Human Rights

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US Drone Strikes in Pakistan: Can it be Legal to Target Rescuers & Funeralgoers?

A week ago, the Bureau for Investigative Journalism (BIJ), in conjunction with the Sunday Times (of London) published a report into US drone tactics in Pakistan. The report states that since Barak Obama came into office US drone strikes in Pakistan killed between 282 and 535 civilians. The core of the recent report was that some of these civilians were killed in follow-up strikes which delibaretely targeted those who had gone to help victims of previous strikes or were killed in deliberate strikes on funerals and mourners. In a separate piece, "A Question of Legality", the BIJ examines whether this US tactis is lawful under international humanitarian law (and international human rights law). In that piece I am quoted as follows: Professor Dapo Akande, who heads Oxford University’s Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, believes that under LOAC the killing of civilian rescuers is problematic: ‘The question is, can rescuing be regarded as taking part in hostilities, to which for me the answer is clearly “No”. That rescuing is not taking part in hostilities.’…

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Germany v. Italy: Germany Wins

The International Court of Justice this morning rendered its judgment in the Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Germany v. Italy: Greece intervening) case (judgment; case materials). As widely expected, Germany won, and won hands down. On the main issue of jurisdictional immunity the Court decided in Germany’s favour by 12 votes to…

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Interim Measures Requests and the UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies: Canada and the Mugesera Case

Joanna Harrington is a Professor with the Faculty of Law and an Associate Dean with the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research at the University of Alberta in Canada. As I write this post, college instructor and former politico Léon Mugesera has, at last, been placed on a plane to Rwanda by…

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US Fourth ICCPR Report, IHRL and IHL

The US Government recently submitted to the Human Rights Committee its fourth periodic report on its compliance with the ICCPR. On the issues near and dear to my heart – the extraterritorial application of the ICCPR and the relationship between IHRL and IHL – the new report presents a significant softening of the US position. Or, to…

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Diplomatic Assurances, Torture and Extradition: The Case of Othman (Abu Qatada) v. the United Kingdom

Conor McCarthy is Visiting Fellow at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. The European Court of Human Rights has handed down its long-awaited judgment in the case of Othman (Abu Qatada) v. the United Kingdom which, despite the initial furore that is likely to surround it in the UK, is also a case of substantial legal…

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