Author: Kristen E. Boon

With the end of Ban Ki-Moon’s term on the horizon, discussions about the next UN Secretary General, and more importantly how that person should be chosen, have moved front and center. A joint letter by the Presidents of the GA and Security Council was released on December 15, which sets forth a slightly new process.  It states:  “[The Presidents] will...

The focus of Ruti’s article is the developing primary norm of the “right to accountability”, which derives from international jurisprudence associated with disappearances. Ruti describes the core content of this right as one that “implies a set of obligations on the state, largely read into prevailing treaty rights protections involving personal security, such as the right to life, whether under...

The Compendium of the 2014 UN High Level Review of Sanctions, including its 150 recommendations, is now available here on the UN Website.  The Document number is A/69/941 - S/2015/432.  The review, sponsored by Australia, Finland, Germany, Greece and Sweden, took place from May -  November 2014, and involved a series of meetings between Member States, the Secretariat as well...

If you haven’t seen it yet, the US recently filed its amicus brief in the Haiti Cholera appeal - it is available here: Haiti US amicus 2nd Circ. Predictably, the brief makes the case for absolute external UN immunity, and advances largely the same arguments put forward in prior filings. And yet, there are a number of powerful counterarguments to the position...

My colleagues at the Diplomacy School have just alerted me to an interesting new opportunity.  All who are interested should apply.  Here is the job ad: The School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professor position in international human rights law to commence in the 2016-2017 academic year. Applicants must possess a...

13 of the 15 members of the UN Security Council met yesterday to address LGBT issues for the first time in a closed session chaired by Chile and the US.     The focus was on persecution of gays in Syria and Iraq.    As an Arria-formula meeting, the discussion was confidential, however news reports after indicate the group discussed the Islamic State’s...

Kimberly Prost, the current UN Ombudsperson, will be leaving her post in mid-July when her term expires.   However, no replacement has been appointed, nor has the UN implemented a transition plan for her eventual successor.   The issue of what will happen to the current cases before the office, or to individuals who are unlucky enough to apply for delisting after...

Eyewitness.org has released a new app that creates a secure “digital locker” for those who seek to record digital evidence of atrocity crimes for eventual use in by courts. The app has been produced by the International Bar Association and the legal services division of Lexis Nexis.   Information is available here.    The app was developed after controversies regarding the...

Plaintiffs have appealed the January 9, 2015 decision of the Southern District of New York, that the United Nations is immune in the case Delama Georges et al. The appeal brief, filed by the International Institute for Justice in Haiti, is available here: Georges v UN - Principal Appellate Brief 5.28 Final. The contentions on appeal are as follows: 1.  Whether the...

On May 27, 2015 Mr. Dire Tladi of South Africa was appointed Special Rapporteur for a new topic on the International Law Commission's agenda:  jus cogens.  The progressive development and codification of jus cogens principles marks a significant step forward.  For many years it was considered, as Ian Brownlie once quipped, "like the car that never left the garage."  The ILC's...

There are two important new reports up on the International Law Commission's website. First, Sean Murphy’s First Report on Crimes Against Humanity is now available.  The UN Doc symbol is A/CN.4/680; link to the report here. The report is a terrific overview of the current gaps in the international legal architecture, and maps out steps towards a future convention.   The report also proposes...

A new report entitled “Nuclear Weapons: the State of Play 2015” makes for very sober reading. The authors are Gareth Evans, Tanya Ogilvie-White and Ramesh Thakur, and the report was written for the upcoming NPT review conference. Gareth Evans is on a world-tour releasing the report, and yesterday I saw him at the International Peace Institute in New York. You can...