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Article Archive for November 2008

Clip of the week: What is a Crime Against Humanity?

30/11/2008 – 9:55 pm | Comments Off on Clip of the week: What is a Crime Against Humanity?

This week’s clip is a piece of the so-called Pinky Show on the basic question of “What is a Crime Against Humanity?”. In this clip, the interviewer (Pinky) calls up international law expert Peter Weiss (board member of the Center for Constitutional Rights) and asks him what a Crime Against Humanity is, how a crime against humanity is different from a war crime, how the ‘superior …

An International Environmental Law Court?

29/11/2008 – 3:52 pm | 3 Comments

It is well-known that the issue of enforcement remains the Achilles heel of international law in general and international environmental law in particular. Given the rate with which natural resources are depleted and the number of species facing extinction is increasing the issue of enforcement warrants attention. Perhaps that is why Stephen Hockman QC, current deputy High Court judge and former chairman of the Bar …

Czech Senate Approves the Radar Treaty and the SOFA Treaty

27/11/2008 – 9:14 pm | One Comment

Today the Senate of the Czech Parliament approves the Treaty on deployment of missile defence radar and the complementary SOFA treaty (Status of Forces Agreement) on the conditions of the presence of the U.S. military troops on the Czech territory (we reported earlier).
Forty nine of 81 senators voted for both treaties. The Government favouring the radar construction welcomed the decision of the Senate. The Deputy …

First UN Security Council Decison on Kosovo since its Independence Proclamation

27/11/2008 – 10:52 am | Comments Off on First UN Security Council Decison on Kosovo since its Independence Proclamation

Yesterday, the UN Security Council agreed for the first time on Kosovo since the country’s  independence proclamation in February this year and gave green light for further reconfiguration of the international civil presence in Kosovo with EULEX as the main future actor.
As the Council was briefed on the implementation of its resolutions on Kosovo, most respectively Resolution 1244 (1999), it learned that “the political transition following Kosovo’s declaration of independence […] …

Czech Constitutional Court Approves the Lisbon Treaty

26/11/2008 – 8:32 pm | Comments Off on Czech Constitutional Court Approves the Lisbon Treaty

The last two days the Czech Constitutional Court has been reviewing the Lisbon Treaty. The Court’s aim was to assess whether the Treaty is consistent with the Czech constitutional order.  As it is commonly known the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty has encountered serious delay in the Czech Republic. While the Chamber of Deputies (the Lower House of the Parliament) has voted in favor of …

Czech Constitutional Court gives green light to the Lisbon Treaty

26/11/2008 – 5:10 pm | 3 Comments

Today the Czech Constitutional Court rendered its much awaited decision on the relationship between the Czech constitution and the Lisbon Treaty. The Court decided that “[t]he Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and Treaty on establishing the European Community and Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union are not in conflict with the constitutional order.” The Treaty will now be handed over to the …

Greenland takes another step toward independence

26/11/2008 – 9:22 am | Comments Off on Greenland takes another step toward independence

Final results of yesterday’s referendum in Greenland show that 75.54 per cent of voters voted for home rule and greater autonomy, whereas 23.57 per cent voted against. This result paves the way for Greenland’s eventual independence from Denmark and reaffirms its sovereign rights to manage its own natural resources. Home rule will come into force on 21 June 2009.

European Hypocrisy and Unrealistic Expectations

25/11/2008 – 8:49 am | 4 Comments

Law professors Goldsmith and Posner have an excellent and very relevant op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal on Europe’s sentiments toward international law. Goldsmith and Posner argue, as they do in their book The Limitations of International Law, that international law is predominantly based on state interests. This is as much the case in Europe as anywhere else. The only difference is that Europeans often …

Job vacancies in international law

24/11/2008 – 9:08 pm | One Comment

All those looking for challenging jobs in the area of international law should take a look at the collection of job vacancies assembled over at the Hague Justice Portal. The Portal also has some other interesting contents such as commentary of decisions coming from the courts in The Hague and a section with news from the stage of the international judiciary.  

Is there a case for an International Piracy Court?

23/11/2008 – 7:45 pm | Comments Off on Is there a case for an International Piracy Court?

While a number of European governments are preparing the EU’s mission against rampant pirate activities around the shore of Somalia, officials increasingly pose the question of what should be done with the pirates once they have been caught.
This question has recently caused practical problems for a number of countries. It is reported that the commander of a Danish frigate, who had seized a pirate vessel, …

UN Human Rights High Commissioner's appeal receives uncanny response from Israeli delegation

22/11/2008 – 10:30 pm | Comments Off on UN Human Rights High Commissioner's appeal receives uncanny response from Israeli delegation

On 18 November 2008, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called for an immediate end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza. “By function of this blockade, 1.5 million Palestinian men, women and children have been forcibly deprived of their most basic human rights for months. This is in direct contravention of international human rights and humanitarian law. It must end now,” …

Swedish parliament votes in favor of the Lisbon Treaty

21/11/2008 – 3:15 pm | One Comment

Yesterday, the Swedish parliament voted to approve the Lisbon Treaty (see press release here). After almost 9 hours of debate in the Riksdag, 243 MP voted in favour, 39 against, 13 abstentions (while 54 MP were not present). Apparently large parts of the debate in the parliament centered around issues that are of relevance from the perspective of Swedish national politics. In particular, a recurring …

Towards Independence for Greenland?

19/11/2008 – 3:46 pm | Comments Off on Towards Independence for Greenland?

It has taken many years of negotiations, but on next Wednesday, 25 November 2008, the people of Greenland will finally get the opportunity to decide in a referendum whether the current system of self-administration under the Kingdom of Denmark, should extend to autonomy also in determining economic and foreign policy, and gradually in complete independence from Denmark. Greenland is the largest island in the world, …

Another new case for the International Court of Justice

18/11/2008 – 6:35 pm | One Comment

The list of cases pending before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) continues to grow. Yesterday (17 November 2008) a new case was added to the docket when the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYRM) instituted proceedings against Greece. The case revolves around Greece’s objection to FYRM joining NATO which, according to FYRM, is in violation of obligations under the Interim Accord entered into …

Trial Chamber of the ICC lifts stay of proceedings in the case against Thomas Lubanga

18/11/2008 – 2:34 pm | 2 Comments

Today the International Criminal Court announced, that the Trial Chamber I lifted the stay of proceedings in the case “The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo” (we reported earlier). AP has the story; press release of the ICC is available here.
Today, Trial Chamber I decided to lift the stay of proceedings in the case of The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo that had been imposed on …

Winograd Commission's appraisal of Israel's violations of international law during the war in Lebanon in 2006

15/11/2008 – 5:34 pm | Comments Off on Winograd Commission's appraisal of Israel's violations of international law during the war in Lebanon in 2006

The Winograd Commission published a lengthy report in the Hebrew language dealing with its assessment of the factual findings that came out of the investigation of the violations of international law during the War in Lebanon in the summer of 2006 (Israel has refused to refer to the conflict as a war and has consistently used the term “campaign” to describe the series of events). …

UN Special Rapporteur submits first report despite being barred from entering the OPT

15/11/2008 – 4:52 pm | One Comment

The recent conclusions to the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly has recalled a rather unsettling situation, where a UN Special Rapporteur has been refused entry on sensitive ideological/political grounds having made supportable submissions on the factual situations in the region. On March 26, 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) appointed Falk to a six-year term as a special investigator on Israeli …

Darfur: Impact of ICC Warrant of Arrest Against Bashir to the Peace Processes

14/11/2008 – 1:42 pm | Comments Off on Darfur: Impact of ICC Warrant of Arrest Against Bashir to the Peace Processes

The Office of the Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court has received a lot of critcism  from diffrent sections of the world with regards Mr  Moreno Ocampo’s application for a warrant of arrest against one the most ruthless dictators Africa has ever seen, President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan who is being accused of perpetrating war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Many African countries, including …