International Human Rights Law

Interested in how popular culture constructs narratives about torture?  Fascinated by the ticking time-bomb scenario? Like Battlestar Galactica and/or 24?  Then do I have an essay for you, written by my friend and colleague John Ip: This article is about two different narratives or accounts of torture. Each narrative signifies a certain view about the legality and wisdom of employing torture...

As part of its ongoing efforts to educate Americans about the national shame that is Guantanamo Bay, Amnesty International is touring the country with a replica of David Hicks' cell: AIUSA’s prison cell replica includes a steel toilet, florescent lights and a sliding metal door. In addition, visitors may record a 30-second reaction video that will be posted on youtube.com and...

As I predicted a few weeks ago, Judge Allred has refused to reconsider Hamdan's sentence in light of the Bush administration's argument that he was not entitled to credit for the time he served as an enemy combatant: A military judge has refused to reconsider the sentence of Osama bin Laden's former driver, forcing the Bush administration to either release a...

While the Bush Administration may have reconciled itself to leaving office with the detention center at Guantanamo Bay still up and running, the U.S. federal courts continue pushing the detainees’ cases ahead toward resolution. After briefing by the parties on their competing definitions of “enemy combatant,” U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon yesterday announced a ruling: Enemy combatant’ shall mean an...

With all the attention being paid to the pending genocide charges against Bashir, the media has largely ignored Moreno-Ocampo's recent announcement that he intends to seek an arrest warrant against rebel commanders in Darfur who are believed to be responsible for a vicious attack on AU peacekeepers in 2007: "In a couple of weeks I will present my third case against...

 The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Community Court of Justice has found that the West African state of Niger has violated its obligations to protect its citizens for slavery.  Specifically, Niger failed to prevent  Hadijatou Mani, who was sold into slavery at the age of 12 in 1996 for about £300 and regularly beaten and sexually abused.  The Court...

Last week the ICJ issued an order for provisional measures  (pdf is here) in the Case Concerning Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Georgia v. Russian Federation) . This case, along with the recent referral to the ICJ for an advisory opinion on the status of Kosovo, are the latest cases arising out of...

I'm just back from 9 days in Madrid -- my first visit, and it was great.  Of course, while there I couldn't ignore the international law-related story of the day.  Judge Baltasar Garzón (of Pinochet, al Qaeda, and Eta fame) is at it again.  This time he's agreed to open a criminal investigation into thousands of disappearances and executions surrounding...

It appears that there may have been some progress regarding the Prosecutor's ability to disclose the potentially exculpatory information to the defense -- progress that is not reflected in yesterday's decision.  According to a recent motion, the Prosecutor has received permission to turn over all of the disputed documents to the Trial Chamber in unredacted form, so that the judges...

The Lubanga fiasco continues.  Earlier today, the Appeals Chamber upheld the Trial Chamber's indefinite stay of the proceedings, but refused to order his immediate release, instead remanding the case to the Trial Chamber for further consideration of the issue. I have not had a chance to read the two -- typically lengthy -- decisions in any great detail, but these are...