February 2017 – News Snippets

February 1, 2017

Case on Suppression of Financing of Terrorism and Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination

On February 1st the ICJ released a press release on the subject of Russian interference in Ukraine. Ukraine has put in an application in the ICJ and has requested for provisional measures on the Russian intervention in military acts, financing terrorism and violating the human rights of Ukraine’s citizens. The ICJ press release talks about what Ukraine’s pleadings are.

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February 2, 2017

ICJ decides to hear case between Kenya and Somalia concerning maritime delimitation

The International Court of Justice has rejected objections raised by Kenya and concluded that it has jurisdiction to entertain Somalia’s application concerning maritime delimitation. The Court concluded that the MOU between the parties did not constitute an agreement “to have recourse to some other method or methods of settlement” within the meaning of Kenya’s reservation and consequently the case did not fall outside the scope of Kenya’s consent to the Court’s jurisdiction.

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February 3, 2017.

Trump’s Anti Refugee Order and its Importance

President Trump has passed an executive order temporarily barring the entry of all refugees to the United Sates for 120 days, indefinitely for Syrian Refugees and 90 days for citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries. The order contravenes the 1951 Refugee Convention, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and many other applicable human rights treaties.

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February 9, 2017

AU’s Withdrawal from the ICC and its Implications

During the 28th session of the African Union (AU), the common strategy of withdrawing from the International Criminal Court (ICC) was adopted. Their reasons for doing this are 2 fold: one that the ICC is not addressing their grievances and two that they want to develop a regionalised system of international criminal law. The withdrawal document does not give any explicit instructions or a timeline, it just outlines legal implications. Many experts are of the opinion that the grievances could be addressed without resorting to this measure.

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February 14, 2017

Nine Countries join UN supported network to halve maternal, new-born deaths in clinics

A health network has been created with the support of United Nations agencies in 9 countries – Bangladesh, Cote d’lvoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda. The aim of the network is for improving quality of care for maternal, New-born and Child health. It will be a web based system to build a community of health practitioners who will develop and brainstorm strategies to improve quality of care.

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February 15, 2017

ICC Communication About Australia’s Mistreatment of Refugees by committing multiple crimes against humanity

17 international-law scholars recently submitted a 105-page communication to the Office of the Prosecutor alleging that Australia’s treatment of refugees involves the commission of multiple crimes against humanity, including imprisonment, torture, deportation, and persecution. The communication analyses a decade of arbitrary and inhumane offshore detention, established and maintained by Australian governments.

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February 17, 2017

Post-Election Crisis in Gambia – Use of Force

Long term president Yahya Jammeh, refused to accept the results of the December 2016 elections. It resulted in Senegalese troops, part of an ECOWAS intervention, entering Gambia. The troops remain in the country to help the newly-elected president, Adama Barrow, in establishing and maintaining public order. As this is an isolated event, it is still difficult to ascertain the uniformity of the practice of usage of force to establish or re-establish democracies. However, it shows that – if the circumstances warrant it, the international community, first and foremost the Security Council, is willing to act as an advocate for forcible democracy promotion.

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February 21, 2017

India should hold firm against the European efforts to undermine its new model Bilateral Investment Treaty

India is in the process of shifting to a new approach to international investment law and dispute settlement. It has elaborated a model BIT which is significantly more balanced between investor interests and those of legitimate public policy. In the transition to its new approach, India has sought to terminate its existing BIT’s with individual EU members. But the EU is pressuring India to extend those existing treaties. This will give European companies an opportunity to get in under the old regime, giving them 10 years or more protection based on treaty norms which India has now determined is not in its national interest.

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Shelter for those displaced as Iraqi offensive

The UNHCR is focusing efforts on camp construction in and around the Iraqi city of Mosul, where renewed fighting could displace up to 250,000 people. Many have fled from eastern sections of Mosul while other have been displaced. The Iraqi Government has decided, initially, to transport people displaced from western Mosul to camps in the east while new capacity is being added in the South.

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February 22, 2017

Steps to tackle cholera in Haiti by UN.

Grant from Japan to help UNICEF reduce cholera related morbidity and mortality in Haiti. This grant would help in the protection of the population in Haiti, especially children. The outbreak claimed the lives of more than 9,000. The grant is of $2.6 million which will be put to use in the coordination and surveillance of the epidemic, creation of rapid response teams and case management. A Multi Partner Trust Fund has also been set up to enable Member States, other partners and individuals to contribute. India has contributed $100,000.

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South Africa’s decision to leave the ICC ruled invalid

 A South African High Court ruled in favor of the Democratic Alliance (DA), the opposition party of South Africa, that the decision of the government to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) is invalid. The high court further ordered the government to revoke its withdrawal notice to the UN. The decision to pull out arose in 2015 when the SA authorities refused to arrest the visiting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir who was facing an ICC warrant over alleged war crimes since 2009.

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February 24, 2017.

The 2nd Global Consultation on Migrant Health – The Colombo Statement

In order to adapt the health system to the growing needs of migrants around the world, health leaders from over forty countries met and empahsized the call for international collaboration to improve the health and well–being of migrants and their families. The ‘Colombo Statement’ aims to address the health challenges of increasingly mobile populations. It also calls for mainstreaming migrant health into key regional and international agendas.

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February 27, 2017

Is Trump a supporter of Hegel?

Recently, a comparison between Donald Trump and G W F Hegel has started because of the ‘America First’ Policy. The Policy has been speculated to ultimately imply a comeback of Hegel’s conceptualisation of international law as ‘external public law’. This was due to Trump’s repeated questioning of the fundamental principles of international law like the Geneva Convention or the Paris Climate Change Deal. Through Trump’s stands and action we can see that he, like Hegel, considers State law to be supreme.

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