Court Limits US Lawsuits over Foreign Corporate Conduct

April 25, 2018

The US Supreme Court has rejected a lawsuit under the Alien Tort Statute against a foreign bank accused of helping to finance terrorist activities outside the US, sharply limiting the ways in which people may seek redress from foreign corporations in US courts for alleged human rights violations.

NGO Petitions UN Group on US Land Management

April 25, 2018

Deseret News reports that the nongovernmental organization Utah Dine Bikeyah is calling on the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to direct US officials to halt the planning process involved in reducing the size of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, warning of human rights and environmental impacts of the decision.

Barnier Insists on Inclusion of ECJ in Brexit Deal

April 25, 2018

Politico reports that, in recent remarks, the European Commission's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has insisted that the Court of Justice of the EU (ECJ) play a permanent role in overseeing and enforcing the UK's and EU's execution of the terms of any deal on the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

UNESCO Meeting Seeks Education to Combat Extremism

April 25, 2018

A consultation hosted by the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on the prevention of violent extremism highlights UNESCO's focus on "the transformative power of education" in combating the proliferation of violent extremist ideology around the world.

 

Weekly Update

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  • UN Rights Observers Oppose Polish Abortion Bill

    April 26, 2018

    A group of UN human rights mandate holders has called on the Polish Parliament to reject legislation prohibiting abortions in the case of a severe fetal anomaly, warning that restricting access to abortion in this way would violate the country's obligations to uphold women's "sexual and reproductive health rights" and to prevent "cruel and inhuman treatment."

     
  • OECD Pushes Australia to Ramp up Development Aid

    April 26, 2018

    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published a report calling on the Government of Australia to increase its development aid budget to match its "active global engagement" for small island states and disaster-risk reduction.

     
  • UN Panel Decries Impacts of Humanity on Biodiversity

    April 26, 2018

    AP reports that the UN's Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem recently released four regional reports on biodiversity concluding that global wealth and overcrowding are "undermining well-being across the planet" by contributing to climate change and producing a "lonelier" world with fewer species of plants and animals.

     
 
  • Facebook Data Controversy Puts Spotlight on Regulators

    April 26, 2018

    Politico reports that the ongoing public uproar over Facebook's treatment of user data has resulted in widespread scrutiny over whether national data-privacy regulators in Europe and the US are sufficiently staffed and effectively enforcing data standards.

     
  • Activists Applaud Climate Inquiry by Philippines Rights Body

    April 26, 2018

    Marking the Philippines Human Rights Commission's first public hearing on the human rights impacts of 47 global energy companies' contribution to climate change, a group of lawyers, rights advocates, and lawyers issued a statement supporting the Commission's inquiry as a "vital" step toward access to justice for the victims of global warming.

     
  • EC Seeks Boosted Role in "Sustainable" Finance

    April 26, 2018

    The European Commission (EC) recently hosted a conference in which participants, including heads of state and officials from international organizations, discussed how the EU should develop policies promoting a "sustainable" financial system, including by developing an EU classification system for "green" financial products.

     
 
  • CoE Body Seeks Repeal of Ukrainian NGO Reporting Rules

    April 26, 2018

    The Venice Commission, the Council of Europe's (CoE) advisory body for constitutional matters, has called on Ukrainian lawmakers to repeal or limit new financial disclosure requirements for nongovernmental organizations and activists due to their interference with the right to association and their potential chilling effect on civil society activity.

     
  • EC Official Rejects Polish Explanation of Judicial Changes

    April 26, 2018

    European Commission (EC) First Vice-President Frans Timmermans has dismissed a 94-page paper from the Polish government explaining the reasons its recent judicial changes comply with EU standards and are "inspired" by the systems of other EU members, arguing that the paper is "not the answer" to the EC proceedings against Poland for rule-of-law violations.

     
  • Expert Lists Viable Options for Post-Brexit UK-Irish Trade

    April 26, 2018

    Shanker Singham of the Institute of Economic Affairs explains a variety of options available to British, Irish, and EU policymakers in avoiding a "hard" border on the island of Ireland after Brexit and writes that there is no reason, aside from lack of political will, that negotiators cannot agree an acceptable arrangement on the issue.

     
 
  • Taliban Announces Spring Offensive in Afghanistan

    April 26, 2018

    The Taliban has announced the launch of their annual spring jihadi offensive, aimed at targeting "American invaders and intelligence agents," and rejected the Afghan government's offer of peace negotiations in the run-up to the country's parliamentary elections in October.

     
  • US Responds to Taliban's Continuing Jihad in Afghanistan

    April 26, 2018

    The US State Department issued an official response to the Taliban's announcement of a spring jihadi offensive in Afghanistan, condemning the Islamist extremist group's sustained campaign of violence targeting civilians, violating international human rights standards, and undermining the stabilization of a legitimate government in the geopolitically crucial Southwest Asian country.

     
  • Debate on Seized MB Assets Uncovers Economics of Extremism

    April 26, 2018

    The drafting of legislation in the Egyptian Parliament related to the seizure and disposal of assets from the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is revealing the extensive scope of legitimate business and investment activities and illegal activities that explain popular support for Islamist extremism and financing capabilities for Islamist terrorist operations.