International Law in Brief

By: Catherina Valenzuela-Bock | August 26, 2016 |

On August 17, 2016, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights published Roca and others v. Peru, a ruling (only available in Spanish) it had taken in June, holding Peru responsible for violations of the American Convention on Human Rights and the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearances in a case involving the forced disappearance of  Tenerio Roca. According to the press release, Roca was travelling on a bus with his wife in July 1984 when he was arrested by members of the Navy and Investigative Police and taken to the Municipal Stadium of Huanta. His family was not...

By: Catherina Valenzuela-Bock | August 26, 2016 |

On August 12, 2016, the Swiss Federal Tribunal ordered Israel to pay $1.1 billion to Iran in a decades-old dispute relating to the Eliat-Ashkelon Pipeline. According to a news report, the pipeline was initiated in 1968 as a joint project between the countries and was designed to transport Iranian oil to Europe. After the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the relationship between the countries collapsed and Iran pursued arbitration proceedings to claim its share of the proceeds generated by the venture. The Swiss court rejected Israel’s appeal against an arbitration ruling of last year, citing...

By: Catherina Valenzuela-Bock | August 26, 2016 |

On August 23, 2016, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in J.K. and Others v. Sweden that the return of three Iraqi asylum seekers in Sweden to their home country would violate Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights. According to the press release, J.K had run a business with solely American clients from a U.S. military base in Iraq and had been targeted by al-Qaeda because of his cooperation with Americans. After several attempts to kill him, bomb his house, and destroy his business stock, J.K and his...

By: Aldo Perez | August 19, 2016 |

On August 4, 2016, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said in a statement that preliminary UN investigations into the recent fighting in South Sudan reveal that government security forces carried out killings, rapes, lootings, and destruction of property. Fighting erupted in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, on July 7, 2016 between government forces known as the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), loyal to President Salva Kiir, and the “SPLA in Opposition,” who back First Vice-President Riek Machar. The fighting displaced thousands of people and SPLA...

By: Aldo Perez | August 19, 2016 |

On August 4, 2016, nine Central and North American states released the San Jose Action Statement, wherein they endeavor to take concerted action to strengthen protection for refugees fleeing Central America. Most refugees from the region are forced to flee pervasive violence caused by heavily armed, transnational criminal gangs, particularly in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. In the statement, the governments of Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, and the United States asserted: “[W]e are confronted with a growing number of asylum seekers and...

By: Aldo Perez | August 19, 2016 |

On August 3, 2016, North Korea fired an intermediate range ballistic missile into Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the Sea of Japan. According to a press source, the missile landed within 155 miles of the Japanese coast, the closest a North Korean missile has come to Japan since 1998. U.S. Strategic Command reported that the missile was one of two “No Dong” missiles fired near the city of Hwangju; the other exploded shortly after launch. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the missile launch, stating, “That it landed in our nation’s E.E.Z. makes it an intolerable act of...

By: Catherina Valenzuela-Bock | August 16, 2016 |

On July 29, 2016, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled that damages for defamation claims must be awarded in accordance with the law, practice, and traditions of the state in which the injury occurred and cannot be assessed on the basis of a comparison of awards made in other Caribbean territories where prevailing socio-economic conditions, including GDP, are different. According to the press release, the case concerned an article and two caricatures published in the Kaieteur News in 2000, which “refer[ed] to Dr Ramsahoye in exceptionally disparaging terms.”  Ramsahoye sued...

By: Catherina Valenzuela-Bock | August 16, 2016 |

On July 28, 2016, the European Court of Human Rights declared the complaints of three Ukrainian homeowners regarding the shelling of their homes during the hostilities in Eastern Ukraine inadmissible due to lack of evidence. According to the press release, “armed pro-Russian groups started to seize official buildings in the east of Ukraine,” which prompted the Ukrainian government to respond with an “anti-terrorist” operation, during which the applicants’ houses were damaged or completely destroyed. As evidence of this, they presented copies of their passports and photographs of the...

By: Gaia Mattiace | August 09, 2016 |

On July 24, 2016, the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Executive Board decided not to issue a blanket ban on Russian athletes for the upcoming summer games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.  Instead, each sport’s international governing authority will determine whether a particular Russian team or athlete is allowed to compete. The IOC decision states that Russian athletes may participate in the Rio games provided they meet strict anti-doping criteria, do not have a history of doping, and undergo “rigorous additional out-of-competition testing program[s].” Russian athletes seeking to...

By: Douglas Cantwell | August 09, 2016 |

On July 22, 2016, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution authorizing states to assist the Libyan government in destroying its remaining stockpile of chemical weapons. According to reports, the resolution builds upon discussions between Libya’s Government of National Accord and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the non-governmental organization charged with monitoring the international Chemical Weapons Convention.  Libya reported to the OPCW that its remaining Category 2 precursor chemicals—which are mixed to create toxic chemical weapons—had...