15 May 2013
SHARES News Items Overview: 1-15 May 2013
The SHARES Project closely follows and collects news items that are linked to the topic of shared responsibility. This is our News Items Overview of 1-15 May 2013, consisting of a summary of recent news relating to shared responsibility.
- A draft law was agreed on by EU Council and Parliament representatives, and endorsed by the Civil Liberties Committee, which would harmonise procedural guarantees for asylum seekers. Asylum seekers would get fairer, more uniform access to international protection across the European Union under this new law. Special guarantees for vulnerable persons and deadlines for EU states to process an asylum application have also been inserted. This draft law is part of the backbone of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), which will be put to a plenary vote in June.
- Jérôme Reymond has recently published the book L’attribution de comportements d’organes de facto et d’agents de l’Etat en droit international – Etude sur la responsabilité internationale des Etats (Schulthess, 2013).
- The latest Bangladesh garment building disaster has prompted western clothing brands and consumers to consider their shared responsibility. Some western clothing brands that were having items made in Bangladesh have promised financial compensation for the deaths. It is reported that ‘some consumers feel confused over whether they should feel a shared responsibility because of their low-price shopping habits.’ Both the EU and the US, being major importers, have pressured Bangladesh to raise the standards and the EU is reconsidering trade arrangements. Factory owners in Bangladesh as well as western apparel retailers have faced intense pressure from governments, consumers and labour groups to improve workplace safety.
- The Versailles Court of Appeal ruled that international humanitarian law does not create direct obligations for a private company involved in a tramway building project in Jerusalem. The lawsuit was initiated in 2007 against the French company Alstom for violations of international law on the basis that the company provided equipment for a tramway building project in Jerusalem, supervised by the state of Israel. Alstom signed a concession contract with Israel. The Court held that the Fourth Geneva Convention 1949, Additional Protocol 1 to Geneva Conventions, the Hague regulations and the Hague Convention do not create direct obligations that may be placed upon private companies.
- On 3 and 5 May, the Israeli air force has carried out two airstrikes in Syria. An Israeli official has pointed out that both strikes were directed against shipments of Fateh-110 missiles (Iranian made missiles) that were allegedly shipped to Hezbollah in Lebanon. The airstrikes have prompted strong reactions both from Syria and from Iran.
- The Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, allowing for individual complaints to be brought to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights entered into force. The entry into force took place more than four years after the adoption of the Protocol and three months after Uruguay became the required tenth country to ratify it. The entry into force of the Protocol has been hailed for its potential to increase the justiciable character of economic, social and cultural rights and placing them on an equal footing with civil and political rights.