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The USA and the Convention on the Law of the Sea

05/11/2007 – 8:49 am | 2 Comments

Will the USA really ratify the UN Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)? This question has preoccupied much of the law-related public debate in the USA during the recent days. After the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) on Wednesday last week (31 October) voted 17 to 4 in support of recommending the Senate to accede to the UNCLOS, the issue seems to have caught …

States need to co-operate more with the International Criminal Court

31/10/2007 – 12:05 am | Comments Off on States need to co-operate more with the International Criminal Court

According to a recent statement of a senior official – ICC Registrar Bruno Cathala -, the International Criminal Court (ICC) needs more co-operation from States. Considering the success of the recent arrest of Germain Katanga and his subsequent transfer to ICC custody (see our previous report) one may wonder, what the actual reason is behind this reminder from the ICC.
According to the ICC Registrar Bruno …

Private Security Companies and immunity from prosecution

26/10/2007 – 9:52 am | Comments Off on Private Security Companies and immunity from prosecution

Thanks to a recent post over at OpinioJuris.com my attention was drawn to the fact that the Iraqi government plans to revoke the immunity from prosecution granted to so-called private security companies operating in the country. This immunity is currently based on CPA (Coalition Provision Authority) Order 17. According to a spokesperson, the Iraqi government „decided to scrap the article pertaining to security companies operating …

New Blog on legal issues surrounding manned aerospace activities

22/10/2007 – 10:59 pm | Comments Off on New Blog on legal issues surrounding manned aerospace activities

Today, we at International Law Observer would like to welcome a new Blog to the blogosphere: The Res Communis – A blog on the legal aspects of human activities using aerospace technologies.
The blog describes itself in the following terms: [The blog] focuses on legal issues that result from manned aerospace activities. This includes remote sensing, air, and space law. The blog is an outreach program administered by the …

War crimes suspect transferred to the ICC

18/10/2007 – 3:19 pm | Comments Off on War crimes suspect transferred to the ICC

The ICC today announced that Germain Katanga, the former senior commander of the Congolese militia group FRPI, was surrendered and transferred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) (general overview of the case).
The Pre-Trial Chamber I of the ICC issued a warrent of arrest already on 2 July 2007, based on the allegation that Mr Katanga played an essential role in the planning and implementation of …

Global Environment, International Peace and International Law – Attempts of harmonization

14/10/2007 – 6:12 am | One Comment

On Friday (12 October 2007) the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that Al Gore (the former vice president of the USA) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be rewarded with this year’s Nobel Peace Price. The motivation presented by the committee was the following: “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations …

Blog action day

14/10/2007 – 12:18 am | Comments Off on Blog action day

A new initiative has been started to draw attention to the issue of the environment – the Blog Action Day. It is based on the collaboration of the blogging community and its ability to reach a wider audience. The basic idea is that all participating blogs on 15 October will unite to put the important issue of the environment on everyone’s mind. Here is …

Blackwater Sued for Killing Iraqi Civilians

13/10/2007 – 4:48 pm | 2 Comments

Victims filed a claim on 10 October against Blackwater USA, the private military contractor whose heavily armed personnel allegedly opened fire on innocent Iraqi civilians in Nisoor Square in Baghdad on 16 Sept 200. The case was brought today by an injured survivor and three families of men killed in the incident, according to the legal team representing the civilians. The case was brought by …

Case Concerning Territorial and Maritime Dispute between Nicaragua and Honduras in the Caribbean Sea

10/10/2007 – 3:50 pm | Comments Off on Case Concerning Territorial and Maritime Dispute between Nicaragua and Honduras in the Caribbean Sea

On 8 October 2007, the International Court of Justice delivered its judgment in the Case Concerning Territorial and Maritime Dispute between Nicaragua and Honduras in the Caribbean Sea. The Case involved a dispute between Nicaragua and Honduras over the delimitation of their maritime boundary, as well as a sovereignty dispute over certain islands and cays adjacent to their coasts. The case was …

Rewarding international law

10/10/2007 – 9:18 am | Comments Off on Rewarding international law

As the Nobel Prizes for the year 2007 are being announced these days (the Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded on Friday, October 12) it might be interesting to note that this years Right Livelihood Award (also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize”) went to inter alia the former ICJ-Judge Christopher G Weeramantry from Sri Lanka.
Interesting from an international law perspective is the motivation given …

World Habitat Day

01/10/2007 – 8:08 am | Comments Off on World Habitat Day

The first Monday in October – ie today – is the World Habitat Day. The purpose of this “international day” is “to reflect on the state of human settlements and the basic right to adequate shelter for all. It is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat.”
An international conference to mark the World Habitat Day …

International Day of Older Persons

01/10/2007 – 8:05 am | Comments Off on International Day of Older Persons

Today is the International Day for Older Persons. The event is based on the General Assembly Resolution 45/106 of 14 December 1990, which explicitly recognizes that “the elderly are an asset to society and can contribute significantly to the development process”.
The event is based on the recognition of the worldwide demographic revolution due to a fast ageing world. According to UN statistics, today, around 600 …

Court of First Instance issues a judgement in Microsoft case

28/09/2007 – 1:57 pm | Comments Off on Court of First Instance issues a judgement in Microsoft case

On the 17th September 2007, the CFI issued a judgement in which it partly confirmed and partly annulled Commission’s decision of 2004 in Microsoft case. The case involved accusations of the abuse of dominant position by Microsoft in the PC operating system market by refusing to disclose interoperability information that would enable its competitors to fully interoperate
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Two lectures at University of Edinburgh

28/09/2007 – 1:10 pm | Comments Off on Two lectures at University of Edinburgh

Judge Mirjam Škrk, Vice-President of the Constitutional Court of Slovenia will deliver two lectures at School of Law, University of Edinburgh, on 11 and 12 October 2007. Here are more details on the lectures:
 
“A Constitutional Court in a New Member State“, 5pm, Europa Institute, School of Law, University of Edinburgh, Old College, 11 October 2007 Venue TBC
 
“The Agreement on Succession to the Former SFRY: Some …

Focus 2007 – The annual UN Treaty Event

28/09/2007 – 8:05 am | Comments Off on Focus 2007 – The annual UN Treaty Event

This year’s UN Treaty Event (titled “Focus 2007: Towards Universal Participation and Implementation – A Comprehensive Legal Framework for Peace, Development and Human Rights”) has attracted little attention in the media so far. Nevertheless, a number of UN Member States have seized the opportunity to sign and/or ratify multilateral treaties.
The UN Treaty Event, which has been initiated by the UN Secretary General in 2000, is an opportunity for …

Guyana – Suriname Arbitration under the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention

27/09/2007 – 10:36 am | Comments Off on Guyana – Suriname Arbitration under the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention

On 17 September 2007, an award was issued in the dispute between Guyana and Suriname under the 1982 Law of the Sea (LOS) Convention. It concerns the delimitation of the maritime boundary between Suriname and Guyana as well as the lawfulness of various acts committed by these states in the disputed maritime area. Dispute settlement proceedings were initiated by Guyana in February 2004. A five …

New Blog on Criminal Justice and Human Rights

26/09/2007 – 10:40 am | Comments Off on New Blog on Criminal Justice and Human Rights

The international law related blogosphere is expanding: the Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights of the Faculty of Law, University College Cork in Ireland has started its own Blog. The Centre is relatively young (established in 2006) and sees as its main objectives a contribution on national and international debates on questions concerning the study of crime, justice and human rights, “through the promotion of …

International Day of Peace

21/09/2007 – 6:38 am | Comments Off on International Day of Peace

The International Day of Peace was first established by a UN General Assembly resolution (A/Res/36/67 of 30 November 1981) and, at that time, intended to be “devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples” (ibid. para. 2). It was also to coincide with the opening session of the UN General Assembly every September. The exact …