Syria

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The First Report of the OPCW’s Investigation and Identification Team on Syria

In April 2020, the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) formed by the Director General of the Organisation for Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to identify the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic released its First Report (First IIT Report). The IIT was established pursuant to a decision of the Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (Convention) taken on 27 June 2018 (27 June Decision). The First IIT Report, noting the lack of assistance information from Syrian authorities, relied upon individual interviews, documentary and photographic evidence, witness testimony, and forensic examination of samples collected from the attack sites as provided by local, regional and international actors (Annex 2-4) to support its findings. It concluded, inter alia, that there were reasonable grounds to believe that the Syrian Arab Air Force employed sarin and chlorine in attacks carried out on 24, 25 and 30 March 2017 in Ltamenah, Syria (First…

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New EJIL: Live! Interview with Dr Michelle Burgis-Kasthala

In this episode of EJIL: Live! Professor Joseph Weiler speaks with Dr Michelle Burgis-Kasthala, Lecturer in Public International Law at the University of Edinburgh Law School, about her article “Entrepreneurial Justice: Syria, the Commission for International Justice and Accountability and the Renewal of International Criminal Justice”, which appears in our 30:4 issue. In the article, Dr Burgis-Kasthala evaluates…

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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…

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Time to fix the Rome Statute and add the crime of starvation in non-international armed conflicts!

This week the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ASP) meets in The Hague for its 18th session. On the agenda is the Swiss proposal to amend Article 8 (“War crimes”) of the Rome Statute by adding a non-international armed conflict version of the war crime of starvation of…

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Turkey’s Military Operation in Syria: A Freedom of Expression Perspective

There is no doubt that Turkey’s use of force in Syria and the unfolding consequences thereof should generate much legal debate and analysis. The legal issues are broad. They cover primary norms under international law on the use of force, international humanitarian law, international human rights law and international refugee law. In addition, the relationship between the Turkish…

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