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Tag Archives: international law

After 50 years, it’s time to close the gap between different human rights

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This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. It was the moment the UN General Assembly changed the face of international human rights law. Fifty years ago, on December 16 1966, the assembly passed a single resolution containing two new treaties: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), covering rights […]

Ecocide: the international crime that could have been but never quite was

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This post was first published in NBXMain in October 2015 Genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity are international crimes and, since 2002, the International Criminal Court (ICC) can investigate individuals accused of having committed acts of that nature. From 2017, under certain circumstances the ICC will also have jurisdiction in relation to the crime […]

Bombardment of Damascus 90 years later: Two questions around the Responsibility to Protect

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France bombed Damascus 90 years ago as a reaction to the Syrian revolt for independence. France held the mandate over Syria under the League of Nations authority. The day after an attack against French troops, France bombed the city for 48 hours. It is said that between 1000 and 5000 people died. Bombardments continued the […]

Against the criminalisation of foreign fighters with the discourse of terrorism

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Last week, interior ministers of the 15 countries sitting at the UN Security Council met to discuss foreign fighters. They did so as part of the follow-up of Resolution 2178 (2014), which defines foreign fighters as people “who travel or attempt to travel to a State other than their States of residence or nationality, and other […]

“The Interview” and the sanctity of private business in public international law… since the 16th century

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By now it is well known that Sony was cyber attacked some weeks ago allegedly as a reaction to “The Interview”, a satirical film that depicts the assassination of Kim Jong-Un. I haven’t seen the film and I don’t know anybody who has seen it, but Barbara Demick, a North Korea specialist writing in New […]

Order versus Justice in the selection of the next UN Secretary General

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The battle to replace Ban Ki-moon has begun. A recent article by Colum Lynch (@columlynch) in Foreign Policy speaks about the race, the likely competitors and the interests at play. The author explains how the most powerful countries tend to prefer contestants from nations with little weight in international politics. He also talks about the […]

Who holds the responsibility to protect? And who is to be protected?

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Lucke Glanville argues in his recent Sovereignty and the Responsibility to Protect (2014) that this responsibility dates back from the 16th and 17th centuries. However, a good number of scholars believe that the first “humanitarian intervention” took place in Bulgaria in 1876, when Ottoman troops attacked villages killing thousands of civilians. Outraged, the British public […]

Ruggie versus Ecuador: Will a human rights norm ever emerge regardless of Western support?

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In September 2013, a number of countries issued a joint statement in favour of an international treaty on business and human rights. The statement was drafted by Ecuador and signed also by the African Group, the Arab Group, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru. These countries believe that a legally binding […]

What does a 6.5% public surplus mean from the perspective of the ICESCR?

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Earlier this month, the Greek Government assumed the Presidency of the Council of the EU for this semester. In an attempt to show off the austerity efforts made by his Government, the Deputy Prime Minister, Evangelos Venizelos, said in a recent interview with Euronews: Over the past three and a half years, Greece has made […]

A normative defence of a foreign policy in line with human rights

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This article was originally published in Dialogue, issue 6, winter 2013. In the last two decades, norms and beliefs have put on weight in scholarly research in international relations. Traditional (neo)realists would still insist that international relations are only about one predetermined goal, that is, survival. Nonetheless, among those willing to accept that there is […]

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