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Is Security Council Authorisation Really Necessary to Allow Cross-Border Humanitarian Assistance in Syria?

  In December last year, Russia and China vetoed a draft Security Council resolution that would have renewed the authorisation for humanitarian assistance to be provided in Syria via four designated border-crossings. The authorisation had been in place since Resolution 2165 (2014), and had enabled the provision of humanitarian assistance to more than four million Syrians. In January, the Security Council passed a watered-down resolution (Resolution 2504) reauthorising the use of just two border crossings, allowing access from Turkey to northwest Syria for six months. The authorisation of the Al-Yarubiyah crossing on the Iraqi border, which enabled access to more than a million people in north-east Syria, was not renewed.   Even for the Syrians whose assistance is for now continuing via the re-authorised crossings from Turkey, the future is uncertain. Resolution 2504 is up for renewal in July, at which time the continuation of lifesaving assistance for some 2.7 million Syrians will once again depend upon the good will of the Council’s five permanent…

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Humanitarian Assistance and Security Council Sanctions: Different Approaches to International Humanitarian Law

Under the sanctions regimes established by its resolutions adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) can currently impose sanctions on those who obstruct the delivery of humanitarian assistance in eight non-international armed conflict situations. This imposition of sanctions stems from the UNSC’s responsibility to maintain peace, security, and stability. Yet,…

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The Decentralisation of International Crimes: A shift from the central criminal apparatus at the ICC?

In her statement to the UN Security Council on November 2018, Fatou Bensouda vowed to search ‘outside of Libya’ for accountability of global actors in the migration context. This is one of the many moves by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) in their prosecutorial trajectory towards a more holistic approach. Such an approach widens the accountability…

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Looking for Middle Ground on the Immunity of Al-Bashir? Take the Third ‘Security Council Route’

On 10-14 September, the Appeals Chamber (AC) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) held hearings in the appeal of Jordan against the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) II entitled ‘Decision under article 87(7) of the Rome Statute on the non-compliance by Jordan with the request by the Court for the arrest and surrender o[f] Omar Al-Bashir’ of…

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The ‘Security Council Route’ to the Derogation from Personal Head of State Immunity in the Al-Bashir Case: How Explicit must Security Council Resolutions be?

Last week, the Appeals Court of the International Criminal Court (ICC, the Court) held hearings in relation to Jordan’s Appeal from a decision of Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) II holding that it has failed to cooperate with the Court in the arrest and surrender of Sudan’s President, Omar Al-Bashir. As is well known, Al-Bashir is presently…

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