This Month in International Law - April 2019
CJEU OK’s Investor-state dispute mechanism in Canada-EU trade agreement
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (“CETA”) aims to create a Tribunal and an Appellate Tribunal for disputes between investors and states. Belgium, who has previously had reservations to the trade agreement, had requested the opinion of the Court of Justice on the compatibility of such a mechanism with EU law. According to the Court of Justice, the mechanism is valid as long as it does not interpret provisions of EU law outside of CETA, and upholds the independence of its Members.
New Brexit deadline October 31st
After gridlock in the British Parliament, a “no-deal” brexit was close to becoming reality, until the UK and the European Council agreed to an extension until the 31st of October. The UK will now have to hold European elections in May, while the EU has stated that the Withdrawal Agreement is not up for renegotiation.
The EU prolongs Myanmar sanctions for another year
EU sanctions against 14 individuals for human rights violations, as well as an arms embargo and export restrictions of equipment for monitoring communications, was extended for a year, until April 2020.
United States brings about more sanctions against Venezuela
Trump Moves To Withdraw U.S. From U.N. Arms Trade Treaty
President Trump has announced that the United States will remove its signature from the UN Arms Trade Treaty. The Senate has yet to ratify the Treaty, and is yet to be ratified by important Member States of the UN, such as China, India, Iran, Russia and Pakistan.
International Criminal Court refuses to open an investigation on war crimes in Afghanistan
The Prosecutor had requested an authorization to investigate alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity by several actors in Afghanistan since 1 May 2003, notably the United States. The pre-trial chamber decided not to grant the request as it would “would not serve the interests of justice.” The chamber noted that current circumstances in the country would make the prospect of a successful investigation extremely limited, citing possible lack of cooperation by the parties involved. [Could add that the US had earlier revoked her visa.]
Security Council succumbs to US pressure, adopts watered-down resolution on weaponized rape
The United States had threatened to veto the measure over references to reproductive health, which the Trump administration construed as implying support for abortion.
Sudanese military deposes longtime president Omar al-Bashir
The African Union threatened to suspend Sudan’s membership unless civilian rule is restored within three months. Separately, the ruling military regime indicated that it will not extradite Mr. Bashir to the ICC for prosecution. Mr. Bashir faces war crimes charges over his management of the war in Darfur.
Malaysia reverses course, will not join ICC
The government signed the Rome Treaty in March but will not ratify the document, citing vehement opposition from leaders of the country’s ethnic Malay majority.
ICC asserts jurisdiction in Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi’s crimes-against-humanity case
Mr. Gaddafi, who is not in ICC custody, had argued that his conviction and subsequent amnesty in a Libyan court negated the court’s jurisdiction.