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Weekly update: 30 May – 4 June 2023

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

The following media round up on international and foreign policy issues from around the world for the period of 30 May to 4 June 2023.

Guernica 37 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 at for consideration.


BBC, 'Ben Roberts-Smith case: Will Australia see a war crimes reckoning'?

'On Thursday, a judge calmly delivered an extraordinary ruling that will go down in Australian history.

The country's most-decorated living soldier, Ben Roberts-Smith, had lost a defamation case against three newspapers who reported claims that he had murdered unarmed prisoners and civilians while serving in Afghanistan.

The newspapers' allegations that Mr Roberts-Smith was actually a war criminal, a liar and a bully were "substantially true", the judge said in his civil case ruling. The case is the first time an Australian court has assessed accusations of war crimes by Australian forces - ahead of what many predict will be a wider reckoning in the years to come'.

WORLD - 2 JUNE 2023

The Guardian, 'The window is closing’: Cop28 must deliver change of course on climate.’

'With six months until UN summit in Dubai, can its oil executive president bring unwilling countries into line? Within the next five years, the world is likely to experience at least one year in which the global average surface temperature exceeds 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. That was the stark prediction of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) this week, in its climate forecast.’

SENEGAL - 31 MAY 2023

Al Jazeera, ‘Senegalese women fear rights setback over Sonko rape trial.’

‘The high-profile case involving opposition leader Ousmane Sonko has dismayed feminists as they await a verdict. A rape case against Senegal’s most prominent opposition leader has dismayed feminists in the country, who now fear that their cause has suffered an enduring blow.

After a politicised trial marked by salacious headlines, the West African state is bracing for potential violence on Thursday when the verdict is expected to be announced.’

USA - 2 JUNE 2023

UN News, ‘US state abortion bans ‘putting millions of women and girls at risk.’

‘Since the start of the year, abortion has been banned in 14 states across the country, and the consequences of the Supreme Court decision has reverberated throughout the entire legal and policy system, the Human Rights Council-appointed experts said.’

BRAZIL - 29 MAY 2023

Human Rights Watch, ‘Brazil: Reject Harmful Bill on Indigenous Rights.’

‘Proposal Delivers Blow to Indigenous Land Rights. Brazil’s Congress should reject a draft bill that would impose an arbitrary cutoff date curtailing the right of Indigenous peoples to their traditional land. Brazil’s lower house is expected to vote in the coming days on Bill 490/2007, which would prevent Indigenous communities from obtaining title of their lands if they were not physically present on them on October 5, 1988, the day Brazil’s current Constitution was adopted.’


BBC, ‘Ukraine war: Russia says it thwarted major Ukrainian offensive.’

‘Russia's defence ministry says it has thwarted a major Ukrainian offensive in Donetsk, claiming to have killed 250 troops and destroyed armoured vehicles.

Video of what Russia says is the battle appears to show military vehicles coming under heavy fire in fields. But there has been no comment from Kyiv and Russia's claim has not been independently verified. A Ukrainian counter-offensive has been long awaited but Kyiv says it will not give advance warning of its start.’


The Guardian, ‘Nearly 80 primary schoolgirls believed poisoned in Afghanistan.’

‘Two schools in northern province targeted, says education official, who suggested the attacker was motivated by a personal grudge. Nearly 80 girls were poisoned and hospitalised in two separate attacks at their primary schools in northern Afghanistan, a local education official said on Sunday.’

SUDAN - 4 JUNE 2023

Middle East Eye, ’Sudan war to enter its deadliest phase yet.’

‘As peace talks were breaking down, Sudan's warring parties began moving troops and preparing counter-offensives. The hope did not last long, and now the war in Sudan has entered a new phase. Already it looks as if the fighting will be fiercer and the casualties will be greater, as the conflict spirals out beyond Khartoum and Darfur into other parts of the country.’

WORLD - 1 JUNE 2023

EJIL: Talk! ‘Thomas Buergenthal RIP’

'Thomas Buergenthal, a great international lawyer and an even greater human being, passed away on Monday. From surviving Auschwitz as a child, to becoming a leading scholar of international law and a judge on the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the International Court of Justice, his was a life well lived. We will miss him and remember him. And we can best do so by honouring his words from the lecture below – we cannot afford to be cynical about international law, but have to keep fighting for it.’


The Guardian, 'Radio broadcaster shot dead in the Philippines, say police.’

‘Cresenciano Bunduquin is the latest to be killed in a country that is one of the most dangerous places to be a journalist. A radio broadcaster was shot dead outside his home in the central Philippines on Wednesday, police said, the latest in a long list of journalists killed in the country.’


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