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PROBLEM QUESTION
Airedale and Beagle are two neighbouring States. Ronald Drump is a prominent businessman
living in Airedale; he is the Chief Executive Officer and owns 75% of the shares in a gold
mining company, Chihuahua Gold Ltd (CGL), which is incorporated in Chihuahua, another
neighbouring State. Chihuahua is a country which has a very conservative faith-based culture,
but has very low corporate tax rates, thus making it an attractive place for companies like CGL
to call home. The remaining 25% of the shares in CGL are owned by nationals of Airedale.
Ronald Drump was born in Beagle, and he therefore holds Beagle citizenship. He lived there
until the age of 12, when his family moved to Airedale. His parents are also Beagle nationals.
Ronald completed his secondary schooling and attended university in Airedale. At the age of
25, he moved to Chihuahua to take up employment with CGL. Over time, he acquired shares
through his salary package, and was repeatedly promoted until he was appointed Chief
Executive Officer.
In his role as Chief Executive Officer, CGL experienced sustained growth, and controlled
interests in gold mines in Chile, Australia, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan. CGLs success led to
Ronald being extremely influential, and he even hosted a late-night television programme on
Chihuahuas main commercial television station. Ronald used his position to express his
liberal views, which were inconsistent with the conservative belief structure of Chihuahuas
strict regime. The Government of Chihuahua began to mistrust Ronald and find his conduct
threatening and destabilising.
In January 2019, Ronald was arrested at his office in Chihuahua on fabricated charges of fraud.
He was taken to the Chihuahua Security Service headquarters, where he was imprisoned for
one week. During that time, he was interrogated and subjected to multiple beatings and
electrical shocks by Chihuahua Security Service officers (although the beatings and electrical
shocks were not part of the officially authorised interrogation techniques, and were carried out
by Security Service officers when their superiors were not present.) When he was released,
Ronald discovered that Chihuahua had enacted a new statute which had the effect of
transferring all the Chihuahua-based assets of CGL to the Chihuahua State-owned Trading
Company. Fearing that he would be re-arrested, Ronald fled to Beagle. His substantial
personal assets within Chihuahua were then seized by the Chihuahua Government.
Chihuahuas treatment of Ronald Drump sparked outrage in Airedale, which had regarded him
as one of its favourite expatriates. Airedale nationalists began a campaign of intimidation and
fear against ethnic Chihuahuans living in Airedale. One incident got out of hand when a group
of four masked Airedale thugs beat up a group of ethnic Chihuahuans in the streets of
Airedales capital city. Two of the ethnic Chihuahuans were badly hurt, with one eventually
dying from his injuries. Airedale police arrived on the scene and arrested the group of maskedassailants. After they had been taken into police custody, it became apparent that one of the
thugs was the Airedale Minister for Internal Affairs. The Airedale police subsequently released
all of the group (including the Minister) from police custody, and no charges were laid even
though the ethnic Chihuahuans wished for prosecutions to be brought, the Airedale police
claimed that they lacked evidence.
However, news of this episode (and its outcome) quickly spread, and the Chihuahua
Government reacted swiftly. It announced:
We have no choice but to respond to Airedales clear and wilful violation of
international law. We are therefore suspending all Chihuahuas treaty obligations with
Airedale, with immediate effect, for a period of at least six months.
Chihuahua also quietly dispatched its elite special forces into Airedales territory (without
Airedales knowledge or consent), where they searched for and located those responsible for
the attack on the ethnic Chihuahuans, including the Airedale Minister for Internal Affairs. The
group was abducted and transported to Chihuahua, where they were arrested on suspicion of
complicity in murder. They were tried before a Chihuahuan court, convicted, and sentenced to
life imprisonment.
Airedale, Beagle, and Chihuahua have made optional clause declarations in which they have
accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) under Article
36(2) of the ICJ Statute. Chihuahua has included a reservation with its declaration, which states
that: Chihuahuas acceptance of the Courts jurisdiction does not apply to disputes which
Chihuahua considers to be within the national jurisdiction of Chihuahua.
YOUR TASK:
You have been engaged by the Government of Airedale to advise it on the international
law issues arising in this set of facts.
You may find it helpful to approach this task by analysing each incident, issue or potential
claim, and:
consider what or who might complain, about what violation of international law, against
whom or what, and in what forum
consider what the response might be
assess the strengths and weaknesses of each argument
form a view on which argument is likely to prevail in each case.

  
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