International Legal News

Weekly update: 11 – 14 December 2020 The following media round up on international and foreign policy issues from around the world for the period of 11 – 14 December 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 Ned Vucijak for consideration.


Lithuania – 11 December 2020

The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania has asked the European Court of Human Rights to provide an advisory opinion on impeachment legislation, a question which is at issue in a case currently pending in Lithuania.

https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng-press#{%22itemid%22:[%22003-6882811-9233735%22]} Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) – 11 December 2020

A UN expert on water and human rights today expressed concerns about the creation of the world’s first futures market in water, saying it could invite speculation from financiers who would trade it like other commodities such as gold and oil.

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=26595&LangID=E Cambodia – 11 December 2020

UN human rights experts expressed alarm at the decision by Cambodian authorities to allow the publication of personal information about individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, which is unnecessary under any circumstances, and a deplorable breach of privacy.

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=26599&LangID=E Italy/Egypt – 11 December 2020

After nearly five years of investigations, Italian prosecutors announced that they have collected sufficient evidence to charge four Egyptian security officials, including senior officers from Egypt’s abusive National Security Agency for the 2016 kidnapping, torture, and murder of Italian researcher Giulio Regeni in Cairo.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/12/11/italy-charges-egyptian-security-forces-giulio-regenis-murder European Union (EU) - 11 December 2020

The European Union (EU) caved into pressure and granted another concession to Hungary and Poland’s rights-abusing leaders in order to reach a deal on the EU budget. Germany, in one of its last acts as rotating EU president, brokered the compromise with an “interpretative declaration” that ties the European Commission’s hands when it comes to conditioning EU funding upon respect for the rule of law.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/12/11/eu-favors-autocrats-over-values International Criminal Court (ICC) – 14 December 2020

On 14 December 2020, the nineteenth session of the Assembly of State Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened at the World Forum Convention Centre in The Hague, The Netherlands. The session is scheduled from 14 to 16 December in The Hague and from 17 to 23 December 2020 in New York. Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, meetings will be held partly remotely.

https://www.icc-cpi.int/Pages/item.aspx?name=201212-asp-information Iran – 14 December 2020

UN human rights experts condemned the execution of Ruhollah Zam, an Iranian dissident and founder of AmadNews, calling his conviction and execution “unconscionable” and a serious violation of Iran’s obligations under international law.

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=26603&LangID=E Guinea – 14 December 2020

As Guinea’s President Alpha Condé prepares to be sworn in for a controversial third term on 15 December, scores of opposition leaders, supporters, and others perceived to be close to the opposition are locked up, facing what appear to be politically motivated charges.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/12/14/relentless-crackdown-guineas-opposition Nigeria – 14 December 2020

Human Rights Watch calls on the Nigerian government to comply with new United Nations Security Council recommendations to immediately release children from military detention for alleged association with Boko Haram. The government should sign a protocol to hand children over from military custody to civilian authorities for reintegration.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/12/14/nigeria-stop-jailing-children-alleged-boko-haram-ties Cambodia – 14 December 2020

Human Rights Watch calls on the World Bank Group to investigate alleged coerced land sales and other rights abuses linked to predatory lending and over-indebtedness in the Cambodian micro-loan sector. These longstanding problems have worsened during the economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/12/14/world-bank-investigate-cambodias-micro-loans

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