Impulses from the Arab Spring

Impulses from the Arab Spring on the Palestinian State-Building Process (2016)

In 2012, Palestine, while keeping its status as an observer, won the status of non-member state in the United Nations via a majority vote at the UN General Assembly (UNGA).1 For the Palestinians, the move was considered a diplomatic victory, especially considering Israel’s and the United States’ isolation during the UNGA voting session. Continue reading Impulses from the Arab Spring on the Palestinian State-Building Process (2016)

France and Torture in Algeria

I was reading an article about torture and how necessity was used to justify its use. I came across this reference to certain ‘General Paul Aussaresses’ who wrote in 2001 a memoir (Services spéciaux: Algérie 1955-1957), narrating France’s use of torture in Algeria. I then searched about him and saw he was a controversial figure in France and that he was tried – based on his confessions in the book. The ‘funny’ thing is that he was tried, not for committing torture but based on a law that makes it a crime to justify war. He was fined $6,500.164! Apparently France never apologized for its cruel past in Algeria – including the use of torture. In 2000, Lionel Jospin – the then French Prime Minister, ruled out a parliamentary inquiry into the torture committed by the French army during the Algerian war. Continue reading France and Torture in Algeria

Necessity as ‘justification’ or as an ‘excuse’ and the Palestinian Authority

There is much debate whether necessity can be invoked as a justification for wrongful act making of an unlawful action, a legal one, or as an excuse, thus absolving the perpetrator from the responsibility of violating a rule.
I read a quote from J.L. Austin that distinguishes between the two ways to look at necessity: “In the one defense justification], briefly, we accept responsibility but deny that is was bad; in the other, [excuse], we admit that it was bad but don’t accept full, or even any, responsibility.” John L. Austin, A Plea for Excuses, 57 PROC. OF THE ARISTOTELIAN Soc’Y 1 (1957). Cited in: Johnstone, Ian. “The Plea of “Necessity” in International Legal Discourse: Humanitarian Intervention and Counter-terrorism.” Columbia Journal of Transnational Law 43 (2005), p. 350. Continue reading Necessity as ‘justification’ or as an ‘excuse’ and the Palestinian Authority