Author: Priya Pillai

The Kulbhushan Jadhav case – between India and Pakistan at the International Court of Justice – will be decided today. India initiated proceedings  before the ICJ on May 8, 2017 relating to the arrest, detention and sentencing to death of Jadhav.  While the facts are disputed, here are the basics: Pakistan alleges that Jadhav is a serving Indian naval officer, who at...

The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, released her report into the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last Wednesday. The report traces with careful detail the run up to, and the eventual extrajudicial execution of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey, analyzing the available evidence and applicable international law.  The release of the...

[This post appeared in The Interpreter published by the Lowy Institute in Sydney earlier today] On 17 July 2014, Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, and 298 people were killed. The majority of the fatalities were Dutch citizens, followed by those of Malaysian and Australian nationality. A Joint Investigative Team (“JIT”) was established with members of five countries to conduct a...

Six United Nations Special Rapporteurs released a statement last week, urging the dropping of charges against an American aid worker for aiding migrants in the Arizona desert. A day later, I read an op-ed on the increased criminalization of humanitarian aid in the European context. While this issue seems to be the subject of increased scrutiny lately, there have been multiple...

Cases from across the globe have epitomised the crime of enforced disappearance, the most high-profile recently being the disappearance and killing of journalist Jamal Kashoggi. The abduction of the head of Interpol in China is another dramatic instance. Recently, families of individuals from Kuwait who were disappeared by the Iraqi army have been in the news, and there have been mass...

There have been few cases emanating from the Middle East at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Referring to the Gulf states (and excluding Iran), the only other contentious case filed at the ICJ has been Qatar v Bahrain in relation to maritime boundaries in 2001. However, the recent case between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is worth keeping...

Truth commissions have been in the news of late. A truth commission in The Gambia has started its work recently. In Tunisia, the Truth and Dignity Commission has just issued a report, four years after its establishment. In countries such as Nepal and Colombia, truth commissions (or variations thereof) are mired in controversy and have severe challenges. What is clear is that truth...

A few hours ago, in the early hours of 26 February, news started trickling in of an Indian Air Force strike in Pakistani territory. There have been ominous rumblings of some form of retaliation for a suicide attack carried out on 14 February 2019, in which 40 Indian paramilitary soldiers were killed in Kashmir, and for which the Pakistani based terror...

Earlier this month, I attended the opening ceremony of an exhibit on “Women and War” at a museum in the Philippines. A survivor of war time atrocities, Lola Estelita, spoke about her experiences, moving many in the audience to tears. Many other survivors of wartime sexual slavery and atrocities – called the “Lolas” or grandmothers – are now no longer...

This week has seen news of potential use of amnesty laws in three countries – the Central African Republic, Guatemala, and Venezuela. Here, nuances are important to highlight. In CAR, with the peace agreement under wraps initially, early news reports indicated the push for a ‘blanket’ amnesty, i.e. exemption from international crimes, including crimes against humanity and war crimes. Other reports...