Últimas Actualizaciones del Evento

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Call for Applications: Doctoral Program in International and Public Law, Ethics and Economics for Sustainable Development

Source: International Law Reporter

July 24, 2020

 The Universities of Milan, Rijeka and Maastricht have issued a call for applications for a Doctoral Program in International and Public Law, Ethics and Economics for Sustainable Development. Here’s the call:

The Universities of Milan, Rijeka and Maastricht are seeking six outstanding and committed students to carry out a three-year multidisciplinary research project, based at more than one participating university. The three universities organize LEES, a new doctoral programme in International and Public Law, Ethics and Economics for Sustainable Development. With courses, seminars and scientific research activities entirely in English, it addresses the complexities involved in sustainable development, and uses an innovative multidisciplinary approach that combines the contributions of law, ethics, and economics. Application deadline, September 14, 2020. Further information can be found here.

General

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COVID-19 Call for Submissions.

Source: Ejil Talk

July 26, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak has produced a dramatic impact on economies and societies worldwide. Migrant workers in host countries and labour migration fluxes have been affected in diverse and significant ways. Against this background, co-editors Giulia Ciliberto (University of Naples “Federico II”) and Fulvia Staiano (Giustino Fortunato University and National Research Council of Italy) welcome submissions for a collective volume that aims to analyse the complex challenges faced by migrant workers in the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Submissions from scholars with diverse backgrounds – ranging from international and EU law, international relations and social sciences – are welcome. The edited book is an initiative related to the EULab Summer School on Labour Migration in Europe (funded with the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union). Abstracts should be submitted to eulab2020 {at} gmail(.)com by 30 September 2020. For more information, please access the complete call for submissions here.

General

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LEES Doctoral Programme Vacancies.

Source: Ejil Talk

July 26, 2020

The Universities of Milan, Rijeka and Maastricht are seeking six outstanding and committed students to carry out a three-year multidisciplinary research project, based at more than one participating university. LEES is a new doctoral programme in International and Public Law, Ethics and Economics for Sustainable Development. With courses, seminars and scientific research activities entirely in English, it addresses the complexities involved in sustainable development, and uses an innovative multidisciplinary approach that combines the contributions of law, ethics, and economics. Application deadline is 14 September 2020. For information, contact lees {at} unimi(.)it. See here for more information.  

General

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Goettingen Journal of International Law New Issue

Source: Ejil Talk

July 26, 2020

 GoJIL publishes its Special Issue on “Enhancing the Protection of the Environment in Relation to Armed Conflicts – the Draft Principles of the International Law Commission and Beyond” together with Special Editors Dr. Anne Dienelt and Dr. Britta Sjöstedt. The nine articles of this Special Issue illuminate the topic in-depth as well as in breadth and let the reader experience different perspectives on the protection of the environment during armed conflict. The Special Issue moreover includes an Introductory Note by the Special Rapporteurs Marie Jacobsson and Marja Lehto, who provided a unique insight into the creation of the Draft Principles for the Protection of the Environment in Relation to Armed Conflicts. The full issue can be accessed here

Derecho Ambiental / Environmental Law

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Federal judge: EPA failed to prepare implementation plans for ozone standards

Source: Jurist

July 29, 2020

-United States-

 A judge in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York found Tuesday that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed to prepare good neighbor implementation plans, as required by the Clean Air Act, for the 2008 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA must establish NAAQS that “are requisite to protect the public health” for certain pollutants, and the EPA promulgated a revised NAAQS for ozone in March 2008. The promulgation triggered the states’ duty to submit state implementation plans to the EPA by March 12, 2011. If a state fails to file the required implementation plan or if the plan is insufficient, the EPA is required to promulgate a federal implementation plan within two years of that date.

On July 13, 2015, the EPA published notice that 24 states had failed to submit state implementation plans that satisfied their Good Neighbor obligations under the 2008 ozone NAAQS. This triggered a statutory obligation for the EPA to promulgate federal implementation plans for those states. In 2016, the EPA promulgated the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Update for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS, which purported to promulgate federal implementation plans for certain states that failed to submit approvable state implementation plans.

New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Massachusetts and New York City brought suit against the EPA, claiming that the EPA failed to promulgate federal implementation plans for the 2008 ozone NAAQS that fully address the requirements of the Good Neighbor Provision of the Clean Air Act with respect to sources of ozone pollution in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

The court found that the plaintiffs correctly claimed that their complaint fell within the category of nondiscretionary duty cases, so jurisdiction was proper in the court. The only question, according to the court, was whether the agency failed to comply with the deadline of the nondiscretionary statutory duty. The EPA admitted that it did not subsequently approve state and federal implementation plans or promulgate additional transport federal implementation plans that fully resolved good neighbor obligations for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, so the court granted the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment.

The court stated that it would not fix a date by which the EPA must promulgate its notice of proposed rulemaking, but it set the date of March 15, 2021, for the EPA to promulgate the final notice of a complete-remedy rulemaking

Derecho Ambiental / Environmental Law

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Corte IDH: ¿hacia un eventual litigio climático?

Fuente: Academia Colombiana de Derecho Internacional

24 de julio, 2020

El pasado 6 de febrero, en la sentencia del caso Comunidades indígenas miembros de la Asociación Lhaka Honhat (Nuestra Tierra) Vs. Argentina[2] (en adelante, Lhaka Honhat), la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (Corte IDH) declaró por primera vez en su historia la responsabilidad internacional de un Estado por violación de los derechos al medio ambiente sano, al agua, a la alimentación y a participar de la vida cultural, con fundamento en el artículo 26 de la Convención Americana de Derechos Humanos (CADH). Esta declaración supone un importante avance en un camino que podría convertir a la Corte IDH en la primera instancia judicial internacional en decidir favorablemente un litigio climático.

En la última década, una cantidad significativa de estos litigios ha sido promovida ante instancias judiciales, cuasi-judiciales o administrativas, internas e internacionales, con el fin de cuestionar la insuficiencia de las medidas adoptadas, principalmente por los Estados, para enfrentar las causas y consecuencias del calentamiento global[3]. Aunque los fundamentos jurídicos invocados varían, una tendencia reciente especialmente presente en Estados del Sur Global consiste en alegar la violación de normas internacionales, constitucionales o legales relativas a la protección de los derechos humanos[4]. Esta alternativa permite evitar algunos obstáculos relacionados con la justiciabilidad de las obligaciones ambientales y resaltar la grave amenaza generada por el cambio climático sobre derechos como la vida digna, la salud, el acceso al agua, la seguridad alimentaria y, por supuesto, el derecho a gozar de un ambiente sano. Pese a las innegables ventajas de este enfoque, los litigios climáticos que lo han seguido se han enfrentado a dificultades significativas en relación con la prueba de la afectación concreta de los derechos de las víctimas y del nexo causal entre dicha afectación y el comportamiento del Estado demandado.

La creatividad de los litigantes y la receptividad de los jueces ha permitido superar estos obstáculos en algunos casos célebres como los fallados por las jurisdicciones nacionales de Holanda, Pakistán y Colombia[5]. Sin embargo, a la fecha ninguna instancia internacional ha decidido favorablemente un litigio climático[6]. En este escenario y ante la urgencia de respuestas contundentes a la crisis climática, la posibilidad de que la Corte IDH acoja favorablemente este tipo de litigios despierta gran interés. Esta posibilidad parece estar cada vez más cerca tras la sentencia Lhaka Honhat. A pesar de la forma poco rigurosa en la que esta decisión profundiza la línea jurisprudencial sobre los derechos económicos, sociales, culturales y ambientales (DESCA) como derechos autónomos consagrados en el artículo 26 de la CADH[7], es innegable que en ella la Corte IDH abre una interesante vía que con certeza seguirá explorando en futuras decisiones.

Este camino permitiría a la Corte pronunciarse sobre afectaciones a individuos o grupos, distintos de los grupos étnicos, generadas por acciones u omisiones estatales que agraven o no atiendan suficientemente las causas y consecuencias del cambio climático. Para ello, de acuerdo con lo señalado en Lhaka Honhat, la Corte IDH no tendría que justificar la violación de derechos consagrados expresamente en la Convención (como la propiedad, la vida o la integridad personal), sino que bastaría demostrar la vulneración del derecho a gozar de un ambiente sano con fundamento en el artículo 26 de la CADH. Esta decisión reafirma así el argumento expuesto en la Opinión consultiva 23 de 2017 (OC-23/17), según el cual, la Corte IDH puede declarar la responsabilidad de un Estado por afectaciones al medio ambiente como interés jurídico en sí mismo, aún ante la “ausencia de certeza o evidencia sobre el riesgo a las personas individuales”[8]. De esta forma, el fallo anticipa un obstáculo propio de los litigios climáticos: el reconocimiento de la calidad de víctimas en favor de grupos e individuos como, por ejemplo, las generaciones futuras y sus miembros, ante la imposibilidad de demostrar la afectación concreta de la vida, la salud, la integridad personal o la propiedad de cada uno de ellos.

Este mismo argumento, aunado a la forma amplia en la que el fallo concibe la obligación de garantía respecto de los DESCA, supone un avance adicional frente a otra de las dificultades que enfrentan los demandantes en los litigios climáticos: la prueba del nexo causal. Sobre este punto, en la sentencia Lhaka Honhat la Corte IDH parece reducir el nivel de exigencia fijado en la OC-23/17. La Opinión plantea, en efecto, que la obligación de prevención que se integra al deber de garantía de los derechos (art. 1.1 CADH) se aplica respecto de daños ambientales “significativos”, es decir, aquellos que pueden afectar la vida o la integridad de las personas[9]. La Sentencia Lhaka Honhat sugiere, en cambio, que esta obligación implica adoptar medidas efectivas para evitar degradaciones ambientales susceptibles de lesionar otros derechos, como los DESCA previstos por el artículo 26 de la CADH. De esta forma, a efectos de establecer la responsabilidad derivada del comportamiento de un Estado frente a la emergencia climática bastaría demostrar, como lo hizo la Corte en el caso Lhaka Honhat, que el comportamiento estatal no satisfizo el estándar de debida diligencia respecto de la prevención de una “amenaza ambiental” y que esto generó una degradación de los componentes del ambiente que, a su vez, tuvo un impacto en el modo de vida de una comunidad[10]. Como parte de la ratio decidendi de la sentencia Lhaka Honhat, estos argumentos podrían ser utilizados como precedente en un eventual litigio climático puesto en conocimiento de la Corte IDH. Así, esta instancia estaría preparada para declarar la violación de los DESCA ocasionada por el comportamiento de los Estados frente al cambio climático y, en consecuencia, para ordenar las medidas de cesación del hecho ilícito, reparación y garantías de no repetición respectivas. El fallo puede entonces considerarse un excelente augurio respecto del rol que estaría dispuesto a desempeñar este tribunal frente a la emergencia climática.

Dereccho Internacional / International Law

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Australia rejects China claims over South China Sea

Source: Jurist

July 26, 2020

 Australia has formally disputed several of China’s maritime claims over the South China Sea. In a submission to the United Nations filed Thursday , the Permanent Mission of Australia said:

The Australian government rejects any claims by China that are inconsistent with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), in particular, maritime claims that do not adhere to its rules on baselines, maritime zones and classification of features.

Regarding China’s claim to ‘historic rights’ or ‘maritime rights and interests’ as established in the ‘long course of historical practice’ in the South China Sea, Australia cited the 2016 South China Sea arbitration between the Philippines and China that invalidated these claims due to their inconsistency with UNCLOS, and emphasized the award’s binding nature under international law.

Australia said that China’s drawing of straight baselines and archipelagic straight baselines does not have a legal basis because such baselines, under UNCLOS, may only be drawn in specific circumstances. Consequently, Australia rejected China’s claims to internal waters, territorial sea, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf based on such baselines. It further said that features such as artificial islands cannot attain the status of an island, citing an UNCLOS provision stating that artificial islands do not have territorial sea and do not affect delimitation of maritime zones. Australia additionally rejected China’s claims of sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly Islands as being “widely recognized by the international community.”

China’s claims South China Sea claims are contested by Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. By its letter, Australia has aligned itself with several other States including the United States and India which had earlier this month also rejected China’s claims.

Derecho Internacional / International Law

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China suspends Hong Kong extradition treaties with Canada, Australia, UK

Source: Jurist

July 29, 2020

 China announced on Tuesday the suspension of Hong Kong’s extradition treaty with Canada, Australia and the UK. This action comes in retaliation to the suspension of the treaties by the other countries first.

The three countries had suspended the treaties in response to the Hong Kong National Security law enacted by China. The Chinese government called this action “gross interference in China’s internal affairs.” Wang Webin, spokesperson of Foreign Ministry, said at the press conference, “I’d like to reiterate that the Chinese government is determined in safeguarding national sovereignty, security, and development interests, as well as opposing foreign interference in Hong Kong affairs. Attempts to pressure China will never succeed.” Additionally, China has also decided to suspend Hong Kong’s agreements on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters with Canada, Australia and the UK.

Earlier this week, New Zealand also announced the suspension of the extradition treaty with Hong Kong. In response to this, China’s foreign ministry said that the measure is entirely based on the wrong interpretation of China’s Law on Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong.

Derecho Constitucional / Constitucional Law

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Former Philippines Supreme Court justices file petition against new anti-terrorism law

Source: Jurist

July 27, 2020

 Former Philippines Supreme Court Justices Antonio Carpio and Conchita Carpio-Morales have joined the faculty of the University of the Philippines College of Law (UP Law) in petitioning the Supreme Court to void the country’s recently passed anti-terrorism law.

The law, which took effect on July 18 after being signed by President Rodrigo Duterte July 3, expands the definition of terrorism and allows suspects to be jailed for weeks without formal charges. It is opposed by many activists who believe the broad offenses cited in the law, such as damage to property, could make it easier for the government to commit human rights violations. The faculty and students at UP Law are petitioning the Supreme Court to void the law because it “chills free speech, brazenly violates the principle of the separation of powers, and grants the Executive Branch powers beyond what the Constitution permits.”

The petition was filed Thursday by the former justices, UP Law faculty and students. They ask that the court prevent the law from going into effect until oral arguments are heard and the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the law.

Derecho Constitucional / Constitucional Law

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Aatish Ali Taseer’s Case and the Status of Illegitimate Children in India

Source: Jurist

July 28, 2020

 In June 2020, the Bombay High Court in Dharmesh Vasantrai Shah v. Renuka Prakash Tiwari, held that the primary caregiver in the case of an illegitimate child is the mother and not the father. The case involved a minor citizen of New Zealand, whose unmarried parents are of Indian descent. The mother wished to take the child to New Zealand, due to the low number of COVID-19 cases, while the father objected. The Bombay High Court’s interpretation that the claim of parentage remains solely with the mother is consequential in relation to the revocation of the Overseas Citizenship of India card filed by Aatish Ali Taseer in the Supreme Court of India.

Aatish Ali Taseer, a New York journalist wrote an article titled “India’s Divider-in-Chief” for Time magazine criticizing the Modi Regime and the policies undertaken by the Government. Subsequently, on November 7, 2019, the author Aatish Ali Taseer’s Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) status was revoked by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on the basis of suppressed information that his late father had a Pakistani Citizenship. In his book ‘Stranger To History’ published in 2007, Taseer wrote at a great length about his relationship with his father and how his mother has raised him as a single-parent. Aatish Ali Taseer’s mother is famous Indian journalist Tavleen Singh, who never married Aatish Taseer’s father, who was the Governor of Punjab (Pakistan). Aatish Ali Taseer becomes ineligible to hold an OCI card as per the Citizenship Act, 1955 under Section 7A.

The crucial aspect of Aatish Ali Taseer’s case lies from a socio-legal perspective as to whether the biological father of a child born out of wedlock has a claim of legal guardianship for the construction of ‘Parent’.

With the growing nationalism and tensions in relation to secularism and citizenship as witnessed through protests across India, the concept of  “Citizenship” for the Overseas Citizens of India requires examination. Demand for a dual citizenship mechanism started to increase from Indian diaspora overseas, the Government of India introduced the concept of the person of Indian origin (a “PIO”) in 2002 and an overseas citizen of India (an “OCI”) in 2006. These categories of individuals enjoyed certain legal rights in India. In 2015, an Amendment Act to the Citizenship Act, 1955 was passed, it introduced the concept of an ‘Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder’ (OCC) that essentially replaces and merges OCIs and PIOs. Section 7A of the said Amendment introduces the eligibility and ineligibility criteria for qualification of OCC. This includes three categories (1) citizens of another country who would be eligible for citizenship upon commencement of the Constitution. (2) children of Indian citizens or OCIs and (3) spouses of Indian citizens or OCIs. Ineligibility arises when or parent or a grand-parent has held citizenship of Pakistan or Bangladesh. However, this Act places the question of “Parent” into ambiguity; it does not clarify the position of a parent being a ‘lawful parent’ or ‘biological parent’. 

Section 7A provides the ineligibility clause, it states:

Provided further that no person, who or either of whose parents or grandparents or great grandparents is or had been a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh or such other country as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify, shall be eligible for registration as an Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder under this subsection.

The construction of the definition of  ‘parents’ has legislatively and judicially been following the nature of a traditional relationship where a man and a woman who are legally married get the child the rights as enumerated by legislation barring a few, where ‘mother’ is the sole guardian. 

In the case of Aatish Ali Taseer, his mother is Tavleen Singh who is an Indian national of Sikh faith. Tavleen Singh never married Salmaan Taseer, a Pakistani national of the Muslim faith. Thus, Aatish Ali Taseer is a child born out of wedlock.

The father of Aatish Taseer is Muslim by faith according to the Muslim Personal Laws, an illegitimate child as per Hanafi Law is nobody’s child but can stay with the mother till the age of 7 years for nourishment and food and after that can decide his own life. The Hanafi School of Muslim Law only considers the illegitimate child to be of the mother and can inherit only from the mother. Further, as per Shia Law, the child belongs to no one and can stay with the mother till 2 years of age and can then decide for his own life. The Shia School of Muslim Law recognizes an illegitimate child as nullius filius and does not allow any inheritance to such a child. Thus, the claim of guardianship of an illegitimate under Muslim Personal Laws rests solely with the mother of the child. 

According to the Hindu Personal Laws, The Hindu Minority And Guardianship Act, 1956 Section 6(b) states that the guardianship in the case of an illegitimate boy or an illegitimate unmarried girl—is with the mother, and after her, the father. Thus, the mother has been regarded as the legal guardian by this Act. In terms of maintenance, the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 Section 125 provides that irrespective of religion, even an illegitimate minor child is entitled to maintenance as long as the child is a minor. In terms of the Indian Succession Act, 1925 Section 8 provides for the domicile status of origin of an illegitimate child. The domicile of origin of an illegitimate child is in the country in which, at the time of his birth, his mother was domiciled. In Aatish Taseer’s case, his mother is an Indian national of Sikh faith constructed harmoniously under the Hindu Personal laws. An examination of these legislations from Hindu Personal Laws also reflects the position that the mother is the sole legal guardian of an illegitimate child.

The perspective of the judiciary has been clear in this regard and in consonance with the legislations. The view of the Supreme Court in the case of Mohammed Salim v. Shamsudeen decided in January 2019 provides that a Hindu child born out of a marriage between a Muslim father and a Hindu mother is entitled to inheritance. The converse of which provides that a child born out of wedlock between Hindu mother and Muslim father has no claim over the inheritance. 

A closer examination of the situation provides that the action by the Ministry of Home Affairs is against the interpretation of the laws. The Ministry of Home Affairs while revoking Aatish Ali Taseer’s OCI Card failed to accommodate the legal understanding revolving around the parent status of an illegitimate child and has solely based their decision on the fact that Aatish Ali Taseer’s biological father was a Pakistani national. The understanding of parents as constructed in personal laws fails to accommodate the recognition of “Who is a parent?” beyond the scope of marriage.