months:

  • On 29 May 2024, Partners Robert Volterra and Ahmed Abdel Hakam will be speaking at the Turkish Contractors Association in Ankara on Egyptian-Turkish contractor association cooperation agreements.
  • On 30 May 2024, Partners Robert Volterra and Ahmed Abdel Hakam will deliver a seminar on litigating maritime boundary disputes at Ankara University’s National Center for the Sea and Maritime Law (DEHUKAM).
  • On 27 June 2024, Partner Ahmed Abdel Hakam will speak at Leiden University’s Conference on Counterclaims in International Law.
  • On 28-30 June 2024, Partner Robert Volterra will speak on issues of State-to-State litigation at the University of West Indies’ 10th Annual Mona Law Symposium in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
  • On 1 and 2 July 2024, Partners Peter Flint and Ahmed Abdel Hakam will speak at the Mining Journal Select conference in London.
  • On 4 July 2024, Counsel Angela Ha will speak on issues of territory and foreign investment protection at the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law’s 31st Annual Conference in Melbourne, Australia.


In the coming months, Volterra Fietta plans to offer seminars on the following topics:

  • Recent developments in the English law of State immunity;
  • Privilege in international arbitration;
  • Key issues in transatlantic litigation;
  • ICJ procedural rules as litigator tools.


If you would like to be added to Volterra Fietta’s invitation list for future events, please email your name and affiliation to info@volterrafietta.com.