The Int. Law Observer Blog is continuously looking for enthusiastic master student(s) or Ph.D. candidate(s) willing to assist with editorial work on the Blog. Interested? Find out more here.

A Critical Assessment of the Appeals Judgment in the Haradinaj Case

17/09/2010 – 5:42 pm | Comments Off on A Critical Assessment of the Appeals Judgment in the Haradinaj Case

Introduction
On 21 July 2010 the ICTY Appeals Chamber partially quashed the acquittals of Ramush Haradinaj (Kosovo’s ex-Prime Minister and former commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) for the Dukagjin zone), Idriz Balaj (former KLA member, commander of the Black Eagles unit), and Lahi Brahimaj (former deputy commander of the KLA Dukagjin Operative Staff, member of the General Staff).  Mr. Haradinaj and Balaj had …

On Thin Ice: International Law and Environmental Protection in a Melting Arctic

15/09/2010 – 6:33 pm | Comments Off on On Thin Ice: International Law and Environmental Protection in a Melting Arctic

On Thin Ice: International Law and Environmental Protection in a Melting Arctic
Co-Sponsored with NYU Environmental Law Journal
October 22, 2010
New York, NY
The United States is one of eight nations with territory above the Arctic Circle, a distinction that meant relatively little until the last decade.  But melting sea ice has thrust these previously unnavigable and commercially inaccessible waters into a series of legal, political, and environmental …

Regulating Financial Markets with Basel III: Higher Global Capital Standards Announced

13/09/2010 – 1:16 am | Comments Off on Regulating Financial Markets with Basel III: Higher Global Capital Standards Announced

Yesterday, on 12 September 2010, new global capital requirements for banks were announced. The new standard (“Basel III”) was adopted by the Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision, the oversight body of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. This body is generally considered the World’s main body for financial rules and supervision standards and consists of the heads of the central banks and the …

The paradox of Kosovo’s parallel legal orders; A critical exposition thereof

12/09/2010 – 10:03 am | 4 Comments

The following is a guest post by Alexandros  X.M.  Ntovas, Doctoral Grantee in Public International Law, University of Southampton School of Law.
In reading the recent advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice regarding the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo,[1] one is compelled to reach the oxymoron conclusion that the latter since the 17th of February 2008, being the date of declaration, enjoys – …

Climate Change and Increase in Armed Conflicts in Africa

09/09/2010 – 7:05 am | 2 Comments

The list of potential calamities that are like to become more frequent as a result of climate change seems to be growing by the day. Climate change has the potential to affect the enjoyment of human rights and is estimated to affect the most vulnerable populations the most. For some time now, discussions have taken place as to whether climate change will also result in …

UNEP Points Finger at Criminals in the Niger Region

23/08/2010 – 7:23 am | One Comment

A number of newspapers report this morning that a UNEP report examining oil spills in the Niger region of Nigeria is set to argue that the main proportion of spills causing widespread environmental damage and human suffering in the region is caused by criminal activity. The report (to be published later this year) points out that 90% of the oil spills are a result of …

Max Planck Encyclopedia – August Upload

17/08/2010 – 8:06 am | Comments Off on Max Planck Encyclopedia – August Upload

Last week, OUP uploaded 40 new articles to the Encyclopedia. Two of the articles in particular exemplify the way the Encyclopedia’s content addresses the international law aspects of topical issues in international affairs. The Lockerbie Cases article explains the ICJ proceedings and the criminal trial which saw the conviction of Abdelbaset Ali Al Megrhai whose controversial release in 2009 has led to diplomatic tensions between …

New ICRC Database on Customary IHL – Happy Birthday, Geneva Conventions!

12/08/2010 – 2:06 pm | Comments Off on New ICRC Database on Customary IHL – Happy Birthday, Geneva Conventions!

To mark the 61st anniversary of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 – a truly momentous event – the ICRC has released a new database on customary IHL. The database is a particularly exciting new source of information which offers new useful materials and resources for eager international law practitioners and scholars.
The ICRC’s press release notes that this database is, in essence, the online version of …

Book review – Carolina León Bastos: La interpretación de los derechos fundamentales según los tratados internacionales sobre derechos humanos

11/08/2010 – 4:13 pm | Comments Off on Book review – Carolina León Bastos: La interpretación de los derechos fundamentales según los tratados internacionales sobre derechos humanos

Carolina León Bastos: La interpretación de los derechos fundamentales según los tratados internacionales sobre derechos humanos. Un estudio de la jurisprudencia en España y Costa Rica (English translation of the title: The Interpretation of Fundamental Rights in Accordance with International Human Rights Treaties. A Study of the Spanish and Costa Rican Jurisprudence). Madrid. Reus. 328 p. ISBN: 9788429016215 (in Spanish)
The question of how international law …

Will the Supreme Court start citing the ICJ?

11/08/2010 – 7:22 am | Comments Off on Will the Supreme Court start citing the ICJ?

Yes, if we are to believe David Andrews, former legal advisor to the US state department and member of the US national group at the Permanent Court of Arbitration. If you want to see more on this, check out this weeks Clip of the Week, which is taken from an ASIL reception honoring Joan E. Donoghue, the US nominee to the International Court of Justice.

Diamonds, Celebrities and the Charles Taylor trial

09/08/2010 – 8:38 pm | 3 Comments

The courtroom used by the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) in The Hague (Leidschendam) has rarely, if ever, been so busy with journalists from all over the world following the Charles Taylor trial. The eagerly awaited testimonies of Naomi Campbell and Mia Farrow have been widely broadcast by the international media. Unfortunately however, with these celebrities stepping into the witness box, it seems that …

New FIDH Report and the Prospects of International Justice

08/08/2010 – 11:37 am | Comments Off on New FIDH Report and the Prospects of International Justice

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), a major umbrella NGO for over 160 different organisations, recently (July 2010) launched “Corporate Accountability for Human Rights Abuses: A Guide for Victims and NGOs on Recourse Mechanisms“. The guide is comprised of five sections. Each examines a different type of instrument, including intergovernmental mechanisms, legal options, mediation mechanisms such as the OECD national contact points, complaints mechanisms …

The Council of Europe's work on secret detentions and illegal transfers of detainees in Europe

04/08/2010 – 6:43 pm | Comments Off on The Council of Europe's work on secret detentions and illegal transfers of detainees in Europe

The Committee on legal affairs and human rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (COE) has published a briefing note on the Council of Europe’s investigation into illegal transfers and secret detentions in Europe: a chronology. It should be reminded that the COE Parliamentary Assembly has so far adopted two resolutions and recommendations on this matter.  More specifically, it has adopted two …

Book Review: Solon Solomon, The Justiciability of International Disputes – The Advisory Opinion of Israel’s Security Fence as a Case Study

03/08/2010 – 7:03 am | One Comment

Solon Solomon, The Justiciability of International Disputes – The Advisory Opinion of Israel’s Security Fence as a Case Study (Jerusalem: Wolf Legal Publishers, 2009) ISBN: 978-90-5850-437-1
By Dr. Fozia Nazir Lone
Assistant Professor, City University of Hong Kong, fnlone@cityu.edu.hk
Solon Solomon, in this book presents a comprehensive legal description on the justiciability of international disputes. This book was the author’s LLM thesis that he successfully wrote at the …

UN General Assembly Recognizes Right to Water as a Human Right

30/07/2010 – 1:03 am | One Comment

Yesterday, on 28 July 2010, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution introduced by Bolivia on the human right to access to clean water and sanitation. The Resolution was adopted by 122 in favour, no votes against and 41 abstentions (for the press release of the UN General Assembly see here, for the text of the Resolution see here).

In the key provisions of the Resolution …

The ICJ’s advisory opinion on Kosovo

23/07/2010 – 8:59 am | 3 Comments

The website of the ICJ stills seems to be overwhelmed by users so here is the advisory opinion as a pdf: ICJ Advisory Opinion Kosovo. More coverage will follow.

Kosovo's Declaration of Independence In Accordance with International Law

22/07/2010 – 4:17 pm | One Comment

A brief summary of the Advisory Opinion of 22 July 2010 in the Kosovo case
As customary, the Court dealt first with the issue of whether it had jurisdiction and in turn whether it should exercise its discretion and refuse to answer the question (paras. 17-48). This part is rather interesting in that it clarifies the powers of the General Assembly and its relationship with the …

Advisory Opinion on the Kosovo Case to be rendered on 22 July

14/07/2010 – 4:31 pm | One Comment

The advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice in the Kosovo case will be delivered on 22 July, at 3.00 p.m, by the President of the Court, H.E. Hisashi Owada.
The question about the legality of Kosovo’s declaration of independence of 17 February 2008 was submitted to the Court through resolution 63/3 (A/63/L.2) of 8 October 2008 by the United Nations General Assembly (based on …