Home » Archive by Month

Article Archive for June 2009

German Constitutional Court approves but delays Lisbon Treaty

30/06/2009 – 3:21 pm | Comments Off on German Constitutional Court approves but delays Lisbon Treaty

The German Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe today handed down a decision in which it approved the Lisbon Treaty but delayed its ratification. According to the Court, there are no decisive constitutional objections to the Act Approving the Treaty of Lisbon. The Lisbon treaty is as such compatible with the German basic law (Grundgesetz). Moreover, in the view of the Constitutional Court, the treaty would not …

Chile has ratified the Rome Statute

30/06/2009 – 2:55 pm | Comments Off on Chile has ratified the Rome Statute

Yesterday the government of Chile deposited its instrument of ratification to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The Statute will enter into force for Chile on 1 September 2009, bringing the total number of States Parties to the Rome Statute to 109.
The government of Chile had proposed constitutional reforms as a prerequisite to the ratification of the Statute in order to avoid any potential …

Responding to post-Second World War totalitarian crimes in Slovenia

22/06/2009 – 9:39 am | 6 Comments

One hundred thirty thousand persons, mostly civilians, are estimated to have been summarily executed in the Slovenian territory in the months following the end of the Second World War on 9 May 1945. It is estimated that around fifteen thousands of those executed were of Slovenia nationality, whereas the others were Croats, Serbs and Germans. These crimes were committed mostly in the form of systematic …

A Counterpart of Osman: ECHR Opuz upholds a violation of the right to life for failure to enforce the law

21/06/2009 – 6:09 pm | Comments Off on A Counterpart of Osman: ECHR Opuz upholds a violation of the right to life for failure to enforce the law

On 9 June 2009, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rendered its judgment in the case of Opuz v. Turkey (application no. 33401/02) concerning the Turkish authorities’ failure to protect the applicant and her mother from domestic violence. Interights, the international centre for the legal protection of human rights, was a third party intervener on the case, submitting the following brief.
The Court held unanimously …

Most Ridiculous Lawsuits

19/06/2009 – 8:20 am | 3 Comments

Today’s Independent has a list of what it considers the most ridiculous lawsuits. While some are rather amusing, like the man suing Budweiser when no scantily dressed ladies appear before him as was otherwise “promised” in one of the brewing company’s adverts, and the prison inmate who sues himself in the hope that the authorities might flog the bill, others are outright tasteless and ill-advised. …

Human Rights Survey

18/06/2009 – 4:52 pm | Comments Off on Human Rights Survey

Last week, the Equality and Human Rights Commission published their Human Rights Inquiry examining people’s perceptions to human rights in the UK.  Some findings are encouraging; some unsurprising while others give cause for concern. For instance, the survey finds that British people tend to value traditional civil and political rights like freedom of expression and inherent dignity of all people. Moreover, the majority of people …

A line of selective rhetoric: Israeli Supreme Court fails to enforce the evacuation of 'unauthorised settlements' in the occupied West Bank

17/06/2009 – 10:15 pm | Comments Off on A line of selective rhetoric: Israeli Supreme Court fails to enforce the evacuation of 'unauthorised settlements' in the occupied West Bank

On 10 June 2009, the Israeli Supreme Court (HCJ) rendered another stultifying judgment with regards to the occupied Palestinian territories (OPT), this time on the evacuation of what the Court refers to as ‘unauthorised settlements’ or squats in the occupied West Bank. It should be noted as a point of clarification that the state and Court differentiate between two kinds of settlements – one kind …

Another voice supporting a 'pirate court'

17/06/2009 – 4:36 pm | 2 Comments

I just today stumbled across this month-old article reporting on the Dutch foreign minister’s demand for a UN backed tribunal for the trial of pirates in the East African countries. We have reported earlier on the apparent desire among certain (European) States to establish such an international court (inter alia to avoid any pirates being taken to those countries which would entail according costs and …

Litigation in the ECtHR and Domestic Implementation of Human Rights Case Law

16/06/2009 – 12:33 pm | One Comment

The margin of appreciation doctrine of European Court of Human Rights gives states leeway in their interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights. States also have the freedom to decide how they implement judgments finding violations against them. This has meant that individuals in each Council of Europe (CoE) member state experience rights protection and abuse in often quite different ways. The JURISTRAS project, …

Guest post on domestic implementation of human rights case law

16/06/2009 – 12:29 pm | Comments Off on Guest post on domestic implementation of human rights case law

We are glad to host a guest post by Gabriel Swain, research associate at the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research at the University of Kent. In his post he will present an interesting EU-funded research project looking at the interactions between the European Court of Human Rights and domestic human rights actors, both governmental and non.
Gabriel Swain completed an MA in international …

Universal Jurisdiction Once Again Under Threat

11/06/2009 – 11:02 am | 4 Comments

By Sharon Weill and Valentina Azarov
Currently, the fate of one of the only remaining venues that offers a redress mechanism for Palestinians is at stake. It is one that can bring accountability of Israeli officials and decision-makers who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. The amendment of universal jurisdiction laws, often incommensurably restricting access to these mechanisms, is at variance with the effect of …

World Oceans Day

08/06/2009 – 4:58 pm | Comments Off on World Oceans Day

Today, 8 June 2009, is World Oceans Day. Are cetaceans and crustaceans around the world whooping with joy? It is more likely that they are protesting against the abominable state of the seas and oceans. In a statement issued to mark the occasion, the United Nations Secretary-General said that World Oceans Day offered “an opportunity to recognize the considerable challenges we face …

ILO’s International Labour Conference has opened its doors

06/06/2009 – 11:10 am | One Comment

From 3 June to 19 June, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) hosts this year’s International Labour Conference (ILC). The ILC, also referred to as the “international parliament of labour” is the main legislative body of the ILO which has the competence to adopt Conventions and Recommendations on international labour standards. The ILC can also adopt Declarations on social and economic issues, the last ones being …

New Legal Study finds that Israel is Practicing Apartheid and Colonialism in the occupied Palestinian territories

05/06/2009 – 12:32 pm | One Comment

The Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (HSRC) has released a study conducted by a high-profile group of legal experts, indicating that Israel is practicing both colonialism and apartheid in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT)(See the Executive Summary of the Study). The interim report, will form part of a discussion at an upcoming HSRC conference on the subject, titled Re-envisioning Israel/Palestine, on 13 and …

The Recession and the Rule of Law

04/06/2009 – 11:28 am | One Comment

Last week, Amnesty International published its 2009 Report on the state of human rights across the globe. Perhaps not surprisingly, the report, inter alia, focuses on some of the effects that the current economic situation has on the respect for human rights. Thus, the foreword by Secretary General Irene Kahn notes that “it is not just the economy, it’s a human rights crisis”. While the …

The UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza conflict commences its work

01/06/2009 – 5:10 pm | Comments Off on The UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza conflict commences its work

On 3 April 2009, the President of the Human Rights Council established an international independent Fact Finding Mission with the mandate “to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law that might have been committed at any time in the context of the military operations that were conducted in Gaza during the period from 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009, …