Friday 21 December 2007
Wednesday 19 December 2007
More detailed information appears on the five-page data sheet prepared by Yesh Din: http://www.yesh-din.org/site/index.php?page=index&lang=en&id
Thanks for this to Lior Yavne of Yesh Din, who is a regular reader of the blog.
Friday 14 December 2007
My opinion is that this is all wrong, because it entirely overlooks the right to peace. One of the four freedoms first proclaimed by President Roosevelt and affirmed in the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is 'freedom from fear'. Admittedly, the right to peace has been much neglected. But we can see manifestations of it in, for example, the obligation to prohibit propaganda for war set out in article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Aggressive war is a human rights issue.
My views on this are developed in a recent article, ‘Lex specialis? Belt and Suspenders? The Parallel Operation of Human Rights Law and the Law of Armed Conflict, and the Conundrum of jus ad bellum’, (2007) 40 Israel Law Review 592-613: http://www.mediafire.com/?fypn5om43vo
Shane says that in times of armed conflict, international humanitarian law may play a more significant role than human rights in the protection of the human person. There is considerable scope for its use at the local level, particularly given the increased focus on the prosecution of violations of such laws by the various international criminal tribunals. The contribution of each workshop participant should focus on a specific country or situation of armed conflict to which international humanitarian law applies; illustrative case studies include Colombia, India, Sri Lanka, Iraq (UK & US), Israel/Palestine, Chechnya, and Northern Ireland.
Submit abstracts to Shane at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Once an abstract is accepted, a full draft paper (max. 10.000 words footnotes incl.) should be submitted by Monday September 1 2008.
For further details about the conference please visit: http://www.ucsia.org/
Thanks to Megan Fairlie for sending this one.
Thursday 13 December 2007
Thanks to Maria Varaki for drawing this to my attention
The House of Lords also considered the UK argument whereby when the Security Council acts under Chapter VII of the UN Charter and authorises an action through the phrase 'all necessary means', that this automatically means that a state can override all pre-existing international obligations that conflict with that authorisation. The House of Lords overturned Lord Justice Brooke of the Court of Appeal on this point.
While accepting that in some circumstances a Chapter VII authorisation can override human rights obligations, the Law Lords emphasise the very limited nature of this authorisation. Lord Bingham held that the UK 'must ensure that the detainee’s rights under Article 5 [European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right not to be held without due process] are not infringed to any greater extent than is inherent in such detention' (para 39). Baroness Hale went even further in emphasising that Mr Al-Jedda’s right not to be detained without due process had been 'qualified but not displaced' and that: 'The right is qualified only to the extent required or authorised by the resolution. What remains of it thereafter must be observed. This may have both substantive and procedural consequences' (para 126).
Whether or not Mr Al-Jedda can continue to be held without trial depends now on a further hearing to take place in the High Court early next year. Lawyers for Al-Jedda will challenge the intelligence that forms the basis of the decision of the UK Government that he continues to pose such a threat to peace and security in Iraq that it is absolutely necessary that he be detained there, rather than brought back to the UK and dealt with here.
In late August 2007, Al-Jedda’s lawyers in a different action obtained an order from the Court of Appeal that he could not be released or transferred from the jurisdiction of the UK Government without proper written notice to his lawyers. This would allow time for an urgent application to protect him from the risk of torture if he is handed over to the Iraqi authorities.
The ruling is available at: http://www.mediafire.com/?6ndcz4jgctl
Thanks to Andrea Breslin, a doctoral student at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, who is currently completing an internship with Phil Shiner and Public Interest Solicitors, who act for Al-Jedda.
Wednesday 12 December 2007
The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia has a very interesting discussion of 'terror' as a violation of the laws or customs of war in the Trial Chamber judgment in Dragomir Milosevic, issued earlier today: http://www.un.org/icty/milosevic-d/trialc/judgement/judg071212e.pdf.
It constitutes an interesting development on the only other discussion of this issue, in the Galic Trial Judgment 'terror' was defined merely as 'extreme fear'. Both cases concerned the siege of Sarajevo. It appears that the Trial Chamber did not pick up on the call by the Appeals Chamber, in the recent 'Media Trial' (see yesterday's blog) to apply strict construction in criminal law.
Thanks to Joseph Powderly for this.
Thanks for this to Aisling O'Sullivan.
Revue internationale de droit économique
Revue internationale de droit pénal
Revue sur le droit et la politique de la concurrence
Tuesday 11 December 2007
Left photo: John Waddell (l), Morwena Denis, Sally Coyle, Philip Fogarty.
Right photo: Katrina Mansson, Katrin Kinzelbach, Sean Goggin, Kjell Anderson and Niamh Hayes.
Left photo: Jane O'Leary with fiddler.
Right photo: Aisling O'Sullivan (l), Michelle Farrell and Maria Varaki.
Left photo: Tom Kenny(l) and John Waddell.
Right photo: Tom O'Malley (l), Morwena Denis and myself.
Left photo: Tom Kenny (l), myself and John Waddell
Right photo: Jane Conroy (l), John Hinde and Pat O'Leary
Kathie Hinde (l), Jane Conroy and John Hinde. And in the background, Katrina Mansson, Katrin Kinzelbach and Sean Goggin.
The Trial Chamber judgment, whose conclusions are seriously attacked in the latest ruling, had been heralded as a new development in the legal regulation of hate speech. The trial deals with personalities involved in the RTLM radio station and the journal Kangura.
Here are a few initial observations that emerged from our discussion:
1. Strict construction. Both ad hoc tribunals have been characterised by an interpretative approach that was large and liberal, tending to expand the definition of crimes so as to fulfil the purpose of the tribunals rather than interpretation that was strict and literal. But now, for the first time apparently, the Appeals Chamber professes its devotion to the principle of strict construction of criminal law.
2. The judgment strikes down many of the charges that had been upheld by the Trial Chamber. In effect, it knocks out the convictions respecting events prior to 6 April 1994, when the genocidal massacre began. With respect to pre-1994 acts, the argument is jurisdictional: the Tribunal cannot prosecute crimes committed prior to 1994, even 'continuous crimes'. Judge Shahabbuddeen dissents on this point. But as for events between 1 January 1994 and 6 April 1994, the Chamber simply considers these do not add up to incitement to genocide. This may effect a significant change in the narrative of the Rwandan genocide.
3. One of the big innovations of the Trial Chamber was to treat hate propaganda, even when it falls short of incitement to genocide, as the crime against humanity of persecution. The Appeals Chamber upholds this as a general proposition. Judge Meron writes a strong dissent, arguing that expanding the prosecution of hate speech threatens freedom of expression.
Yesterday, the International Harm Reduction Association published a report entitled 'The Death Penalty for Drug Offences - A Violation of International Human Rights Law': http://www.ihra.net/uploads/downloads/NewsItems/DeathPenaltyforDrugOffences.pdf .
The author, Rick Lines, is a graduate of our LLM programme and is currently enrolled in PhD studies at the Irish Centre for Human Rights.
The report examines the use of the death penalty for drug offences and considers whether drug crimes constitute 'most serious crimes' within the context of article 6(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The report argues that drug crimes do not constitute 'most serious crimes' and concludes that the execution of drug offenders violates international human rights law.
Monday 10 December 2007
The following day, on 9 December, this time in Galway, Carlo Tiribelli successfully defended his thesis on ‘Surrender, Not Extradition: Transferring Offenders in a New International Context’, before a jury composed of Prof. Alexander Knoops, Dr. Ray Murphy and myself. And today, Noelle Higgins defended her thesis on ‘Regulating the Use of Force in Wars of National Liberation, the Need for a New Regime: A Study of the South Moluccas and Aceh', before Prof. Nigel White, Dr. Ray Murphy and myself.
Congratulations to the three of you. All three have busy careers in the area of international human rights law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law. Noelle and Hitomi are university lecturers, and Carlo is a practising lawyer in Brussels.
The stream particularly welomes papers with an interdisciplinary approachto the understanding of victims within international law. In light of the acknowledged role of the victim in proceedings before theInternational Criminal Court, and considering the active participation of indigenous peoples in drafting the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, this stream seeks to further explore the emerging centrality ofvictims in all facets of the international legal process.
The stream also encourages critical scholarship on the conceptualisationof the 'victim' in international law.
Themes addressing the following issues are particulary welcomed:
The Role of the Victim in International Criminal Justice
The Role of the Victim in developing International Law
Does the law speak to Victims?
Issues pertaining to the deceased in International Law
Gross Violations of International Law and Justice
The abstract should not exceed 400 words and the deadline for abstract submission is 5pm, 25 January 2008.
Contact and Abstract submissions to:
Michelle Farrell - email@example.com
Eadaoin O' Brien - firstname.lastname@example.org
Full details on all aspects of the conference can be found at http://www.law.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/news/events/SLSA2008/index.html
Monday 3 December 2007
The Observer also has a lengthy account of efforts to apprehend one of the outstanding fugitives of the tribunal, Radovan Karadzic: http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,331427513-103645,00.html; http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,331427512-103645,00.html ; http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,331427515-103645,00.html; http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,331427680-103645,00.html
Thanks to Niamh Hayes.