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European Parliament approves SWIFT Agreement

09/07/2010 – 6:02 pm | 2 Comments

On Thursday 7 July 2010, the European Parliament approved the new SWIFT-Agreement on bank data transfers to the United States for counter-terrorist purposes (see the press release of the European Parliament). The Draft Agreement provides for mass bank data transfers upon request by the US authorities with a view to identifying suspected terrorists. It is important to note though that only financial transactions to non-EU …

In Memoriam: Kaiyan Homi Kaikobad

09/07/2010 – 1:34 pm | 9 Comments

This post is authored by Dr Elena Katselli and Dr Zeray Yihdego.
Professor Kaiyan Homi Kaikobad: A Tribute to a Great Professor and a Wonderful Human Being
On July 1, 2010, Professor Kaiyan Homi Kaikobad, formerly at Durham University and most recently at Brunel University, passed away leaving an irreplaceable void. Not only was he a great Professor of International Law who made significant contributions and who …

Comment on the Review Conference of the Rome Statute

06/07/2010 – 1:32 pm | One Comment

The following is a commentary by Bukeni Waruzi, Program Manager for Africa and the Middle East, WITNESS, on the recent Review Conference of the Rome Statute.
The Review Conference of the Rome Statute held in Kampala, Uganda from May 31- June 11, 2010 aimed to make critical improvements to the statute on specific issues: to determine the crime of aggression and stocktaking of several areas of …

Sweden and the Universal Periodic Review in the Human Rights Council

05/07/2010 – 11:56 am | 4 Comments

Introduction
During its tenth session the Working Group[1] on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in the Human Rights Council (HRC), on 7 May 2010 held its first review of the Swedish human rights record. Sweden had submitted its report on national protection of human rights on 22 February 2010.[2] During the review a number of noteworthy issues were discussed regarding the human rights situation in Sweden, …

Sami Land Rights – The ECtHR Judgment in the Case of Handölsdalen Sami Village and Others v. Sweden

21/06/2010 – 3:00 pm | 2 Comments

On 30 March 2010 the Third Section of the European Court of Human Rights (‘ECtHR’), sitting as a Chamber, issued its judgement in the case Handölsdalen Sami Village and Others v. Sweden.[1] The case concerns the rights of the Sami[2] to use privately owned land for winter grazing of their reindeers in the municipality of Härjedalen. The case originates in proceedings before Swedish courts that …

Joan Donoghue to replace Judge Buergenthal at the ICJ

17/06/2010 – 7:53 am | One Comment

Our friends over at Opinio Juris report that Joan Donoghue, Principle Deputy Legal Advisor of the State Department, has been nominated by the US national group of the PCA to replace Judge Buergenthal on the ICJ. If this report is true, and Opinio Juris refers to “reliable sources”, the nomination would be somewhat of a surprise. To most active in international legal scholarship, Joan Donoghue …

New Bottle, Old Wine: Israel Forms an Investigation Committee on the Gaza Flotilla Attacks

16/06/2010 – 7:51 pm | 3 Comments

On 13th June 2010, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office published its draft resolution on “The Appointment of an Independent Public Commission, Headed by Former Supreme Court Justice, Jacob Turkel, to Examine the Maritime Incident of 31 May 2010” (available here). This is Israel’s response to the calls by the international community, including the UN and individual states, to launch an “international independent” investigation of the …

It's official: Judge Thomas Buergenthal will resign from the ICJ

10/06/2010 – 9:18 pm | 7 Comments

We have heard it before but today the ICJ confirmed that Judge Buergenthal will resign from the ICJ. Judge Buergenthal has been a member of the ICJ since March 2000 and was re-elected to serve a nine-year term beginning in February 2006. He was at the time of his election the first judge of US nationality on the ICJ since 1981. According to a press …

South Africa and its World Cup: What about Housing Rights?

10/06/2010 – 2:37 pm | One Comment

South Africa has good reasons to be excited. Tomorrow, 11 June 2010, the 19th FIFA World Cup kicks off in South Africa, this year’s host country of the premier international football tournament. It is the first football World Cup on the African continent. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will attend the opening ceremony in Johannesburg at the personal invitation of Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s President.
According …

UNHCR expelled from Libya

09/06/2010 – 9:24 am | Comments Off on UNHCR expelled from Libya

The following post supplements a previous ILO post by myself (May, 4) on Italy’s “push-back” policy, titled Italy’s asylum policy violates international law (click here). For more information, see also a column published in Human Rights Brief, (2010) Vol. 17(3), titled The European Court of Human Rights scrutinizes Italy’s asylum policy (click here).
Last week, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) operating in Libya received an …

The end of Bhopal?

08/06/2010 – 7:07 am | One Comment

Yesterday’s NY Times reports that eight former executives of Union Carbide India Limited (a subsidiary of the American chemical company Union Carbide) were convicted of negligence as a result of their failure to stop the explosion at the Union Carbide India factory which killed more than 2500 people in 1984. The NY Times reports that the executives were sentenced to “two years in prison and …

Lost at Sea: Attacks on the Gaza Flotilla and the Siege on the occupied Gaza Strip

07/06/2010 – 1:44 pm | 9 Comments

On 29 May 2010 the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, consisting of six civilian ships and 700 human rights activists and journalists from over 40 countries, set sail for the Gaza Strip carrying over 10,000 tonnes of aid and supplies for Gaza’s civilians. The purpose of the Flotilla was twofold: (1) to bring much needed supplies for the reconstruction of Gaza, a territory and population that remains …

ICC Review Conference Takes Stock of Victim Participation

07/06/2010 – 6:40 am | Comments Off on ICC Review Conference Takes Stock of Victim Participation

[The following is a guest post by Amy Senier.]
Delegates from the States Parties to the Rome Statute are halfway through the International Criminal Court (“ICC”) Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda.  As discussed elsewhere on this blog, the conference gives States Parties, non-governmental organizations, and representatives of the ICC itself an opportunity to reflect on the work of the Court over the past eight years and …

Provisional resolution on ‘Legal remedies for human rights violations in the North-Caucasus Region’

04/06/2010 – 3:04 pm | Comments Off on Provisional resolution on ‘Legal remedies for human rights violations in the North-Caucasus Region’

The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has earlier this week adopted a provisional version of resolution on ‘Legal remedies for human rights violations in the North-Caucasus Region’. The Draft Resolution calls upon the Russian central and regional executive and judicial authorities to: ‘bring to trial in accordance with the law all culprits of human …

The Responsibility to Protect and the Decline of Sovereignty

03/06/2010 – 9:42 am | 2 Comments

I would like to begin by thanking Dominik Zimmermann for inviting me to write a post for the International Law Observer.  It is a wonderful blog with thoughtful coverage of developments in international law, and I am honored to be able to participate.  I thought I would use this post to briefly discuss my recent article, “The Responsibility to Protect and the Decline of Sovereignty: …

Guest post by William Magnuson

03/06/2010 – 9:39 am | Comments Off on Guest post by William Magnuson

International Law Observer is glad to announce a guest post by William Magnuson. William gained his BA from Princeton University in 2004, followed by an MA in European Integration from the Universita di Padova in 2006 and a JD from Harvard Law School in 2009. He is currently a Postgraduate Research Fellow at Harvard Law School and his research interests include international law, international relations, …

Integration of the Balkan Countries in the European Union (EU) and the Sarajevo Summit: The Long Way Home!

02/06/2010 – 2:52 pm | Comments Off on Integration of the Balkan Countries in the European Union (EU) and the Sarajevo Summit: The Long Way Home!

Representatives of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, the EU’s foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton, representatives of a number of EU countries, the US, Russia and Turkey are meeting today in a high-level summit in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. The main topic of discussions is the future of the integration of the Balkan countries into the EU. Of these countries only Slovenia has joined the EU, …

The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and International Law

31/05/2010 – 4:20 pm | 5 Comments

The environmental catastrophe following the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico continues to unfold.  Yet, our growing consumption of oil and gas means that the incident is unlikely to stop the quest for drilling oil at such depths, despite the risks. Questions can be asked about whether or not international law can assist in helping to prevent further accidents …