May 2017- News Snippets

May 1, 2017

European Court of Human Rights holds Russia liable to violations in Olisov and others v. Russia

A Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights delivered a judgement in the matter of Olisov and others v. Russia, unanimously holding that the State is liable of violating Article 3 (prohibition of torture) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The applicants were three Russian Nationals alleging physical violence at the hands of police authorities with the aim of making them sign false confessions.

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ICC extends war crimes of rape and sexual slavery to victims from same armed forces

Trial Chamber VI of the ICC issued a very interesting decision in the case of Ntaganda. At issue was the Defence’s argument that the Court could not have jurisdiction over the crimes of rape and sexual slavery allegedly committed against UPC/FPLC child soldiers, because war crimes cannot be committed against combatants from the same armed forces as the perpetrator.

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May 3, 2017

EU negotiates Brexit terms

European Commission has published directives for negotiation of an agreement with the UK and Northern Ireland, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal from the European Union, in accordance with Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. It shall also provide framework for EU’s future relationship with the UK.

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May 4, 2017

WTO gives landmark decision on plain packaging of cigarettes upholding Australian laws

The rules, introduced in 2010, ban logos and distinctive-coloured cigarette packaging in favour of drab olive packets that look more like military or prison issue, with brand names printed in small, standardised fonts. Tobacco firms said their trademarks were being infringed, and Cuba, Honduras, Dominican Republic and Indonesia complained at the WTO that the rules constituted an illegal barrier to trade. The WTO upheld the Australian laws after a five-year legal battle giving a blow to the Tobacco industry. The decision will be published soon.

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UN refugee agency warns Mayanmar about risk of re-victimisation

Those from Myanmar’s Rohingya community who fled inter communal violence an sought refuge in Bangladesh still remain highly vulnerable and risk being re-victimised even in exile. The refugees are in need of adequate shelter from the anticipated rains and without proper support they face risk of child labour, gender based violence and trafficking. Also after analysis it has been found that young women and girls are at particular risk.

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May 8, 2017

Prosecutor of ICC tells UN Security Council of opening investigations regarding migrant-related violence in Libya

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court delivered a statement to the UN Security Council reiterating their continuing effort in the collection and investigation of migrant related violence in Libya. She also mentioned the growing trends of human trafficking in the country and stated the Office’s plan to open an investigation into migrant-related issues in order to harness conflict in Libya.

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May 9, 2017

 The Republic of India institutes proceedings against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

On May 8th 2017, the Republic of India instituted proceedings against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. They had accused the latter of “egregious violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations”. It was regarding the matter of the detention and trial of an Indian national, Mr. Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan. India was not informed of the same long after his arrest. It has submitted that Mr. Jadhav was “kidnapped from Iran and was shown to have been arrested in Baluchistan”. On 15th May 2017 the public hearings for the case were concluded. The court is said to deliver its Order on 18th May 2017.

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New International Commercial Arbirtration Suit for Ontario

The previous statute in Ontario had not provided for the New York Convention to have the force of law in Ontario, whereas the other provinces in Canada has done so. With the coming in of this new statute, both the 1958 New York Convention and the 1985 Model Law have the force of law in Ontario. The statute also provides a 10 year period as limitation for the enforcement of a foreign award.

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Australia makes several changes for foreign investors in its new budget.

The Government of Australia launched its Budget 2017-18 with high focus on foreign investment. In order to ensure development, foreign investors who leave their properties empty for more than six months will be fined $5000. The changes also include simplifying commercial fee framework, new business exemption certificates and amending the handling of residential land used for commercial purposes.

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May 10, 2017

India blocks agenda at WTO General Council Meeting

A General Council Meeting of the World Trade Organization was called off after India opposed to one of the proposed agendas of the meeting. The impugned agenda was concerned with ‘trade and investment facilitation’. India took the stand that investment facilitation was a subject of domestic policy of the countries and thus beyond the ambit of WTO.

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May 11, 2017

Developments in the Certain Iranian Assets (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America)

A case was filed by Iran against the United States of America for violation of the Treaty of Amity on 14th June 2016. The ICJ has fixed a time limit within which the Islamic Republic of Iran may present a written statement of its observations and submissions on the preliminary objections raised by the United States of America.

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UN experts urge India to restore internet and social media services in Jammu and Kashmir

UN’s human rights experts have called on the government of India to protect the right to freedom of expression. After the restrictions imposed over the internet and social media in the state a press release was released by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). It was said that “The internet and telecommunications bans have the character of collective punishment and fail to meet the standards required under international human rights law to limit freedom of expression”. The ban was imposed on 17th April.

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ECJ rules non-binding decision on Uber as a transportation company

The ECJ has issued a non-binding opinion finding that Uber is a transportation company subject to additional regulations and fines. The Court reasoned that Uber’s activity must be viewed as a encompassing both the service of connecting passengers and drivers with one another by means of the smartphone application and the supply of transport itself, which constitutes, from an economic perspective, the main component, which could not be split into two services. Consequently, the service must be classified as a ‘service in the field of transport’.

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May 12, 2017

The UN High Commission Rights calls for protection of LGTBQI rights in El Salvador

The UN High Commission for Human Rights has urged the Government of El Salvador to make efforts to protect rights to LGBTQI activists and individuals. The Office showed deep concern for the growing vulnerabilities of the LGBTQI community after reported attacks Ms. Karla Alevar, a transgender human rights defender. At least seven transgender people have also been reported to have been killed.

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May 14,  2017

UN Security General condemns violence in CAR, calls them war crimes

The UN Secretary General condemned the violence and attacks on civilians and the UN Security Forces in Central African Republic after cases of armed attacks on civilians in in the Tokoyo neighbourhood of Bangassou, in south-eastern CAR. The statement urged the authorities to carry out investigations and to bring the perpetrators to justice. The statement also mentions how the attacks on the UN Peacekeeping Forces may be considered to be war crimes.

May 16, 2017

China’s “one belt, one road” initiative

China hosted its ‘One Belt, One Road’ Summit, grandly showcasing its US$1 Trillion spending plan for transport and other infrastructure connectivity projects throughout Asia, Africa, and Europe. On its own, the scale, frequency, magnitude, reach and undisclosed duration of the One Belt, One Road initiative significantly outspends traditional project-by-project development finance decisions of established international financial institutions.

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ECJ makes ratification by EU members mandatory for FTA between EU and Singapore

The European Court of Justice in its Opinion 2/15 on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between EU and Singapore held that the FTA required ratification by the European Parliament as well as by regional parliaments of EU members. The Court held that when certain provisions of an agreement were entitled to shared competency between EU and its member states, ratification by the member states is mandatory.

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May 18, 2017

Provisional Measures in the Jadhav Case (India v. Pakistan) released

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) released the Provisional Measures in the Jadhav Case. it informed the Islamic Republic of Pakistan that it must “take all measures at its disposal” to ensure that Mr. Jadhav is not executed pending a final judgement. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan was also intimated that it must inform the ICJ of all measures take in implementation of that Order.

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European Commission fines Facebook for misleading information

The EU antitrust regulators have fined Facebook 110 million euros for misleading information regarding a deal for Whatsapp. The European Commission found that in order to avoid anti-trust concerns, Facebook stated that it could not automatically match users between Facebook and WhatsApp when it purchased the company in 2014. The European Commission states that the technology to automatically match users existed in 2014 and that Facebook staff were aware of that. Facebook alleges that the missing information in the 2014 merger deal was not intentional.

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Industry leaders agree to implement UN’s standards on clinical trial reporting

A half of all clinical trial results go unreported and in light of this the World Health Organisation (WHO) has released a few recommendations in 2015. Currently some of the world’s largest founders of medical research and international non – governmental organisations agreed to adopt the standards. The joint statement released was also signed by India.

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China-ASEAN Framework for South China Sea Code of Conduct

China and ten ASEAN countries in a joint session have agreed to a legally binding code of conduct for governing affairs and resolving disputes relating South China Sea. South China Sea is a usual cause of territorial claim disputes and thus requires a regulatory framework. All the countries have agreed to advance negotiations and expedite the conclusion of the Code.

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May 23, 2017

European Court of Human Rights declares judgement in the case of Balsan v. Romania

A Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights released its judgement in the matter of Balsan v. Romania held the State liable to the violation of Article 3 and Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The applicant had alleged that the police authorities had failed to protect her from the domestic violence inflicted by her husband despite repeated numerous complaints. The Court held the state liable for failing to protect the applicant from gender-based violence showing disregard for the international framework of protecting the rights of women.

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Philippines President declares martial law in Mindanao islands

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law on the island of Mindanao on Tuesday when heavily armed militants linked to the Islamic State took over large parts of Marawi City, a provincial capital in the predominantly Roman Catholic country. Consequently, the writ of Habeas Corpus has been suspended.

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US Supreme Court’s Ruling on the Hague Service Convention liberalising the process

By virtue of the fact that Article 10 of the 1965 Hague Convention on Service of Process says “send” and not “serve,” U.S. Courts have long disagreed over whether the Convention’s procedures preclude international service of process by mail. Justice Alito gave his judgment on this issue by clarifying that he Hague Service Convention does not prohibit service of process by mail. This permissive reading serves to increase the practical utility of the Convention around the world.

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Canada Signs the 1996 Child Protection and 2007 Child Support Conventions

Canada signed the Hague Convention of on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children and the Hague Convention of 23 November 2007 on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family. With this, the two conventions now have respectively 49 States and 37 States and one Regional Economic Integration Organisation that have signed, ratified or acceded to the instruments.

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May 24, 2017

Constitutional Court of Taiwan upholds same-sex marriages

The Constitutional Court of Taiwan upheld the validity of same-sex marriages in the country stating that the limiting of marriage to man to woman is a violation of equality before law under the Constitutions of Republic of China. One judge of the Court recused from the matter while two judges put forth dissenting opinions.

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India does away with Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB)

The Union Cabinet decided to terminate the FIPB. The body functioned as a recommendary organ and made recommendations to the government on receiving applications for FDI. Earlier, FDI applications were first reviewed by FIPB and then forwarded to the government. Now, they will be directly made to the administrative Ministries/Departments. This is to facilitate FDI and ease of doing business.

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May 26, 2017

The African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights upholds rights of indigenous Ogieks people in Kenya

The African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights delivered a decision upholding the rights of the indigenous people: Ogieks in Kenya. After the Kenyan Forest Service issued a notice in 2009 for eviction of the indigenous community, the Ogieks it to be a violation of the State’s obligations under the African Charter for Human and Peoples’ Rights. The Court. The Court found that Kenya had violated the Ogiek community’s rights under Article 14 (the right to property), Article 2 (the right to equality), Article 8 (the right to freedom of religion), Article 17(2) and (3) (the right to culture), Article 21 (the right to free disposal of wealth and natural resources), Article 22 (the right to economic, social and cultural development) and Article 1 (the State duty to take all legislative and other measures necessary to give effect to the Charter).

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UN to create trust fund in Kosovo

Taking into account an expert panel report on alleged human rights violations by the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, the Secretary-General has decided to establish a Trust Fund to implement community-based assistance projects, his spokesperson said today.

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May 29, 2017

UN faces a second Cholera Challenge in New York Courts

Waiver of immunity is at the center of another cholera case against the UN, this time in the Eastern District of New York. In LaVenture et al v. United Nations, the plaintiffs argue that they have two distinct questions on waiver that distinguish this litigation from the recent decision upholding the UN’s absolute immunity in Georges et al.

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May 30, 2017

UN Secretary General pledges higher climate change commitments

UN Secretary General António Guterres noted that the Paris pledges are historic but the Commitments could still see temperatures rise by 3 degrees or more. Therefore, the SG has decided to raise the bar on climate action. He will also press for ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and the UN shall be working with Governments and all major actors, such as the coal, oil and gas industries, to accelerate the necessary energy transition.

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Srilanka faces monsoon floods, landslides – UN agency deploys rapid assessment

According to Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Centre (DMC), the South Asian country is combating floods and mudslides in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Mora, while the United Nations Migration Agency (IOM) deployed three rapid assessment teams to the most affected districts, where some 177 people have died and 109 remain missing.

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May 31, 2017

Slovak Foreign Minister elected as President of 72nd session of the General Assembly

Following his election at UN Headquarters in New York, Mr. Lajčák outlined as the six priorities for his tenure: people; peace and prevention; migration; the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate action; and human rights, which would guide his work as an overarching principle.

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India and Spain sign seven agreements

During PM Modi’s visit to Spain, seven Memorandum of Understanding were signed between the two nations. The subject matter of these were Civil Aviation, Health, Cybersecurity, Renewable energy, Transfer of Sentenced Persons, Foreign Service Institute and Diplomatic Academy of Spain and an agreement on Visa Waiver for holders of diplomatic passports. PM Modi’s visit was the first by an Indian Prime Minister in thirty years.

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Compiled by Ayushi Singh, Ankit Handa, Shambhavi Kala, Nitya Jain (IIIrd Year), Pooja Ravikrishnan and Divyakshi Jain (IInd Year)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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