International Law Reflections

27.06.2017 | Miroslav Tůma
Does the Negotiated Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Contradict the Treaty on the NonProliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)?
“Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.” (Article VI, Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons)
19.06.2017 | Pauline Collins
What future for Peace? The changing nature of democratic governance and the military organization.
Vincent Bernard, the editor in chief of the International Review of the Red Cross (ICRC), has recently written the ‘world seems to be entering a period of selfishness, of one-sided power grabs and of rallying around murderous identities.’ This post considers what hope there is for peace
04.05.2017 | Tamás Lattmann
Attack on the CEU in Hungary - Attack only on academic freedom?
In 2014, Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán has declared to build an “illiberal state” in Hungary, while constantly referring to leaders like Vladimir Putin in Russia or Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey as examples. This has been seen by many as a gradual march toward authoritarianism. While this – and many other policies – have been heavily criticized by many ever since, these have gained a new momentum with the prime minister and his circles turning against the Central European University.
03.05.2017 | Miroslav Tůma
A promising beginning of negotiations of a convention banning nuclear weapons
The first round of talks regarding the negotiations of a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons (their use, production, ownership, etc.) took place on March 27–31, 2017, at the UN Headquarters in New York under the presidency of Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gómez of Costa Rica. The second, and final round of talks, during which the finalization and adoption of the proposed convention is expected, should take place in New York from June 15 to July 7, 2017.
10.04.2017 | Veronika Bílková
Do Two Wrongs Make a Right?
The Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria and the US attack. On Thursday 6 April 2017, the US carried out a missile strike in Syria. It did so in response to the chemical attack which had taken place two days earlier in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, in the rebel-controlled part of the Idlib province, killing 80 and seriously injuring more than 200 civilians.
06.04.2017 | Miroslav Tůma
The nuclear weapons ban convention and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
This year, there will be an international conference (March 27th – 31st and June 15th – July 7th) in the headquarters of the UN in New York. The conference will have a mandate to negotiate an agreement to ban nuclear weapons. Besides being attended by member states of the UN, the conference will be attended by representatives of some non-specified international organizations and civic society representatives. The conference will be held on the basis of a resolution „Taking Forward Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations" which calls on the world to achieve progress in just that area.
04.04.2017 | Veronika Bílková
Where Two Are Fighting, the Third Has to Adjudicate – Ukraine and the Russian Federation at the International Court of Justice
The first hearing in the dispute between Ukraine and the Russian Federation was held at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague on 6th-9th March 2017. The hearing did not relate to the substance of the dispute, but to the request by Ukraine for provisional measures under Article 41 of the ICJ. Despite this, it might be useful to briefly summarize the case and consider Ukraine´s chances to succeed in it.
07.03.2017 | Tamás Lattmann
All’s wrong that starts wrong – withdrawals from the International Criminal Court
The Hague-based International Criminal Court, the world’s first temporary judicial forum, created in 1998 by the adoption of the Rome Statute, has been living difficult times during the past months. After years of struggle since its operations have started in 2002, the second half of 2016 has brought withdrawals, threats for withdrawals, and even a visibly collective strategy for a mass withdrawal of African states from the system. What keeps states in a similar structure, what makes them seriously consider a withdrawal, and what is the possible future of the International Criminal Court (ICC)?
08.12.2016 | Miroslav Tůma
Can the Necessary International Legal Framework to Achieve a Nuclear-WeaponFree World Be Reached?
The answer to this question can, to a certain extent, be found in the significant resolution of the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security Committee), which was approved within the framework of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly at the end of October this year. The title of Resolution A/C.1/71/L.41 calls for progress in multilateral negotiations (Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations). Its significance, and we could also say its historically unprecedented character, lies in Article 8 of the operative part, which contains the decision …to convene in 2017 a United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination. The conference should take place in New York during two time periods (from 27 to 31 March and from 15 June to July 7) with the participation of UN member states, unspecified international organizations and civil society representatives. The mentioned article was added to the resolution based on a recommendation of the conclusion report of the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG), which held talks in Geneva during the first half of 2016 on the evaluation of new legal measures and necessary norms to attain a nuclear-weapon-free world. To demonstrate their disagreement with the OEWG mandate, none of the nuclear-weapon states participated in the negotiations. Any disagreements were thus presented by representatives of allied or partner countries of the nuclear-weapon states (as the nuclear-weapon states provided the allied or partner countries with a so-called nuclear umbrella) which were taking part in the talks.
11.10.2016 | Veronika Bílková
No Revolution Has Taken Place: The Post-2015 Human Rights Foreign Policy of the Czech Republic
In 2015, two new conceptual documents were adopted in the Czech Republic, under the Government of Bohuslav Sobotka – the general Concept of the Czech Republic´s Foreign Policy (available in English here) and a more specific Concept of Human Rights Promotion and Transition Cooperation (available in Czech here). The former document replaced an older text entitled Conceptual Basis of the Foreign Policy of the Czech Republic (available in English here) which had been adopted in 2011 by the Government of Petr Nečas. The latter document builds on the 2010 Concept of Transition Policy but it is broader in scope, covering not only transition policy/cooperation but also human rights promotion.


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