Posts tagged ‘Middle East’

19/04/2015

The Future of International Law (Part I)

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery*

“With law shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.” Njal’s Saga, Iceland, c 1270.

Abstract

After the invention of agriculture, roughly 10,000 years ago, humans began to live in progressively larger groups, which were sometimes multi-ethnic. In order to make towns, cities and finally nations function without excessive injustice and violence, both ethical and legal systems were needed.

**Agricultural scene from Ancient Egypt. | Author: Norman de Garis Davies, Nina Davies (2-dimensional 1 to 1 Copy of an 15th century BC Picture) | Wikimedia Commons.

**Agricultural scene from Ancient Egypt. | Author: Norman de Garis Davies, Nina Davies (2-dimensional 1 to 1 Copy of an 15th century BC Picture) | Wikimedia Commons.

Today, in an era of global economic interdependence, instantaneous worldwide communication and all-destroying thermonuclear weapons, we urgently need new global ethical principles and a just and enforcible system of international laws.

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19/04/2015

"There Are Still Judges…"

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avnery*

18 April 2015

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery

THIS WEEK I won a dubious distinction: a groundbreaking Supreme Court judgment has been named after me.

It is an honor I would have gladly dispensed with.

MY NAME appeared at the head of a list of applicants, associations and individuals, which asked the court to cancel a law enacted by the Knesset.

Israel has no written constitution. This unusual situation arose right from the beginning of the state because David Ben-Gurion, a fierce secularist, could not achieve a compromise with the orthodox parties, which insisted that the Torah already is a constitution.

So, instead of a constitution, we have a number of Basic Laws which cover only a part of the ground, and a mass of Supreme Court precedents. This court slowly arrogated to itself the right to abolish Laws enacted by the Knesset which contradict the nonexistent constitution.

STARTING FROM the last Knesset, extreme right-wing Likud Members have been competing with each other in their efforts to castrate the Supreme Court one way or another. Some would stuff the court with right-wing judges, others would radically limit its jurisdiction.

Things came to a head when a group of far-right Likud members launched a veritable avalanche of bills which were clearly unconstitutional. One of them, and the most dangerous one, was a law that forbade people to call for a boycott of the State of Israel and, in a sinister way, added the words “and of territories held by it”.

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19/04/2015

UN Urges States to Act on New Standards to Eliminate Devastating Violence against Children

Human Wrongs Watch

United Nations officials gathered at the UN Crime Congress under way in Doha, Qatar, on 18 April 2015 called on Member States to take action and implement the new international standards on the elimination of violence against children adopted late last year, stressing that such violence continues to have a devastating effect on children, families, and society as a whole.*

Nearly 400,000 children in Gaza are suffering from psychosocial distress as a result of the 50-day armed conflict in 2014. Photo: UNICEF/Alessio Romenzi

Nearly 400,000 children in Gaza are suffering from psychosocial distress as a result of the 50-day armed conflict in 2014. Photo: UNICEF/Alessio Romenzi

The new set of international standards and norms – entitled the “United Nations Model strategies and practical measures on the elimination of violence against children in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice,” and approved by the UN General Assembly on 18 December 2014 – aim to not only improve the effectiveness of the criminal justice system in preventing and responding to violence against children but also to protect children against any violence that may result from their contact with that system.

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18/04/2015

Burns Victims Rush for Treatment in Lampedusa after High Seas Ordeal

Human Wrongs Watch

By Kate Bond*

Lampedusa Island, Italy, 17 April 2015 (UNHCR) A baby as young as six months, with severe burns across half of her face, was among traumatized survivors of the latest sea rescue off the coast of southern Italy’s Lampedusa Island.

© UNHCR/F. Malavolta | Italian rescue workers rush an injured person, hands swathed in bloodied bandages, off a rescue vessel in Lampedusa.

The infant was one of 70 refugees and migrants on board a half-inflated rubber dinghy that had set sail from Libya and been rescued by the Italian coastguard after two days on the Mediterranean Sea. Many people had been badly burned before even setting foot on the vessel, after a gas canister exploded while they were being held by smugglers on land.

Among the island’s newest arrivals on Thursday [16 April 2015] night were 20 women, 47 men and two children. One 25-year-old woman did not survive the hazardous journey, and lay in a black body bag before being placed in a coffin.

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18/04/2015

$30 Million Badly Needed to Help 18,000 Palestinians Besieged in Yarmouk Camp

Human Wrongs Watch

The United Nations agency tasked with the ensuring the well-being of Palestinian refugees is appealing for $30 million to carry out life-sustaining assistance to 18,000 civilians from besieged Yarmouk refugee camp, including 3,500 children.

UNRWA distributing aid in Yalda, an area adjacent to Yarmouk, Syria, hosting displaced civilians. Photo: UNRWA

UNRWA distributing aid in Yalda, an area adjacent to Yarmouk, Syria, hosting displaced civilians. Photo: UNRWA

Over the past days, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has significantly expanded its response in areas neighbouring Yarmouk, on the southern edge of Damascus, where civilians have sought shelter amid a deteriorating security situation since armed groups began fighting in and around the camp.

“This remains a volatile, rapidly changing environment of armed conflict and we must be prepared to respond to those in need, wherever they are,” on 17 April 2015 said Michael Kingsley-Nyinah, UNRWA Director in Syria, in a statement to the media.

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18/04/2015

Fast Growing Cybercrime, an Established Threat to Security of States and Individuals

Human Wrongs Watch

Efforts to tame the fast-growing cybercrime threat took centre stage at the United Nations Crime Congress under way in Doha, Qatar, as a diverse group of experts in the field urged strong partnerships between the public and private sectors to create a safer digital landscape.

UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

“Cybercrime has become an established threat to the security of States and individuals alike,” Loide Lungameni, Chief of the Organized Crime and Illicit Trafficking Branch in the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), on 17 April 2015 told a high-level event on the topic.*

Continuing, she warned those gathered for the 13th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice that in the near future, due to ever-increasing global connectivity, it will become hard to imagine a form of cybercrime – or perhaps any crime – that does not involve electronic evidence.

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15/03/2011

UN Security Council Or World Military Junta?

Security Council | Wikimedia Commons

Human Wrongs Watch —

By Baher Kamal | Human Wrongs Watch

CAIRO – It’s amazing, just amazing, this international system! It presumably has a world Parliament made of delegates from all countries on Earth and called the General Assembly of the United Nations. Such a Parliament is led by a mini executive body of only five countries, called the Security Council.

But such a world Parliament is not democratic — it does not listen to the voice of the peoples, but only follows the moods of their rulers, whatever these are and whichever way they came to power.

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