summer of 2013, the world was captivated by the story of National Security
Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. Currently living in Moscow on a temporary
grant of asylum, Snowden
has charged the Obama Administration with two related violations of
international law: (1) that it interfered with his right to seek asylum; and (2)
that by revoking his passport, it had made him stateless.
| Posted by Christian Howard Brill on Wed. December 4, 2013 8:00 AM
Categories: International Human Rights
By: Lucien J. Dhooge
This article analyzes Canadian litigation captioned Yaiguaje v. Chevron Corporation which seeks recognition of an $18.2 billion judgment entered in Ecuador in 2011 in what has been labeled as one of the world’s largest environmental lawsuits. The article examines Chevron’s involvement in Ecuador through its predecessor in interest (Texaco) and the history of proceedings in Ecuador, Canada, and the United States and before the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The article then discusses the recognition of foreign judgments in Canada with emphasis upon the public policy defense. The article concludes that utilization of this defense presents significant issues affecting the reputation and credibility of the Canadian judiciary and its liberal approach with respect to recognition of foreign judgments.
| Posted by Stephen A. Moore on Fri. November 8, 2013 8:00 AM
unhappiness with the International Criminal Court, the African Union now
demands the trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta be postponed following the
Westgate Mall shooting in Nairobi, Kenya. President Kenyatta and his deputy,
William Ruto, are both charged with crimes against humanity. The two are accused of being involved in
violence that followed the disputed presidential elections of 2007 leaving over
1,100 people dead and more than 600,000 displaced.
International Criminal Court was established in 2002 when its founding treaty,
the Rome Statute, entered into force. The ICC was created to prosecute claims
of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes that were not being
properly investigated in the countries where they took place. Today, 122 countries have ratified the
Rome Statute and submitted themselves to the ICC’s jurisdiction. Of the African Union’s 54 members, 34
are parties to the ICC.
members of the African Union believe that no sitting head of state should be prosecuted by an international
tribunal, and that the trial of President Kenyatta should be postponed as a
result. Pressure has been building . . .
| Posted by Emily C. Doll on Thu. November 7, 2013 8:00 AM
Categories: African Union, International Criminal Court, International Human Rights, Kenya
By: Matteo M. Winkler
The U.S. Supreme Court held in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., 133 S. Ct. 1659 (2013), that the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), the well-known 200-years-old statute that entitles aliens to sue before federal courts for torts committed in violation of the law of nations, does not apply extraterritorially. The Court followed the 2010 decision in Morrison v. National Australia Bank, 130 S. Ct. 2869 (2010), that excluded from the reach of U.S. courts any F-cubed actions, i.e. actions that present three foreign elements such as foreign plaintiffs, foreign defendants and facts happened in a foreign forum.
Kiobel concerned claims for damages for grave violations of human rights allegedly committed against the Ogoni community in Nigeria by the subsidiaries of the Shell group operating in the country. It was a typical F-cubed case, and the Court found it very easy to apply Morrison as leading precedent.
| Posted by Stephen A. Moore on Wed. November 6, 2013 8:00 AM
Categories: International Human Rights, U.S. Supreme Court
four years of negotiating, the European Union and Canada agreed to terms on a
free trade deal on October 18, 2013. In
2012 the European Commission estimated that nearly 116 billion U.S. dollars of
trade in goods and services was conducted between the two parties. As a result, the European Union is Canada’s
second largest trading partner. Approval of the deal by the European Parliament
and its member states is pending, as is federal and provincial approval in
the Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA) is approved, 99 percent of tariffs between
the European Union and Canada will be removed. For example, “the 10 per cent EU tariff on
passenger vehicles will be eliminated, as will tariffs on auto
parts which run up to 4.5 per cent.” If retailers pass these savings on to
consumers, this will mean that Canadians will pay substantially
less for items including food, wines and spirits, and European cars. Canadian
businesses will also benefit from this deal. For example, the Canadian agricultural
industry will be able to export products such wheat, maple syrup, pork, and
beef duty free to the European Union. With
increased exports, Canadian businesses are expected to create more jobs. The government in Ontario, for example,
estimates that CETA will lead to the creation of 30,000 jobs throughout the province.
| Posted by Max P. Biedermann on Tue. November 5, 2013 8:00 AM
Categories: Canada, European Union, Free Trade
Carlos Gutierrez (Gutierrez) spent a year abusing Mailin
Stafford (Mailin), his three-year-old stepdaughter, for sucking on her thumbs. He subjected her to frequent beatings and
spankings, forced her to eat chili peppers and Tabasco sauce and threw her into
freezing cold showers until she began to drown or turn blue. On June 15, 2004, Gutierrez punched her in
the stomach one last time before she crawled onto his lap and died. A three-judge panel sentenced Gutierrez to
On his first appeal, Gutierrez’s death
sentence was affirmed. He then filed a second appeal, seeking a
post-conviction petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which the Second Judicial
District Court of Nevada dismissed on procedural grounds. On appeal, Gutierrez argued that he suffered
actual prejudice because the United States failed to inform him of his right to
consular assistance, which was in violation of Article 36(1)(b) of the Vienna
Convention on Consular Relations (Vienna Convention). Mexico had previously filed suit against the United
States in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for denying Carlos Avena
Guillen and numerous other Mexican nationals their right to consular access
under the Vienna Convention. In Case Concerning Avena and Other Mexican
Nationals (Avena), the ICJ found
the United States had violated its international legal obligations under the
Vienna Convention by failing to notify the Mexican nationals of their consular
rights. The ICJ directed the United States to
reassess the convictions of Avena and the other Mexican nationals.
| Posted by Debolina Das on Mon. November 4, 2013 8:00 AM
Categories: International Human Rights
helicopters hummed along the broken Pakistani terrain, their mission
accomplished. Osama Bin Laden was dead and the entire SEAL
Team Six crew was safe. In three and a half hours the team had
entered Pakistani airspace, assaulted the compound in Abbottabad, and returned
to Afghanistan, all before the Pakistani government was ever aware of the
incursion. The Pakistani air defense never detected the
helicopters in its airspace. Some speculated it was this inability to
detect U.S. forces that most damaged U.S.-Pakistani relations, more than the
actual invasion of Pakistani territory. “Never had the [Pakistani] military, the
strongest institution in the country, been so humiliated since it lost three
wars to India.” Programmers and hackers stationed at U.S.
Cyber Command in Ft. Meade, Maryland, could have contributed to the undetected
incursion, using cyber technologies to infiltrate and turn off Pakistan’s air
defense system simultaneous to the U.S.’s physical assault.
would not be the first such cyber attack. In 2007, Israeli bombers flew undetected into Syria, blowing up what was
later determined to be a partially completed, North Korean-built nuclear
enrichment facility. The bombers flew undetected not due to some
new radar-absorbing technology, but because Israel used a complex cyber attack to mask its entry. Israeli programmers manipulated Syria’s air
that it would fail to report anything on the radar.
| Posted by Stephen A. Moore on Wed. October 30, 2013 8:00 AM
Categories: Anonymous, Customary International Law, Cyberwarfare, Osama Bin Laden, Pakistan
By: Stuart Ford
The recent acquittals of Ante Gotovina and Ramush Haradinaj at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) have once again raised questions about the nature of the ICTY’s trials: are they predominantly legal or political? This Article attempts to answer that question through a first-of-its-kind empirical study of the ICTY’s indictments. It tests whether the ICTY’s trials are structural show trials by looking for statistically significant correlations between the components of the indictment and conviction/acquittal or sentence length. It also explores whether the indictments comply with the requirements of international criminal law, are internally consistent, and match what we understand about how serious violations of international criminal law are committed. Finally, it compares charging practices at the ICTY to charging practices in a number of domestic criminal justice systems that are broadly viewed as fair and finds that the ICTY’s charging practices fall within the range of those domestic practices. The results of this analysis suggest that the ICTY’s trials are not show trials, that they are fundamentally fair, and therefore predominantly legal in nature.
However, there is evidence that the Prosecutor has been affected by political considerations when deciding who to investigate and charge.
| Posted by Stephen A. Moore on Tue. October 29, 2013 8:00 AM
Categories: ICTY, International Dispute Resolution, Yugoslavia
By: Pierce Lee
This article is a case study about the rules of origin (ROOs) dealing with products undergoing outward processing (OP) in the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC). OP refers to temporary exportation of goods for further manufacturing. As the word “temporary” indicates, the finished goods are usually imported back to the home country for domestic consumption or permanent exportation.
The KIC is an outward processing zone (OPZ) in North Korea in which South Korean companies have set up manufacturing plants and employ North Korean labor. The KIC plays a crucial role in inter-Korean relations, but its expansion has been limited because the products undergoing OP in the KIC are often determined to have originated in North Korea and are subject to high tariffs. To address this situation, the South Korean government has entered into many free trade agreements (FTAs) containing special provisions modifying the preferential ROOs applicable under the respective FTAs so that Kaesong products become eligible for duty-free treatment or preferential tariff rates.
A close observation of those so-called “outward processing provisions” raises several questions that are not only important for inter-Korean relations but also for international economic policy.
| Posted by Stephen A. Moore on Mon. October 28, 2013 8:00 AM
Categories: North Korea, South Korea, World Trade Organization
While the debate on the U.S. approach to Syria’s chemical weapons dominated the headlines, one headline that quickly disappeared concerned a Syrian-based cyber attack against the New York Times. The Syrian Electronic Army (S.E.A.), “a group of hackers who support President Bashar al-Assad of Syria,” laid claim to intentionally bringing down the New York Times website for most of the day on August 27. The offensive included “an online attack on the company’s domain registrar” and “also forced employees of The Times to take care in sending emails.” Notably, the S.E.A. claims no ties to the Syrian government, though President al-Assad reportedly referred to the group as “a real army in a virtual reality.”
The S.E.A. previously attempted similar attacks against websites of other notable news sources, including the Washington Post, CNN, and the Financial Times. Perhaps most notably, the S.E.A. hacked the Twitter account for the Associated Press last April, posting a fake tweet which read, “Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.” While the tweet was soon revealed to be false, the attack resulted in a 145-point dip in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
| Posted by Stephen A. Moore on Tue. October 8, 2013 8:00 AM
Categories: Cyberwarfare, Syria, U.N. Security Council