Tag Archives: international law

UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances to Review Switzerland, Colombia and Mongolia | Instant News

GENEVA (8 April 2021) – United Nations Enforced Disappearances Committee (CED) will hold its upcoming sessions from April 12 to May 7, including reviewing the country reports of Switzerland, Colombia and Mongolia.

The 20th session will begin on April 12 at 12:30 Geneva time, and will be handled by a survivor of enforced disappearance in 2018. The woman, who joined from Mexico, will pay tribute to all victims of enforced disappearance and share her views. about the impact of the Committee’s work in its case. The opening and victim’s testimony will be broadcast on the web Web TV.

During the session, the Committee, which has received individual country reports from Switzerland, Colombia and Mongolia, and input from non-governmental organizations, will discuss various issues with the respective State delegations.

Among the possible issues to be discussed:

Switzerland (April 13-15): domestic law on enforced disappearances; wrong transfer of children; measures taken to respect the principle of non-refoulement in cases of enforced disappearance; training of relevant state officials on the prevention and eradication of enforced disappearances.

Colombia (19-20 April): harmonization of domestic law with International Conventions, search & investigation & reparations mechanisms.

(21-23 April): criminalization, investigation and prevention of enforced disappearances, including measures to ensure respect for fundamental legal protections and to maintain accurate records of all persons deprived of their liberty.

The above public dialogue will be held online and live broadcast. Further information on the 20th session, including reports submitted by States Parties and schedules for public dialogue, is now available at session site.

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United States Imposes New Sanctions And Export Controls On Russia In Response To Chemical Weapons Poisoning – International Law | Instant News

The whole world: The United States Imposes New Sanctions And Export Controls On Russia In Response To Chemical Weapons Poisoning

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On March 2, 2021, the US State Department (State) ruled that Russia violated international law when using chemical weapons against its own nationals on several occasions (press release found here). In accordance with this decree, both the State Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and the US Department of Commerce have expanded sanctions and export restrictions on Russia.

The United States imposed two sets of sanctions against Russia under the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Abolition of War Act (CBW Act), following Russia’s use of the nerve agent Novichok on former Russian military officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter on March 4. , 2018. On August 24, 2020, Russia deployed the nerve agent Novichok against Russian opposition leader Aleksey Navalny. After the possibility of not surviving, Navalny was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison in February 2021. Navalny’s poisoning and subsequent imprisonment prompted the State to impose additional sanctions, maintain and expand export restrictions originally imposed in response to Russia’s attack on the Skripals.


As a result, the following sanctions were imposed, effective March 18, 2021 (found here):

  • Aid to Russia is suspended under the Foreign Assistance Act 1961, except for urgent humanitarian aid, food or agricultural commodities.
  • The cessation of sales of defense goods or services to Russia under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the termination of licensing or approval for export to Russia of any goods on the United States Arms List (USML), except in support of government space cooperation, or employment equal commercial space after a six month transition period.
  • Termination of all foreign military financing for Russia under AECA.
  • Denial of credit, credit guarantees, or other financial assistance by any agency in the United States Government, including the United States Export-Import Bank.
  • A prohibition on the export of any goods or technology to Russia that are part of a list of controls established under Section 2404 (c) (1) of Annex to Title 50.

While some export restrictions were lifted due to the national security interests of the United States, the BIS has limited the availability of certain exemptions. Generally, waivers for license applications will continue to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. In particular, the new sanctions eliminate the waiver of export and re-export of controlled goods for reasons of national security (NS goods) to commercial end users in Russia – now, applications for such exports are evaluated under the “presumption of rejection” policy. Likewise, after a six-month transition period, the sanctions remove waivers for the export of goods that support commercial space flight activities that qualify as NS goods or are on USML – exports will be subject to license review under “presumption of rejection.” The export of NS items to Russia is further limited by the elimination of waivers for Service and Replacement of Parts and Equipment (RPL), Unlimited Technology and Software (TSU), and Additional Permissive Re-Export (APR).

Export or re-export of NS goods to Russia may be permitted subject to partial waiver under the following license exemptions: (1) Import, Export, Re-export and Temporary Transfer (TMP); (2) Governments, International Organizations, International Inspections under the Chemical Weapons and International Space Station (GOV) Convention; (3) Baggage (BAG); (4) Aircraft, Ship and Space Shuttle (AVS); and (5) Commodities, Software and Encryption Technology (ENC). Licensing applications for the export or re-export of certain categories of NS items are subject to review under the same Export Administration Regulations (EAR) licensing policies as before the new restrictions, including: items required for the safety of fixed wing civilian passenger aviation; deemed export licenses for Russian citizens working in the United States; goods destined for wholly owned US subsidiaries and other foreign subsidiaries of US companies located in Russia; and items that support government spatial cooperation.


Additionally, the United States has designated specific entities and persons for their roles in the chemical attack on Navalny. The state adds six entities to the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) Part 231 List of Specific Persons operating on behalf of the Russian Government’s defense or intelligence sector. Furthermore, under EO 13382 (Property Blocking of the Proliferator of Mass Destruction Weapons and Their Supporters), the State designated seven entities as being involved in or contributing to the deployment of weapons of mass destruction. The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) subsequently appointed FSB Director Alexander Vasilievich Bortnikov for the role of the FSB in Navalny’s poisoning. Finally, in accordance with EO 13661 (Blocking the Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine), OFAC appointed seven Russian officials for their roles in naval poisoning and imprisonment.

These sanctions can only be removed after a minimum of 12 months, and if the Executive Branch finds and declares to Congress that Russia has met the requirements outlined in the CBW Act. The CBW law requires that Russia provide a reliable guarantee that it will not use chemical or biological weapons against its own citizens, will compensate victims of these attacks in the past, and will allow impartial international observers to verify that it is not prepared to strike again chemically. its own citizens.

US sanctions laud those imposed by Britain on 15 October 2020. The UK imposed an asset freeze and travel ban on six individuals and one entity identified as responsible for the Novichok poisoning in Navalny. see here.

The European Union followed suit on March 2 with its own sanctions – narrower than the United States – on the head of Russia’s investigative committee, Alexander Bastrykin; the public prosecutor, Igor Krasnov; the head of the national guard, Viktor Zolotov; and the head of the federal prison service, Alexander Kalashnikov.

Of note, while Canada has yet to impose sanctions related to the Navalny attack, Ottawa issued a statement on March 2 that “strongly” supports the decisions made by the United States and the European Union. see here.

The contents of this article are intended to provide general guidance on the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your particular circumstances.

POPULAR ARTICLE ABOUT: International Law from Around the World

Myanmar Sanctions and Export Controls

Arnold & Porter

The Biden administration was quick to respond to the unfolding situation in Myanmar (also known as Burma): a day after the military, known as the Tatmadaw, took control of the country’s government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared …


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Removed – New Zealand’s Link to the Covert Genocide | Instant News

The latest Stuff Circuit documentary, Deleted, investigate China’s persecution of Uyghurs and reveal how all of us – including the New Zealand government – are compromised.

There is a growing international awareness of large-scale human rights abuses against Uyghurs, an ethnic minority in Xinjiang, northwest China: intensive surveillance, extra-judicial detention, forced labor.

Deleted centered around the role of New Zealand: telling the story of New Zealand Uyghurs and their struggles to find out what happened to missing family members, while also investigating our own links to the same human rights abuses.

“The scale and horror of what is happening to the Uighurs is becoming increasingly clear,” said producer Lousia Cleave, “and hearing stories from the Uyghur community here about their friends and family who have disappeared is heartbreaking.”

“So we wondered: what New Zealand ties are there? Can we be comfortable with our position in what is now known as genocide? So we did some digging. “

The resulting Stuff Circuit investigation established a link between a New Zealand business and a Chinese company selected for playing a major role in Uighur human rights abuses.

“What’s more,” Cleave said, “there is a relationship with the government too.”

New Zealand is economically dependent on China – our biggest trading partner – and while our government says it is concerned about the situation facing the Uighurs, the documentary Stuff Circuit reveals how its actions don’t support those words.

Due to reporting difficulties from Xinjiang, the Stuff Circuit had to find an innovative way to tell the story.

Director / editor Toby Longbottom said the result was a new creative direction for the team.

“This is one of the most visually challenging projects we’ve worked on and it’s important to find a way to tell this important story in a way that people can connect with.”

“We are happy with the results,” said Longbottom. “This is a story that needs to be told and we are delighted to have found a unique way to do it.”

Deleted funded with support from NZ On Air. Scan the QR code below to watch the documentary and explore interactive content on www.stuff.co.nz/deleted.

© Scoop Media


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EU takes legal action vs UK over delaying Brexit deal | Instant News

The European Union is taking legal action against the UK, arguing that they do not respect the terms of the Brexit withdrawal agreement and violate international law.

The 27-member EU objected to Britain unilaterally extending a grace period after April 1 that applies to trade on the island of Ireland, where the EU and UK share land borders and where a special trading system is established as part. of the Brexit divorce deal.

This marks the deterioration in relations between the two parties since the transitional divorce period ended on January 1. The disputes have ranged from a dispute over vaccines, to full diplomatic recognition of the European Union in the UK and now again the terms of a divorce agreement.

On March 3, Britain decided to unilaterally extend the grace period to October for the inspection of goods moving between Britain and Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is part of the UK but remains part of the EU’s single market for goods after Brexit to escape harsh borders that could revive sectarian violence.

That means that products coming from the UK face EU import regulations.

In September last year, Britain disappointed the 27-nation bloc when it considered a bill that would give Boris Johnson’s government the power to waive parts of a Brexit withdrawal agreement relating to Northern Ireland.

So the EU sees Britain’s March 3 statement as evidence that Britain has now made two attempts to violate international treaties.

“The recent steps have once again put Britain on the path of a willful breach of its international legal obligations and the obligations of good faith that should apply,” EU Vice President Maros Sefcovic wrote to his UK counterpart, David Frost.

The sensitivity of Northern Ireland’s status was underlined this year when the EU threatened to ban deliveries of a coronavirus vaccine to Northern Ireland as part of a move to shore up the bloc’s supplies. That would draw a tough border on the Irish island – exactly the scenario the Brexit deal should have avoided.

The grace period covers areas such as animal products and parcel shipments to Northern Ireland from across the UK and means checks have not been fully implemented.

The first grace period expires at the end of this month, but England have pledged to extend it through October in a move that businesses in Belfast have welcomed widely.

“British authorities have empowered individuals to ignore Union laws, even though they directly apply to them,” wrote Sefcovic.

In what is part of a protracted legal process, the EU has sent a so-called “formal notification letter” to London complaining that it violates the EU-UK agreement. The UK has one month to reply before the EU can begin the second phase. This matter could eventually be brought to arbitration, and in the end, Britain could face financial sanctions.

Sefcovic wrote in his letter he hoped that Britain would soon come up with plans on how to enforce Northern Ireland’s checks to prevent further legal action.

Monday’s move shows the overall bad climate between the two sides. Just last week, EU and UK leaders clashed in exchange for anger over vaccine exports.

After the British government summoned the EU envoy to explain European Council President Charles Michel’s comments that Britain had issued a vaccine export ban, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the House of Commons that it was his “desire to correct the advice of the European Council President.”

Uneasy friends during Britain’s 47 years in the EU, relations have deteriorated since the 2016 referendum when Britain voted to leave the bloc. After fierce leaving talks, the split was formal last year, but the two sides later began fighting over a trade agreement.

A deal was reached on Christmas Eve but still needs to be approved by the European Parliament. Recent legal issues can impact legislative approvals.


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Myanmar Sanctions and Export Controls – International Law | Instant News

The Biden administration quickly responded to the situation that was unfolding in Myanmar (also known as Burma): a day after the military, known as the Tatmadaw, seized control of the state government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. declared coup action, which resulted in the termination of many categories of foreign aid. Other sanctions followed soon after. As a result, new economic sanctions and export controls are restricting – currently only in a targeted way – US trade with Burma.

New Sanctions

In particular, on February 11, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order on Blocking Property Due to the Situation in Burma, passed new sanctions and restrictions on export controls in Myanmar in response to the February 1 military coup against the country’s democratically elected civilian parliament.1 Under the authority of a new Executive Order, the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) appointed as Specially Designated Citizens (SDN) 10 military officers and three entities in the first round of targeted sanctions. Two of the military leaders who were targeted by the new action have already been targeted 2019 US Sanctions under another US authority, the Global Magnitsky Act, for their alleged involvement in serious human rights violations against the Rohingya, an ethnic minority population in Myanmar.

As the military responded to the protests with violence, the Biden Administration has added more sanctions. Following February 20 clashes between protesters and the Myanmar military that killed two protesters, OFAC appointed two more military officers.

The Executive Order grants broad powers to OFAC to designate as individual SDNs and entities that directly or indirectly cause, maintain, or exacerbate the situation in Myanmar, and / or lead Myanmar’s military or current government, or operate in its defense sector. OFAC can also designate an adult relative of a designated person, an entity that is owned or controlled by a designated person, or a person providing material support to a designated person. The scope of the Executive Order gives OFAC flexibility in selecting targets for designation as the situation in Myanmar continues to improve and the Biden Administration makes additional decisions about the person or entity it believes should be sanctioned.

In accordance with the Executive Order, on February 11, OFAC appointed six Myanmar military officers who played a direct role in the coup,2 and four military officers appointed to positions in the government of Myanmar’s State Administration Council (SAC) following the coup.3 In addition, OFAC designates three entities operating in the Myanmar gem industry that are owned or controlled by the Myanmar military.4 On February 22, 2021, following continued violence against pro-democracy protesters, OFAC appointed two additional appointed members of the State Administration Council.5 On March 10, 2021, OFAC appointed two adult children to military officers6 and six entities that are owned or controlled by a designated party.7

This designation generally prohibits US persons (as well as non-US persons while engaging in transactions with US points of contact), except as permitted by OFAC, from engaging in transactions involving 14 recently sanctioned individuals and nine entities, as well as property and their property. interest in property.

New Export Controls

As a result of two new rounds of export control, large quantities of goods, software and technology subject to US Export Administration Regulations (EAR) are now subject to restrictive licensing requirements for transfer to Burma.

First, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) responded to the coup by imposing export controls. On February 18, 2021, BIS published immediate notification to limit export and re-export of most goods to the Burmese military and security services, adopting a stricter license application review policy of presumed refusal of goods requiring a license for export and re-export to Burma’s Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Home Affairs, armed forces, and security services.

Second, days after the deadliest crackdown by Myanmar’s security forces on February 28 that resulted in the deaths of 18 pro-democracy protesters, the BIS published a final ruling stating that added The Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Home Affairs, Myanmar Economic Corporation, and Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited to the Entity List, basically prohibit the export of anything under the EAR to this entity. In addition, the final rule extends the “End Use Military and End User” Rules under EAR to Burma (previously only applicable to Russia, China, and Venezuela), and moves Burma back to the category of EAR arms embargoed countries from the previous list. profitable in the more flexible category under the EAR.


The approach targeted by the Biden Administration in this case is likely to serve as a model for future use of economic coercion tools. The sanctions and export controls it has imposed have been surgical and deliberate, punishing the military junta while trying not to harm Myanmar’s citizens. The Biden administration consults with US allies about appropriate US and international responses, and President Biden does so emphasized the need for a multilateral response. Second Canada and great Britain has imposed similar specific sanctions on military officials.

If the situation in Myanmar continues to escalate, we anticipate that the Biden Administration will continue to impose further sanctions and export control measures. If you need help assessing potential US sanctions risks or taking compliance measures more generally, this author has significant experience helping clients understand and address the issue.


1. The Myanmar military claims that its actions to take control of the government in accordance with the 2008 constitution to protect democracy in Myanmar to prevent the formation of an unauthorized United Parliament, citing irregularities in the November 2020 elections. Military takeover of the democratically elected United Parliament and the detention of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi is an unfortunate return to Myanmar’s past. Myanmar was under military rule from 1962 to 2011. Suu Kyi was detained by the military during most of the 1990s and early 2000s. The United States has previously responded to anti-democratic measures in Myanmar with sanctions; The previous sanctions regime, first imposed by President Clinton and changed over time, only officially ended in 2016 following election reforms.

2. (1) Supreme Commander Min Aung Hlaing; (2) Deputy Supreme Commander Soe Win; (3) First Vice President and retired Lieutenant General Myint Swe; (4) Lieutenant General Sein Win; (5) Lieutenant General Soe Htut; and (6) Lieutenant General Ye Aung. Both Min Aung Hlaing and Soe Win have appointed on December 10, 2019 in accordance with the Global Magnitsky Act for their actions in the Rohingya genocide.

3. (1) General Mya Tun Oo, is appointed as Minister of Defense; (2) Admiral Tin Aung San was appointed as Minister of Transportation and Communication; (3) Lieutenant General Ye Win Oo, was appointed Joint Secretary of the SAC; and (4) Lieutenant General Aung Lin Dwe, was appointed Secretary of the SAC.

4. (1) Myanmar Ruby Company; (2) Myanmar Imperial Jade Co. LTD; and (3) Cancri (Gems and Jewelery) Co., LTD.

5. (1) Lieutenant General Moe Myint Tun and (2) General Maung Maung Kyaw.

6. (1) Aung Pyae Sone and (2) Khin Thiri Thet Mon.

7. (1) A&M Mahar Company Limited; (2) Sky One Construction Company Limited; (3) Yangon Restaurant; (4) Yangon Gallery; (5) Everfit Company Limited; and (6) Seventh Sense Company Limited.

The contents of this article are intended to provide general guidance on the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your particular circumstances.


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