Weekend Roundup: August 11-24, 2012

by An Hertogen

With the start of the US academic year just around the corner, activity picked up here at Opinio Juris this week. There certainly wasn’t a shortage of international law items to discuss…

First, there is of course the diplomatic spat between the UK and Ecuador over Julian Assange’s extradition to Sweden. Once Kevin was done banging his head on the table after yet another news article confusing the ICJ and the ICC, he reposted Mark Klamberg’s discussion on the likelihood of Assange’s extradition from Sweden to the US. Julian argued that his notorious namesake has no right to safe passage out of the UK to take up diplomatic asylum in Ecuador, and assumed that Assange’s legal team must be bluffing with its threats of taking the case to the ICJ.

Then, there are the growing territorial tensions in Asia. Julian argued that Korea’s refusal to accept Japan’s invitation to have the ICJ settle their dispute over the Dokdo/Takeshima islands does not bode well for the future of international arbitration in Asia. He also posted about his recent article about China’s wariness towards international adjudication.

As always, Kevin kept us up to speed with the latest developments in international criminal law. He questioned why the UN’s Human Rights Council’s Commission for Inquiry on Libya did not investigate whether the rebels (Thuwar) committed the crime against humanity of persecution or even genocide against the Tawerghans. He also discussed why a non-state actor cannot – and should not be able to – challenge admissibility at the ICC.

Kevin also donned his advertiser hat; he plugged Sandy Sivakumaran’s book on the Law of Non-International Armed Conflict, welcomed Google’s tool visualizing small arms trade and gleefully announced that his current hometown, Melbourne, was voted the world’s most liveable city by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

In other posts, Kevin accused Israel’s Foreign Ministry of being tone-deaf for using apartheid rhetoric in response to South Africa’s decision that goods imported from the Occupied Palestinian Territories have to be labelled as such. Julian drew a parallel between the Bush Doctrine and Obama’s recent statement that the use of chemical or biological weapons in Syria could trigger a military response by the US and its allies. Peggy discussed the Pussy Riot sentence in Moscow, and Duncan published an update of his six essential international law cases for the classroom.

Finally, we also provided you with a list of upcoming events and weekday news wraps.

Have a nice weekend!


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