International Human Rights Law

Shocking: An Army prosecutor has resigned from the Guantánamo war court in a crisis of conscience over plans to try a young Afghan accused of throwing a grenade rather than settle the case out of court, according to an affidavit filed with the court Wednesday. Army Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld, a reservist from the Pittsburgh area, becomes the fourth known prosecutor to...

The New York Times and Washington Post (and lots of other places) report today (Saturday, September 20, 2008) that the two senior executives of the Human Rights Watch Americas Division, executive director Jose Miguel Vivanco and deputy director Daniel Wilkinson, were detained by Venezuelan security personnel in Caracas and placed on a plane to Brazil.  From the NYT: Armed men in uniforms...

This past month I received an email sent to over 60 law professors inviting us to join an amicus brief. The case is before the D.C. Circuit and involves the important issue of corporate responsibility for human rights violations under international law. The email was sent at approximately midnight on a Monday night and invited a distinguished group...

I had the pleasure this past Friday to moderate a conference at Pepperdine on social entrepreneurship that featured Matt Flannery, co-founder of Kiva, one of the leading microfinance organizations on the Internet. There is so much I could say about Kiva and Flannery's remarks, but let me just highlight a few points that were raised by his discussion. First, the...

Opinio Juris is pleased to welcome Daniel Seidemann as a guest blogger this week to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the future of Jerusalem. Daniel is the founder and legal advisor for Ir Amim, a non-profit, non-partisan association dedicated to an equitable, stable and sustainable Jerusalem. Ir Amim (“City of Nations” or “City of Peoples”) was founded in...

Kristen’s last post concludes by opening the giant can of worms at the heart of international human rights law: “Farer’s analogy [between recent U.S. counterterrorism measures and Latin American practices in the 1980’s] shows weaknesses in the [human rights] compliance system generally…. [B]ecause it remains an issue of domestic competence as to whether human rights are enforced in the face...

There’s so much domestic news these days it would’ve been easy to miss Eric Lichtblau’s story in yesterday’s New York Times about legislation introduced in Congress just before the August recess that would substantially define the scope of the United States’ war with Al Qaeda, et al. Indeed, it’s not clear why the Times itself finally just realized the significance...

My blogging has slowed down the past couple of weeks, because I've been traveling and finishing a book chapter that criticizes Moreno-Ocampo's approach to deciding which situations to investigate.  (See my previous post.)  But I would be remiss if I did not mention this interesting piece of news -- the Fifth Circuit has reversed the district court's dismissal of the...

The Guardian seems to think so: A coalition of human rights lawyers, academics and leading non-governmental organisations (NGOs) has begun openly to criticise the competence and conduct of the prosecutor of the international criminal court, the Argentinian Luis Moreno-Ocampo. Their concerns follow his announcement last month that it is to seek an arrest warrant for genocide against the Sudanese president, and...

The blog Futurismic as an interesting post on "viral sovereignty." According to a recent Washington Post op-ed by Richard Holbrooke and Laurie Garrett:  This extremely dangerous idea comes to us courtesy of Indonesia’s minister of health, Siti Fadilah Supari, who asserts that deadly viruses are the sovereign property of individual nations — even though they cross borders and could pose a pandemic threat...