International Law

Derecho Internacional / International Law

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Afghanistan war crimes victims appeal to ICC  

Source: Jurist

June 13, 2019

 Victims of war crimes in Afghanistan filed an appeal Monday with the International Criminal Court (ICC) challenging the lower court’s recent decision not to pursue a war crimes investigation in Afghanistan.

The Appeal was filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York and the Global Justice Clinic at the New York University School of Law, among others, on behalf of the victims. The victims claim that significant war crimes have taken place in Afghanistan that and not investigating further will deny the victims justice while allowing the perpetrators to escape. The victims further claim that the perpetrators will be free to continue committing war crimes and that the mandate of the ICC will be severely damaged if justice is not served.

The victims specifically highlighted that top officials in the US government have failed to comply with the court’s requests and, as such, have interfered with the effectiveness of the investigation and the ICC as a whole. It is not specifically alleged who exactly war crimes, but it is likely related to several alleged war criminals for whom President Donald Trump was reportedly considering pardons. The Trump administration has refused to cooperate with any ICC investigation of the War on Terror and has threatened consequences if the ICC does pursue an investigation

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Derecho Internacional / International Law

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El Tribunal europeo retira a Correos la competencia exclusiva de vender medios de franqueo

Fuente: El Economista

02 de mayo de 2019

-Unión Europea-

El Tribunal de Justicia de la Unión Europea (TJUE) ha retirado a Correos la competencia exclusiva para vender medios de franqueo distintos de sellos. En una sentencia dictada hoy, el Tribunal europeo rechaza la normativa española que garantiza al operador postal un derecho exclusivo a la distribución de medios de franqueo distintos de los sellos de correos. “Los Estados miembros no pueden otorgar o mantener en vigor derechos especiales o exclusivos para el establecimiento y la prestación de servicios postales”, apunta la sentencia.

El asunto parte de una denuncia de Correos que acusaba a Asendia Spain de comercializar unos medios de franqueo o etiquetas prepago que imitan y se confunden con los sellos utilizados por Correos y que los comercializaba fuera de su red postal interna. Por su parte, Asendia aseguraba que no está cometiendo ninguna infracción a la Ley de la competencia desleal, ya que no imita ningún sello de Correos, no induce a confusión a los usuarios y no utiliza la red postal existente de Correos.

Los medios de franqueo controvertidos se venden al público en hoteles, tiendas de recuerdos y supermercados, especialmente en aquellos situados en lugares turísticos. Estos medios se ofrecen a los clientes de dichos establecimientos esencialmente para el envío de tarjetas postales, que los clientes pueden depositar directamente en los buzones situados en esos mismos establecimientos.

“El legislador europeo considera, en efecto, que el objetivo básico de garantizar la prestación sostenible de un servicio universal puede quedar garantizado sin necesidad de que existiera un sector reservado y que, por consiguiente, procede poner fin a la utilización de un sector reservado y de derechos especiales como medio para garantizar la financiación del servicio universal”, explica el fallo. “Incluso cuando siga siendo necesario recurrir a la financiación externa del coste neto residual del servicio universal, la normativa europea no menciona la atribución de derechos exclusivos o especiales al operador designado entre las opciones expresamente autorizadas para financiar el servicio universal”, añade.

Esa conclusión, el TJUE considera que no queda en entredicho por el hecho de que otra disposición de la Directiva establezca que los Estados miembros tienen derecho a organizar con arreglo a su Derecho interno, entre otras materias, la emisión de sellos de correos. “Es patente que la emisión de medios de franqueo distintos de los sellos de correos, como los que distribuye Asendia Spain, no está comprendida en el ámbito de aplicación de esa disposición, que únicamente se refiere a la instalación de buzones en la vía pública, a la emisión de sellos de correos y al servicio de correo certificado utilizado en el marco de procedimientos judiciales o administrativos”, apunta.  “Además, esa excepción debe ser interpretada estrictamente”, apostilla.

Por otra parte, el Tribunal europeo entiende que “la designación de la entidad o entidades que tienen derecho a emitir los sellos postales indicando el país de origen siga correspondiendo a los Estados miembros obedece tan sólo a razones de orden público y de seguridad pública, y no a razones relacionadas con la financiación del servicio universal”.

Derecho Internacional / International Law

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Philippines withdraws from ICC              

Source: Jurist

March 18, 2019

 The Philippines officially withdrew from the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Sunday, becoming the second country to withdraw after Burundi, which left in 2017.

President Rodrigo Duterte announced the country was withdrawing from the court a year ago, but court rules require that withdrawal cannot take effect for at least 12 months. While the Philippines no longer recognize the Rome Statute, the withdrawal has no impact on on-going proceedings or any matter already under consideration by the court prior to the date on which the withdrawal became effective.

The court has been conducting a preliminary examination into accusations that Duterte and other Philippine officials committed mass murder and crimes against humanity in a war on drugs.

Specifically, it has been alleged that since 1 July 2016, thousands of persons have been killed for reasons related to their alleged involvement in illegal drug use or dealing. While some of such killings have reportedly occurred in the context of clashes between or within gangs, it is alleged that many of the reported incidents involved extra-judicial killings in the course of police anti-drug operations.

The court noted that the participation of states in the Rome Statute and their continued support for the ICC is essential to global efforts to ensure accountability and strengthen the international rule of law.

The Republic of the Philippines ratified the Rome Statute on August 30, 2011, and the statute entered into force from November 1, 2011.

Derecho Internacional / International Law

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EU passes resolution suspending Turkey’s admittance

Source: Jurist

March 15, 2019

-European Union-

 The European Union adopted a non-binding resolution Wednesday against Turkey’s accession as a member of the EU. The resolution passed in the European Parliament by 370 votes in favor, 109 against with 143 abstentions.

The assembly noted past and ongoing human, civil, and due process rights violations committed by Turkey. The body expressed concern over Turkey’s lack of respect for minority religious and cultural rights. It mentioned the state’s “shrinking space for civil society,” its arrests and suppression of journalists, its dismissal of dissident academics, as well as the treatment of Middle Eastern migrants within its borders. The body noted that Turkey’s government has abused the due process rights of its own citizens under the guise of terrorism suspicions. It has also intimidated its own citizens abroad and abused Interpol arrest warrants to extradite its own nationals back to Turkey.

The European Parliament also mentioned Turkey’s fractious relationships with neighboring states such as Cyprus and Greece regarding the Akkuyu nuclear plant Turkey intends to build, as well as (lack of) normalization of diplomatic relations with neighboring Armenia.

“[W]hereas respect for the rule of law and fundamental rights, including the separation of powers, democracy, freedom of expression and the media, human rights, the rights of minorities and religious freedom, freedom of association and the right to peaceful protest, the fight against corruption and the fight against racism and discrimination against vulnerable groups are at the core of the negotiation process.” (regarding Turkey’s accession into the European Union.)

The EU body insists the relationship between EU and Turkey be based on the laws adopted by the EU member states, with the “objective of protecting and promoting democratic values and principles, human rights and the rule of law; without prejudice to Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union.” Article 49 requires EU member states to abide by its values. Most importantly, it is the EU’s position that Turkey cannot continue ascension processes into the EU without proper “respect for democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights.” 

Derecho Internacional / International Law

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ICJ urges UK to end rule over Chagos islands    

Source: Jurist

February 26, 2019

The International Court of Justice issued an advisory opinion Monday outlining the legal consequences of separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965.

The UK and Mauritius, by virtue of the Lancaster House agreement, detached the Chagos Archipelago form Mauritius and established the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT). Originally, the agreement aided the US’s desire for a military base on Diego Garcia, but the UK has continued to assert control over the island. Many inhabitants were forcibly removed, and those who left voluntarily were prevented from returning.

The ICJ’s opinion, which is nonbinding, says the UK did not lawfully decolonize the islands through the Lancaster House agreement. The court further urged the UK to end its continued administration over Chagos Archipelago: “the United Kingdom has an obligation to bring to an end its administration of the Chagos Archipelago as rapidly as possible, and that all Member States must cooperate with the United Nations to complete the decolonization of Mauritius.”

The opinion follows requests from the UN General Assembly and Mauritius to return Chagos Archipelago to the country and end British control.

Derecho Internacional / International Law

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Europe court annuls decision calling Spanish football club tax designation state aid    

Source: Jurist

February 27, 2019

-European Union-

 The General Court of the EU ruled Tuesday that a 2016 European Commission decision that called the tax classification of four professional soccer clubs state aid shall be annulled.

Four Spanish soccer clubs, the Fútbol Club Barcelona, the Club Atlético Osasuna, the Athletic Club and the Real Madrid Club de Fútbol, operated as sports clubs since 1990. All other professional soccer clubs in Spain converted to sports public limited companies (SPLC) after the passage of a law in 1990. The 2016 Commission decision found that allowing the four clubs to remain sports clubs allowed the clubs to experience a corporation tax privilege due to being taxed at a lower rate than the SPLCs. The Commission had ordered the clubs to convert to an SPLC and pay back all the tax advantages they received since 1990.

The court found that although the sports clubs were taxed at a lower rate, the SPLCs saw a greater benefit from deductions for reinvesting extraordinary profits. It was ruled that the Commission did not meets its burden of proving the tax structure resulted in an advantage to the sports clubs when taking into account the benefits experienced by the SPLCs.

The court also found that the Commission had erred by only considering tax data from four years, instead of the full period from 1990 and 2015. The Commission also erred by using aggregate data from all sectors and operators.

Derecho Internacional / Internacional Law

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Malaysia to join ICC      

Source: Jurist

March 06, 2019

MThe UN on Monday released a depositary notification indicating Malaysia’s accession to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

This notice was released after Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah signed the instrument of accession to the Rome Statute. Malaysia’s interest in joining the ICC was expressed last year by the Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who notably established the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal in 2007 as an alternative to the ICC.

The ICC is a “court of last resort” meant for the prosecution of serious international crimes. The Rome Statute conferred jurisdiction to the ICC in 2002, allowing the court to consider cases of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression. The ICC has territorial jurisdiction over nations that are party to the Rome Statute or have accepted the court’s jurisdiction.

Malaysia will officially be the 124th member of the court on June 1, 2019.