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  • IALL 2018 – Law in Luxembourg – Where Local Tradition Meets European and International Innovation

    Library blog - October 11, 2018

    From Sunday September 30th to Wednesday October 3rd, 2018, the annual conference of the International Association of Law Libraries (IALL) took place in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law (MPI LUX). The city of Luxembourg is home to many EU institutions. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is the best-known EU institution and iconic for the development of European legislation. Luxembourg was a forerunner and a strong supporter of European political and economic integration. Robert Schumann, the famous Luxembourg citizen, stood at the cradle of European unity. The theme of this year’s IALL Conference was “the law in Luxembourg where local traditions meet European and international innovation”. On Sunday 30 September the program started with a pre-conference workshop on robots in libraries.

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  • International Criminal Tribunal of Bangladesh (ICTB) sentences 4 persons to death for war crimes committed during 1971 war.

    Library blog - July 27, 2018

    On 17 July 2018 International Crimes Tribunal-1 of the International Criminal Tribunal of Bangladesh (ICTB) sentenced four persons to death for crimes against humanity and genocide which were committed during the 9-month war of independence of Bangladesh in 1971. This civil war resulted in mass killings, persecutions, deaths, sexual violence and displacements and genocide by the Pakistan armed forces and paramilitary groups that collaborated with them. The four accused, residents of Moulavibazar, resisted the idea of an independent Bangladesh and were affiliated in a local para military force that collaborated with the Pakistan armed forces. The crimes took place in Pachgaon village, Paschimbag village, Moulaviazar Town and at Rajanagar Police station in 1971 against those who were in favor of a liberated Bangladesh. All four have been found guilty of committing genocide of 59 Hindu villagers, raping 6 Hindu women, looting around 102 houses and setting more than 132 houses on fire in 1971.

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  • Bees at Risk: Near-total Ban of Neonicotinoids Backed by ECJ

    Library blog - May 31, 2018

    On Thursday 17 May 2018 the Court of Justice of the European Union backed a near-total ban of three pesticides, also called neonicotinoids (clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid), because of their scientifically proven serious harmful effect on the health of both wild bees and honey bees. Neonicotinoids are part of a class of insecticides that damage the central nervous system of insects that result in paralysis and death.

    Bayer and Syngenta, the manufacturers of these three types of insecticides went to the Court in 2013 to stop the ban of these chemicals. But the Court dismissed “in their entirety the actions brought by Bayer and Syngenta in relation to the neonicotinoids clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid.”

    After an extensive updated assessment which was based on more than 1,500 studies, involving wild bees (bumblebees, solitary bees) and honeybees, the European Food Safety Authority concluded that these three insecticides are harmful for bees. These pesticides can no longer be used in the open field but their use is still allowed inside permanent greenhouses.

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  • Mali War Crimes Suspect Mr. Al Hassan Makes Initial Appearance Before the ICC

    Library blog - April 5, 2018

    After the Al Mahdi case, a landmark trial, a second case has been referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Timbuktu, Mali between 2012 and 2013. Another Malian national, 40-year-old Mr Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud, faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He has been accused of destroying holy places, mausoleums of Muslim saints in Timbuktu and of enforcing a policy of forced marriage which had led to sexual slavery and rape of women and girls. The alleged crimes were committed between 2012 and 2013 when Timbuktu was under the control of militant islamists. From April 2012 until January 2013, Mr Al Hassan was head of the Islamic Police.

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  • Former Nazi Officer’s Plea for Mercy Rejected

    Library blog - January 18, 2018

    The mercy plea of Oskar Gröning, a 96-year-old former Nazi officer, has been denied. On July 15, 2015, Mr Gröning, who is also called the ‘bookkeeper of Auschwitz’, was condemned of being “guilty of aiding and abetting murder in three hundred thousand legally concurrent cases”, referring to the 300,000 murders that took place in the Nazi death camp Auschwitz during the Second World War. During the trial of 2015, Oskar Gröning expressly admitted moral guilt, but not criminal guilt.

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  • Robots and Rights

    Library blog - November 16, 2017

    Recently, an intelligent and human looking robot named Sophia made global headlines when Saudi Arabia granted the humanoid robot Saudi citizenship. According to the headlines, Saudi Arabia became the first country to grant a robot citizenship. The news caused quite a stir – the female looking robot was not wearing a hijab, she was not accompanied by a male guardian and the robot was awarded citizenship, which made it look like a humanoid intelligent robot was given more rights than women and migrants living in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is known for its restrictive policy concerning women’s rights and Saudi women have only recenly been given the right to drive a car. Perhaps it is a bit premature to give an AI humanoid robots like Sophia citizenship rights. Was it a publicity stunt? Yes.

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  • The Martens Clause: A Bibliography

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    Books Schircks, R., Die Martens’sche Klausel : Rezeption und Rechtsqualität, Baden-Baden, Nomos, 2002. Wolfrum, R., The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law ; Vol. VI: International Organizations or Institutions, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012. Articles Arpo, M., “The Martens Clause and International Crimes in Estonia” ENDC Proceedings, Vol. 15, (2012), pp. 101–106. Bernstorff, J., “Martens Clause”, […]

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  • The Martens Clause: Overview of Treaty Articles

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    The Martens Clause made its first appearance in international law in the Preamble to Convention (II) with Respect to the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annex: Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land in 1899. Hereafter, the Martens Clause has been incorporated several times in other treaties – in […]

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  • The Martens Clause: A New Library Special

    Library blog - August 31, 2017

    The Martens clause is named after the Russian diplomat and international law professor Fyodor Fyodorovich Martens (1845-1909), the Russian delegate at the The Hague Peace Conferences in 1899. The Martens clause came into existence as a diplomatic statement made by diplomat Martens who wanted to come up with a solution for a disagreement between large occupying forces and smaller states. Martens, who was of the opinion that international law should illuminate and set normative standards, created the clause to fill a legal vacuum and help alleviate the horrors of war. The clause serves as a reminder that an act is not just yet permissible when an act of war is not expressly prohibited by international law or customary law.

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  • ‘Make our planet great again’. The impact of Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement

    Library blog - June 10, 2017

    On 1 June 2017 Donald Trump, President of the United States of America (USA) announced that the USA would withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement: “We’re getting out, but we will start to negotiate, and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair.” The Paris Climate Agreement which aims at limiting and mitigating the effect of climate change, is an agreement which builds upon the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Trump’s decision has been scorned and condemned by many.

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