December 2021: Issue 1

International Human Rights

Chile Passes Marriage Equality Law

Both houses of Congress in Chile with a landslide vote supported the legalisation of same-sex marriage along with the recognition of adoption rights and spousal benefits for same-sex couples. However, some in the LGBTQ community are concerned that Jose Kast, one of the presidential candidates, may try to negate or hinder the legislation due to his far-right anti-LGBTQ views. To read more click here and here

First Genocide Conviction Against an ISIS Member

A court in Frankfurt sentenced Taha al-Jumailly to life in imprisonment for crimes against the Yazidi community in ISIS-occupied Syria and Iraq. The Yazidi community is a Kurdish speaking minority group. ISIS was responsible for killing thousands of Yazidi members in Northern Iraq. al-Jumailly was responsible for purchasing and enslaving a 5-year-old child from the Yazidi community. To read more click here and here

ICJ Decision on Armenia’s complaint Against Azerbaijan

Armenia had claimed that Azerbaijan had violated provisions in the CERD (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination). While the ICJ has not published its final decision, it has issued provisional measures and ordered Azerbaijan to prevent further acts of ethnic cleansing and any other forms of racial discrimination against Armenian nationals. To read more click here

Hungary Anti-LGBTQ Law

Hungary passed a law in June that bans the teaching of homosexuality and transgender issues in schools. The Venice Commission, a panel of human rights experts of the European Council has stated that the law violated international human rights standards. To read more click here and here.

Future US Ambassador to India Promises to Raise Human Rights Issues in India

Eric Garcetti, Biden’s nominee for the position of Ambassador to India was questioned by the Senate on the matter of dealing with the recent human rights issues in India such as the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA). Garcetti promised to raise these sensitive issues while also stating that India is vital to the security interest of the United States. Garcetti was also questioned on the matter of a sexual harassment claim from a former bodyguard. To read more click here and here

International Trade Law

Panel Report on Indian Sugar Subsidies

Brazil, Australia and Guatemala had raised the complaint against subsidies provided by India for its domestic sugar producers. The Panel found India to violate the Agreement of Agriculture as it had provided a non-exempt product-specific support to sugar cane producers in excess of the 10% of the total value of domestic production, thereby violating Article 7.2 (b). India has stated that it will likely appeal the decision, however, at the moment the Appellate Body is currently facing a crisis and currently has no sitting members. To read more click here and here.  

International Environmental Law

Letter Demanding the Release of Environmental Activist Steven Donziger

Steven Donziger, an American lawyer, spent decades representing over 30,000 Ecuadorian indigenous people in bringing a case against Chevron for the environmental damage it has caused due to its oil drilling activities. Donziger was successful in winning the dispute in Ecuador which resulted in a 9.5 billion dollar fine against Chevron, Chevron has then removed all its assets in Ecuador and sought to intimidate Donziger by filing RICO (anti-corruption) charges against Donzinger for supposedly bribing Ecuadorian courts for a favourable verdict. Donziger was sent to prison for failing to present his personal computer and phone to Chevron. Nine US legislators have thus sent a letter to the Justice Department demanding the release of Donziger. To read more click here, and here

Russia Exercises its Veto to Prevent UNSC from Deliberating on Climate Change

The UNSC (United Nations Security Council) has planned on discussing whether climate change constitutes a part of international security and thus within the ambit of the UNSC. Ireland and Niger raised the issue a few months ago, claiming that climate change will eventually exacerbate vulnerable areas and incite further conflict and violence. While Russia exercised its veto to prevent the UNSC from taking up the matter, China abstained from voting and India supported Russia’s stance. To read more click here and here

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