This is a tool related to the teaching of public international law at the Law Faculty of the University of Lausanne. I tris to provide reliable information regarding Public International Law (PIL) that I consider of interest to my students. I try to cover Switzerland comprehensively and the rest of the world t the extent possible.
Following Honduras’s deposit with the UN Secretary-General of the 50th instrument of ratification of or accession to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (the “TPNW”) on 24 October 2020, the TPNW will enter into force on 22 January 2021. The TPNW contains a series of prohibitions on nuclear weapon activities. These include undertakings not to develop, acquire, possess, use or threaten to use nuclear weapons. The TPNW also prohibits the provision of assistance to any State in the conduct of prohibited activities. States parties also must prevent and suppress any activity prohibited under the TPNW undertaken by persons or on territory under their jurisdiction or control. However, the current State parties to the TPNW do not include any of the States known to have nuclear weapons.
WTO panel issues report regarding Pakistan duties on BOPP film from the UAE
On 18 January the WTO circulated the panel report in the case brought by the United Arab Emirates in “Pakistan — Anti-Dumping Measures on Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene Film from the United Arab Emirates” (DS538) .
Russia departs from open skies treaty following US withdrawal
Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday announced the country’s withdrawal from the Treaty on Open Skies following the US departure from the treaty last year. In a statement, Russia maintained that the US departure from the agreement was done under an “artificial pretext” and that it “essentially destroyed the balance of interests [that the parties] reached when the treaty was signed.”
First proposed by President Eisenhower in 1955, the idea behind the treaty was to permit the US and the then-existing Soviet Union to perform aerial reconnaissance flights over one another’s territory. Although Moscow did not agree to the treaty at the time, President George H.W. Bush revisited the proposal in 1989, and the Treaty on Open Skies went into effect in 2002. According to the terms of the agreement, all of a state-party’s territory can be overflown by unarmed aircraft, and a state-party must accept a certain number of overflights each year. The Congressional Research Service asserts that the treaty was formulated to “increase transparency, build confidence, and encourage cooperation among European nations.”
Today, military intelligence is mainly gathered via the use of satellites. The Open Skies Treaty, however, remained important because it was “a symbol of a determination to avoid war.” Recently, President Trump accused Russia of violating the terms of the treaty by not permitting flights over Kaliningrad. Russia denies that the treaty was violated, arguing that the US has imposed even more overflight restrictions on Alaska territory.
Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian Parliament, recently stated: “the blame for what is happening – and this is a very unfortunate scenario – is entirely on the United States and NATO allies.”
Prior to their announcement of the withdrawal, Russia was unsuccessful at obtaining guarantees from NATO allies that they would not share data gathered from overflights.
Join us on-line on 19 February for a conference and book launch on “Social License and Dispute Resolution in the Extractive Industries”! Participation is free, registration necessary PROGRAMME 9:00-12:00 Morning Session – Chairs: Professors Damiano Canapa & Dr. Shaheeza Lalani, University of Lausanne 09:15-09:30 Introduction Mr. Joachim Knoll, LALIVE 09:30-10:15 Social License to Operate: Gold […]
Comme si la Covid-19 ne suffisait pas, les expatriés suisses en Grande-Bretagne doivent également affronter les conséquences du Brexit. Il leur pose de nombreux défis juridiques, non seulement sur le plan économique, mais aussi privé.
Pilatus can continue to work in Saudi Arabia and the UAE – Federal Administrative Court annulled a foreign ministry decision
Swiss aircraft manufacturer Pilatus can continue its business activities in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a court has confirmed. The Swiss foreign ministry had banned the company from operating in the Gulf states. This content was published on January 15, 2021 – 15:01 January 15, 2021 – 15:01 Keystone-SDA/sb
In a ruling published on Friday, the Federal Administrative Court in St Gallen annulled a foreign ministry decision in June 2019 to ban the Stans-based aircraft manufacturer from operating in the two countries.
The ministry had claimed that the support services offered by Pilatus to the armed forces of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which include technical support, replacement parts management and fixing problems with a fleet of 55 Pilatus PC-21 military trainer aircraft, were “not compatible with the [Swiss] government’s foreign policy objectives”.
A US-backed Saudi Arabia-led military coalition, of which the UAE is a part, intervened in Yemen in 2015, backing government forces fighting the Iran-backed Houthis rebels. Years of United Nations efforts to get both sides to agree to a cease-fire and start peace negotiations have not succeeded.
The latest Swiss court ruling upheld an appeal by Pilatus. The St Gallen judges pointed out that the aircraft manufacturer is one of the largest employers in central Switzerland. It is part of the country’s “technological and industrial base” that ensures the country’s long-term security, it said.
When making its decision, the foreign ministry should have taken into account “public interest considerations” such as the maintenance of the Switzerland’s prosperity and independence, the court said. These “superior state interests” are covered by the Federal Act on Private Security Services Provided AbroadExternal link and allow exceptional authorisations for activities that are normally prohibited, it said.
The court said the foreign ministry had imposed the ban without referring to the Federal Council (executive body), which normally grants authorisations in exceptional circumstances. The foreign ministry “carried out political assessment which was not its responsibility”, it concluded.
The St Gallen court’s ruling can still be appealed at the higher Federal Court.
EU files WTO panel request against illegal export restrictions by Indonesia on raw materials for stainless steel
On 14 January, the EU has requested the establishment of a panel at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to seek the elimination of unlawful export restrictions imposed by Indonesia on raw materials necessary for the production of stainless steel, notably nickel ore and iron ore. The measures the EU is challenging concern an export ban on nickel ore and domestic processing requirements on nickel ore and iron ore. These measures illegally restrict access for EU steel producers to raw materials needed for stainless steel production.
Opponents of new Swiss laws to combat terrorism have gathered enough signatures to challenge the controversial legislation by referendum. They argue that the law violates civil liberties, particularly those of children. This content was published on January 14, 2021 – 15:47 January 14, 2021 – 15:47 swissinfo.ch/mga
The “No to Preventative Punishment” committee handed in 142,800 signatures on Thursday, enough to trigger a popular vote on the issue.
Late last year, Switzerland’s parliament voted through a legislative package to clamp down on terrorism and extremist violence. The reform introduces a provision punishing recruitment, training and travel with a view to committing a terrorist act, as well as financing activities. Those who support criminal or terrorist organisations could face up to ten years’ imprisonment.
Critics of the law complain that children as young as 12 can be subject to electronic monitoring and be banned from leaving the country. They argue that some measures in the law are draconian and go beyond the intention of preventing crimes.
The “No to Preventative Punishment” committee is a collection of left-leaning political parties and other organisations. Earlier this week members of several right-leaning political parties stated that the anti-terror laws were proportionate and necessary to protect citizens from extremist violence.
WTO: Costa Rica initiates dispute complaint against food import restrictions imposed by Panama
Costa Rica has requested WTO dispute consultations with Panama regarding measures imposed by Panama that restrict or prohibit the import of products such as strawberries, dairy products, meat products, pineapples and bananas from Costa Rica. The request was circulated to WTO members on 14 January.
Costa Rica claims the import restrictions are inconsistent with provisions under the WTO’s Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994.
Further information is available in document WT/DS599/1