January 01, 2018

International Updates

International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia Officially Closes

On December 31, 2017, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) ended its operations and officially closed, ending twenty-four years of prosecutions for war crimes that took place in the 1990s. Created by the UN Security Council, the ICTY was the first war crimes court since the post-WWII Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals. Among its legacy, it contributed to the development of international criminal law and procedure. http://www.icty.org

International Court of Justice Issues Judgments in Costa Rica v. Nicaragua

On February 2, 2018, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered its Judgment in Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) and in the joined cases of Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) and Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua). In the Certain Activities case, the ICJ fixed the compensation amount due from Nicaragua to Costa Rica for environmental damage and other material damage caused by Nicaragua on Costa Rican territory. In the joined cases, the ICJ awarded Costa Rica disputed land, established a maritime boundary between the countries, and unanimously ruled that Nicaragua must remove its military camp from Costa Rican territory. http://www.icj-cij.org/en/decisions

Eleven Countries to Sign the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)

The legally verified text of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was released on February 21 in preparation for an official signing ceremony on March 8 in Chile. This proposed free trade agreement aims to streamline market access and trade among eleven countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. It is informally known as TPP-11 because it includes the eleven countries that were negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement before the United States withdrew in 2017 and includes many of those provisions. Once adopted in March, the CPTPP will take effect when ratified by at least six countries. https://international.gc.ca/trade-commerce/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/cptpp-ptpgp/index.aspx?lang=eng

Negotiations on International Legally Binding Instrument on Marine Biological Diversity Move Forward

An Intergovernmental Conference will soon begin negotiations on a new international agreement under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, referred to as BBNJ. The extensive discussions and reference documents of the Preparatory Committee and the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group will assist delegations as they negotiate the specific wording. The Intergovernmental Conference will meet four times, with the aim of concluding the agreement in 2020. An organizational meeting will be held in April 2018. https://www.un.org/bbnj

New Global Compact for Migration Edges Closer

Negotiations on a new Global Compact on Migration continue despite the United States pulling out at the end of 2017. The negotiation’s co-facilitators released a “zero draft” in early February 2018, along with a schedule putting the agreement on track for finalizing by the end of the year. https://refugeesmigrants.un.org/intergovernmental-negotiations

ILO Members to Debate New Convention on Sexual Harassment in Workplaces

The fifth item on the agenda for International Labour Conference to be held in Geneva from May 28 to June 8, 2018, is a discussion of whether to pursue a new treaty and international standards on harassment, violence, and assaults against women and men in public and private workplaces. The Conference convenes Member States of the International Labour Organization (ILO). An ILO report with proposed recommendations based on input from Member States and other stakeholders will serve as the basis for the discussion. http://www.ilo.org/ilc/ILCSessions/107

International Seabed Authority Seeks Input on Draft Strategic Plan 2019–2023

The International Seabed Authority is seeking input from Members States, intergovernmental organizations, private industry, and other interested stakeholders on a proposed five-year plan that will guide its strategic directions for implementing provisions under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and its 1994 Implementation Agreement. Among the proposed strategic directions, the plan calls for strengthening the international legal regime, applying the precautionary approach for environmental protection, promoting scientific research, develop equitable sharing criteria, and fostering greater transparency. https://www.isa.org.jm/news/secretary-general-international-seabed-authority-launches-consultation-its-new-strategic-plan

OECD Invites Public Input on Anti-Bribery Compliance in Chile, Mexico, and South Korea

The OECD Working Group on Bribery invites interested parties to provide written submissions on the implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention in Chile, Mexico, and South Korea. The input will inform the fourth phase of the OECD’s monitoring process of the evaluated countries. Interested parties from the private sector, NGOs, trade unions, nonprofits, academia, media, and others also are invited to submit their expressions of interest in participating in on-site visits this summer. Written comments and expressions of interest in participating in on-site visits must be submitted by April 1, 2018, for Mexico and by June 1, 2018, for Chile and South Korea. http://www.oecd.org/corruption/call-for-contributions-phase-4-evaluations.htm

Trilateral Symposium Discusses Trade, Health Technologies, and Treaties

The World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) convened a symposium on February 26, 2018, to discuss the interlinkages of trade, public health, intellectual property, and technology and their role in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Participants discussed multilateral responsibilities under the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, and the WTO Government Procurement Agreement. The meeting is the seventh in a series of joint symposia. https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news18_e/trip_02mar18_e.htm

70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

This year marks the 70th Anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the United Nations General Assembly. The Declaration proclaimed fundamental human rights principles and inspired legally binding international human rights treaties. The UN Human Rights Office is leading a year-long global #StandUp4HumanRights campaign to raise awareness of the Declaration. The campaign leads up to commemorative events on the anniversary date of its adoption on December 10, which is also the annual observance of Human Rights Day. http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights

Be sure to check out #ABAstands4 on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and online at ABAstands4.org to see all the ways lawyers are making a difference to preserve the rights of all people, promote fair and impartial judicial systems, protect the independence of the legal profession, and advocate for justice worldwide. Get involved by submitting your story or video to the ABA on how you are making a difference as a lawyer, judge, or legal professional.

60th Anniversary of the Convention on the International Maritime Organization

The Convention establishing the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) was adopted on March 6, 1948, and entered into force a decade later on March 17, 1958. The organization’s name changed to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 1982. The IMO is a specialized agency of the United Nations with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships. http://www.imo.org

60th Anniversary of the Entry into Force of the Two Treaties of Rome

The European Union in March celebrates the 60th anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaties of Rome, which provided the foundations for the current European Union. The Treaty establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) and the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) were signed on March 25, 1957, and entered into force on January 1, 1958. The Treaties of Rome removed barriers to trade, promoted a generalized common market, and fostered cooperation, including in peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The EEC has since been amended by successive treaties and renamed to the treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/collection/eu-law/treaties/treaties-force.html

 


Have updates to contribute? The Editorial Board welcomes your input. Contributors will be acknowledged. Please email your contribution to Renee Dopplick, Editor-in-Chief.