Middle East

On Wednesday, a court in the UAE sentenced a PhD student at Durham University, Matthew Hedges, to life imprisonment for supposedly "spying" for the British government. There is no evidence to support the spying allegation, and both Hedges and the British government vociferously deny it. By all accounts, Hedges was simply in the UAE to research the country's foreign and...

[Victor Kattan is Senior Research Fellow of the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore where he heads the Transsystemic Law Cluster. He is also an Associate Fellow of NUS Law and an associate (non-resident) member of Temple Garden Chambers in London.] Palestine’s Application Instituting Proceedings against the United States of America (U.S.) at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 28 September has produced much commentary in a short...

The International Commission of Jurists organised a fascinating side-event yesterday at the Human Rights Council. Here is the ICJ's background statement: Particularly when crimes under international law are perpetrated on a large scale in situations of crisis, there is an urgent need to preserve evidence for use in eventual criminal proceedings, whether at the International Criminal Court or other national or...

This is a major development, one that I hope does not get lost in the welter of commentary on the Bemba acquittal. If you recall, in June 2012 the Libyan government detained four ICC officials who were in Zintan on official Court business: Melinda Taylor from the Office of Public Counsel for the Defence (OPCD), who had been provisionally appointed...

[Katayoun Hosseinnejad is a university lecturer of international law and attorney at law in Iran and Pouria Askary is an assistant professor of international law at law school of ATU and a visiting professor of law at Islamic Azad University and Tarbiat Modarres University.] On May 10, two days after the US President pulled his country out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of...

I had the pleasure of participating yesterday in a superb -- and long! -- panel on the 2013 siege of Eastern Ghouta. The panel discussed the facts, the law, and the politics of the siege. I was joined by Hussam Alkatlaby, the Executive Director of the Syrian Violations Documentation Centre; Joost Hiltermann, programme director for Middle East & North Africa at...

Opinio Juris readers might be interested in this letter from GLAN Legal -- the Global Legal Action Network -- to the Presidents and Attorneys General of Israel and Uganda. It was written by Itamar Mann, Yannis Kalpouzos, and Omer Shatz, with input from me. Here is the introduction: The Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) is an organization of lawyers initiating transnational...

You go to war with the President you have, not the President you wish you had. We should keep that basic truth in mind as the US inches ever closer to war with Syria -- and potentially with Russia, a far more terrifying possibility. Donald Trump does not care about civilians in Syria. He does not care about containing the spread...

Elena Chachko has an interesting post at Lawfare discussing Israel's recent public acknowledgement of what the international community has long known: that it was responsible for the 2007 attack on the Al-Kibar nuclear reactor in Syria. Although I agree with much of Chachko's post, I would take issue with what she says about how the failure of states to condemn...

[Elvina Pothelet is a Visiting Researcher at the Harvard Law School and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Geneva. This is the first part of a two-part post.] Last Friday, a car-ramming attack in the West Bank killed two Israeli soldiers and injured two others. While the suspect was apprehended shortly thereafter, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu pledged on Twitter to...