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.
Earlier this year, a Polish Ikea manager fired an employee who shared homophobic messages on the branch’s internal website, but now a prosecutor has charged the manager for discriminating against the employee’s religious rights.
The employee had taken offence to Ikea’s supporting of LGBT+ rights, insisting it went against his religious beliefs. He then used the branch’s intranet to post biblicial passages which called for death and blood on homosexuals, furthering describing gay people as an abomination. When challenged, the employee refused to remove his comments, leading the Human Resources manager of the Polish Ikea store to fire him.
Now the manager has been charged by a prosecutor who says that the employee’s rights have been violated as he should be able to express his religious beliefs. If the case is successful, the manager could face a fine and up to two years in prison. The company is also facing a civil lawsuit by the employee.
A spokeswoman for the Ikea group stated, “As an employer, we will provide all the help and support to our charged employee”.
This is just the latest case in Poland whereby those who report homophobia are seen as the troublemakers. Only yesterday, GCN reported on a group of students who were taken in and interrogated by the police for hours when they complained about a homophobic professor.
The students had made an official complaint on the professor’s lectures, stating the teachings were filled with “anti-choice ideology, homophobic views, anti-Semitism, denominational discrimination, information incompatible with modern scientific knowledge and promotion of radical Catholic views”.
The students, who were not aware at the time why they were being brought in, were then interviewed at a police station and left shaken and crying after hours of interrogation.
Meng Wanzhou (former Huawei CFO) loses early challenge to US extradition before Canadian Court
Associate Chief Justice H. Holmes of the Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled against Meng Wanzhou on Wednesday in her challenge to extradition to the US. She argued that the “double criminality” requirement for her extradition to the Eastern District of New York could not be met because her conduct related entirely to conduct in the US. For the committal hearing, the Attorney General had to demonstrate that Meng’s conduct would have been fraudulent if it had taken place in Canada.
Holmes determined that the “allegations depend on the effects of US sanctions” and that “those effects may play a part in the determination of whether double criminality is established.” Thus, she found that the double criminality requirement is “capable of being met in this case,” and she dismissed Meng’s application.
Meng was the CFO of Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer. The US Department of Justice filed criminal charges against the company and its affiliates in 2019 for “bank fraud, wire fraud, various conspiracy acts and violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.”
The charges include allegations that Huawei lied to US officials and agencies regarding its relationship with the Iran company Skycom. Meng served on the board of directors of Skycom and is said to have participated in deception.
Young Academics Award 2020: ÉMISSIONS DANS LES ALPES : CHANGEMENT CLIMATIQUE ET QUALITÉ DE L’AIR, MESURER ET AGIR
Le CIRM encourage les étudiants de l’UNIL à concourir au Prix des jeunes diplômés de la Convention alpine
Les candidatures doivent être soumises d’ici le 30 juin 2020. Le col du Gothard, côté nord (photo: E. Reynard, 2017).
Chaque deux ans, la Convention alpine met au concours un prix des jeunes diplômés sur une thématique importante pour l’avenir des Alpes. Cette année, le concours porte sur le sujet « Emissions dans les Alpes: changement climatique et qualité de l’air, mesurer et agir ».
Le CIRM encourage les étudiant·e·s de master de l’UNIL à déposer leur candidature. Si votre travail de master a été défendu entre le 1er janvier 2018 et le 30 juin 2020, n’hésitez pas, que votre mémoire porte sur des mesures d’émission, des travaux de modélisation ou encore des analyses de l’adaptation sociétale au changement climatique.
Switzerland is caught between established practice and global solidarity when it comes to paying for and rewarding medical innovation.
The Alpine country’s economy and its self-professed identity as an innovation powerhouse rely heavily on the rights and rewards attached to patents. It has the most European patent applications per capita and performs well in rankings of patent quality, a large portion of which are in the biomedical field.
This is why recent calls by global health advocates and some governments to loosen patent protections during the Covid-19 crisis to make drugs and vaccines widely available have caused some unease in Switzerland. As more countries back a more flexible patent regime for Covid-19, Switzerland is finding itself pitted between industry on the one hand and global solidarity on the other.
At the World Health Assembly in Geneva a couple weeks ago, the Swiss government supported a resolution that called for the “voluntary pooling and licensing of patents to fight Covid-19”. But other calls to override or eliminate patents completely through compulsory licensing, open licensing or a so-called “People’s Vaccineexternal link” have not been as welcome.
“Switzerland takes intellectual property rights very seriously and will not undermine the regime so easily,” Gaétan de Rassenfosse, a professor of Innovation and intellectual property policy at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), told swissinfo.ch.
While the global debate is centred on the current crisis, breaking entrenched views and laws on patent protection could open the door to debate about patents in other areas such as cancer and rare diseases where prices have become prohibitiveexternal link for some public health systems.
Many in public health circles look to what happened when HIV drugs came on the market a couple decades ago as a precedent. Market exclusivity kept prices so high that less affluent countries, which had the greatest need for the drugs, were effectively shut out.
Covid-19 is bringing the issue back to the forefront with added urgency as billions in taxpayer money, including from Switzerland, is funneled into vaccine research and clinical trials. This has created a nationalistic domino effect as a growing number of countries stake claims on R&D efforts.
Paris-based pharma company Sanofi found itself backtracking under pressure from France after its CEO said the US government had the right to the largest pre-order of an eventual Covid-19 vaccine “because it’s invested in taking the risk”.
The Swiss government is setting aside funds to procure enough doses of a Covid-19 vaccine for the country’s 8.6 million population. This content was published on May 20, 2020 4:13 PM
Questions have been raised in Switzerland about whether it will have first dibs on any diagnostics, treatments or vaccines discovered or produced on Swiss territory by the likes of Roche or Lonza. The government announced last week it is negotiating with manufacturers, setting aside CHF300 million to secure access to a vaccine for the population.