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International Legal News

Weekly update: 16 – 22 June 2020.

The following media round up of international legal and foreign policy issues from around the world for the period 16 – 22 June 2020.

The Guernica Group will provide weekly media updates from the International Criminal Court, European Court of Human Rights, United Nations, European Union and other sources. Should you wish to contribute or submit a media summary, opinion piece or blog, please send to Nenad Vucijak for consideration.

Israel/Palestine – 16 June

The agreement by the new coalition Government of Israel to annex significant parts of the occupied Palestinian West Bank after 1 July would violate a cornerstone principle of international law and must be meaningfully opposed by the international community, according to a statement issued by forty-seven of the independent Special Procedures mandates appointed by the UN Human Rights Council.

Austria – 17 June

The European Court of Human Rights held a Grand Chamber hearing by videoconference in the case of Kurt v. Austria. The applicant in this case alleged that the Austrian authorities had failed to protect her and her two children from her violent husband, the children’s father, whom she had reported to the police for domestic violence and who killed their son in 2012 before committing suicide.

Syria – 17 June

The US has imposed tough new economic sanctions aimed at deterring foreign business activity with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government. The measures in the Caesar Act seek to compel the government to “halt its murderous attacks” on civilians and accept a peaceful political transition.

International Criminal Court – 19 June

From 22 to 24 June 2020, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court will hold a partially virtual hearing in the case of The Prosecutor v. Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Ble Coude to hear the observations of Parties and Participants on the Prosecutor’s appeal against the acquittal decision in the case. The Chamber will make its judgment on this appeal at a later stage.

United States/South Africa – 20 June

In the midst of anti-racism protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, the American Bar Association has drawn fierce criticism over its announcement that former South African president FW de Klerk will speak about “rule of law, constitutional democracy, minority rights, social change, racism and global security” at its upcoming 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting.

China – 22 June

According to Human Rights Watch, European Union leaders should use the forthcoming EU-China summit to press for an end to Beijing’s grave and systemic human rights violations. The 22nd EU-China summit will be held virtually, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, on 22 June 2020.

Libya – 22 June

Libya’s UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) has denounced Egypt’s warning of military intervention in Libya, labelling it a “declaration of war.”

Morocco – 22 June

NSO Group, the Israeli company marketing its technology in the fight against Covid-19, contributed to a sustained campaign by the government of Morocco to spy on Moroccan journalist Omar Radi, a new investigation by Amnesty International reveals.

Syria – 22 June

A Syrian doctor living in Germany has been arrested on suspicion of crimes against humanity in his country of origin, prosecutors have said, in the latest German move against suspected war crimes in Syria.

The suspect, identified as Alaa M, is accused of having “tortured a detainee…in at least two cases” at a prison run by the Syrian intelligence service in the city of Homs in 2011, according to German federal prosecutors.


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