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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 […]

International: Investigations Launched at International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court Regarding Situation of Rohingya People

(Nov. 29, 2019) On November 11, 2019, the Republic of The Gambia (The Gambia) instituted proceedings against the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (Myanmar) before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), alleging violations of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the Genocide Convention). The Gambia’s submission is also […]

International: International Criminal Court Gives Former Democratic Republic of Congo Militia Leader Maximum 30-Year Prison Sentence

(Nov. 19, 2019) On November 7, 2019, the International Criminal Court (ICC) handed down its heaviest sanction ever to Bosco Ntaganda, a former deputy chief of staff and commander of operations of the Forces Patriotiques pour la Libération du Congo (FPLC). Ntaganda was convicted in July 2019 of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including […]

International: International Law Commission Adopts ‘Sea-Level Rise in Relation to International Law’ as Topic for Long-Term Work Program

(Oct. 2, 2019) In the summer of 2019, the United Nations International Law Commission (ILC) adopted the topic of “Sea-Level Rise in Relation to International Law” for its program of work. The ILC noted that the real and potential legal implications of sea-level rise are numerous: What happens to existing low-lying coastal areas and islands […]

Switzerland: Voters Reject Popular Initiative on Giving Swiss Constitution Explicit Precedence over International Law

(Dec. 17, 2018) On November 25, 2018, Swiss voters rejected by a vote of 66.2% to 33.8% a popular initiative known as the “Self-Determination Initiative.” Voter turnout was 47.7%. (Vorlage Nr. 624. Vorläufige amtliche Endergebnisse. Volksinitiative vom 12.08.2016 “Schweizer Recht statt fremde Richter (Selbstbestimmungsinitiative)” [Proposal No. 624, Preliminary Official Results: Popular Initiative of Aug. 12, 2016 “Swiss Law […]

Iran: Space Agency Aims to Train Specialists in Space Law

(Nov. 7, 2018) The Iranian Space Agency (ISA) and the University of Tehran’s Institute for Studies in Public Law signed a memorandum of understanding in late-August 2018 providing for the University to train specialists in space law “to increase Iran’s role in international assemblies and secure national interests.” (Iran Expanding Space Law Studies, EGHTESAD ONLINE […]