International Human Rights Law

[Clive Baldwin is a Senior Legal Advisor for the legal and policy office at Human Rights Watch.] UK nationals committed abuses in Iraq after 2003 on a significant scale. The International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) Final Report on the UK and Iraq on December 9 is the latest official report to find that members of UK armed forces subjected Iraqi detainees to abuse,...

[Marta Bo is a Researcher at the Graduate Institute (LAWS and War Crimes Project) and at the T.M.C. Asser Institute.] Meaningful Human Control is at the core of regulatory and ethical debates on autonomous weapon systems. In international discussions and writings, the problem of meaningful human control has been addressed from different angles: from philosophical, ethical and legal (here and here), to operational, cognitive and...

In my previous post, which was quite critical of the OTP's decision not to seek authorization to investigate British war crimes in Iraq, I made two central points. The first was that, pursuant to the Afghanistan appeals judgment, the OTP would not have needed to present the Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) with information concerning complementarity and the PTC would not have...

[Andreas Schueller is the Director of the International Crimes and Accountability Program at the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.] On 9 December 2020, the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague announced its decision to close the preliminary examination into alleged war crimes by British troops in Iraq between 2003 and 2009. The OTP explained...

[Vinai Kumar Singh is the Deputy Director of the Indian Society of International Law.] Thirty-four years have elapsed since the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development (UNDRD) was first adopted in 1986. The international law instrument to effectively operationalise the right to development is yet to come into existence. The draft Convention on the Right to Development (A/HRC/WG.2/21/2) (hereinafter “draft Convention”) along with commentaries (A/HRC/WG.2/21/2/Add.1, 20...

[Keaton Kidist Allen-Gessesse is a Johannesburg-based human rights lawyer with a focus on gender and sexual rights in Africa.]   As with all crises, it is the most marginalized amongst us who have disproportionately suffered the dire consequences of this global pandemic.   The world has watched in horror as internal migrants walked thousands of kilometers across India, African-Americans died of COVID-19 at frighteningly higher death rates,...

[Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane is an activist advocating for Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) rights. They are also a founding member of the Cheeky Natives Podcast.] The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global challenge that has exacerbated inequalities already prevalent in all regions of the world. In March 2020, the United Nations Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and...

[Justice Alfred Mavedzenge is a constitutional law academic and a legal adviser at the International Commission of Jurists, Africa Regional Programme.] Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, Zimbabwe and Eswatini had a well-established record of cracking down on freedom of expression. In both countries, criticising State authorities has in the past frequently earned human rights defenders a lengthy jail term, and at times even brutal...

[Tim Fish Hodgson is a Legal Adviser on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, International Commission of Jurists.] Part 1 of this blog, details how the Malawian High Court struck down lockdown Rules issued by the Minister of Health as ultra vires, contrary to the rule of law and in violation of the separation of powers. This strong stand taken by the Court to protect the rule of law...

[Tim Fish Hodgson is a Legal Adviser on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, International Commission of Jurists.] In August this year, Timothy Mtambo, now Minister of Civic Education and National Unity in Malawi, wrote that “we now have a judiciary that is more independent than at any other time in the history of Malawi”, noting that former President Mutharika, who was in office until late June 2020 attempted...

[Khanyo Farisè is a Legal Advisor at the International Commission of Jurists, Africa Regional Programme.] Healthcare workers have been at the forefront of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic playing a key role in saving lives. Sadly, being at the forefront of responding to COVID-19 has placed healthcare workers, the significant majority of whom are women, at increased risk of...