Lest we forget

International Law has become an increasingly active and contested terrain for debates regarding the legitimacy of certain defence policies such as occupation or rendition. As the body of rules and texts regulating the relations of states among themselves, it has stretched to also address relations of states with individuals or with organizations.

Leaning on judges: eroding the rule of law in Europe

Too often across Europe, the rule of law is not being observed, as thousands of European Court of Human Rights judgments remain unimplemented and some governments second-guess the judiciary. Europe’s human-rights champion says democratic legitimacy depends on it.

Syria: from corridor diplomacy to humanitarian corridors

With the larger substantive issues of ceasefires and political transition at an impasse, the ground broken over humanitarian access has suddenly become a metric for whether the first phase of Geneva II will be considered a success.

Syria's chemical weapons: is the UN exceeding its mandate?

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons should be a technical agency of the UN. But it has arguably become a piece in a geo-political chess game dominated by the US, invited into Syria to act in contravention of its remit. 

Global war and the state of exception

As David Miranda's recent detention illustrates, where states once introduced exceptional legislative measures in times of crisis, the law has now been rendered an instrument for a permanent state of war. 

Destroying Syria’s chemical weapons

The expert responsible for chemical weapons destruction operations in Iraq from 1991-94 takes a look at the challenge in Syria. A key decision will be whether to move all of the chemical weapons to a single location for destruction or undertake their destruction at the individual sites.

Working towards a WMD-free Middle East

Despite notes of caution and a lack of concrete offers, Presidents Obama and Rouhani set the stage for increased engagement at the UN last week. With calls for a WMD-free zone in the Middle East reaffirmed, Israel's game plan will be central.

The forced displacement of Palestinians

Where the law fails to protect, a human rights-based approach provides a structure of accountability for both sides of the 'Green Line', from Al-Araqib to Susiya.

Resistance culture: an East Jerusalem neighbourhood continues the fight

Resistance in Issawiya and the violence that often accompanies it, is not fetishized but understood as the only viable response to life under occupation.

Chasing accountability; facing impunity

Bahrain's attempt to hold the state security services to account is channeled through campaigning, lobbying and of course the revolution itself. But what help are the official channels, and the law?

Legal house-keeping in the EU

The recently issued EU guidelines banning funding to projects in settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory is not a new proactive political strategy; it is simply a matter of legal necessity.

Fighting a prevailing Cold War mentality

Next week is the 68th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Climbing down the nuclear ladder is an undeniably complex task, but one the world’s politicians must continue to rise to.

A hundred years of toxic humanitarianism

The history of tear gas traces a metamorphosis from chemical weapon of warfare to 'legitimate' crowd control technology. Whilst casualties are persistently blamed on 'misuse' by police and security forces, history reveals tear gas to be an inherently dangerous weapon.

War crimes and international borders

After war, justice may come late or not at all: the decision to try defendants without them being present suggests the Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal is not confident of gaining an extradition order. 

Notes on a hunger strike

You might say Habeas Corpus literally means - you have a right to keep your body. 

Syria: the threats, costs, claims and lives

What the civil war in Syria has exposed is that the massive political and social transformation, and real regime change under way is led by people themselves. US military involvement serves only to escalate the destruction.

Israel's loopy logic of exoneration

Israel's recent 'update' on military investigations into civilian deaths in Gaza last November is an affirmation of its deficient institutional and legal practice, with the result of continued impunity for its military and political officials.

The Hague Jolie Declaration: ending impunity for sexual crimes in conflict?

Anna Bragga interviews international criminal and human rights lawyer Hugo Charlton on the evolving efforts to recognise rape and sexual violence as weapons of war, and the means for accountability.

Kenyatta in State House: what's next for Kenya and the ICC?

Kenyatta's election as president of Kenya could have important implications for the ICC process as well as Kenya's international relations.

Private security's new accountability regime?

The professionalisation of entrepreneurs in violence into a legitimate 'private security' industry provokes profound questions for state-citizen relations. Who has the power to hold these companies accountable, and how?

How the Commons can break the silence over Halabja

The British Parliament is set to debate the political recognition of Saddam Hussein's campaign against the Kurds as genocide. With the threat of chemical weapons in Syria a declared 'red line', the need to properly understand and account for the legacy of the largest chemical attack against a civilian population remains as pressing as ever.

A shot at utopia: assessing Lebanon's challenges in the race for Mediterranean oil wealth

Lebanon's plans to harnass the vast oil and gas reserves off its shores already reveal familiar echoes of past internal divisions and external conflicts. But is this finally a chance for Lebanon to remake its future?

Conflict at the EU's southern borders: the Sahel crisis

Gradually, EU systems of governance have extended into the southern Mediterranean, linking dynamics in the Sahel with European interests through its borderlands. This could be a test of the EU's foreign policy ambitions. But is the Union ready and capable to act, and if so, what is at stake?

Student remembrance triggers Tamil rebirth

Strong geostrategic interests in the Indian Ocean may tacitly have condemned the Tamils of Sri Lanka to death on a massive scale in the 2009 aerial bombing of civilans, and ensuing post-war government repression. Recent social movement action in Jaffna shows a groundswell of resistance, but will the world take notice?

The US must explain its postponement of a crucial NPT conference

Precious time has been lost in working for a stable regime in the Middle East that rids the region of all weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.

Syria - a bleak year ahead

Over 60,000 people have been killed in Syria. What prospects face the beleaguered country in 2013?

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