North America

[Jennifer Trahan is a Professor at the NYU Center for Global Affairs.] On March 5, 2020, the International Criminal Court’s Appeals Chamber issued an extremely significant ruling authorizing the opening of the Afghanistan investigation.  The decision is important in that it confirms the Prosecutor’s discretion in evaluating whether or not to proceed “in the interests of justice” under Article 53(1)(c) of the Rome Statute, thereby allowing the Afghanistan...

[Siddharth S. Aatreya is an LLM Candidate in International Law at the University of Cambridge  and a General Editor of the Cambridge International Law Journal.] The Canadian Supreme Court’s decision in Nevsun Resources v. Araya has shone new light on the debate around the horizontal application of international law, particularly international human rights norms. With a 5-4 majority, the court held that Nevsun, a Vancouver-based...

Most readers will be familiar with the Caroline Affair. A group of Canadian rebels seized an American vessel and used it to transport ammunitions from the US to Canada. British forces raided the ship, burned it, killed two men, and sent its wreckage over the Niagara Falls. The incident gave rise to perhaps one of the most frequently quoted maxims in the law of use...

[Marina Aksenova is a Professor of Comparative Criminal and International Law, IE Law School Madrid and Linde Bryk is Legal Advisor - Bertha Justice Fellow, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.] On 11 December 2019, ECCHR together with a group of NGOs - Mwatana (Yemen), Rete Disarmo (Italy), Centre Delàs (Spain), the Campaign Against Arms Trade (UK) and Amnesty International Secretariat - submitted a...

Apple, Google (through its parent company Alphabet, Inc), Dell, Microsoft and Tesla have been named as defendants in what could be a landmark case pertaining to the use of child labour in the mining of cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The case, which is a  class complaint for injunctive relief and damages has been brought by the US based International Rights Advocates (IRA) on behalf...

Over at Just Security, my friend Adil Haque has written a fantastic post on self-defense and non-state actors. Adil’s main point is that Article 51 of the UN Charter does not apply to armed attacks by non-state actors given its “Latin American origin”. He explains how it should be read in accordance with the Act of Chapultepec, which referred only to inter-state uses of force. I highly...

On October 22, Jay Sekulow -- best known as one of Trump's lawyers -- filed a request to submit observations concerning the Afghanistan appeal on behalf of the European Centre for Law & Justice (ECLJ), the European branch of the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), an ultra-right NGO. The Appeals Chamber granted the request on October 24, despite...

"It is of utmost importance to the victims' families, as a matter of record, history, justice, and closure that the full truth be revealed and discovered." ---Mohamed Chande Othman On Monday the 7th of October the UN published its report, compiled by former Chief Justice of Tanzania, Mohamed Chande Othman, on the investigation into the mysterious circumstances resulting in tragic...

I sat down with Stephen Rapp, (formerly Chief of Prosecutions at the ICTR, Prosecutor at the SCSL, and US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice; now a Fellow at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Prevention of Genocide and Oxford University’s Blavatnik School) to talk about some of the burning issues in international criminal justice today.  There are very clear challenges...

[Anthony J. Colangelo, Gerald J. Ford Research Fellow and Professor of Law, SMU Dedman School of Law.] The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Gamble v. United States explicitly raised the question of double jeopardy in international cases by positing scenarios in which the United States may wish to successively prosecute after a prior prosecution in a foreign country for crimes occurring abroad. These cases...

[Catherine Savard is a LL.M. student at Université Laval and assistant coordinator of the Canadian Partnership for International Justice. While she collaborated to the legal analysis on genocide of Canada's National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, the present post is written in a personal capacity and entirely independent of the Inquiry’s works.] Canada’s National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) delivered its Final Report...

Ernesto J. Sanchez is an attorney in Miami, Florida who concentrates his practice on appellate and international dispute resolution matters. He is also the author of The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act Deskbook, published by the American Bar Association. As tensions between Iran and the United States continue, Opinio Juris readers will most likely consult the numerous superb legal commentaries on whether the United...