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TeLawgram

’22 April Round-Up (Weeks 2-4)

Hello! Telawgram, this month takes you through Supreme Court and High Court decisions, arbitration proceedings, insurance disputes, maritime matters and more. The readings will give you a wide range of content – from private international law to general principles of criminal law and more! Happy Reading!

National:

1. Supreme Court upholds Tripura High Court judgment which ruled that decree holders stand at a different footing from other financial creditors

On April 11, 2022, a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court refused to intervene with a Tripura High Court judgement which ruled that decree holders under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (hereinafter ‘IBC’) cannot be treated like other financial creditors mentioned under S.3(10) of the IBC read with Regulation 9A of the IBBI (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Regulations, 2016. Before the Tripura High Court, the petitioners challenged the constitutional validity of s.3(10) read with Regulation 9A as the term ‘other creditors’ under Regulation 9A does not include decree-holders. The Tripura High Court went through the legislative history of the IBC and its provisions to rule that decree-holders can be distinguished as a class from the other four types of creditors mentioned under Section 3(10) of the IBC. The Court stated that a decree-holder is an “adversarial claimant” and therefore, cannot “steer the wheel” of non-adversarial proceedings such as the revival of corporate debtors. 

Suggested readings: 

  1. Click here for the Supreme Court’s order.  
  2. Click here for the Tripura High Court’s judgement. 
  3. Anush Ranjan, Decree holders not Financial Creditors under IBC (Oct. 21, 2020), https://law.asia/decree-holders-financial-creditors/.
  4. Anand Singh, Resolving the Conundrum of Decree-holding Homebuyers under the IBC (Oct. 13, 2021), https://indiacorplaw.in/2021/10/resolving-the-conundrum-of-decree-holding-homebuyers-under-the-ibc.html
  5. Indranil Deshmukh, Vineet Unnikrishnan & Samhita Mehra, Put-option holders: Financial Creditors under the IBC? (Nov. 14, 2019), https://corporate.cyrilamarchandblogs.com/2019/11/put-option-holders-financial-creditors-under-the-ibc/.  
  6.  Indranil Deshmukh, Vineet Unnikrishnan & Samhita Mehra, Put-option holders: Financial Creditors under the IBC? – Part 2 (Apr. 20, 2020), https://corporate.cyrilamarchandblogs.com/2020/04/put-option-holders-financial-creditors-under-the-ibc-part-2/.  

2. Supreme Court rules that the alter-ego of a party can be bound by an arbitration clause despite not being a signatory to a contract

On April 27, 2022, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice D Y Chandrachud, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Vikram Nath dealt with a situation where the group companies doctrine found application. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (hereinafter ‘ONGC’), entered into a contract with Discovery Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. for the operation of a vessel. The dispute arose as the vessel left Indian waters and never returned, and Discovery did not compensate ONGC for customs duty. Before the arbitral tribunal, Jindal Drilling and Industries Ltd. (hereinafter ‘JDIL’) was impleaded as a party as ONGC argued that JDIL formed a part of the same economic entity. The tribunal refused to exercise jurisdiction as JDIL was not a party to the agreement. ONGC appealed under S.37 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (hereinafter ‘A & C Act’) against the arbitral tribunal’s decision. The Supreme Court noted that the group of companies doctrine, considering multiple companies to form a part of the same group, has been applied in the past. The Court concluded that the arbitral tribunal precluded itself from making such an analysis by refusing to entertain the discovery and inspection application filed by ONGC. The Court ordered for an arbitral tribunal to be reconstituted and the appeal was allowed.

Suggested readings: 

  1. Click here for the judgement
  2. Anjali Achayil & Tamoghna Goswami, Two’s Company, Three’s A Crowd: Revisiting the Group of Companies Doctrine (June 24, 2021), http://arbitrationblog.kluwerarbitration.com/2021/06/24/twos-company-threes-a-crowd-revisiting-the-group-of-companies-doctrine/
  3. Chinmayanand Chivukula, ‘Group of Companies’ Doctrine in the Amazon-Future Dispute: Analysis under Indian Law (Feb. 14, 2022), https://indiacorplaw.in/2022/02/group-of-companies-doctrine-in-the-amazon-future-dispute-analysis-under-indian-law.html.  
  4. Aiswarya Murali & Vivek Krishnani, Bringing Clarity on Application of the “Group of Companies” Doctrine: Recent Cases in India (Oct. 07, 2019), https://rmlnluseal.home.blog/2019/10/07/bringing-clarity-on-application-of-the-group-of-companies-doctrine-recent-cases-in-india/.   
  5. Adyasha Samal, Extending Arbitration Agreements to Non-Signatories: A Defence of the Group of Companies Doctrine, 9 The King’s Student Law Review 2 (2020). 

3. The Supreme Court Ruled that the Contra Proferentem Rule Would Apply in Interpretation of Ambiguous Terms in Insurance Contracts

The Supreme Court held that in case of ambiguity in terms of insurance contracts, first, the ambiguous term needs to be construed harmoniously by reading it in line with the entire contract, and if it is still vague, the rule of contra proferentem must be applied, where the term is interpreted against the drafter of the policy, i.e., in favour of the insured. The Court was dealing with a case in which the buyer defaulted in making payment, and the insurer rejected the claim of the insured by relying on a discrepancy in the date of despatch on the Bill of Lading, which was stated as December 13, 2012, while the actual date on which the vessel set sail was December 15, 2012. The Court had to determine which date was to be considered the date of despatch because the policy coverage had effect only from December 14, 2012. The Independent Review Committee held that the date of despatch as construed in terms of DGFT Guidelines was December 13, 2012, and the policy did not cover the claim. The National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission also rendered an Order favouring the insurer. However, the Supreme Court, on appeal, set aside the Order and directed the insurer to pay the claim amount. The Court opined that the DGFT Guidelines were not good in law, and even if they were relied on, the date of loading goods was of lesser significance than the date on which the buyer defaulted and claim was brought in, i.e., February 14, 2013, which was squarely covered by the policy because the policy was contemplated to cover the default and not the transit.

Suggested Readings:

  1. Click here to read the judgement.
  2. Joanna McCunn, The Contra Proferentem Rule: Contract Law’s Great Survivor, 39 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 483 (2019).
  3. O. N. Ravi, The Contractual Interpretation Rule – Contra Proferentem: It’s Relevance in Modern Law, 2(1) CMR University Journal for Contemporary Legal Affairs 112 (2020).
  4. Bradley D. Ligget, Contra Applicantem or Contra Proferentem Applicatio: The Need for Clarification of the Doctrine of Contra Proferentem in the Context of Insured -Created Ambiguities in Insurance Applications, 2008 BYU L. Rev. 211 (2008).
  5. Péter Cserne, Policy considerations in contract interpretation: the contra proferentem rule from a comparative law and economics perspective, Selected Works (2009).
  6. Aditya Mehta, Interpreting Insurance Contracts: Special Considerations – Part II (Oct. 26, 2021), https://corporate.cyrilamarchandblogs.com/2021/10/interpreting-insurance-contracts-special-considerations-part-ii/

4. Delhi High Court rules that “living in adultery” occasionally does not bar a woman from claiming the right to be maintained

On April 13, 2022 a single-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice Chandra Dhari Singh, in the case of Pradeep Kumar Sharma v. Deepika Sharma, ruled that the right to maintenance under S.125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter ‘CrPC’), would not cease to exist because a woman “occasionally” lived in adultery. The counsel for the petitioner argued that the wife could maintain herself and relied on the couple’s son’s testimony that his mother had been living with another man to argue that the respondent would not be entitled to maintenance under the CrPC. The Delhi High Court ruled that the petitioner was unable to prove through an examination of the child that the respondent had been living in adultery. It also reaffirmed the existing view that occasional acts of adultery would not qualify as “living in adultery” under S.125(4) of the CrPC. The Court took note of the fact that the son was living with the petitioner while giving such testimony and was not an “independent witness” per se. Therefore, the Court ruled that the respondent would retain her right to be maintained under S.125 of the CrPC.

Suggested readings: 

  1. Click here for the judgement. 
  2. Shubh Arora, Maintenance of Divorced Women: The Paradox of Section 125(4) CrPC (Nov. 26, 2019), https://criminallawstudiesnluj.wordpress.com/2019/11/26/maintenance-for-divorced-women-the-paradox-of-section-1254-crpc/ 
  3. Law Commission of India, Need for Amendment of the Provisions of Chapter IX of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 in order to ameliorate the hardship and mitigate the distress of neglected women, children and parents, Report No. 132,  https://lawcommissionofindia.nic.in/101-169/Report132.pdf.  
  4.  Raman Mittal, Adultery – A Ground for Divorce and a Way to Maintenance?, 46 JILI 418 (2003). 

5. Delhi High Court awarded Levi Strauss Rs. 4 lakhs in compensation in trademark infringement case.

The Delhi High Court awarded Levi Strauss Rs. 4 lakhs in compensation against defendants selling denim jeans with the ‘Arcuate Stitching Design’ mark on their website and other e-commerce platforms. The Order was passed in a suit filed by Levi Strauss seeking a permanent injunction against the use of the mark by the defendants on the grounds of trademark infringement, copyright infringement, passing off of trademark and other similar infringements. The Court noted that the ‘Arcuate Stitching Design’ mark was used by the US-based company for a long period of 150 years in its jeans, trousers, pants and other garments, and the mark has become an extremely distinctive mark that has acquired the status of a well-known mark. The Court also passed a decree of declaration declaring the mark as a ‘well-known’ mark. The Court restrained the defendants from seeking any statutory rights by applying for trademarks or copyrights and asked them to withdraw such applications if any have been filed. The Court directed the defendants to write to online platforms where the images of the defendant’s products were displayed, asking them to remove such images within 30 days. The Court also noted that the defendants had earlier given undertakings stating that they wouldn’t use the mark and had failed to abide by their undertakings.

Suggested Readings: 

  1. Click here to read the Judgement.
  2. Visalakshy Gupta, BMW v. EMW: The unresolved conundrum underlying deceptive similarity and trademark dilution (Sept. 19, 2020), http://www.nlujlawreview.in/bmw-v-emw-the-unresolved-conundrum-underlying-deceptive-similarity-and-trademark-dilution/.
  3. Josh Gerben, ‘Trade Dress’ed: Can You Protect Clothing Design Elements Through Trademark Law? (Apr. 20, 2022, 1:00 PM), https://www.gerbenlaw.com/blog/trade-dressed-can-you-protect-clothing-design-elements-through-trademark-law/.
  4. Padmasri Bhavani Y, Understanding the nuances of well – known marks: an Indian perspective (Apr. 20, 2022, 1:00 PM), https://iprlawindia.org/understanding-the-nuances-of-well-known-marks-an-indian-perspective/.
  5. Squire Patton Boggs, Just How Famous is a “Famous Mark” Under the Paris Convention? (Nov. 15, 2013), https://www.iptechblog.com/2013/11/just-how-famous-is-a-famous-mark-under-the-paris-convention/.
  6. G Rahul, Well-known trademark – Everything You Need to Know (Aug. 1, 2020), https://illuminip.com/our-blog/f/well-known-trademark-%E2%80%93-everything-you-need-to-know.

6. Tripura High Court rules that touching a minor’s hand without an intention to molest does not amount to sexual assault.

In the case of Sanju Tanti v. State of Tripura, it was held that touching the hands of a minor without intention to molest her would not amount to sexual assault. Section 7 of the POCSO Act talks about sexual assault, which includes an act done with sexual intent that involves physical contact without penetration. Section 8 provides the punishment for sexual assault. The Court noted that the prosecution witnesses, including the victim, did not expressly state anything to show any intention to molest the victim. The Court was hearing a plea filed by the accused challenging the orders of a special court that convicted him of sexual assault under Section 8 of the POCSO Act and trespassing under Section 448 of the Indian Penal Code (hereinafter ‘IPC’) and awarded rigorous imprisonment for 3 years for the offence under the POCSO Act and rigorous imprisonment of 1 year for the offence under Section 448 IPC. The High Court acquitted the accused for the offence under Section 8 of POCSO and reduced the sentence of one year imprisonment under charges of Section 448 of the IPC to a fine of Rs. 10,000. The Court directed the fine money to be given to the minor girl as compensation.

Suggested Readings: 

1. Click here to read the judgement.

2. Sarthak Bhardwaj, Sexual Assault under the POCSO Act: A Flawed Interpretative Methodology (Feb. 5, 2021), https://criminallawstudiesnluj.wordpress.com/2021/02/05/sexual-assault-under-the-pocso-act-a-flawed-interpretative-methodology/.

3. Harsh Parakh, The implications of skin to skin judgement on POCSO Act (June 3, 2021), https://ccrnusrlblog.wordpress.com/2021/06/03/the-implications-of-skin-to-skin-judgement-on-pocso-act-harsh-parakh/.

4. Abid Faheem and Mehreena Manzoor, Denial of Justice: A Paradox between Bombay High Court Judgments and POCSO Act, 4(1) International Journal Of Law Management & Humanities 1821, 1821-1828 (2021).

5. Ankit Yadav, Sec 7, POCSO & Incorrect Application of Ejusdem Generis (Mar. 27, 2021), https://crlreview.in/section-7-pocso-incorrect-application-of-ejusdem-generis/.

7. Madhya Pradesh High Court grants bail to an accused on the condition that he will plant and care for 10 saplings

On April 13, 2022, a single-judge bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court comprising Justice Anand Pathak granted bail to an accused on the condition that he would plant and care for ten saplings. The accused, Rinku Sharma was charged with attempt to murder under S.307 of the Indian Penal Code and suffered pre-trial detention for 30 months. The counsel for the applicant, Rinku Sharma assured the Court that the accused would not indulge in criminal activities and was willing to perform community service for a “national/environmental/social cause.” The counsel for the State opposed the application and argued that the accused may cause injuries to the complainant if bail is granted. The Court observed that the witnesses have been examined and granted bail on a bond of Rs. 1,00,000/-. The Court also ordered the accused to plant ten saplings and produce pictures in 30 days and provide the Court with updates on the health of the trees over every three months. 

Suggested readings: 

  1. Click here for the judgement.  
  2.  Mitali Agarwal, Beyond the Prison Bars: Contemplating Community Sentencing in India, 12 NUJS L. Rev. 119 (2019). 
  3.  Anagha S.S., Community Service: A New Perspective to Non-Custodial Punishment in India (Apr. 07, 2021), https://www.crcjmnlum.com/post/community-service-a-new-perspective-to-non-custodial-punishment-in-india.  
  4.  United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Introductory Handbook on the Prevention of Crime and the Social Reintegration of Offenders (2018).  

8. CBI Court Convicts Company and Directors for Conspiracy in Coal Scam Case.

A special court convicted a private company, Adhunik Corporation Ltd., and two of its directors for cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy in a case related to the allocation of the Patrapara coal block in Odisha. The Corporation was convicted for offences under ss.120B, 420 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The director, Nirmal Kumar Agarwal, was convicted for offences under ss.120B, 420 and 471 of the IPC, while another director, Mahesh Kumar Agarwal, was convicted for offences under ss.120B, 420, 471 and 511 of the IPC. The Court found the circumstantial evidence pointing to criminal conspiracy (section 120B IPC) and found the accused guilty of cheating (section 420 IPC) and knowingly using forged documents as genuine (section 471 IPC). The conviction was based on an investigation which showed that Adhunik Corporation Ltd. had misrepresented various aspects to the Ministry of Coal and the Ministry of Steel under the Government of India. The misrepresentations were done to get recommended by the screening committee and procure allocation of the Patrapara coal block.

Suggested Readings:

  1. Click here to read the judgement.
  2. V. S. Khanna, Corporate Criminal Liability: What Purpose Does It Serve?, 109 Harvard Law Review 1477 (1996).
  3. Bruce Coleman, Is Corporate Criminal Liability Really Necessary, 29 SMU Law Review 908 (1975).
  4. Kopal Mital, Conceptions of Criminal Liability: Individualism and Corporatism (July 13, 2021), http://crlreview.in/conceptions-criminal-liability-individualism-corporatism/.
  5. Kunal Kaushik Kally, A Critical Study on Corporate Criminal Liability with Special Reference to US and Indian Laws, SSRN (2020).
  6. Iwona Sepioło-Jankowska, Corporate criminal liability in English law, Adam Mickiewicz University Law Review 135 (2016).

 


International:

1. ECHR rules Croatia violated human rights through prolonged compulsory psychiatric treatment

On April 7, 2022, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decided that Croatia had infringed a man’s right to liberty and security under Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights by subjecting him to prolonged compulsory psychiatric treatment. Luka Mikli, the applicant, faced criminal charges in 2016 after a minor teenage girl accused him of stalking and harassment. The Municipal Court confined him to a psychiatric hospital for six months based on psychiatric and psychological expert opinions received during the criminal proceedings. His confinement was, however, repeatedly extended based on expert assessments. When deciding on the periodic prolonging of a person’s forced confinement, the court must get a fresh expert opinion from a person who is not employed by the involved institution, according to Section 37(2) of the Protection of Persons with Mental Disorders Act. Mikli had been denied a new expert opinion by both the county and appellate courts for no apparent reason. Expert evaluations from one or two years earlier were used by domestic courts. The ECHR ruled that Mikli’s rights under Article 5 and 1 of the Convention had been breached because his detention was not based on objective and recent evaluations, and since the domestic courts did not order a new expert evaluation.

Suggested readings:

  1. Click here to view the Judgement. 
  2. Click here to view the European Convention on Human Rights. 
  3. Click here to view the ECHR Report on Articles 3 and 5 § 1(e) Treatment of persons of unsound mind and lawfulness of detention under Article 5 of the Convention. 
  4. Richard James Ortega, Law and the Confinement of Psychopaths, 18 Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 663-378 (2000).
  5. Peter Bartlett, The Necessity Must Be Convincingly Shown to Exist: Standards for Compulsory Treatment for Mental Disorders under the Mental Health Act 1983, 19 Medical Law Review, 514–547 (2011). 

2. Philippines Deposits Instruments of Ratification for UN Arms Trade Treaty and 1961 Statelessness Convention.

In a ceremony at the United Nations on March 24, 2022, the Philippines deposited the instrument of ratification for the Arms Trade Treaty and the instrument of accession to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. For the Philippines, both treaties will take effect on June 22, 2022. As a result, the Philippines will be the first country in Southeast Asia to join the Arms Trade Treaty (hereinafter ‘ATT’) as a state party . Meanwhile, the Philippines’ ratification of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness represents a significant step forward in the country’s national goal to end statelessness. It would allow the Philippines to overcome gaps caused by disparities in citizenship and nationality frameworks without jeopardising the country’s autonomy over nationality regulation. The 1961 Convention sets a set of common standards that spell out clear, specific, and tangible safeguards to ensure a just and adequate response to the issue of statelessness. It guarantees that mechanisms are in place to encourage the acquisition or retention of nationality for those who would otherwise be stateless and have a proper relationship with the states. ATT is an international treaty that governs the worldwide trade in conventional armaments and aims to prevent and eliminate illicit trade and diversion by setting international criteria for arms transfers. It went into effect in 2014 and now has 110 signatories.

Suggested readings:

  1. Click here to read the UN Press Release.
  2. Click here to view the Arms Trade Treaty. 
  3. Click here to view the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. 
  4. Francis Tom Temprosa, Statelessness in Philippine Law: Expanding Horizons of the International Stateless Person Protection Regime, 58 Ateneo Law Journal, 29-80 (2013). 
  5. Fukui Yasuhito, The Arms Trade Treaty: Pursuit for the Effective Control of Arms Transfer, 20 Journal of Conflict & Security Law, 301–21 (2015).

3. El Salvador’s new Criminal law Amendment violates the basic tenets of Criminal law 

The amendments to El Salvador Criminal law have been subject to international criticism in light of its blatant disregard to proportionate punishment and penal principles surrounding minors. The immediate cause of the amendment was the March 26, 2022 gang-violence which resulted in the death of 62 people, following which, a state of emergency had been declared by the national assembly to deal with such deadly violence. In effect, among other things, the amendment lowers the age of culpability of children from 16 to 12. Graded in two layers, this allows for upto 10 year imprisonment for those below 16, and, upto 20 years of imprisonment for those between 16 and 20.  Further, any creation or even assistance to creation of any type of publication, image, graffiti or visual representations that explicitly or implicitly conveys messages indicative of gangs is punishable with upto 15 years in prison.

Suggested readings: 

  1. Click here to view the legislation. 
  2. Antony J. Blinken (Secretary of State), Violence and Threats to free Speech in El Salvador (Apr. 10, 2022), https://www.state.gov/violence-and-threats-to-free-speech-in-el-salvador/.
  3. Human Rights Watch, El Salvador: Sweeping New Laws Endanger Rights (Apr. 8, 2022), https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/04/08/el-salvador-sweeping-new-laws-endanger-rights
  4. Liz Throssel (Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights), El Salvador: Concern at measures in response to rising gang violence (Apr. 05. 2022), https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-briefing-notes/2022/04/el-salvador-concern-measures-response-rising-gang-violence.

4. The United Nations Office of High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina passes a binding order halting Sprska’s recent Property law 

The Republika Srpska, one among the two autonomous regions, had passed a ‘Law on Immovable Property for the Functioning of Public Authorities’ earlier this year. Due to its marked deviation from previous rulings of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and related issues that make it contrary to established law, the United Nations Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina (OHR BIH) has halted its application. While Serb leaders from the Sprska region have a history of drawing international criticism over seperatist movements; the current property law, in a gist, undermines the exclusive right of Bosnia and Herzegovina as holder of state property. Additionally, the mandate that exclusive power to make laws relating state property rests with the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina has also been flouted. Drawing its power from the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement – which makes any decision of the High Representative – binding, the Property law will now be tested in the Constitutional Court before a final ruling is pronounced. 

Suggested readings:

  1. Click here to read the order. 
  2. Paul C. Szasz, The Dayton Accord: The Balkan Peace Agreement – Making Peace Agreements work: The Implementation and Enforcement of Peace Agreements between Sovereigns and Intermediate Sovereigns, 30 Cornell International Law Journal (1997).
  3. Teoman Ertuğrul Tulun, Bosnia and Herzegovina faces the existential threat of separatism (Nov. 11, 2021)https://osf.io/vazbh.
  4. Lynn Hastings, Implementation of the Property Legislation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 37 Stanford Journal of International Law 225 (2001).
  5. Richard Caplan, International Authority and State Building: The Case of Bosnia and Herzegovina Special Issue on The Politics of International Administration, 10 Global Governance (2004).

5. Pakistan Anti-terrorist court awards 31 years imprisonment to Hafiz Sayed

Hafiz Sayeed, the founder of terrorist and militant Islamist organization – Lashkar-e-taiba, has been sentenced 31 years in prison by the Pakistan anti-terrorism court. The trial happened following two cases filed by the Pakistan Counter Terrorism Department surrounding terror financing. The sentenced, also the chief of another terrorist congregation – the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, is alleged to be the chief-mastermind behind the 2008, Mumbai terror attacks. In succession, the Government of India also declared Hafiz’s son as terrorist, under Section 35(1)(a) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. The instant case dealt with charges surrounding several sections from the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. Apart from the sentence for 31 years, he has also been fined a sum of 3,40,000 Pakistan Rupees. Having been already in prison for similar charges from the previous years, the current sentence will run in concurrence with such punishments. 

Suggested readings:

  1. Harsh V. Pant, Pakistan and the curious case of Hafiz Saeed, https://policycommons.net/artifacts/1346745/pakistan-and-the-curious-case-of-hafiz-saeed/1958892/
  2. Musarat Amin et. al., Pakistan in the FATF Grey-List: Challenges, Remedies and International Response, 24 Margalla Papers (2020).
  3. Ayesha Jawad, An evaluation of Anti-Terrorism laws in Pakistan: Lessons from the past and challenges for the future, Security and Defence Quarterly (2022).
  4. Justice Project Pakistan, Trial and Terror: The Overreach of Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Act, https://www.ohchr.org/sites/default/files/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/AdvisoryCom/Terrorism/JusticeProjectPakistan_2.pdf
  5. Justice Project Pakistan and Reprieve, Terror on Death Row: The abuse and overuse of Pakistan’s anti-terrorism legislation, https://www.ohchr.org/sites/default/files/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/AdvisoryCom/Terrorism/JusticeProjectPakistan_1.pdf

6. The ICJ finds that Colombia has violated Nicaragua’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction in the latter’s exclusive economic zone. 

Settling a decade-long legal battle between Colombia and Nicaragua, the International Court of Justice ruled in favour of the latter. The ruling directed that Colombia stop its interference in fishing and maritime activities in the Western Caribbean region. 

An earlier judgement of the Court,  simultaneously recognized the jurisdiction of Nicaragua in the waters and Colombian sovereignty over a group of islands in the Western Caribbean. . Following a Nicaraguan petition for non-interference in its fishing and scientific activities, Colombia responded by claiming a necessity for such intervention to combat drug trafficking and environmental issues. The present judgement reasserts Nicaraguan sovereignty over the waters and observes them to be within its exclusive economic zones. This sovereignty was violated by Colombia and hence, the court mandated an immediate cessation of such infringement. 

Suggested readings:

  1. Click here to read the ruling.
  2. Noami Bruke, Nicaragua v. Colombia at the ICJ: Better the Devil You Don’t?, 2 Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative law (2013). 
  3. Pieter Bekker, The World Court Awards Sovereignty Over Several Islands in the Caribbean Sea to Colombia and Fixes a Single Maritime Boundary between Colombia and Nicaragua (17 American Society of International Law), https://sites.dundee.ac.uk/dolfin/wp-content/uploads/sites/95/2018/05/ASIL_Insights_Car_Sea.pdf
  4. Massimo Lando, Delimiting the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles at the International Court of Justice: The Nicaragua v. Colombia Cases, 16 Chinese Journal of International Law (2017).
  5. Julian Ku, Territorial and Maritume Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia): A case Summary (US – Asia Law Institute), https://nualslawjournalcom.files.wordpress.com/2022/05/bcb3e-nicaraguavcolumbia.kuj_.pdf.

7. Saudi Arabia has joined the HCCH Apostille Convention

Acceding to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents, Saudi Arabia is now a party to the Apostille Convention and will have the same binding in force from December 7, 2022. 

The Apostille Convention is aimed at reducing the traditional and cumbersome legalization lag, which usually entails a series of verifications of international documents – much similar to a local notarization process. However, with a minimalist formality of an “apostille” certificate that will be accepted in countries that are also members of the Apostille Convention, this chain of notarization can be avoided. With 121 contracting parties, the instrument facilitates easier transactions globally, impacting private international proceedings and commercial dealings. 

Suggested readings:

  1. Annageldy Arazmuradov, Recalling Benefits of International Convention for Modernization, University of Bergamo. 
  2. Peter Zablud, The 1961 Apostille Convention – authenticating documents for international use,  
  3. Anthony Valcke, Less Bureaucracy for Citizens: Promoting Free Movement of Public Documents and Recognition of the Effects of Civil Status Records (May 9, 2011), https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1832011.  
  4. James W. Adams Jr., The Apostille in the 21st Century: International Document Certification and Verification, 34 Houston Journal of International Law 519 (2011). 
  5. Joao Riberio-Bidaoudi, The International Obligation of the Uniform and Autonomous Interpretation of Private Law Conventions: Consequences for Domestic Courts and International Organisations, 67 Netherlands International Law Review 139 (2020).

8. Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-lease act, 2022 revived a World War – II era legislation in the United States 

The Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022, was passed by the US House of Representatives, reviving a 1941, World War II era law. Intended to streamline the process for the government to lend and lease military equipment to Ukraine, it owes its origin from a legislation enacted during the Presidency of Franklin Roosevelt, to supply food, oil and other necessities to Great Britain, the Soviet Union and other Allied Nations. 

The law essentially exempts Ukraine from certain existing provisions of law that governs the loan or lease of military equipment to foreign countries. The Bill makes amends to Presidential authority under the Arms Export control Act, and also puts procedural limits and processes for the issue of loan and lease agreements. 

Passed with a majority of 417 to 10; the Bill furthers the administration’s motive to support Ukraine during the ongoing war. The administration has also sought $30 billion from Congress in additional economic, military and humanitarian aid to assist Ukraine against the Russian invasion. 

Suggested readings:

  1. Quincy Wright, The Lend-Lease Bill and International Law, 35 The American Journal of International Law (Apr. 1 1941).
  2. George C. Herring Jr., Lend-Lease to Russia and the Origins of the Cold War, 1944-1945, 56 The Journal of American History (1969).
  3. Stefan A. G. Talmon, The Provision of Arms to the Victim of Armed Aggression: the Case of Ukraine, Bonn Research Papers on Public International Law (2022).
  4. Roger Munting, Lend-Lease and the Soviet War Effort, 19 Journal of Contemporary History (1984).

9. UN General Assembly passes the Accountability resolution

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution Tuesday which requires an accountability mechanism – each time a veto is used within the Security Council. It envisions that the General Assembly meet every time veto power is beckoned in the Security Council. The time period stipulated for such convening is ten working days. The said resolution was tabled by Ambassador Christian Wenaweser from Liechtenstein and is still undergoing drafting proceedings. The resolution has garnered positive reviews from diplomats and leaders on the forum, from various blocs and interest groups. The resolution was supported by a significant majority of the General Assembly and will take effect immediately.

Suggested readings: 

  1. Click here to read a transcript of the speech introducing the Resolution. 
  2. Christian Wenaweser & Sina Alavi, Innovating to restraint the use of the veto in the United Nations Security Council, 52 Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law (2020).
  3. Jean Kranso, Legitimacy, Representation and Accountability: A Proposal for the UN Security Council Reform, 1 Yale Journal of International Affairs (2006).
  4. Amnesty International, UN: Veto resolution is a vital step towards accountability (Apr. 26, 2022), https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2022/04/un-veto-resolution-is-a-vital-step-towards-accountability/.
  5. United Nations, UN General Assembly mandates meeting in wake of any Security Council veto (Apr. 26, 2022), https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/04/1116982. 

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