Security Council

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UN Security Council Referrals to the ICC and the Principle of Legality

Introduction On 1 November 2021, the Appeals Chamber (AC) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) rendered an interesting judgment relating to a jurisdictional challenge brought by the Defence in the case of Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rhaman (“Ali Kushayb”). The challenge is noteworthy because it confronted the Court with novel issues of law relating to the basis and extent of its jurisdiction in cases of UN Security Council Referrals (as provided for in art 13(b) of the Rome Statute, RS). Even though it rejected all challenges, the AC did clarify important legal issues corrected some of the reasoning of the Pre-Trial Chamber II. In essence, this decision is about the application of the principle of legality or nullum crimen sine lege before the ICC in situations in a non-party state referred to it by the UN Security Council (UNSC). The reasoning provided for in the judgment clarifies several pertinent issues regarding the basis, scope and extent of its jurisdiction in these cases. The fact that Judge Ibáñez’s expressed a separate opinion for…

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The Endless War Against Human Rights in Afghanistan: Human Rights Defenders’ Joint Statement of Solidarity with the People of Afghanistan

Today, the 31st of August 2021, marks the official deadline for withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan after twenty years of military presence initially motivated by the 9/11 attacks of Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden.  Many have written (including Henry Kissinger) about the failures of American foreign policy and its efforts at nation-building…

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Passing the Buck? The UN Security Council’s Undue Reliance on ASEAN to Defuse the Myanmar Crisis

After the UN Special Envoy's highly-charged report to the UN Security Council of "widespread, systematic attacks on civilians in Myanmar" and the continuum of unabated atrocities against peaceful protesters, children, journalists, among other unarmed victims of Myanmar's rapid descent away from democracy towards 'failed state' status, it is readily observable that the 10…

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Could the General Assembly Exclude Myanmar from the UN by Refusing to Recognise the Credentials of its Ruling Military Junta?

Earlier this month, Myanmar’s military seized power from the democratically elected government in a dramatic coup d’état.  State Counsellor Aung San Suy Kyi was arrested alongside other government ministers, parliamentarians and activists.  The military’s Commander-in-Chief, who a UN Fact-Finding mission said in 2018 should be prosecuted for crimes under international law, is running the country.    …

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United in What? Some reflections on the Security Council’s sovereignty rhetoric in the latest Syria resolutions

The Security Council’s (SC) decision-making process on the renewal of humanitarian assistance for Syria caused a lot of unease amongst observers of the situation. Only a day after the previous aid program had expired, could a new agreement on the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Syrian people be reached. While the debates leading up to the…

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