Abbas: Palestine plans lawsuit against the UK over the 1917 Balfour Declaration

Mahmoud Abbas, the president of Palestine, announced his intention on Monday to sue the government of the United Kingdom over the 1917 Balfour Declaration which paved the way for the creation of Israel.

Balfour Declaration published in The Times of London - 9 November 1917

Balfour Declaration published in The Times of London – 9 November 1917

The statement of Abbas was delivered by foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki at the opening of this week’s Arab League summit in Mauritania, in the absence of Abbas.

It is said that the 1917 Balfour Declaration, named after then UK Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur Balfour, pledged to support the establishment of a “national home” for the Jewish people in Palestine. The Declaration is seen as a key milestone for the Zionist movement.

The document formed the basis of the British Mandate for Palestine, which was formally approved by the League of Nations in 1922.

Al-Maliki said that the Balfour Declaration led to mass Jewish immigration to British Mandate Palestine. According to al-Maliki, the Declaration “gave people who don’t belong there something that wasn’t theirs”.

In the statement it was further said that the United Kingdom was responsible for all “Israeli crimes” since the end of the British mandate in 1948.

According to the statement, the lawsuit would be filed “in an international court”, but no further details on the planned lawsuit were provided. Gulf News reported that Dr Hanna Eissa, part of the Palestinian team preparing the lawsuit, mentioned the International Court of Justice, which can issue non-binding advisory opinions.

Training on Understanding Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Date: 28 September – 2 October 2015

Location: Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights,
Villa Moynier – Rue de Lausanne 120B – CP 67 – 1211 Geneva 21 – Switzerland

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The Geneva Academy organizes a training on “Understanding Economic, Social and Cultural Rights”. The courses are taught by academics including, Dr. Christophe Golay and Dr. Joanna Bourke-Martignoni, as well as senior professionals from international organizations and non-profit and are designed for civil society, staff of NGOs and national human rights institutions, representatives of government, staff from UN and other international organizations, as well as academic researchers. Continue reading

ICJ: Judgment in the Croatia vs Serbia Genocide Case on 3 February 2015

International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will render its Judgment in the Croatia versus Serbia Genocide case on 3 February 2015, between 10:00 and 13:00.

In 1999, Croatia instituted proceedings before the ICJ against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (now Serbia) for violations of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Croatia alleged that between 1991 and 1995, Serbia committed genocide relating to Croatia’s war of independence following the collapse of the former Yugoslavia.

In 2010 Serbia filed a counter-suit, alleging that Croatia committed genocide during and after Operation Storm when some 200,000 ethnic Serbs were forced to leave Croatia in 1995 when Zagreb launched a military operation to retake its territory.

iLawyer Wayne Jordash QC is Counsel for the Republic of Serbia (along with Professors William Schabas, Andreas Zimmerman, Christian Tams and others).

Event: “The International Rule of Law”

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Date: Monday 19 January 2015 at 17h15-19h00

Venue: Faculty Campus The Hague, Schouwburgstraat 2, The Hague, NL

The Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies is organizing the John Dugard Lecture 2015 on “The International Rule of Law” by H.E. Judge Kenneth Keith, Member of the International Court of Justice.

See the invitation attached. To register, please send an email by 12 January.