Quite possibly my favourite studyblr picture I’ve taken thus far. I’m on my second day of my solo trip to The Hague, and today I decided to stop by the Peace Palace. Watched their free audio tour and prepared myself for a tour inside the grand palace.

I was nerding out all-throughout!! As a student of International law, the whole experience was simply mesmerising. It stirred something within me - might not be a direct surge or motivation, but rather a certainty that I would like to expand my studies in law further and reach out for more and more.

Also, I bought 2 copies of the Charter of the UN!! Actually had to use this in my first ever law exam, but it made sense for me to have a physical copy of it as an international law student 😁. Got one for my boyfriend as well!

I think it’s of the utmost importance to immerse yourself in the practical aspects of what you are learning, what you are striving towards, what you are shaping your future to be. Trust me, it will grant you a deep appreciation for the countless late-night study sessions, those hard hours in the library, and for the time you have sacrificed. Because in the end, you will look back to see that the time you’ve chosen to spend on it will be one of your greatest investments.

On that note, it’s also the same for people! If that person is an important person in your life, time sacrificed for them is never time wasted. Same goes for time spent for yourself. Studying constantly is not healthy. Find a balance. Find a balance.

On that note, I’m going to work on some blog posts! Will update you guys on that once it turns into something substantial.

Have a lovely night. x

#study#studying#student#studyblr#lawstudent#lawschool#unitednations#icj#peacepalace#denhaag#thehague#universitystudent#unilife#collegestudent#studyinspiration#inspiration#studybuddy#lawblr#medblr#traveling (at The Student Hotel The Hague)

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“As Dutch peacekeepers stood helplessly by, the Serbs stormed the Srebrenica safe haven, separating men and boys from women.” (x) NYT/AP

I mean, this video (x) shows just how helpless the Dutch peacekeepers were as the Serbs, with Gen. Mladic, stormed Srebrenica. In fact, they were so helpless that Gen. Mladic shakes hands with one of the helpless Dutch peacekeepers and presents him with what looks to be gifts. Was this before or after the Serbs supposedly stormed in???

You know, the peacekeepers were a reason genocide* was committed in Srebrenica, so don’t paint them helpless…. The helpless ones are those who haven’t been with us since 7/11/95.

*Genocide is used here because of the following:

 …UN Security Council, which has the primary responsibility for maintenance of international peace and security, failed to pass a resolution commemorating the Srebrenica genocide. This is especially regrettable, as the International Court of Justice, the UN’s primary judicial body, has determined that the crimes committed in Srebrenica were genocide. (x)

Read more news about Srebrenica here:





YES! The Whales Have Won! ICJ Rules Japan’s Southern Ocean Whaling ‘Not For Scientific Research’ - Permit REVOKED!

(The demand for Whale meat, even in Japan, is approximately equal to nil but “Swatch” is going to have to find another way to lube their clocks and some precision machine shop processes still depend on spermacetti. Mostly military-industrial machine shops.)

from Sea Shepherd via EarthFirst!

In a stunning victory for the whales, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague announced their binding decision today in the landmark case of Australia v. Japan, ruling that Japan’s JARPA II whaling program in the Antarctic is not for scientific purposes and ordering that all permits given under JARPA II be revoked. The news was applauded and celebrated by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society USA and Sea Shepherd Australia, both of which have directly intervened against Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean.

Representing Sea Shepherd in the courtroom to hear the historic verdict were Captain Alex Cornelissen, Executive Director of Sea Shepherd Global and Geert Vons, Director of Sea Shepherd Netherlands. They were accompanied by Sea Shepherd Global’s Dutch legal counsel.

The case against Japan was heard by the ICJ in July of last year to decide whether Japan is in breach of its international obligations in implementing the JARPA II “research” program in the Southern Ocean, and to demand that Japan cease implementation of JARPA II and revoke any related permits until Japan can make assurances that their operations conform with international law.

In a vote of 12 to 4, the ICJ ruled that the scientific permits granted by Japan for its whaling program were not scientific research as defined under International Whaling Commission regulations. It ordered that Japan revoke the scientific permits given under JARPA II and refrain from granting any further permits under that program…

Links @ top have more
Israel is under an obligation to terminate its breaches of international law; it is under an obligation to cease forthwith the works of construction of the wall being built in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, to dismantle forthwith the structure therein situated, and to repeal or render ineffective forthwith all legislative and regulatory acts relating thereto.

The International Court of Justice, in a vote of 14 to one, justices asserted what was cited above following a request from the General Assembly of the UN, to publish an advisory opinion in July 2004, stating that while Israel has a right to protect its borders, the route of the wall being built in Palestinian territories is in violation of several articles in the Forth Geneva Convention. 

Read more on settlement expansion and the Wall from Haggai Matar at 972 Mag.

Marking time on the Thai-Cambodian border conflict

by Jim Della-Giacoma

On 18 July 2011, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Thailand and Cambodia to “immediately withdraw their military personnel” in the provisional demilitarised zone (PDZ) it created around the Preah Vihear temple, scene of a long-festering territorial dispute between the two countries. Last week, a year to the day of that order, the two sides with some pomp and ceremony replaced the soldiers on these frontlines with police and paramilitary border guards. While the word “immediate” seems to have its own meaning in this part of the world, it is good news. This belated bilateral agreement is starting to defer to the court’s decision last year and it will turn down the temperature of this simmering conflict. It might also allow for the deployment of a neutral ASEAN observer force; Indonesian soldiers have been on stand-by to fulfil this role for over a year now – their deployment would mark a new and positive chapter in proactive ASEAN peacemaking.

Fighting around the World Heritage listed Preah Vihear and two other nearby border temples flared in February and April 2011. In a clash unusual for the region, two treaty allies and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) briefly went to war, exchanging tens of thousands of artillery rounds, including cluster munitions. The fighting in 2011 killed an estimated 28 people, maimed many others, and led to the temporary displacement of tens of thousands.

As we analysed in our December 2011 report Waging Peace: ASEAN and the Thai-Cambodian Border Conflict, the friction that led to the fighting fuelled by Thai domestic politics, much of the heat went out of this conflict after the change of government in Bangkok in July that year. But despite this political shift, the underlying conflict was not resolved and the situation on the border did not immediately change. It remained over-militarised and often unnecessarily tense. Earlier this month there were reports, later denied by the Thais, of Cambodian troops shooting at a circling Thai airliner thinking it was a surveillance drone. The border dispute can never be solved by force but only through painstaking talks and surveys that are needed for its final demarcation. Having soldiers too close to each other also impedes a long-term grand plan of making all of ASEAN’s border zones of economic “connectivity” rather than the frontlines as many of them were during the Cold War.

The withdrawal announcement came after a meeting on 13 July between Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Thai counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra in Siem Reap. Thai Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul then gave more details after a 16 July meeting that the Royal Thai Army also planned to redeploy troops from the area. His announcement followed talks between senior Thai security officials to discuss implementation of the ICJ order and the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the Indonesian Observers Team (IOT). This needed to be done before the 54-year-old case goes back to the ICJ for more oral arguments on 15 – 19 April 2013 related to the ongoing Cambodian request to have the court once and for all define the borderline around the temple. On 18 July, Cambodia Defence Minister Tea Banh made it official in a speech at the temple, where 485 Cambodian soldiers drove off, to be replaced with 255 policemen and 100 temple guards. The two sides say they are planning to jointly demine the PDZ.

In a landmark passage of its July 2011 judgement – it must not be forgotten – the ICJ also ordered the parties to allow ASEAN appointed observers from Indonesia to have access to the disputed area, effectively to be its eyes and ears. The regional organisation had earlier set its own precedent by agreeing to such a monitoring mission in February after the initial clashes around Preah Vihear. Foreign Minister Surapong said the 16 July meeting resolved that the foreign affairs and defence ministries would jointly consider the rules for the Indonesians before submitting it to cabinet. It would be forwarded to parliament for approval in accordance with Article 190 Paragraph 2 of the Constitution. As observed inWaging Peace, the turbulent domestic politics in Thailand and the cumbersome (and even questionable) constitutional process in that country have always been an obstacle. A Cambodia official told Crisis Group this week it is ready to unilaterally receive Indonesian observers, after having approved them in May last year. Indeed, it has a lonely officialwaiting and a post on the border ready to receive them replete with ASEAN and Indonesian flags flying.

While this conflict may be heading in the right direction, it is doing so slowly. Beyond questions of timing, the border dispute and the deployment of observers is another litmus test for the Yingluck administration and its relationship with the military. The agreement is a qualified triumph as once again the question is being asked: who is in charge? Thai military Supreme Commander General Thanasak Patimapakorn told reporters on 20 July that observers were no longer needed. There appears to be some political demining still to be completed on the Thai side. Just like in 2011, the supreme commander, whose office oversees border affairs, seems to be out of step with the civilian government. Speaking as if he were the foreign minister he said: “Indonesia considers that if the two countries can talk, they will have no need to come in, and this is also the two nations’ stance”.

But is there still a need for the Indonesians? Crisis Group believes observers are still important to verify any agreement and prevent future turmoil. They also seem to still be on the trilateral agenda. On 19 July, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa met inPhnom Penh with his veteran Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong to try and unravel another regional conflict in theSouth China Sea. A senior Indonesian official told Crisis Group that the ministers found time to discuss the plan to send observers to the Thai-Cambodian border, which was still being actively considered as they waited for the Thais to approve the TOR. In the meantime, the agreement to redeploy troops was a welcome development for South East Asia, with observers, anyway, just being a means to an end, which was peace.

This is coded language for all the parties not to expect too much, too soon. For foreigners living in Thailand this might be another illustration of “Thai time”, although Thais themselves would probably disagree that they have a punctuality problem. Indonesia, home to the culture of jam karet or rubber time, appears to be relaxed with this modest pace of progress. As Natalegawa becomes something of an expert on regional shuttle diplomacy, he knows all too well that even when ASEAN is “aggressively waging peace” it will do so at its own measured tempo.

Resolving Conflict in South East Asia

New Chinese judge at ICJ, not a fan of extra-territorial jurisdiction

Xue Hanqin has just been elected to the International Court of Justice.  You can find some glimpses of her views in a 2006 article: vaguely supportive of the ICC, not a fan of universal jurisdiction.  Relevant section on UJ below:

 At the moment, one of the most controversial issues with international criminal law is the question of universal jurisdiction. Under traditional international law, states establish universal jurisdiction over certain international crimes by treaty terms except for one case, piracy. In other words, regardless of general jurisdictional grounds on territory, nationality, protection and so on, states establish national criminal jurisdiction over certain offences simply by the physical presence of the alleged suspect. In exercising such criminal jurisdiction, not only judicial assistance is assured between the state parties under the relevant treaty, rules of sovereign immunity are also respected under general international law. The early conventions on human rights are vague on the point, but state practice and international court decisions support this position. In the Pinochet case, although the British House of Lords declined to embrace one Lord’s opinion grounding extradition on international custom regarding universal jurisdiction, its ruling did affect the doctrine of Act of State as practiced in the past. By pronouncing what constitutes or does not constitute an act of state of another state, or by national legislation to establish absolute universal jurisdiction, national courts would likely exercise jurisdiction over cases that may lead to international disputes by unduly encroaching upon the domestic affairs of other states. So far state practice shows over-extended national jurisdiction, either civil or criminal, is not conducive to promoting international efforts in suppressing international crimes, nor to maintaining international peace and stability.

HT: Julian Ku at Opinio Juris 

Respecto al fallo de Nicaragua v. Colombia que presentó hoy la CIJ, me abstengo de plasmar mis impresiones y opiniones en público. Si le interesa saber qué pienso, cosa que no importa porque no soy agente de decisión, bien pueda preguntarme en privado y discutiremos todo lo quele apetezca.

Eso sí, lo que sí diré en público es que me horroriza ver la reacción inmadura, facilitista, y el pensamiento a corto plazo y basado en meras conveniencias de muchas personas. No podemos pedir ni instar al desacato de la Corte: vivimos en un mundo en donde, afortunadamente, estas peleas por terreno ya se pueden dar sin muertos y con argumentos. Hemos aceptado, como país, a la Corte y tenemos que convivir con nuestra decisión de hacerlo y de acatar el fallo, porque eso es respeto al derecho y a la institucionalidad. No somos un país de derecho sino aceptamos eso.

La ley, les guste o no a muchos facilistas, no es algo que se cumpla solamente cuando nos es conveniente. La ley se cumple porque es nuestro compromiso, porque no solo se gana y porque como país dimos nuestra palabra. Dejen de clamar por sangre, piensen al largo plazo y acepten que no todo en la vida se “gana”. Lean el fallo, traten de entender las circunstancias y abran la mente más allá de “somos el mejor país del mundo, el más feliz y merecemos nuestro mar porque ajá”. Como todo en la vida, el fallo responde a procesos complejos y consideraciones profundas: no perdimos porque nos tuvieran bronca, no nos quitaron el mar haciendo trampa. Lo que pasó, pasó en derecho y como tenía que pasar.

Infórmese antes de clamar por una justicia que no existe sino en su cabeza iracunda. Lea antes de exigir el desacato a la ley. Piense un poco antes de acusar al presidente de no tener cojones por no desacatar el fallo y redimir en sangre su valentía: requiere más entereza la reacción madura, legal e institucional de aceptar el fallo que nos comprometimos a aceptar y proceder a negociar con Nicaragua las mejores condiciones posibles para que nuestros pescadores, los verdaderos afectados de esto, tengan cómo subsistir, continuar su negocio e ir a los cayos con la menor cantidad de inconvenientes posibles.

When All Else Fails?

Jack asked me to explain the idea of self-victimization when one is trying to ignore their own hostile positions.

In the case of The Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Uganda in the International Court of Justice, a case that took place in 2000, the Congo reported that Uganda had issued acts of aggression via by means such as forcibly taking control of the hydroelectric dam and invading areas in Bas Congo. The Court found, before I leave you in suspense, that this was true, and Uganda was the aggressor.

However, during the hearings, Uganda presented the argument that they were acting in self-defense, and that these acts of war were justified as being retaliatory for actions being committed by the Congolese government, such as attacking the UN Embassy in Uganda. There was no identifiable proof that the aggressors were representing, or even supported by the Congolese government or military.

Before a nation can act in self-defense, they have to submit an appeal to the UN Security Council to give them permission to act in retaliation to another act. Uganda did submit an appeal, but never received approval from the Council.

But there is an amendment to the Council agreement that says you must wait to receive approval. They state that if the situation is desperate enough, then acting in self-defense is justified without the Council’s approval.

So this left Uganda room for self-victimization, thus they acted.

The overall outcome, however, is always the same: You will be told that you were wrong, and that the actions were not in self-defense, and that you were making excuses to do some incredibly horrible things, such as causing the death of a few million Congolese citizens who died from the sudden lack of energy and hospital treatment after Ugandan forces shut down the outgoing power to the hydroelectric dam.

This also affected surrounding countries, which resulted in about 2 million deaths total if I recall correctly.

When people are challenged for their evident hostility and desire to commit crimes against humanity, their initial response is always the same:

“I had no other choice; I’m the victim here!”

It’s a matter of how they word that which makes a difference in how many people actually believe them. Ultimately, though, it always results in the same conclusion: The ones that are victimizing themselves are making excuses and are punished swiftly and heavily for their actions.

“These conditions are forced. We have no other choice but to exile those non-whites. Anything less is white genocide!”

When all else fails, play the victim card. Just know what happens after.

If you need help figuring that out, ask the Ugandan government how well their court hearing in 1999 - 2001 before the ICJ worked out. They’ll tell you how much they were compensated for their completely justified and humane acts of self-defense.

- Sam Owl