Kirthi Jayakumar's Blog (21)

Do partisan considerations alter how international law is perceived?

The intricate link binding international law and international relations make the inclusion of objectivity in legal allegiances a difficult task. This is particularly evidenced in the Iraq War that began on March 19, 2003. An invasion spearheaded by the United States, the United Kingdom and their Coalition partners, there have been plenty of moments in the trials and inquiries that reveal a continuing allegiance coloured by partisan considerations.

The Chilcot Iraq Inquiry in London…

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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on March 30, 2013 at 1:59am — No Comments

To what extent?

The reason that most scholars attribute to the “failure” of International Law, is that it is purely consent based. Treaties that bind a state through its consent, ratification and accession alone can be invoked against it. Customary norms that a state does not persistently or subsequently object to are the only things that bind it. Judicial decisions do not hold sway with the principle of stare decisis, as they bind only those states that are party to it. Any source of law, therefore, is…

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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on March 24, 2013 at 2:10am — No Comments

Droning on

Drones were set out to be a means to avoid collateral damage, but their practical use shows otherwise. While drone strikes are effective in eliminating targets, too many drone attacks without reprieve can incite several political repercussions: by actually making as many terrorists as they kill and by altering perceptions towards the United States – which is increasingly rubbing the people of Pakistan and Yemen (among others) on the wrong side – in the process risking the creation of more…

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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on March 17, 2013 at 1:10am — 13 Comments

The Slow Climb

Two years since the revolution began, the war is still raging in Syria. On February 12, though, a breakthrough came about when an airfield near Aleppo was captured by a rebel group. For the first time, rebels were able to seize usable warplanes. This not only signifies a triumph on their part, but also marks a change in their approach – as battles in cities have now shifted to attacks on military bases.

About a month ago, rebels in Syria had captured the Taftanaz airfield in northern…

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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on March 10, 2013 at 1:30am — No Comments

Double standards, much?

China decided against using an armed drone in Myanmar to kill a drug lord who was wanted for the murder of 13 Chinese sailors. Instead, they captured him alive, and brought him to trial in China. To most of the world, this move was laudable. Compared with the United States of America, China seems to have gotten its respect for sovereignty and territoriality down pat, not to forget its understanding of the need to fair trial.
While it is appreciable in comparison with the US…
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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on March 2, 2013 at 11:13pm — 4 Comments

A fight to the finish?

Civil wars are easy to predict. The result is easy to glean well before they come to an end. Whether it was the American Civil War where Jefferson Davis did not doubt that he would lose the war after Atlanta fell, or in the 2011 Libyan case where Muammar Gaddhafi was fighting a lost cause after the NATO intervened, this has been true in most instances.

Following that long line of examples, is Bashar Assad of Syria. A civil war that began with the Arab Spring, the Syrian case is not…

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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on February 24, 2013 at 1:45am — 1 Comment

Chad's Prosecution Chambers

Twenty years after the brutal reign ended, Chad’s ex-dictator, Hissene Habre, is now being prosecuted by the Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal. Habre’s exit to Senegal in 1990 came just after his brutal reign drew to an end – a period that was characterised heavily by torture and killings that numbered by the thousands. A domestic Chadian inquiry was instituted, and while in exile, Habre remained at large.

He managed to escape many attempts that were made to initiate trials…

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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on February 17, 2013 at 1:00am — No Comments

A law, or not a law. That is the question.

That International Law was created to bind civilized states is now an acceptable principle, for the realm it covers is the conduct of states with respect to each other in their interrelations. But what is a state? When is an entity fit to be considered a state? Is it necessary for other states to recognize a state for it to be one? How many recognizing states are enough to make an entity a state?

These questions strike at the very root of international law. It doesn’t help that…

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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on February 10, 2013 at 2:03am — No Comments

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the prism of IHL

After Palestine was accepted as a non-member observer state to the United Nations last year, Israel immediately announced that it would construct new settlements in what it continued to recognize as the Occupied Palestinian Territories. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to gather that this is the biggest obstacle to peace negotiations between both states.

The Israel-Palestine conflict goes back a long way – involving plenty of questions of legality, each beset with plenty of…

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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on February 3, 2013 at 12:59am — 1 Comment

Rethinking IHL

Two years have passed, and Syria is still embroiled in the catastrophic civil war that started in 2011. It is no surprise to hear Lakhdar Brahimi’s words against this background: that this year could witness the loss of 100,000 more lives in Syria.

Following closely at the heels of a massacre near a University, this statement just reiterates how helpless the world is about the situation. The massacre itself took place after air strikes on refugee camps and people queuing up for food.…

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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on January 27, 2013 at 1:02am — No Comments

Will Afghanistan Descend into a State of Chaos?

Following the Soviet departure, Afghanistan descended into a state of chaos. Will this happen in 2014, when the US troops draw out of the country finally? Back when the Soviet withdrawal took place, Afghanistan was embroiled in ferocious battles that took place between the warlords and the Taliban. The latter emerged the victor, although warlords still continue to thrive in the region. When the United States’ troops leave Afghanistan, there is a concern that Afghanistan may sink into a state…

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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on January 23, 2013 at 4:30am — No Comments

One step at a time

January 3 this year marked a milestone in Palestine’s history. After being officially recognized as a state in November 29, January 3 witnessed the signing of Decree #1 for 2013, by Mahmoud Abbas, acting in his capacities as the President of State of Palestine and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation. It was a simple signature, but one that signifies a historically huge achievement for the country, nonetheless.

The decree creates a five-year…

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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on January 16, 2013 at 4:55am — No Comments

Making a lasting political solution

Less than a week ago, Syrian President Bashar Assad addressed his country via television, denouncing his opponents as enemies of God, and puppets of the West. 21 months of civil war that has wiped 60,000 lives single-handedly has ut life in his country into a state of disarray. Assad has spoken out with his perspectives on the issues in his country after speaking to the Russian media in November last year, and after nearly eight months of speaking in Syria.  …

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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on January 10, 2013 at 11:02am — No Comments

Intervening in Mali

In my Last Post, I spoke about the DR Congo vis-a-vis Intervention on Humanitarian Grounds. This post focuses on Mali.

When a bunch of junior soldiers seized control of Mali’s Presidential Palace, declaring the government dissolved and its constitution suspended, the world didn’t sit up and take notice. When there was a spate of destruction directed at…

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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on December 31, 2012 at 1:22am — No Comments

Is there a Responsibility to Protect the DR Congo?

In my Last Post, I spoke about Syria. In today's post, I will be speaking about the DR Congo.

Over the past few years, one thing has become clear in foreign policy. When a people find themselves in a predicament where they are oppressed and deprived of their rights, external help comes to them sometimes, from other states in the world.…

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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on December 26, 2012 at 1:00am — No Comments

Syria and the Prospect of Intervention

In my last post, I spoke about the relationship between R2P and Humanitarian Intervention. This post takes a look at Syria and evaluates the prospect of intervention.

Traditional international law restricts arbitrary conduct of states in their relations with each other. States are expected to respect the sovereign rights of other states by ensuring that they do not violate…

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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on December 18, 2012 at 1:30am — No Comments

R2P and Humanitarian Intervention

In my last post, I spoke about the grounds that should underlie any policy of Intervention on Humanitarian Grounds. This post will address the overlapping ideals of the Responsibility to Protect and Humanitarian Intervention.

In 2005, a doctrine called the Responsibility to Protect had evolved at the behest of the UN General Assembly. Five years before…

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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on December 9, 2012 at 10:47am — No Comments

Grounds that should underlie Humanitarian Intervention.

In the last post, I spoke about the principles that should ideally underlie an endeavour of humanitarian intervention, and perhaps, manifest in any overarching legislation that aspires to cover the issue.

Primarily, an intervention on humanitarian grounds must pursue a “just cause”. A situation warranting intervention could be anything from a state representing…

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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on December 3, 2012 at 1:30am — No Comments

Legally Regulate, rather than Outlaw

In my Last Post, I spoke about Humanitarian Intervention and explained that though law does not permit it, practice shows that it does exist.

Having established the fact that Humanitarian Intervention does indeed exist, the issue now is not whether a state should intervene or not, rather, what the state that intervenes should conform to. Over the last 40 years, a number of…

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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on November 26, 2012 at 1:33pm — No Comments

Humanitarian Intervention Exists

“Humanitarian intervention” is a mechanism relied upon to prevent or stop a gross violation of human rights in a state, where either the state is incapable of doing the needful for its people, or, where the state is unwilling to do the needful for its people or may be the perpetrator of human rights abuses against its people. In terms of the intent, it differs from illegal intervention in that the ultimate gain of a humanitarian intervention is for the people of the state intervened into.…

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Added by Kirthi Jayakumar on November 19, 2012 at 1:36am — No Comments

Carnegie Council

Marlene Laruelle on Europe's Far Right Political Movement

What has led to the rise of far-right parties across Europe and how have they evolved over time? Is immigration really the main issue, or is there a more complex set of problems that vary from nation to nation? What are the idealogical and practical connections between the far right and Russia? Carnegie Council Senior Fellow Marlene Laruelle is an expert on Europe, Russia, Eurasia, and Europe's far right. Don't miss her analysis.

Global Ethics Forum Preview: From the White House to the World with Chef Sam Kass

Next time on Global Ethics Forum, Sam Kass details his time as President Obama’s White House chef and senior policy advisor for nutrition and the links between climate change and how and what we eat. In this excerpt, Kass and journalist Roxana Saberi discuss an uncertain future for food policy in the United States under Trump.

The Rohingya Crisis: "Myanmar's Enemy Within" with Francis Wade

Francis Wade, author of "The Enemy Within," a new book on the Rohingya crisis in Burma, explains the historical background to the persecution of the Muslim Rohingya minority and gives a first-hand account of the terrible situation now. Has democracy been good for Burma? Will some Rohingya refugees become Islamic extremists?

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