Category Archives: International Law

Via @ConversationUK – Twenty years after Srebrenica, ethnic cleansing has become a defence to genocide

Prof James A. Sweeney

James A. Sweeney (@James_Sweeney_) is Professor of International Law in the Law School at Lancaster University.  He has published widely in the areas of human rights and refugee law, and is the author of The European Court of Human Rights in the Post-Cold War Era: Universality in Transition, the first monograph to examine transitional justice in the jurisprudence of the ECHR.  His work on the human rights of failed asylum seekers, [2008] Public Law 277-301, has the distinction of being cited with approval both by the House of Lords and the Court of Appeal, in the cases of R (on the application of M) v Slough BC [2008] UKHL 52, [28], and SL v Westminster City Council [2011] EWCA Civ 954, [16].

You can find out more about James’ research at http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/law/profiles/james-sweeney

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Via @ConversationUK – How Osborne’s new cuts breach the UK’s human rights obligations

Dr Amanda Cahill-Ripley

Amanda Cahill-Ripley (@AmandaCahillRip) is a Lecturer in Law and author of The Human Right to Water and its Application in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Routledge, 2013 (paperback).  Her main research interests are international human rights, in particular economic and social rights; human rights, conflict and transitional justice; rights and development.

You can find out more about Amanda’s research at http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fass/law/profiles/amanda-cahill-ripley

A Stern Warning

Professor David Campbell

Under the Climate Change Act 2008, the UK has made a binding commitment to an immensely ambitious and costly programme of ‘decarbonisation’ so that (let us allow for the purposes of argument) its anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 will be 80% less than they were in 1990. Putting aside the myriad other issues which an assessment of the wisdom of this commitment must take into account, its basic rationality depends on the likelihood of other countries making comparable commitments. Decarbonisation is intended to mitigate global warming. But global warming is, precisely, a global issue. Continue reading

An image of the interior of the court chamber of the European Court of Human Rights , with the judges' blue seats arranged in a large horseshoe

Part II: The Impact of the ECtHR Ruling in the Case of Maktouf and Damjanovic vs Bosnia and Herzegovina: On Transitional Justice in B-H

Maja Kapetanovic

Part Two: Political Impact

In July of 2013 the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued a ruling in the case Maktouf and Damjanovic vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina, concerning the non-retroactive application of criminal law to war crimes cases, which had tremendous negative consequences on post conflict justice efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B-H). The case concerned two applicants (Maktouf and Damjanovic), convicted for war crimes against civilians committed during the 1992-1995 war in B-H, who successfully claimed that their sentencing violated Article 7 ECHR because the 2003 Bosnian Criminal Code was retroactively applied to them (the case is discussed in more detail in a previous Lancaster Law blog by Prof. James A. Sweeney, and in his recent journal on ‘Non-retroactivity, candour and transitional relativism’). This blog post will deal the political fallout from this case in B-H. My previous post examined the legal consequences.

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White marble pillar gravestones marking the graves of victims of the Srebrenica massacre

The Impact of the ECtHR Ruling in the Case of Maktouf and Damjanovic v Bosnia and Herzegovina: Transitional Justice in B-H

Maja Kapetanovic

Part One: Legal Impact

In July of 2013 the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued a ruling in the case Maktouf and Damjanovic vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina, concerning the non-retroactive application of criminal law to war crimes cases, which had tremendous negative consequences on post conflict justice efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B-H).

Part II is available here.

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The rule of law is the common sense of global politics: often appealed to but seldom understood

Prof Christopher May

The rule of law is often presented as preferable to the rule of men or the rule of force, and in the last couple of decades has become a central part of the common sense of global politics; an unquestioned statement about the world in which we live. To understand its appeal we need to recognise that it can mean different things to different people, but also that its central normative elements underpin the dominant view of the operation of the global market economy.

As I set out in my recent book The Rule of Law: The Common Sense of Global Politics there is a continuing debate about the rule of law might actually mean, but it is easy to identify some key relatively consensual elements:

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Independence Referendums in Catalonia and Crimea: understanding the democratic right of secession in international law?

Prof Steven Wheatley

The Catalonia regional government has signalled its intention to go ahead with a vote on independence on 9 November despite the opposition of the central government in Madrid. The vote has been modified in light of restrictions imposed by the Spanish courts, and will now be organised by volunteers, without any formal electoral roll. The vote in Catalonia follows the referendum in Scotland (where the population voted ‘No’ to independence) and the hastily arranged and badly organized referendums in the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk or Luhansk (‘Yes’ to independence or greater autonomy – the question on the ballot is unclear) and Ukrainian region of Crimea (‘Yes’ to becoming a federal subject within the Russian Federation).

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