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Article Archive for October 2008

Illegal settlements and property rights under regimes that violate international law

29/10/2008 – 10:05 pm | Comments Off on Illegal settlements and property rights under regimes that violate international law

Some very interesting papers have recently been made public by Yael Ronen, who specialises in the fields of international humanitarian and human rights law in the OPT. She has made a number of substantive contributions in her recent work on previously untrodden grounds. All three of her relatively recent papers are (from an objective perspective) interrelated and interdependent particularly, as far as the application of …

ECOWAS Ruling against Slavery

29/10/2008 – 9:08 pm | Comments Off on ECOWAS Ruling against Slavery

Although last year saw the marking of the bicentennial of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act, slavery sadly remains a widespread problem in many countries. This week, however, the Community Court of Justice for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) found that the government of Niger did not do enough to protect the right of a woman who was, from the age …

Kenyan Commission Recommends an International Crimes Tribunal

28/10/2008 – 7:18 am | One Comment

The Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence (CIPEV) established to investigate the violence witnessed after the 27 December 2007 elections in Kenya officially presented its much-anticipated report to President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga on 15 October 2008. The CIPEV, or Waki Commission, was vested with a mandate to ‘investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the violence, the conduct of state security agencies …

The Occupation of the Gaza Strip and the continued renouncement of responsibility

24/10/2008 – 2:12 pm | 2 Comments

A recent judgment of the Israeli Supreme Court in the case of HCJ 10265/05 Physicians for Human Rights v Defense Minister (judgment of 7 October 2008) reexamines a number of questions concerning not only the status of the Gaza Strip and Israel’s obligations towards the local population. Equally, the Court’s reluctance to address the violations of IHL and human rights law of the Israeli military …

No Impunity for Toxic Dump

24/10/2008 – 8:05 am | One Comment

It is often asserted that developing countries lack the manpower and expertise to enforce environmental and health laws contributing to a “race to the bottom” in which companies and enterprises from the developed world flock to set up businesses under lax regulation and enforcement in the developing countries. Although such assertions are probably overstated, the Reuters has an encouraging report on the trial and conviction …

Another take on Soering: House of Lords upholds state responsibility for denial of family life upon expulsion

23/10/2008 – 9:39 pm | Comments Off on Another take on Soering: House of Lords upholds state responsibility for denial of family life upon expulsion

On 22 October, the House of Lords upheld the appeal, in EM (Lebanon) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2008] UKHL 64, where a mother sought to challenge her removal to Lebanon on the grounds that it would generate a “flagrant denial of her right to family life” under Article 8 ECHR (and a Press Release, here). The appellants’ case was that “they …

ICC Appeals Chamber: Lubanga won't be released (… yet)

22/10/2008 – 12:00 pm | Comments Off on ICC Appeals Chamber: Lubanga won't be released (… yet)

Yesterday the Appeals Chamber of the ICC delivered two judgments with regard to appeals of the prosecutor against decisions of the Trial Chamber in the case of Mr Lubanga Dyilo (we reported on this case earlier here, and here). The first judgment concerned an appeal against the Trial Chamber’s decision on the release of Thomas Lubanga of 2 July 2008. The Appeals Chamber decided to …

Amnesty briefs UN CAT about Israel's human rights violations in the OPT

21/10/2008 – 10:15 pm | Comments Off on Amnesty briefs UN CAT about Israel's human rights violations in the OPT

Amnesty International has submitted a briefing to the Committee Against Torture in view of its consideration of Israel’s fourth periodic report on its implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The briefing focuses on Amnesty International’s concerns about Israel’s failure to implement the Convention against Torture particularly in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), and the intensification of …

A New World Order Take Two

21/10/2008 – 7:47 pm | Comments Off on A New World Order Take Two

We have previously blogged about the effect of the current financial crisis on the influence of western countries and whether the crisis will change current power balances. Today’s NY Times has a good story on how the financial crisis, as it slowly makes its way into the real economy, affects countries like Russia, Iran and Venezuela – countries that have recently grown increasingly assertive. On …

EU loosens sanctions against Belarus and Uzbekistan

19/10/2008 – 11:38 pm | One Comment

The EU’s external relations with third countries have always offered excellent object lessons with respect to the omnipresent tension between the promotion of the EU’s essential moral values and the political and economic interests of its Member States.
Most recent evidence to this effect can be found in the 2897th External Relations meeting of the Council of the European Union held 13 October in Luxemburg. There, …

Positive vote for the new Ecuadorian Constitution confirmed – a brief review

16/10/2008 – 1:57 pm | One Comment

On October 13th, the Highest Electoral Tribunal of Ecuador announced that the new Ecuadorian Constitution has been approved in the referendum held on September 28th.  With 63.93 per cent of the votes in favor compared to 28.1 per cent of the votes against the new constitution was clearly endorsed by the people. With the official confirmation of the election results by the Electoral Tribunal the decisive …

Provisional Measures Indicated in Georgia v. Russia

16/10/2008 – 8:42 am | Comments Off on Provisional Measures Indicated in Georgia v. Russia

Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Georgia v. Russian Federation)
Yesterday, 15 October, the International Court of Justice read during a public sitting its judgment on the request of Georgia to indicate provisional measures with regard to the situation in South-Ossetia. Due to the narrow vote it is interesting to note the composition of the Court. The Venezuelan …

Darfur and the International Criminal Court: Some Jurisdictional Issues

15/10/2008 – 3:09 pm | Comments Off on Darfur and the International Criminal Court: Some Jurisdictional Issues

The International Criminal Court (ICC), dubbed by one leading commentator, William Schabas, as ‘arguably the most significant international organization to be created since the United Nations’, has ushered in a new era in the protection of human rights. The Rome Statute of the ICC puts in place individual criminal liability for those responsible for the most serious human rights violations, and creates an institution – …

The Role of Non-Governmental Organisations

14/10/2008 – 8:06 pm | One Comment

Without having read the report discussed by Valentina below, her post raises (apart from bringing to mind David Kennedy’s excellent paper The International Human Rights Movement: Part of the Problem? to mind) an interesting and in international law debates often overlooked issue of legitimacy of non-state actors. In this case that of non governmental organisations (NGOs). There can be no doubt that the influence and …

Report on NGO "Lawfare" in the Palestine/Israel conflict

14/10/2008 – 12:39 pm | 4 Comments

The report, published by NGO Monitor, is an unprecedented source that should however be read attentively with a critical eye towards its evidently biased perceptions of the situation in the region. Less fortunately, it is clear that the report puts greater weight on the underlying critique that it has endeavoured to submit against the activities of human rights NGO in the region. Nevertheless, it bases …

A New World Order?

11/10/2008 – 10:28 am | Comments Off on A New World Order?

Philip Stephens has a very interesting and to the point op-ed in yesterday’s Financial Times in which he speculates whether the current world-wide financial crisis signals the beginning of a new world order. Stephens argues that, in addition to the moral corrosion of western values which started with the Iraq war, the current financial crisis, which largely has come about as a result of western …

New author on International Law Observer

10/10/2008 – 8:09 pm | 2 Comments

With an entry on the upcoming advisory opinion on the legality of Kosovo`s independence a new author, Maja Smrkolj, has made her debut here on International Law Observer. Maja is a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg, Germany. Her areas of expertise are mainly the various fields of EC- and EU-law, but she also brings to the table …

No lessons learned: Israeli military plans to intensify the use of indiscriminate and disproportionate force in its next armed conflict

09/10/2008 – 2:20 pm | Comments Off on No lessons learned: Israeli military plans to intensify the use of indiscriminate and disproportionate force in its next armed conflict

In a recent interview (reported in the Israeli paper Ha’aretz) conducted with the a new military commander at the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) it was discovered that in spite of the military’s grave failures in the war with Lebanon in the summer of 2006 and the extensive critique it received both nationally and internationally, the military plans to return to its old doctrines which are …