"An argument has evolved over decades, in India, the US, the Commonwealth
Caribbean and most recently in Africa, that imposing the ultimate and
irreversible penalty of death, without considering the particular
circumstances of the offence and the offender, and without allowing any
possibility for mitigation, is unconstitutional. It amounts to cruel and
inhuman punishment and it violates the right to a fair trial, including
the right to a fair sentence. It also violates the separation of
powers, because by denying the courts any discretion on sentence, it
deprives them of an essential judicial function, the imposition of an
appropriate sentence for each offence."
It is a lengthy judgment (146 pages / 524 paragraphs) and reveals much of the horror of the conflict. The court first decided (11 judges to 6) that its jurisdiction to entertain Croatia's claim extended to before 27th April 1992. The court then decided (15 to 2) to reject Croatia's claim and unanimously dismissed Serbia's counter claim.
"Since ancient times, every village, town, city and nation-state has come to recognize that a peaceful society requires: (1) laws, (2) courts, and (3) a system of effective law enforcement. To the extent these three conditions are met, there is relative tranquility; to the extent they are absent, there is turmoil."
The article is as valid today as when it was written. “The Road to World Peace” is
abbreviated from Dr. Ferencz’s book - A Common Sense Guide to World Peace. Benjamin Ferencz served as a US Prosecutor at the Nuremburg war crimes
trials and as director of post-war restitution procedures providing
compensation to survivors of Nazi atrocities. He is the author of the
prize-winning book Less Than Slaves and was Adjunct Professor
of International Law at Pace University.
The Al-Sweady Inquiry - set up by the previous Labour government under the Chairmanship of Sir Thayne Forbes - has now reported.and the report was laid before Parliament on Wednesday 17 December 2014. See The
Report, Executive Summary and Chairman's Statement.
The Supreme Court of the UK has dismissed an appeal against the Home Secretary's exclusion from the UK of dissident Iranian politician Maryam Rajavi. The majority justices were Lord Neuberger (President); Lady Hale (Deputy President); Lord Clarke and Lord Sumption. Lord Kerr dissented.
In essence, the court's role was limited to examination of whether the Home Secretary had acted lawfully. It was held that that was so. There was no basis on which the court was able to substitute its own opinion for that of the constitutionally appointed decision-maker on this matter.
Throughout the summer of 2014, the movement known by names such as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) , Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or Islamic State (IS) has perpetuated unfathomable and hideous brutality in the Middle East - principally in Iraq and eastern Syria. (On the various names see here). This movement is not a State so far as international law is concerned though it seeks to impose a "caliphate" on that area of the middle east.
The Iran tribunal - covered on this blog in a number of posts - issued its reasoned judgment on 5th February 2013. Please see Youtube for The Final and Reasoned judgment of the Iran tribunal. The video (dated 15th March 2013) lasts 41 minutes. Following an introduction by John Cooper QC, South African Judge Johann Kriegler pointed out that Iran ignored an invitation to be a party to the tribunal. This added a burden to the tribunal's deliberations since it wished to produce a fair judgment. Nevertheless, Judge Kriegler described the evidence that was produced as 'cogent, logically interrelated and corroborative' and 'horrifying.' He describes how he approached the case with a 'jaundiced ear and a jaundiced eye' but became convinced of the truthfulness of the evidence.
The full written judgment is available here (Word Document).
"To investigate and report on the allegations made by the
claimants in the Al- Sweady judicial review proceedings against British
soldiers of (1) unlawful killing at Camp Abu Naji on 14 and 15 May 2004,
and (2) the ill-treatment of five Iraqi nationals detained at Camp Abu
Naji and subsequently at the divisional temporary detention facility at
Shaibah Logistics Base between 14 May and 23 September 2004, taking
account of the investigations which have already taken place, and to
On 21 March 2013, at its 22nd session, the United Nations Human
Rights Council established the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights
in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
Resolution A/HRC/RES/22/13 mandated
the body to investigate the systematic, widespread and grave
violations of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea,
with a view to ensuring full accountability, in particular for
violations which may amount to crimes against humanity.
Among the violations to be investigated are those pertaining to the
right to food, those associated with prison camps, torture and inhuman
treatment, arbitrary detention, discrimination, freedom of expression,
the right to life, freedom of movement, and enforced disappearances,
including in the form of abductions of nationals of other States. Read more about the Commission...
The Commission's report and supporting documentation is HERE.
Although North Korea has been referred to as The Hidden Gulag the world has no excuse any longer to claim lack of knowledge of the North Korean situation of today.
The Democratic People's Republic of North Korea did not co-operate with the Commission's investigation. The Commission shared its findings with the North Korean government.
There are no aspects of modern life untouched by law. My main interests are criminal law, constitutional law, human rights, family law, European Union law and some aspects of international law.
In law, the word "obiter", refers to remarks which are "by the way." My own comments are also "by the way" - I write about events which happen to interest me. I do not seek to dictate or even to persuade: merely to comment and inform and this blog must never be used as a substitute for professional legal advice.
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