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Article Archive for May 2009

International Law Foundations of Palestinian Nationality: A Forgotten Basis for the Resolution of the Palestinian Refugee Question

30/05/2009 – 12:29 pm | Comments Off on International Law Foundations of Palestinian Nationality: A Forgotten Basis for the Resolution of the Palestinian Refugee Question

The question of the Palestinian refugees from 1948 onwards is often righteously seen at the crux of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the discussion surrounding this issue is too often politicised to the degree that there is no sight of the actual applicable international legal framework. Professor Mutaz Qafisheh presently a professor of international law at the Al-Quds University, has recently published his doctoral thesis on …

In memoriam: Thomas M Franck

29/05/2009 – 8:08 am | Comments Off on In memoriam: Thomas M Franck

International legal scholarship on 27. May lost one of its leading figures: Thomas M Franck passed away after a long struggle against cancer. At his last scholarly position he was Murry and Ida Becker Professor of Law Emeritus at NYU. Professor Franck was the author of more than thirty books and numerous articles in the field of international law. NYU law school has a page …

John Ruggie's 2009 report on Business and Human Rights

28/05/2009 – 7:35 am | Comments Off on John Ruggie's 2009 report on Business and Human Rights

Professor John Ruggie, the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises (hereinafter J. Ruggie), and his team, have recently published 2009 report on ‘Business and human rights: Towards operationalizing the »the protect, respect and remedy« framework« (U.N. Doc. A/HRC/11/13/, 22 April 2009). In his recent report, J. Ruggie follows his three-pillar framework for corporate …

New version of the ICC legal tools

27/05/2009 – 8:16 am | 2 Comments

[Thanks to Emilie Hunter, Research and Programmes Coordinator at the University of Nottingham Human Rights Law Centre for drawing our attention to this:]
Everybody who has worked with international criminal law and/or the Internetional Criminal Court has probably encountered the so-called Legal Tools of the ICC. The Legal Tools is basically a collection of ‘legal information, commentaries and an application to work more effectively with core …

And so the Game Begins

27/05/2009 – 7:34 am | Comments Off on And so the Game Begins

As noted by Dominik, President Obama yesterday nominated Sonia Sotomayor to fill the vacant seat on the US Supreme Court. Over on PrawfsBlwag Paul Howitz has an outstanding post on the, to many Europeans, obscure process which is now starting. Credit to Professor Howitz for bringing out Frankfurt’s work on bullshit – it would seem to neatly fit some of the knee-jerk reactions which are …

President Obama nominates NY Judge to the Supreme Court

26/05/2009 – 3:40 pm | Comments Off on President Obama nominates NY Judge to the Supreme Court

Today the US President announced that he is nominating federal judge Sonia Sotomayor of New York for the Supreme Court (LA Times report). If confirmed in replacing Justice David Souter, Judge Sotomayor would be the first hispanic Supreme Court Justice (due to her Puerto Rican parents) and the third female justice (following Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg). For an extensive overview over Judge …

The Legacy of Saro-Wiwa

22/05/2009 – 10:06 am | Comments Off on The Legacy of Saro-Wiwa

To many human rights, environmental and corporate social responsibility scholars the name of Ken Saro-Wiwa is all too familiar. Saro-Wiwa was a Nigerian author and environmental campaigner fighting the exploitation of natural resources and alleged human rights violation in his native Ogoniland in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. In 1995, Saro-Wiwa was executed by the Nigerian authorities following a trial in which he was found …

"New" blog on international law

20/05/2009 – 4:30 pm | 2 Comments

Although it was launched already in late February 2009 I only today noticed that Professor Anthony Clark Arend from Georgtown University established a new blog on international law. According to its own description the blog will contain “[c]ommentary and analysis at the intersection of international law and politics.” Check it out, its well worth it. And of course a warm (although late) welcome to the blogosphere!

African Union Establishes a New Organ: AUCIL

19/05/2009 – 7:48 am | 3 Comments

The African Union has given birth to a new entity, the African Union Commission on International Law (AUCIL). This new advisory organ to the AU is established in terms of Article 2 of the Statute of the African Union Commission on International Law that was adopted by the Assembly of the Union during the 12th Ordinary Session held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in February 2009. …

Prohibitions to appeal and Art. 6(1) ECHR

19/05/2009 – 12:27 am | Comments Off on Prohibitions to appeal and Art. 6(1) ECHR

I. Introduction
On April 7, 2009 the third section[1] of the European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter: ECtHR) issued a judgment in the Case of Mendel v. Sweden,[2] which is of significance not because it adds another precedent to the long standing case law delimitating the scope of Art. 6 European Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter: ECHR) but because it underlines, once again, the inherent obstacle …

Major Deadline for Continental Shelf Submissions

18/05/2009 – 3:17 pm | Comments Off on Major Deadline for Continental Shelf Submissions

As if it was not already busy enough, the workload of the Commission on the Limits of the Outer Continental Shelf just got much bigger. The deadline for those states who became a party to the Law of the Sea Convention prior to 13 May 1999 to make their submissions to the Commission was on 13 May 2009. Twenty-eight submissions were made to the Commission …

Corporate human rights abuses require stronger international and domestic legal regimes

16/05/2009 – 9:46 am | Comments Off on Corporate human rights abuses require stronger international and domestic legal regimes

The US government published in February 2009 its decision that it will not renew its contract with the private security corporation formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide. Such a decision comes as no surprise given the allegations of killing 17 civilians by Blackwater guards, coupled with the Iraqi government’s refusal to extend Blackwater’s operating license. This case, however, opens again a number of conundrums relating to …

Israeli Supreme Court's take on the obligation to investigate military misconduct

15/05/2009 – 3:53 pm | One Comment

The Israeli Supreme Court has recently rejected a petition that was filed by two NGO demanding that a criminal investigation be conducted into the 2004 Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip, including, amongst other atrocities, the indiscriminate killings that took place in Rafah and the disproportionate damage incurred by the population of the southern parts of the Strip.
It is interesting to note some of …

Human Rights Elections

11/05/2009 – 8:08 pm | One Comment

In today’s NY Times, former president of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel adds his voice to the chorus criticising the UN’s Human Rights Council. Tomorrow, the General Assembly will elect the 47 Member States of the Council for the coming term. Prominent new Member States include the United States, China, Russia, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. Following the change of president in Washington, it will …

Inter-American Human Rights Commission: Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela and Haiti with severe human rights problems

10/05/2009 – 12:10 am | Comments Off on Inter-American Human Rights Commission: Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela and Haiti with severe human rights problems

According to the Annual Report 2008 of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela and Haiti continue to have serious human rights problems (see here for the report).
The Commission’s Report, which was presented to the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs of the Organization of American States on 8 May of this year, mentions these countries in a special chapter. This chapter is …

International Law Observer welcomes a new author

08/05/2009 – 8:08 am | One Comment

We are very glad to welcome Fozia Nazir Lone as a new author on International Law Observer. Fozia was recently appointed as an Assistant Professor at the City University of Hong Kong. She successfully completed her PhD without any corrections on ‘Restoration of Historical Title and the Kashmir Question: An International Legal Appraisal’ from the University of Aberdeen (Scotland, UK).  Her thesis takes an interdisciplinary approach and …

Antonio Cassese Prize for International Criminal Law Studies

07/05/2009 – 4:53 pm | One Comment

The Journal of International Criminal Justice has issued an announcement on the new ‘Antonio Cassese Prize for International Criminal Law Studies’. This award will be a biennial prize to the author of the most original and innovative paper published in the JICJ in the two years preceding the award. According to the announcement, the aim of rewarding the prize ‘is to enable the winner to …

ECHR Protocol 14

05/05/2009 – 7:47 am | One Comment

Over on the ECHR Blog, Antoine Buyse has, as usual, a very good piece on the most recent attempts by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to address the increasing caseload of the European Court of Human Rights. In light of Protocol 14 being stuck, the latest attempt includes the adoption of a Protocol 14-bis.