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International: United Nations Welcomes Loosening of Sanctions in Gulf Region

(Feb. 17, 2021) On January 5, 2021, United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General António Guterres issued a statement welcoming the news that Saudi Arabia had lifted the economic and political sanctions it had imposed on Qatar since 2017. Guterres was joined two days later by U.N. Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures and human rights Alena Douhan, […]

European Union: Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime Enters into Force

(Jan. 12, 2021) On December 7, 2020, the European Union (EU) enacted its Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime to hold perpetrators of serious human rights violations and abuses accountable. The sanctions regime enables the EU to implement targeted restrictive measures no matter who is responsible for the respective infringements or where they occur. The EU […]

International: Suspect in 1994 Rwandan Genocide Transferred to International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals in The Hague

(Nov. 16, 2020) On May 16, 2020, Félicien Kabuga, an 84-year-old Hutu businessman accused of financing the militias that carried out the massacres in Rwanda in 1994 and of founding and funding the Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM), which actively encouraged people to search out and kill anyone who was from the Tutsi […]

United Nations: UN Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation Enters into Force

(Oct. 13, 2020) Last month the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation (the Singapore Convention on Mediation) entered into force. The Singapore Convention on Mediation was adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in 2018, but came into force in September 2020, six months after six countries […]

United Nations: Agencies Urge Members Countries to Allow Crew Changes by Seafarers Stuck on Ships during Pandemic

(Sept. 30, 2020) On September 11, 2020, a number of United Nations (UN) agencies issued a joint statement asking all UN member countries to take urgent measures in order to allow crew changes of seafarers’ crews aboard shipping and fishing vessels notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic. The statement explains that such changes are long overdue, as […]

Norway: Supreme Court Rules It Has Universal Jurisdiction over Foreigners’ Prior Terrorist Acts Abroad

(July 16, 2020) On June 26, 2020, the Norwegian Supreme Court ruled that Norwegian courts may exercise universal jurisdiction over crimes of terrorism and that foreigners may thus be sentenced in Norway for terrorism crimes they committed before arriving in the country. (Supreme Court Decision Case No. HR-2020-1340-A.) Facts of the Case The defendant, a […]

Israel: Supreme Court Voids Law Legalizing Settlements Built on Unauthorized and Privately Owned Land in West Bank

(July 14, 2020) On June 9, 2020, the Supreme Court of Israel, sitting as a High Court of Justice, ruled 8–1 to accept a petition against the constitutionality of the Law on the Regulation of Settlement in Judea and Samaria, 5777-2017 (Feb. 13, 2017). The majority opinion was rendered by Court President Justice Esther Hayut, […]

Germany: First Criminal Trial Worldwide on State Torture in Syria Begins

(Apr. 30, 2020) On April 23, 2020, the first criminal trial worldwide on state torture in Syria started at the Higher Regional Court in Koblenz, Germany (docket no. 1 StE 9/19). The two defendants allegedly worked for the Syrian intelligence services and are charged with crimes against humanity in numerous cases. The trial is scheduled to […]

Philippines: Supreme Court Holds First Virtual Session, Addresses Petition to Free Certain Prisoners due to COVID-19

(Apr. 30, 2020) On April 17, 2020, the Philippine Supreme Court held a virtual en banc session for the first time in its history in order to address an urgent petition requesting the release of elderly and sick inmates because of the risk they face in prison due to COVID-19, a government press release said. […]

Côte d’Ivoire: ICC Prosecutor Appeals Acquittal of Former Ivorian Leaders

(Dec. 2, 2019) On October 17, 2019, the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor in the case of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé filed a motion for the ICC Appeals Chamber to declare a mistrial following the two defendants’ January 15 acquittal. Laurent Gbagbo was the president of Côte d’Ivoire from 2000 until 2011, and […]