Legal news from Wednesday, March 26, 2003
21:03 EDT

[JURIST] A spokesman for the UK Forces in the Gulf issued the following statement early Thursday (GMT) concerning video of UK casualties [BBC News report] televised on Al Jazeera TV Wednesday: We are shocked and appalled that the Iraqi regime have released close-up television pictures that they claim show dead [read more]

21:03 EDT

[JURIST] Ensuring humanitarian access to the civilian population is a key obligation under the Geneva Conventions and one of the most important duties of the coalition forces at this juncture. The International Humanitarian Law Research Initiative offers a review of the legal basis of the obligation to ensure humanitarian access [read more]

21:03 EDT

[JURIST] In the New York Times Wednesday, Adam Liptak notes that the Bush administration has launched a "second front" in Iraq - a public relations campaign in which officials have repeatedly accused Iraq of violating the Geneva Conventions and other international laws that govern the conduct of war.... Writing in [read more]

19:03 EDT

[JURIST] Speaking Wednesday at a UN Security Council open meeting on the Iraq war [UN News report], Iraqi ambassador Mohammed Aldouri called for the UN to take action to stop a war on his country that was in blatant breach of international law. Here is a summary of his statement, [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] The United Nations Security Council [official website] is meeting at this hour to consider the Iraq war and possible UN responses. So far, some 50 speakers are inscribed, and the meeting is expected to continue on Thursday.UPDATE [7:46 PM ET]: Opening the meeting, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said:We all [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] From AP Wednesday: American lawyers and legal officials in military uniform, toting weighty law books and ready to establish martial law, are traveling with U.S. and British troops surging into Iraq. The legal experts are hoping, however, that the Iraqi justice system won't fall apart in the event of [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] From US Central Command [official website] Wednesday, in indirect reference to what has been described in press reports [BBC News report] as a bombing of a Baghdad market early Wednesday (local time) that killed 14 Iraqi civilians:COALITION FORCES STRIKE MISSILE LAUNCHERS IN BAGHDAD; CIVILIAN DAMAGE POSSIBLESOUTHWEST ASIA - Coalition [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] Wednesday's field reports from the International Committee of the Red Cross [advocacy website] on the humanitarian situation in Iraq are now available online.The water supply has been partly re-established in Basra:The ICRC estimates that 50 per cent of the city's approximately 1.5 million inhabitants now have access to drinking [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] A Reuters report Wednesday quotes a US Defense Department official as saying that some of the 12 US soldiers whose supply convoy was ambushed near Nassiriya in southern Iraq on Sunday were killed by their captors although they tried to surrender. Article 50 of the First Geneva Convention [text], [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] US Central Command announced late Tuesday that US Marines had secured a hospital flying the Red Crescent flag "being used as a military staging area for Iraqi para-military forces":The Marines had been fired at from the hospital the day before....Misuse of a protected symbol, such as a Red Cross [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] Amnesty International [advocacy website] released a statement Wednesday expressing concerns that war crimes may have been committed by both sides during the recent fighting in Iraq: Coalition forces have confirmed attacking the main Iraqi television station early on Wednesday. According to reports from the BBC, US Central Command in [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] We interrupt our continuing coverage of legal issues arising out of the Iraq war to bring you breaking news from US Supreme Court. DC Supreme Court litigators Goldstein & Howe [SCOTUSblog post] report: The Court this morning issued the opinion in Brown v. Legal Foundation of Washington, No. 01-1325, [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] Recorded audio of Wednesday's UN briefing from Amman, Jordan, on the humanitarian situation in Iraq is now available from the United Nations. The Baghdad market bombing, hospital conditions, the water and power situation in Basra and other topics relevant to international humanitarian law are discussed. Audio quality is mixed, [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] Speaking Wednesday to reporters at UN Headquarters in New York, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he was "increasingly concerned" at the "humanitarian casualties" in Iraq, and in the wake of a missile hit on a Baghdad market [BBC report] reminded belligerents that they should respect international humanitarian law and [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Russian ITAR-TASS news agency reports Wednesday on a speech by Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov to the Upper House of the Russian Parliament calling for UN action on Iraq and the need to reform UN institutions in the wake of the war if the organization is to survive:Russia [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] According to a Russian Interfax wire story Wednesday, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev [official website] has severely criticized the US-led war in Iraq. Echoing sentiments expressed earlier by current Russian President Vladimir Putin, he called the operation "a huge political mistake. It is a blow to the United Nations, [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] The New York-based monitoring group Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] sent a letter Wednesday to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan urging Turkey to take steps to ensure that the human rights of the local Kurdish population are protected in the event of any Turkish military operations in northeastern [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] The International Federation of Journalists [advocacy website], the world's largest journalist organization, issued a press release Wednesday condemning a US airstrike against Iraqi TV late Tuesday (ET), several days after it broadcast video footage of US POWs: Under international law television and radio stations may be targeted if they [read more]

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