The Palais-Royal, pictured above, serves as the seat of France’s Ministry of Culture, the Council of State (Conseil d’État), and the Constitutional Council. The Council of State made headlines this month when it rejected a class action lawsuit accusing the French police force of systematically targeting young Arab and Black men. The Council of State is unique in that it serves both as legal adviser to the executive branch and the final arbiter of cases relating to executive power, local authorities, independent public authorities, and public administration. The courts of France are separated into two jurisdictional divisions. The judicial order (ordre judiciaire) hears criminal and civil cases, while the administrative order (ordre administratif) hears cases involving individuals and the government.
Armenia’s parliament ratified the founding statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Oct. 3, subjecting itself to the jurisdiction of the court in The Hague and vexing Russia, whose president the ICC wants to arrest. (Reuters, 10/3/23) Keep reading »
Armenia commenced proceedings in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) seeking provisional measures against Azerbaijan. Armenia’s application to the ICJ accused Azerbaijan of ethnic cleansing in the Negorno-Karabakh region. On Sept. 19, 2023, Azerbaijan’s forces invaded and occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and announced “that the ethnic Armenian enclave would [be] dissolve[d] on January 1, 2024.” (Council on Foreign Relations, 10/26/2023) Keep reading »
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) held a hearing in a case brought by six Portuguese youths who are suing 33 European governments to take decisive action against climate change. The lawsuit was prompted by record-breaking heat and wildfires in 2017 that killed 120 people in Portugal. (Jurist, 9/28/23) Keep reading »
See also: The Judicature International Sept. 2023 feature Climate Change Litigation: Challenging the Horizons of Law
The Counseil d’Etat, France’s highest administrative court, rejected a class action brought by six human rights organizations that accused the French police force of systematically targeting young Arab and Black men. The Counseil d’Etat recognized that discriminatory policing practices do “exist and [are] not confined to isolated cases,” but stopped short of calling the practices systemic or widespread. (Radio France Internationale, 10/12/2023)) Keep reading »
India’s Supreme Court ruled against legalizing same-sex marriages. Chief Justice Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud and the court’s four other justices ruled that legal recognition for same-sex couples would amount to “judicial lawmaking.” Chandrachud wrote that same-sex couples should not face discrimination and should have the right to choose their partners. But he maintained that the issue must ultimately be resolved by parliament. (The Guardian, 10/17/23) Keep reading »
Madagascar’s high court postponed the November presidential election after two candidates were injured in protests. Opposition candidates Andry Raobelina and former president Marc Ravalomanana were participating in protests this month and were hurt when government security forces fired tear gas cannisters into the crowd of protesters. (Associated Press, 10/12/2023) Keep reading »
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a statement calling on Russia to withdraw the arrest warrants it issued against judges at the ICC. In September, Russia issued the warrants against high-ranking ICC officials to retaliate against the ICC’s arrest warrants against Vladimir Putin and Russia’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Lvova-Belova. OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani condemned Russia’s actions and commended the ICC for serving as “a cornerstone of the rule of law.” (UN News, 10/13/2023) Keep reading »
Last month, the ICJ heard arguments against Russia’s preliminary objections to the ICJ’s jurisdiction over claims brought by Ukraine in the Ukraine v. Russia case. Thirty-two states that intervened on Ukraine’s behalf joined in opposition to Russia’s objections during public hearings held on Sept. 20, 2023. (International Court of Justice Press Release, 9/27/2023) Keep reading »
See also: Among those speaking on Ukraine’s behalf was Yale Law Professor Harold Koh, who was awarded the Raphael Lemkin Rule of Law Guardian Medal by the Bolch Judicial Institute of Duke Law School in a ceremony on Oct. 9, 2023. A recording of the ceremony can be found here.