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Category Archives: Law & Justice

The Greek tragedy proves that Europe does not believe in economic and social rights as a matter of justice

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Early this morning, the President of the EU Council has announced that a deal had been reached. After one referendum and a collection of ultimatums, Grexit is out of the question, for now. The details of the agreement remain unspecified as I write these lines. The Guardian reports that, this last intense weekend, the German […]

What the celebration of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta tells us about Britain’s idea of human rights

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Yesterday, 15 June, Britain celebrated the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. The text proclaimed some of what we now call “human rights”, related to fair trial and the rule of law. It was meant to be a peace treaty between English barons and a particularly bully monarch, King John. Magna Carta did not really apply […]

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 […]

What human rights norms do Western European countries promote?

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William Hague and Angelina Jolie are hosting a global summit in London to put an end to sexual violence in conflict (follow #TimeToAct). In June 2013, Madrid hosted the 5th world conference on (against) death penalty. It was organised by an abolitionist group (ECPM), and sponsored by the Governments of Spain, France, Switzerland and Norway. […]

When could I start considering the possibility of anti-homeless spikes?

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These spikes were installed in the entrance of a luxury block of flats in South London. Somebody took the picture and sparked a rapid reaction on social media. Both the local Council and the Mayor of London urged the owners to remove them as soon as possible. I don’t know if they are still there. […]

International Liberalism and R2P. Have liberalists given up on the ICC?

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Granted. The title is a little unfair. The truth is that I am only referring to Michael Ignatieff, but I have the impression that the point is extendible to other international liberals, or rather liberalists. This is pure perception. I would be very happy to be proven wrong. I encourage you to use the space […]

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 […]

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