Friday, 24 August 2007

New publication on minority rights

Minority Rights Group recently sent me its latest report: Entitled Minority Rights: The Key to Conflict Prevention, it is a useful contribution to the literature.

Darfur and the numbers game

For some time now I have had an interest in how human rights violations are counted. There is a debate going on right now because of alleged exaggerations in the number of victims in Darfur. You can find a number of articles on this by googling. For a start, here is something the BBC ran a few days ago:

Louise Arbour on Responsibility to Protect

I just came across a talk that the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, delivered to the Council on Foreign Relations in Jun 2007:
Of particular interest is the link she makes between the doctrine of Responsibility to Protect, which is recognised in the 2005 Outcome Document of the Summit of Heads of State and Government, and the discussion of the duty to prevent genocide in the recent judgment of the International Court of Justice in Bosnia v. Serbia.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Progress report on ICC

I am currently attending a conference on the International Criminal Court, hosted by the Mexican Department of Foreign Affairs and our colleagues at Iberamericano University, Mexico City. My presentation was an evaluation of the work of the Prosecutor after five years. Here is the powerpoint presentation:

Death penalty abolition campaign at UN General Assembly

At this year's General Assembly session, the EU is attempting to secure the adoption of a resolution on abolition of the death penalty. Previous attempts, in 1994 and 1999, were unsuccessful. But many countries have abolished the death penalty since then, and it is believed that we may have turned the corner.
Amnesty International has prepared a background paper on the subject, which I have posted at:
In addition, Amnesty is asking everyone to sign a petition: .
The petition will be presented to the President of the General Assembly on World Day against the Death Penalty, 10 October 2007. Please circulate this widely. The petition will also be posted shortly at:

Monday, 20 August 2007

Charles Taylor trial postponed until January 2008

The Charles Taylor trial has been postponed once again, this time until January 2008. See:

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Selected Decision of the Human Rights Committee

Back in the 1980s, the Human Rights Committee started publishing collections of its case law in a series entitled 'Selected Decisions'. Volume 8 has just been issued, covering the years 2002-2005. You can get it at:
Before internet, I found the printed volumes to be extremely useful. I have not been able to find all of the volumes on the website, but perhaps one of our readers can help on this. You can download the volumes. This provides a very convenient electronic collection of the case law that can be searched using key words.

Transitional justice in Northern Uganda

A research report on transitional justice in Northern Uganda has been issued by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights: It addresses victim perceptions of a range of issues, including amnesty and the International Criminal Corut.

ECHR rejects complaint challenging universal jurisdiction

In a July 2007 decision, a Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights has rejected a petition by an individual convicted by German courts of genocide committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina:

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Cambodian Extraordinary Chambers on interim release

The Cambodian Extraordinary Chambers have issued their first decision on interim release. There is a lengthy (and seemingly irrelevant) development on mala captus bene detentus that appears to have been largely lifted from the Nikolic decision of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (although I don`t think the source is acknowledged). The decision is on the website of the Chambers:

Monday, 13 August 2007

More articles on the ICJ decision

Two articles on the ICJ decision that are to appear in the next issue of the Journal of International Criminal Justice are now available on the website of the Journal. You can access this through the Hardiman Library portal. The two articles are:
Antonio Cassese 'On the Use of Criminal Law Notions in Determining State Responsibility for Genocide'
Andrew B. Loewenstein and Stephen A. Kostas, 'Divergent Approaches to Determining Responsibility for Genocide: The Darfur Commission of Inquiry and the ICJ's Judgment in the Genocide Case'

Genocide decision of ICJ

Comments on the International Court of Justice genocide decision are starting to appear in the literature. I have written a comment that will be published in the next issue of Genocide Studies and Prevention. Here are the page proofs:

The European Convention at the national level

The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has issued a useful document entitled: 'The effectiveness of the European Convention on Human Rights at national level'. It is available at:

Human Rights Council

Analysis of the work of the new United Nations Human Rights Council is beginnning to emerge. Rachel Brett, who is an old Geneva hand and representative of the Quaker UN Office, has produced a very helpful report. You can access it here: