Indications of Settlement Provenance and the Duty of Non-recognition Under International Law

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Table of Contents: I. Introduction. – II. The duty of non-recognition: the Commission’s Interpretative Notice versus the Court’s judgment. – III. Consumer law and the duty of non-recognition: a poor fit. – IV. Importation of settlement products as implicit recognition. – V. Concluding observations.

Abstract: In its 2015 “Interpretative Notice on indication of origin of goods from the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967”, the European Commission linked the indication of origin of prod-ucts from Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories to the duty of non-recognition under international law, i.e., a duty not to recognize illegal situations. In its Psagot judgment (judgment of 12 November 2019, case C-363/18 [GC]), however, the CJEU did not engage with this duty, but limits itself to interpreting EU consumer law. It is argued that disputes over the application and interpretation of consumer law indeed do not lend themselves well to the application of the duty of non-recognition. The question remains, however, whether conducting trade relations as regards settlement products amounts to an implicit recognition of Israeli settlement policy in the occupied territories.

Keywords: duty of non-recognition – peremptory norms – public international law – consumer law - settlements – occupation.

European Papers, Vol. 4, 2019, No 3, pp. 791-799
2499-8249 - doi: 10.15166/2499-8249/342

* Professor of Public International Law, Utrecht University (RENFORCE research programme),


European Forum


Forum Européen


Forum europeo


Foro Europeo