International Law and Domestic Law

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Civil liability for violations of IHL: are the US and UK moving in opposite directions?

On 25 August 2022 the US Department of Defense published its Civilian Harm Mitigation and Response Action Plan (CHMR-AP), outlining a major three-year programme of institutional change in how the US deals with civilian harm occasioned by military operations. The plan was ordered by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in January following the release of information, in the New York Times and elsewhere, detailing patterns of failure in the Pentagon’s investigation of, and response to, thousands of civilian casualties from US operations in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. The release of the CHMR-AP has been welcomed (see here and here), including by current and former US defense officials, but also met by some scepticism as to whether it will produce an effective improvement in civilian protection. This post considers just one – elsewhere unremarked – aspect of the new Plan, which is the extent to which it signals a departure from the long-held policy of the US not…

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Equatorial Guinea v. France (No. 2): A First Attempt at International Litigation on Stolen Asset Recovery

On 29 September 2022, Equatorial Guinea instituted proceedings against France before the International Court of Justice. In its application, Equatorial Guinea alleges that France is failing to comply with its asset recovery obligations under the 2003 United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). This case represents yet another legal twist in a long-running saga concerning the misappropriation…

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The subtle erosion of democracy in Latin America: the case of Lula in the Human Rights Committee

On 12 March 2022, the Human Rights Committee delivered its views on the complaint filed by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, former President of the Federal Republic of Brazil who was imprisoned in 2018 in the context of the anti-corruption operation known as ‘Operation Car Wash (in Portuguese, ‘Operação Lava Jato’). The representatives of Lula asked the…

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Prosecuting Atrocity Crimes Committed in Northern Ethiopia: The Need for Special National Prosecution Mechanism

Over the last four years, serious human rights violations and abuses, have been committed in Ethiopia in and outside of the context of an armed conflict. These violations may constitute international crimes, such as crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture. The situation particularly worsened and garnered international attention after an armed conflict broke out in Tigray on…

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A Former Danish Minister for Immigration is Sentenced: A new Chapter in the Danish ‘Migrants Saga’

On December 13 2021 the Danish Court of Impeachment (Rigsretten) convicted Inger Støjberg, a former Minister of Immigration, for having unlawfully instructed public authorities to separate migrant couples one of whom was a minor. This special Court, which Parliament assembles, exists to try ministers accused of maladministration. Although nominally a permanent body, the assembly of the Court…

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