General

[Sheila Paylan is an international human rights lawyer and former legal advisor for the United Nations.] On 3 December 2020, the French National Assembly joined the French Senate in passing resolutions nearly unanimously calling on the French government to recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and use such recognition as an instrument of negotiations for the establishment of a sustainable peace. The French Parliament thus became the first...

[Nasia Hadjigeorgiou is an Assistant Professor in Transitional Justice and Human Rights at UCLan Cyprus. Her monograph, published by Hart in 2020, focuses on the protection of human rights as a peacebuilding tool in four post-violence societies (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Northern Ireland and South Africa).] The Committee on Missing Persons The Committee on Missing Persons (CMP or Committee) in Cyprus is an institution that was formally established in...

[Lucy Geddes is an Australian human rights lawyer and is currently the head of Legal Action Worldwide’s Sri Lanka office.] On  19 November 2020, the Australian Chief of Defence Force announced the findings of Brereton Report which allege the existence of credible evidence of war crimes perpetrated by the Australian Defence Force in Afghanistan. The release of the Report, following a four year inquiry commissioned by the...

[Audrey Wabwire is A Nairobi-based media manager at Human Rights Watch.] What’s the path to justice after years of conflict, during which widespread atrocities were committed? This is a question that South Sudan, the world’s youngest country, confronts. After nearly seven years of conflict ended with the signing of a peace deal in September 2018, South Sudan finally established a transitional national unity government earlier this...

The International Court of Justice has just issued a press release, relating to the implementation of provisional measures orders before the court. This new development is important, and relates directly to The Gambia v Myanmar, before the court currently, and a case in which the ICJ has issued an order for provisional measures on 23 January 2020.  What’s new? First, a bit about the development. Based...

[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...

By Laura Knöpfel (Senior Research Fellow Transnational Law Institute, Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London) and Carlos López (Senior Legal Adviser, International Commission of Jurists) With the rejection of the popular Business Responsible Initiative (RBI) in Switzerland, the parliamentary counterproposal is due to enter into force soon. The counterproposal introduces a new article 964 in the Swiss Code of Obligations to require...

Justice as Message is 436-page is a detailed exploration of justice as a message, including the various forms, messaging can take. Of particular interest to me was chapter 6, “International criminal law as expressivist justice-meanings, implications and critiques.” Stahn opens this chapter by stating that “expressivist practices have a larger space in international criminal justice than traditionally assumed.” Whether we like it or not, in the business of...

[Priya Urs is a PhD Candidate at the Faculty of Laws, University College London, where her doctoral research addresses the application of the gravity criterion for admissibility at the International Criminal Court. (priya.urs.17@ucl.ac.uk)] Carsten Stahn’s Justice as Message introduces and examines the myriad manifestations of expression in the field of international criminal justice. The contribution of the book is its ambitious inquiry into the use of expressivism as a...

By Laura Knöpfel (Senior Research Fellow Transnational Law Institute, Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London) and Carlos López (Senior Legal Adviser, International Commission of Jurists) On 29th November 2020, Switzerland narrowly rejected the popular Responsible Business Initiative (RBI) which would have obliged Swiss companies and the businesses they control anywhere in the world to respect human rights and environmental standards and introduced civil...

[Marina Aksenova is a Professor of international and comparative criminal law at IE University, Madrid, email: marina.aksenova@ie.edu.] I enjoyed reading Carsten Stahn’s Justice as Message (OUP, 2020). The work presents a carefully weaved tapestry of ideas surrounding the concept of expressivism in international criminal law. The book is undertaking an impressive task of bridging a normative gap between the ambition of international criminal law and its reality...