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International Legal News

Weekly update: 23 June – 01 July 2020

The following media round up of international legal and foreign policy issues from around the world for the period 23 June – 01 July 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.

International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) – 26 June

The United Nations Security Council, by resolution 2529 (2020), on 26 June reappointed Prosecutor Serge Brammertz to a new term as Prosecutor of the IRMCT, with effect from 1 July 2020 until 30 June 2022.

El Salvador – 29 June

In a potential test case for international law, the murder of Jesuit priests in El Salvador is now being prosecuted in Madrid. More than 30 years after this shocking human rights crime generated outrage around the world, a high-ranking Salvadoran military official finally has gone on trial – not in El Salvador, but in Spain.

Israel/Palestine – 29 June

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, on 29 June added her voice to the wave of international and national calls on the Government of Israel not to proceed with its plans to illegally annex a swathe of occupied Palestinian territory, saying it would have a disastrous impact on human rights of Palestinians and across the region.

International Court of Justice – 30 June

The public hearing on the question of the ICJ’s jurisdiction in the case concerning the Arbitral Award of 3 October 1899 (Guyana v. Venezuela) was held on 30 June. Oral arguments were presented by the Co-operative Republic of Guyana. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela did not participate in the hearing.

Ethiopia – 30 June

Amnesty International calls on the Ethiopian authorities to conduct prompt, thorough, impartial, independent and effective investigations into the killing of popular Oromo singer Hachalu Hundesa on 29 June, and bring to justice anyone suspected to be responsible, as protests broke out over his killing in several parts of the country.

Czech Republic – 01 July

The European Court of Human Rights held a Grand Chamber hearing in the case of Vavricka v. the Czech Republic and five other applications. All applications concern the Czech legislation on compulsory vaccination and its consequences for the applicants who refused to comply with it.

Malawi – 01 July

Human Rights Watch calls on Malawi’s new president, Lazarus Chakwera, to use his electoral victory as an opportunity to reset the country’s human rights record. On 28 June 2020, Chakwera was sworn in as president following a return vote on 23 June, in which he won 58.57 percent of the vote.

Hong Kong – 01 July

Hong Kong marked the 23rd anniversary of the territory’s return to China on Wednesday hours after Beijing’s imposition of a new national security law, drawing international condemnation and thousands of defiant protestors.

Up to three million Hong Kong residents are to be offered the chance to settle in the UK and ultimately apply for citizenship, according to Boris Johnson. The British PM said Hong Kong’s freedoms were being violated by a new security law and those affected would be offered a “route” out of the former UK colony.

Congo – 01 July

Belgian prosecutors are investigating whether they can bring charges against people suspected of taking part in the killing of Congo’s first democratically elected leader, Patrice Lumumba, almost 60 years after his assassination.

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