International Law in Brief

By: Caitlin Behles | December 15, 2017 |

On December 14, 2017, the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) adopted a resolution that activates the Court’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression as of July 17, 2018. The ASP also released a report on facilitating the activation of ICC jurisdiction over the crime of aggression that discussed the history of the crime of aggression at the ICC, states parties’ positions on the matter, and procedural aspects of an activation decision. The resolution notes that jurisdiction for the crime of aggression will “enter into force for...

By: Caitlin Behles | December 14, 2017 |

On December 11, 2017, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) referred Jordan to the Assembly of States Parties of the Rome Statute (ASP) and the UN Security Council for not executing the Court’s request for the arrest of Omar Al-Bashir when he was in Jordan for the League of Arab States' Summit on March 29, 2017. The Chamber noted that it had already given its opinion in an analogous case when South Africa failed to arrest Al-Bashir while he was in the state. The Chamber had not referred South Africa because it was the first to approach the ICC with a request for an...

By: Caitlin Behles | December 13, 2017 |

On December 8, 2017, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2389, welcoming the renewed commitment of signatories to the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Region and calling on states to abide by commitments made in the PSC. The Security Council reiterated “that the PSC Framework remains an essential mechanism to achieve durable peace and stability in the DRC and the Region.” The Council also noted its concern regarding the illicit flow of weapons throughout the DRC and their use among armed groups, strongly condemned...

By: Caitlin Behles | December 01, 2017 |

On November 29, 2017, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) issued its final judgment in Prosecutor v. Jadranko Prlić et al., affirming nearly all the convictions against the defendants Jadranko Prlić, Bruno Stojić, Slobodan Praljak, Milivoj Petković, Valentin Ćorić, and Berislav Pušić. As the press release notes, the case relates to events within Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1994 for which the defendants were “convicted of crimes against humanity, violations of the laws or customs of war, and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions,...

By: Caitlin Behles | November 22, 2017 |

On November 22, 2017, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) convicted Ratko Mladić, former Commander of the Main Staff of the Bosnian Serb Army, of genocide, crimes against humanity, and violations of the laws or customs of war. The crimes concern acts committed by Serb forces during the 1992–1995 armed conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). According to the press release, “Mladić was convicted of genocide and persecution, extermination, murder, and the inhumane act of forcible transfer in the area of Srebrenica in 1995; of persecution, extermination,...

By: Caitlin Behles | November 22, 2017 |

On November 20, 2017, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda issued a formal request to the Pre-Trial Chamber to begin an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the context of the ongoing situation in Afghanistan. According to the press release, the Prosecutor believes there is a reasonable basis to believe the following crimes have occurred: “i. Crimes against humanity and war crimes by the Taliban and their affiliated Haqqani Network; ii. War crimes by the Afghan National Security Forces ("ANSF"), in particular, members of...

By: Caitlin Behles | November 22, 2017 |

On November 6, 2017, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2382, in which they recognize the importance of UN policing and support and discuss implementing strategic guidance framework for police peacekeeping. The Security Council resolved “to include, on a case by case basis, policing as an integral part of the mandates and decision-making structures of United Nations peacekeeping operations and special political missions.” The Security Council also agreed “to continue to promote and support the finalization and operationalization of the Strategic Guidance Framework for...

By: Caitlin Behles | November 22, 2017 |

On October 27, 2017, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) published a report on the human rights of indigenous women in the Americas. The IACHR has consistently received information regarding numerous human rights violations of indigenous women in the Americas and this report aims to “constitute an important step forward in dealing with the specific priority situation of indigenous women with the goal of promoting that States and the international community undertake further research and analysis of these topics.” The report documents the ways indigenous women have...

By: Caitlin Behles | October 26, 2017 |

On October 18, 2017, the U.K. Supreme Court ruled in two joined cases in favor of two Moroccan nationals who were employees at the Libyan and Sudanese embassies in London, were dismissed from their positions, and filed claims against Libya and Sudan in the Employment Tribunal. Their claims were based on European Union law as well as domestic U.K. law, and the Employment Tribunal dismissed them on the basis that the states were entitled to immunity under the State Immunity Act 1978. The press summary notes that “the 1978 Act renders a foreign state immune from the jurisdiction of a UK court...

By: Caitlin Behles | October 26, 2017 |

On October 18, 2017, the U.K. Supreme Court ruled in Reyes v. Al-Malki and another that the Employment Tribunal in the United Kingdom had jurisdiction to hear claims of Ms. Reyes, a Filipino domestic servant, against her employer Mr. Al-Maliki, a member of the diplomatic staff of the Saudi Arabian embassy in London, under the exception to diplomatic immunity contained in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Reyes had brought a claim arguing that she was the victim of trafficking and a Court of Appeal had determined that the Employment Tribunal lacked jurisdiction due to...