UJAR 2021: The impact of coronavirus on universal jurisdiction

The year 2020 will remain in memories, by and large, as a period unlike any other. The covid-19 pandemic has turned around countless lives, and continues to do so as we write these lines. State institutions worldwide, including judicial bodies, have had to drastically change their functioning and priorities. With so many activities coming to a brutal halt, have cases related to universal jurisdiction also stalled? Luckily, far from it.
A rally in front of the Paliament

Call It Like It Is: The Genocide in Xinjiang

This article explores China’s treatment of its Uyghur minority population in Xinjiang. It relies on news reports from recognized news agencies as well as a recent report by the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy and the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights (Newlines Report), which is based on public and leaked government communications, eyewitness testimony, and open-source research methods. These sources are assumed to be generally accurate in order to explore the international legal implications.
The International Criminal Court entrance sign at the ICC building

Negotiated Justice in the ICC: Following the Al Mahdi case, a Proposal to Enforce the Rights of the Accused

The International Criminal Court (ICC), with the case of Mr Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi (“Al Mahdi case”), faced negotiated justice for the first time in its history. In this article I will be proposing amendments to the Rome Statute (“Statute”), to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence (“Rules”) and to the Regulations of the Court (“Regulations”). This proposal is based on the issues arising out of the Al Mahdi Judgment.
Qatar United Arab Emirates Puzzle

A Narrowed Scope of “National Origin” Discrimination under CERD by the International Court of Justice

On February 4, 2021, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a rare case on discrimination in international human rights law, decided to narrow the protection provided by the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) by formally characterizing a complex claim of racial discrimination made on the ground of national origin as one based on “current nationality” and not “national origin”.
Thousands of Hong Kongers held vigils

Hong Kong’s Struggle for Liberation and Democracy

“Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Times”. The use of this slogan frequently employed during protests as a call for Hong Kong’s independence is now considered to constitute the criminal offence of “secession” under the National Security Law (NSL). This law came into force by way of executive promulgation in China, essentially by-passing approval through the Hong Kong legislature and escaping public scrutiny.
Book cover Robinson

An Interview with Darryl Robinson on “Justice in Extreme Cases: Criminal Law Theory Meets International Criminal Law”

An Interview with Darryl Robinson on “Justice in Extreme Cases: Criminal Law Theory Meets International Criminal Law” One of our editors, Joseph Rikhof, posed questions to Professor Darryl Robinson of Queen’s University about his new book.
The International Criminal Court in Hague

Dominic Ongwen convicted by the International Criminal Court

On February 4, 2021, the trial chamber issued its judgment in the Dominic Ongwen case, a senior commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) under Joseph Kony. In a very lengthy judgment (1077 pages and 3116 paragraphs), he was convicted of 61 of the original 70 charges related to war crimes and crimes against humanity. (paragraph 3116) The trial chamber also issued an order setting the hearing dates for sentencing for the week of April 12-16, 2021.
Illustration of a conflict concept between Georgia and Russia

Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights In the case of Georgia vs. Russia

On 21 January 2021, the European Court of Human Rights delivered a judgment in the case of Georgia vs. Russia. Georgia had lodged an application in the context of the armed conflict that occurred between Georgia and the Russian Federation in August 2008. It thus took the Court 12 years to come to a judgment – another example of the excessive length of proceedings before the Court.
Silhouettes of refugees people

The “Unknown” Child – Zhao V. The Netherlands Brings to Light Problems with Statelessness Procedures

Denny Zhao v. Netherlands – a December 2020 decision of the UN Human Rights Committee - is being lauded as a significant advance towards ending childhood statelessness. The case reflects the strategic efforts of various advocates following a 2011 UNHCR report which revealed that 83,000 people in the Netherlands were registered as having an ‘unknown nationality’, a designation which left them in an ongoing state of limbo.
Hassan Diab

The Hassan Diab Case: Injustice expands, need for redress and reform deepens

It is the latest outlandish development in a thirteen-year saga of injustice and utter disregard for key human rights norms that has been Kafkaesque at every turn. In a crushing decision that defies fundamental precepts of justice, and in the face of not even a scintilla of credible and reliable evidence, a French appeal court ruled on January 27 that Canadian citizen Hassan Diab should indeed face trial on charges related to a harrowing synagogue bombing in Paris four decades ago. What happens next is not yet clear.
EOD officials are investigating evidence

The “Accountability Turn” in the Global Struggle Against Impunity: What Does this Mean for Canada?

Researchers at University of Oxford are conducting a study to determine whether some form of permanent investigative mechanism should be created to support investigations of international criminal law offenses or “core crimes” (crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide).
International Court of Justice Building in Netherlands

Important développement dans l’affaire dite « des biens mal acquis » : Arrêt de la Cour internationale de Justice dans Guinée équatoriale c. France

Le 11 décembre 2020, la Cour internationale de Justice (ci après « la CIJ » ou « la Cour ») a rendu son arrêt dans l’affaire Immunités et procédures pénales (Guinée équatoriale c. France) introduite le 13 juin 2016.
Sad Yemeni girl

Some recent remarks to the UN Security Council on the Situation in Yemen by the United Nations Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen

On 3 December 2020, the United Nations (UN) Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen (the Group) presented its third annual report to members of the UN Security Council to help integrate the human rights dimension of the conflict in Yemen more fully into its agenda. On 29 September 2017, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) requested the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to establish the Group.
Cos_s Bazer

A Commentary on the mandate of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar

The Human Rights Council resolution 39/2, adopted in September 2018, established “an ongoing independent mechanism to collect, consolidate, preserve and analyze evidence of the most serious international crimes and violations of international law committed in Myanmar since 2011, and to prepare files in order to facilitate and expedite fair and independent criminal proceedings, in accordance with international law standards, in national, regional or international courts or tribunals that have or may in the future have jurisdiction over these crimes, in accordance with international law.”
Two puzzle pieces with the flags of USA and Canada

The United States is not a Safe Third Country?

On October 26, 2020, the Federal Court of Appeal ordered a stay (FCA2020) of the July judgment Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) v. Canada (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship) (FC2020) where McDonald J of the Federal Court struck down provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and regulations that implemented the “Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America For Cooperation in the Examination of Refugee Status Claims from Nationals of Third Countries” (STCA) under s. 7 of the Charter but suspended her declaration for six months.
The International Criminal Court entrance sign at the ICC building

ICC Moot Court Competition 2020: Mooting Whether Social Media Posts Can Constitute Incitement of Genocide and the Scope of Liability for Social Media Executives

Can posts made on social media amount to incitement of genocide? What is the scope of liability when social media posts have real life consequences? And how does the International Criminal Court (ICC) establish jurisdiction over a crime that occurs in cyberspace?
Exterior of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in Leidschendam

Does the Special Court for Lebanon have jurisdiction over three attacks “connected” to the Hariri assassination?

Now that the Trial Chamber of the Special Court for Lebanon (STL) has issued its decision in its main case, the Ayyash et al. case about the assassination of Harari in 2005, and while the Trial Chamber is deliberating the sentence for the only person convicted, Salim Jamil Ayyah, attention has turned to the “another” Ayyash case.