June 2017 – News Snippets

 The Case of Costa Rica v. Nicaragua

The International Court of Justice will hold public hearings in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean and in the case concerning the Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos.

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US to withdraw from the Paris Agreement

President Donald Trump announced that he will withdraw the United States from the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change. It was adopted in 2015 by 195 nations, with 147 ratifying it —including the United States, which is the world’s second largest greenhouse gas emitter. However, he opted to withdraw from the Paris Agreement pursuant to the Agreement itself – a slow process that requires him to wait until November 2019 to provide notice of withdrawal, and another year before the withdrawal takes effect.

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Global Treaty Against Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Enters into Force

This first global treaty to combat IUU fishing recognizes that “measures to combat IUU fishing should build on the primary responsibility of flag States and use all available jurisdiction in accordance with international law, including port State measures, coastal State measures, market-related measures, and measures to ensure that nationals do not support or engage in IUU fishing”, and is designed “to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing through the implementation of effective port State measures, and thereby to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of living marine resources and marine ecosystems.”

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UNSC expands sanctions in North Korea

The UNSC has expanded the number of individuals and entities targeted by sanctions to 14 individuals and four organizations involved in North Korea’s nuclear-weapon programme. The sanctions will include the freezing of assets and travel ban. This comes in after Pyongyang’s recent nuclear-weapon and ballistic-missile-development activities which were in violation and “flagrant disregard” of various relevant Council resolutions.

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Sanctioning diplomatic and economic blockade in Qatar

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt adopted what has been dubbed a ‘diplomatic and economic block.’ Not only did these States close their land, naval and aerial borders for travel and transport to and from Qatar, the three Gulf States also appeared to expel Qatari diplomats and order (some), Qatari citizens, to leave their territory within 14 days. In addition, websites from the Al Jazeera Media Network, as well as other Qatari newspapers, were blocked and offices were shut down in several countries.

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Gender-based killings comes under the ambit of arbitrary execution, violates right to life

A UN-appointed human rights expert of the High Commission for Human Rights broadened the scope of the right to life and has stated that gender-related killings, domestic and intimate partner violence, honour killings and killings of LGBTQI people would fall within the ambit of “arbitrary executions”. The report stated that gender played a major role in the enjoyment of human rights and the right to life and asked the Governments of member states to protect against gender-based violence.

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Kazakhstan Accedes to the 2007 Hague Convention

The Republic of Kazakhstan deposited the instrument of accession to the Hague Convention of 23 November 2007 on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance (2007 Child Support Convention). With Kazakhstan’s accession, there are now 38 States and one Regional Economic Integration Organisation that have either signed, ratified or acceded to the 2007 Child Support Convention.

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UNCHR reports the migration of civilians from Mosul, declares them as war crimes

The UN Commission for Human Rights cited credible sources and reports which stated that more than 231 civilians, women, and children, have had to flee Western Mosul due to violence and attacks at the hand of the Islamic State. The Office condemned these attacks and considered them to be war crimes and urged the Iraqi Government to bring the perpetrators to justice in line with international human rights laws.

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ICC Prosecutor Requests authorities to arrest and surrender Mssrs Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Al-Tuhamy Mohamed Khaled

The ICC Prosecutor released a statement calling out to the authorities in Libya, the UN Security Council and the State Parties to the Rome Statute to arrest and surrender Mssrs Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Al-Tuhamy Mohamed Khaled to the Court. The arrest warrant against Gaddafi has been public since 27th June 2011, accusing him of crimes against humanity of murder and persecution. The arrest warrant for Al-Tuhamy has been public since 24th April 2017 crimes against humanity of imprisonment, torture, other inhumane acts, and persecution, as well as for the war crimes of torture, cruel treatment, and outrages upon personal dignity.

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European Court of Justice rules ‘The Pirate Bay’ Infringes Copyrights

The European Court of Justice has ruled that the BitTorrent sharing site, The Pirate Bay infringes on copyright laws. The Court reasoned that even if the works in question are placed online by the users of the online sharing platform, the operators of that platform play an essential role in making those works available. The Court, therefore, concluded that making available and managing an online platform for sharing copyright-protected works, constitutes an infringement of copyright.

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European Commission launches procedure for refusing asylum seekers

The European Commission has started infringement procedures against the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary for refusal to comply with the European Commission’s emergency relocation scheme. The Commission noted that despite repeated calls for action, these three countries continued to breach their legal obligations and commitments to Greece, Italy, and the other Member States.

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Appeals Chamber rejects appeal in the matter of The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda

The Appeals Chamber of the ICC rejected the appeal filed by Mr. Ntaganda questioning the judgment of the Trial Chamber VI, stating it to be an extension of its scope to adjudicate war crimes. The Defense questioned the decision arguing that the war crimes of rape and sexual slavery could not pertain to acts committed by members of an armed group against other members of the same armed group. Through a unanimous decision of the Court, the Bench held that international humanitarian law did not contain a general rule that categorically excluded members of an armed group from protection against crimes committed by members of the same armed group.

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Developments of Jadhav Case

The President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the UN has fixed time limits for the filing of the initial pleadings in the Jadhav Case. The President fixed 13th September 2017 and 13 December 2017 as the time limits for the filing of a Memorial by India and a Counter-Memorial by Pakistan.

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Supreme Court of Canada passes landmark judgment changing the jurisdiction law

In Douez v Facebook, Inc., the Supreme Court overturned the decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal holding that the ‘exclusive jurisdiction clause’ was not applicable here. By a slim majority of 4-3 the court held that the “strong cause” test operates differently in a consumer context than in the commercial context in which it was originally formulated.

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India and Portugal sign 11 pacts during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Portugal

The first ever bilateral visit by an Indian PM to Portugal resulted in inking of 11 pacts including a four million euros joint fund to bolster research in science and technology. The agreements included cooperation in outer space, double taxation avoidance, nanotechnology, improving cultural ties, youth and sports, higher education and scientific research, and Portugal-India business hub and Indian Chamber of Commerce. 

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Egyptian President ratifies secession of two Red Sea Islands to Saudi Arabia

The Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has ratified an agreement that shall cede sovereignty over two uninhabited Red Sea islands: Tiran and Sanafir, to Saudi Arabia. The Egyptian government had earlier transferred these two islands to Saudi Arabia in April 2016, based on the belief that they had always belonged to Saudi Arabia. 

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Meeting in Vienna to discuss Global Compliance with the comprehensive ban on nuclear testing

Scientists and technical experts from all over the world are gathering in Vienna, Austria for a meeting convened by the UN to discuss the monitoring global compliance with the comprehensive ban on nuclear testing. The conference was convened by the Preparatory Commission for the Treaty, widely known as the CTBTO. It was timed with the opening if the Science and Technology 2017 Conference. The conference will also include a special focus on youth and young scientists.

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EU Commission rules anti-trust violation against Google

The European Commission has fined Google € 2.42 billion for violating EU antitrust restrictions. The decision focused on Google’s comparative shopping service, which premiered as “Froogle” in 2004, and is known today as Google Shopping. The Commission found that Google had abused their market dominance by giving its own comparison shopping service an illegal advantage. 

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UNGA requests ICJ’s advisory opinion on the Chagos Archipelago

The UNGA has requested an Advisory Opinion of the ICJ on the legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965 by invoking Article 65 of the Statute of the Court. The Request for an Advisory Opinion was adopted by the UNGA on 22nd June via resolution A/RES/71/292.

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Malaysia moves ICJ for interpretation of sovereignty against Singapore

Malaysia has filed an Application to the ICJ requesting interpretation of the Judgment delivered by the Court on May 23rd, 2008, concerning sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and South Ledge where the Court had initially ruled that sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh belonged to Singapore, sovereignty over Middle Rocks belonged to Malaysia, and sovereignty over South Ledge belonged to the State in the territorial waters of which it is located.

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German Bundestag Approves Same-Sex Marriage

Joining other countries that have recognized a need to protect the legal rights of same-sex couples, and understanding that this requires full marriage equality for same-sex couples, the German Bundestag voted today to approve marriage for same-sex couples.

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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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