ICC States Parties give hope to supporters of humanitarian intervention and the ‘Responsibility to Protect’

by Jorge Crespo García, Universal Rights Group Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog

On 17 July 2018, the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction over the ‘crime of aggression’ – its fourth ‘core’ crime – was formally activated . This followed the historic decision of States Parties to the Rome Statute on 15 December last year to adopt a resolution amending the instrument. Although States Parties ultimately decided, when adopting the resolution, that the Court’s jurisdiction (in …

The future of human rights accountability edges closer: Magnitsky laws move to centre stage in the US and Europe

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group and Ben Greenacre, Universal Rights Group Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

The extrajudicial killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey, and the international reaction thereto, could well represent a defining moment in the evolution of systems of international accountability for serious human rights violations. In particular, the US response to the killing is being shaped (or, from the perspective of President Trump, perhaps dictated) …

The death of Jamal Khashoggi and the growing prominence of global ‘Magnitsky’ laws as a means of securing accountability

by Ben Greenacre, Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

What do the Russian anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky and the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi have in common? Both victims of shocking human rights violations, including torture and, ultimately, extrajudicial killing, their cases have helped to catalyse an important new trend in how the international community addresses serious infractions of international human rights law. In particular, both killings are closely associated …

Time for a ‘Universal Magnitsky Act’?

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group and Mary Grace Carey, Universal Rights Group Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

In 2009, Russian tax accountant Sergei Magnitsky died in a Moscow prison after investigating a $230 million tax fraud involving Russian officials. A subsequent investigation into his case by the Kremlin’s own human rights commission, ordered and endorsed (in July 2011) by the-then Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, found that in order to silence Magnitsky, corrupt officials had accused him of …

NGO advocacy and the Council’s prevention mandate

by Nicolas Agostini, Representative to the United Nations for DefendDefenders Blog, By invitation

As the Human Rights Council enters its teenage years, the Council’s ‘prevention mandate’—i.e., its responsibility to ‘contribute, through dialogue and cooperation, towards the prevention of human rights violations and [to] respond promptly to human rights emergencies’ [1] —has become one of the hot topics of discussion. Operationalising the prevention part of the Council’s mandate was the central theme of the last …

Towards a new accountability? From COIs to Magnitsky laws

One of the key mandates and powers of the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms (e.g. country Special Rapporteurs and Commissions of Inquiry – COIs) is to secure accountability for serious human rights violations, including gross and systematic violations. But has it been able to fulfil this role since its establishment in 2006? In part, the answer to this question …