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African Union: Resolution Urges States to Leave ICC

(Feb. 10, 2017) On February 1, 2017, the African Union (AU) issued a resolution, based on a decision taken the day before, encouraging member nations to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC). (African Union Backs Mass Withdrawal from ICC, BBC NEWS (Feb. 1, 2017); Gwenyth Gamble, African Union Leaders Back Leaving ICC, PAPER CHASE […]

United Nations: Latin American and African Countries Join International Program to Combat Drug Trafficking

(Dec. 2, 2016) In October 2016, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) announced that ten countries in Latin America and Africa will participate in a UNODC program aimed at combatting international drug trafficking.  (Press Release, UNODC Launches CRIMJUST Project to Address Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking Across Regions (Oct. 18, 2016), UNODC […]

Cambodia: Life Sentences of Khmer Rouge Officials Upheld

(Dec. 1, 2016) On November 23, 2016, the Supreme Court Chamber (SCC) of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), a special Cambodian human rights court, upheld on appeal the life sentences of two senior Khmer Rouge officials, Nuon Chea, former Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, and Khieu Samphan, former […]

Sri Lanka: New Terrorism Law Being Drafted

(Nov. 22, 2016) The Sri Lankan government is formulating new anti-terrorism legislation to replace the existing Prevention of Terrorism Act.  (Sri Lanka Works on Draft Counter Terrorism Legislation to Replace PTA with Technical Assistance from UN, COLOMBO PAGE (Nov. 15, 2016); Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979 (July 20, 1979, as […]

UN: Call to Include Human Rights Provisions in Trade Agreements and Dispute Resolution

(Sept. 27, 2016) On September 13, 2016, the United Nations Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, Alfred de Zayas, called for all future trade agreements to include provisions extolling the primary importance of human rights. He also said that the treaties should be aligned with the duty that states […]

ICC: Court to Expand Focus to Environmental and Other Serious Crimes

(Sept. 26, 2016) On September 15, 2016, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it will work on prosecuting environmental and other serious crimes. The announcement came in a press release and policy paper on how the Court will prioritize and select cases. By publishing the paper, described as an “internal document,” the Court hopes […]

Liberia: Amnesty for Surrender of Weapons

(Sept. 16, 2016) It was reported on September 12, 2016, that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia has issued a proclamation encouraging anyone in three of the country’s counties to surrender their small arms and light weapons. The counties are Grand Gedeh, Maryland, and River Gee, which are located along the border this West African […]

Uruguay: Arbitration Panel Affirms Enforcement of Anti-Tobacco Legislation

(Aug. 26, 2016) On July 8, 2016, an International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) arbitration panel, meeting in Washington, D.C., decided an arbitration case filed by Philip Morris International (PMI) against the government of Uruguay in which PMI sought compensation for economic damages as a result of Uruguay’s enforcement of its anti-tobacco laws. (El Estado […]

ICC/Mali: First Guilty Plea in War Crimes Case

(Aug. 24, 2016) On August 22, 2016, Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi, described as a jihadist from Mali, pleaded guilty at the International Criminal Court (ICC) to destroying historical and religious monuments, which is a war crime. He is the first person ever to plead guilty to a charge at that court. (Malian Jihadist Pleads Guilty at ICC to […]