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Israel: State Not Authorized to Block Release of Terrorists’ Bodies to Families

(Dec. 28, 2017) On December 14, 2017, Israel’s Supreme Court, sitting as a High Court of Justice, by a two-to-one majority accepted petitions against the State’s holding the bodies of perpetrators of terrorist acts to enable future negotiations on the release of Israeli prisoners and bodies held by terrorist organizations. (HCJ 4466/16 Alian v. IDF […]

Australia: Amendments to War Crimes Provisions Relate to Fight Against Islamic State

(Oct. 17, 2016) On October 12, 2016, the Australian government introduced a bill into the Parliament to amend provisions related to war crimes contained in the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).  (Criminal Code Amendment (War Crimes) Bill 2016, PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA (last visited Oct. 13, 2016).) The proposed changes were first announced by the Prime […]

Japan: Act to Promote the Collection of War Dead Remains Passed

(June 13, 2016) The Act on Promotion of Collection of Remains of War Dead was promulgated in Japan on March 30, 2016, and became effective on April 1, 2016.  (Act No. 12 of 2016, Official Gazette website (in Japanese).) The new Act states that collection of the war dead’s remains is the state’s obligation, and […]

United Nations: New Security Council Resolution Against Sexual Violence

(July 8, 2013) On June 24, 2013, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 2106, on increasing the efforts against impunity for perpetrators of sexual violence, whether the victim is female or male. (S.C. Res. 2106, U.N. Doc. S/RES/2106 (June 24, 2013), United Nations website; Julie Deisher, UN Security Council Adopts Resolution Against Sexual […]

United Nations: Reparations Paid for 1990 Invasion of Kuwait

(Aug. 3, 2010) On July 29, 2010, new reparations totaling US$650 million were paid by the United Nations for losses incurred from the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in 1990. The payments came from the U.N. Compensation Commission (UNCC) and went to nine claimants. The UNCC, which is based in Geneva, settles damage claims from […]

Somalia: New Law on State of Emergency Adopted

(Aug. 25, 2009) It was reported on August 20, 2009, that Somalia's Transitional Federal Parliament passed into law a state of emergency bill that had been submitted by President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed's administration in June. (Federal Lawmakers Approve State of Emergency Law, GAROWEONLINE, Aug. 20, 2009, available at The bill sailed through the Parliament […]

Congo, The Democratic Republic of the: Amnesty for Some Acts of War

(May 22, 2009) On May 7, 2009, President Joseph Kabila Kabange of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) signed a law that grants amnesty for certain acts of war and insurrection committed in the country. It had previously been adopted by the Senate and the National Assembly. The legislation covers acts committed between June […]

Iraq; United States: Parliament Approves Status-of-Forces Agreement

(Jan. 7, 2009) On November 27, 2008, the Iraqi Parliament approved the Status-of-Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the United States. SOFA calls for the withdrawal of the American forces from Iraqi cities by July 30, 2009, and from the entire country by 2011, with the exception of some elements of the U.S. Special Forces that will […]

Israel: Detention of Unlawful Combatants

(Sept. 8, 2008) On July 30, 2008, the Knesset (Israel's parliament) passed an amendment to the Detention of Unlawful Combatants Law, 5762-1992. The original law defines an “unlawful combatant” as a person who participated in hostile actions against the State of Israel, either directly or indirectly, or belonged to a force that conducts activities that […]

Japan: High Court Calls Air Self-Defense Force Activities in Iraq Unconstitutional

(May 2, 2008) Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution renounces war and states: “land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained.” The constitutionality of Japan's Self Defense Force (SDF) has been a legal, political, and social issue since the creation of the SDF. Japan has supported the United […]