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Article Archive for September 2008

The International Criminal Court decides on confirmation of charges against Congolese "warlords"

30/09/2008 – 5:00 pm | Comments Off on The International Criminal Court decides on confirmation of charges against Congolese "warlords"

On Friday 26 September the International Criminal Court issued the decision on the confirmation of charges in the case of “The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui”. The two militia leaders Katanga and Ngudjolo Chui are accused of having led an attack in 2003 on a village in the North East of Congo. According to the prosecutor, more than 200 civilians, including children …

Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law

30/09/2008 – 3:45 pm | One Comment

In early September, the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (in co-operation with Oxford University Press) launched the new edition of the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (MPEPIL). It is an updated, comprehensive work covering the central and essential topics in international law. The project was initiated in 2004 under the auspices of Professor Dr. Rüdiger Wolfrum, Director of …

African Commission criticised for failing to institute African Court

29/09/2008 – 3:21 pm | 3 Comments

The leading international NGO working to secure rights for ethnic, religious minorities, Minority Rights Group International, published a new report (and the Press Release) on the African Court on Human and Peoples’ rights which has yet to hear a case ten years after the African Unity’s summit signed the Protocol in Burkina Faso founding it and ordering for its institution.
Since the signing of the Protocol …

The Environment and Rights

29/09/2008 – 7:39 am | Comments Off on The Environment and Rights

More than 35 years after the publishing of Christopher Stone’s epic essay (at least for environmental lawyers) Should Trees Have Standing? Toward Legal Rights for Natural Objects (45 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1972) it looks as if Stone’s pleadings have been heard. At least in Ecuador, which yesterday approved the country’s 20th constitution. The approved constitution, which is widely criticised for transferring too much power …

Prosecutors of international courts

29/09/2008 – 6:00 am | Comments Off on Prosecutors of international courts

This week’s “Clip of the Week” is the speech from the current chief prosecutor at the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Serge Brammertz, held at a conference entitled “2nd Annual International Humanitarian Law Dialogs” on 25-26 August 2008. The conference was co-sponsored by the Robert H. Jackson Center. The event saw the gathering of nine prosecutors from the Nuremberg trials and some of the most important …

Feldman on the International Order

28/09/2008 – 5:39 pm | Comments Off on Feldman on the International Order

In today’s New York Times, Harvard Professor Noah Feldman has an interesting piece on the role of the US Supreme Court in the shaping of US foreign policy. Feldman examines the question of what role the US constitution and the Supreme Court play in the international order and discusses the two prevailing approaches within the Court. These are: the inward looking one, which is characterised …

70th Anniversary of the Infamous Munich Agreement

28/09/2008 – 2:25 pm | Comments Off on 70th Anniversary of the Infamous Munich Agreement

The Munich Agreement (Münchner Abkommen) concluded at Munich, September 29, 1938, between Germany (Adolf Hitler), Great Britain (Neville Chamberlain), France (Edouard Daladier) and Italy (Benito Mussolini) has become one of the most controversial international treaties signed in the twentieth century. It raised endless debates and controversies among, in particular, international legal scholars on whether the Agreement has been validly concluded under international law. The main purpose …

Israeli occupation forces and settlers join arms to continue land expropriations in the occupied Palestinian territories

27/09/2008 – 5:28 pm | Comments Off on Israeli occupation forces and settlers join arms to continue land expropriations in the occupied Palestinian territories

The major NGO for information on the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, Btselem, notes that the blocking of access surveyed in its new report is not to be viewed in isolation, but as part of a body of prohibitions, restrictions, oppressive means, and theft of land imposed on Palestinians who are under the Israeli military occupation in the West Bank (for the …

New Council of Europe memorandum confirms that UK immigration detention system violates human rights

26/09/2008 – 9:10 pm | Comments Off on New Council of Europe memorandum confirms that UK immigration detention system violates human rights

The Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Thomas Hammarberg has published his memorandum on the UK asylum and immigration system with a number of notable conclusions and recommendations. Amongst many other points, the memorandum attacks head-straight the lack of a legal framework regarding detention of asylum seekers in “Fast Track Processes”, proceedings aimed at an accelerated determination of refugee status, which coincidentally …

Coastal State Regulation of Marine Shipping (Symposium, 30-31 October 2008, University of Tromsø, Norway

26/09/2008 – 11:32 am | Comments Off on Coastal State Regulation of Marine Shipping (Symposium, 30-31 October 2008, University of Tromsø, Norway

The programme for
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the conference is found at this link:
http://uit.no/jus/7237/13

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda sentences former Rwandan prosecutor to life imprisonment

25/09/2008 – 2:49 pm | Comments Off on International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda sentences former Rwandan prosecutor to life imprisonment

Yesterday, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) sentenced Siméon Nchamihigo to life in prison for acts committed during the Rwanda genocide in 1994 (see press release).
The third Trial Chamber of the Tribunal found him guilty of genocide, extermination, murder and other inhumane act as crimes against humanity. The case is of particular importance because Nchamihigo was the former Deputy Prosecutor in Cyangugu Prefecture in …

New NGO report on human rights violations in North Korea

24/09/2008 – 7:42 pm | Comments Off on New NGO report on human rights violations in North Korea

A report by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, a human rights NGO based in the US, and the US law firm DLL Piper LLP, from 19 September, draws attention to continued human rights violations by North Korea (the report can be found here). The report also calls on the UN General Assembly to ask the UN Secretary General to establish a group …

U.S. and the Czech Republic Sign SOFA Treaty on Anti-Missile Radar Base

22/09/2008 – 7:22 pm | Comments Off on U.S. and the Czech Republic Sign SOFA Treaty on Anti-Missile Radar Base

On Friday, September 19, 2008, after an informal meeting of NATO members’ defence ministers, the U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the Czech Defence Minister Vlasta Parkanova signed SOFA treaty (Status of Forces Agreement) on the conditions of the presence of the U.S. military troops in the Czech territory in connection with the planned stationing of a U.S. radar base in the Czech Republic.
The …

UN Special Envoys on Climate Change

19/09/2008 – 1:57 pm | Comments Off on UN Special Envoys on Climate Change

The Secretary-General of the United Nations announced today that he was appointing two new Special Envoys on Climate Change: Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana, and Srgjan Kerim, former Foreign Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The role of the Special Envoys will be to support the Secretary-General in his efforts to promote international co-operation on climate change. In particular, they will play …

New authors on International Law Observer

19/09/2008 – 8:01 am | Comments Off on New authors on International Law Observer

We are glad to announce that our team of authors has been further reinforced. Ole Windahl Pedersen is a Ph.D. student from Aberdeen who is about to take up a position as lecturer with Newcastle Law School, University of Newcastle. He will mainly be covering the areas of international and European environmental law and international and human rights law. The second author is Franz Christian …

Fading influence of the US Supreme Court

18/09/2008 – 7:11 pm | Comments Off on Fading influence of the US Supreme Court

It appears that it is not only the EU whose authority is fading. Today’s NY Times has a very interesting story on the influence of the US Supreme Court, which is well worth a read. The article states that the number of citations of US Supreme Court cases in other jurisdictions is in decline compared to just ten years ago. There are many reasons for …

A Year for Europe? Maybe not

18/09/2008 – 9:32 am | Comments Off on A Year for Europe? Maybe not

Following James’ post on the 63rd session of the General Assembly opening this week, it is worth taking a look at the report A Global Force for Human Rights? published this week by the think tank European Council on Foreign Affairs. The Report, authored by Richard Gowen and Franziska Brantner, argues that Europe faces a tough time in the UN system due to its waning …

Free Advice to Law Students

18/09/2008 – 9:16 am | Comments Off on Free Advice to Law Students

It is not very often that one of the most eminent and powerful lawyers in the US offer free advice to law students. That is, however, what Justice Scalia of the US Supreme Court did the other evening when speaking to the Federalist Society. Apart from criticising the eminent Chicago Law School for having lost its conservative credence, Scalia advised law students that they ought …