THE HIMALAYAN TALK: INDIAN GOVERNMENT FOOD SECURITY PROGRAM RISKIER

http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c The government of India has announced food security program ahead of elections in 2014. We discussed the issue with Palash Biswas in Kolkata today. http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c Ahead of Elections, India's Cabinet Approves Food Security Program ______________________________________________________ By JIM YARDLEY http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/indias-cabinet-passes-food-security-law/

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICAL OF BAMCEF LEADERSHIP

[Palash Biswas, one of the BAMCEF leaders and editors for Indian Express spoke to us from Kolkata today and criticized BAMCEF leadership in New Delhi, which according to him, is messing up with Nepalese indigenous peoples also. He also flayed MP Jay Narayan Prasad Nishad, who recently offered a Puja in his New Delhi home for Narendra Modi's victory in 2014.]

THE HIMALAYAN DISASTER: TRANSNATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT MECHANISM A MUST

We talked with Palash Biswas, an editor for Indian Express in Kolkata today also. He urged that there must a transnational disaster management mechanism to avert such scale disaster in the Himalayas. http://youtu.be/7IzWUpRECJM

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS BLASTS INDIANS THAT CLAIM BUDDHA WAS BORN IN INDIA

THE HIMALAYAN VOICE: PALASH BISWAS DISCUSSES RAM MANDIR

Published on 10 Apr 2013 Palash Biswas spoke to us from Kolkota and shared his views on Visho Hindu Parashid's programme from tomorrow ( April 11, 2013) to build Ram Mandir in disputed Ayodhya. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77cZuBunAGk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALSH BISWAS FLAYS SOUTH ASIAN GOVERNM

Palash Biswas, lashed out those 1% people in the government in New Delhi for failure of delivery and creating hosts of problems everywhere in South Asia. http://youtu.be/lD2_V7CB2Is

Palash Biswas on BAMCEF UNIFICATION!

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS ON NEPALI SENTIMENT, GORKHALAND, KUMAON AND GARHWAL ETC.and BAMCEF UNIFICATION! Published on Mar 19, 2013 The Himalayan Voice Cambridge, Massachusetts United States of America

BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE 7

Published on 10 Mar 2013 ALL INDIA BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE HELD AT Dr.B. R. AMBEDKAR BHAVAN,DADAR,MUMBAI ON 2ND AND 3RD MARCH 2013. Mr.PALASH BISWAS (JOURNALIST -KOLKATA) DELIVERING HER SPEECH. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLL-n6MrcoM http://youtu.be/oLL-n6MrcoM

Imminent Massive earthquake in the Himalayas

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS TALKS AGAINST CASTEIST HEGEMONY IN SOUTH ASIA

Palash Biswas on Citizenship Amendment Act

Mr. PALASH BISWAS DELIVERING SPEECH AT BAMCEF PROGRAM AT NAGPUR ON 17 & 18 SEPTEMBER 2003 Sub:- CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT 2003 http://youtu.be/zGDfsLzxTXo

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

International courts and refugees


International courts and refugees

Behind Europe's policy of saving refugees at sea and bringing them in for asylum lies a controversial 2012 decision by the European Court of Human Rights


Photo: Reuters

Photo: Reuters

If you're as cynical as I am about Europe's impulse to control migration from Arab lands, you might have the same question that I did: Why don't European navies interdict the refugees at sea, and send them back to Libya or Turkey or wherever they're coming from? It might seem cruel, but after all, that's what the US did with Haitian boat people in the 1990s and what Australia still does with asylum-seekers.

You might think the answer is that the Europeans are just more softhearted than the Americans or Australians, but it turns out the answer isn't that simple. Behind Europe's policy of saving refugees at sea and bringing them in for processing and asylum lies a controversial 2012 decision by the European Court of .

Motivated by humanitarian instincts, and decided before Syria's collapse put the flow of Arab refugees into overdrive, the decision is a model of how law can affect policy. It's also a model of the risks when international courts make decisions that have huge consequences for real-world policy. I was struck to learn from an article by scholar Jill Goldenziel that, before the 2012 decision, while Muammar Gaddafi's regime was still standing, Italy had an agreement with the dictator that it would stop boats of refugees on sea and send them straight back to Libya. On the surface, the arrangement sounds ugly, and indeed, Human Rights Watch led the international human rights community in criticizing it.

What changed since the time of the Libya deal was the European court's 2012 decision in Hirsi Jamaa vs. Italy. In that case, Somali and Eritrean nationals argued that Italy's policy violated the most important provision of the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. Article 33 of the convention says that no signatory may "expel or return ('refouler') a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, , nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion". This right is known as "non-refoulement".

In the Hirsi Jamaa case, Italy said Article 33 didn't apply to a rescue mission that took place in international waters. The fleeing East Africans were never in Italy, after all, so Italy's obligation not to send them home never kicked in.

The US  made the same argument successfully to the US Supreme Court in the 1993 case of Sale vs. Haitian Centers Council. In an 8-1 decision, the court held that the domestic US law implementing the refugee convention didn't apply to Haitians who were intercepted at sea by the US Navy and then held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The unsuccessful case for the Haitians was argued by Harold Hongju Koh, who later became a state department official in both the Bill Clinton and Barack Obama administrations. Koh did, however, induce justice Harry Blackmun, for whom he'd earlier clerked, to write a heartfelt dissent. In the dissent, Blackmun, who was given to moving rhetoric on behalf of victims, ended by saying that the refugees had raised "a modest plea, vindicated by the Treaty and the statute. We should not close our ears to it".

The European Court of Human Rights was apparently touched by Blackmun's rhetoric, which it quoted at the conclusion of its opinion. It held that Italy's naval vessels were part of Italy, and that the refugee treaty's obligation not to send refugees back home applied the moment the Italian navy took control of the refugees' ships. It concluded by banning Italy's strategy of pushback.

Unlike the US Supreme Court or the Australian High Court, which reached its own similar conclusion in 2000, the European court isn't a national body interpreting the law for a single country. This supranational body effectively made policy for its 47 members by holding that rescue efforts at sea automatically trigger the obligation to process refugees for asylum. Of course, politics matters, too. And, of course, many refugees are now coming over land and sneaking into European countries, where non-refoulement would ordinarily apply.

But it seems almost inconceivable that European politicians would be treating the immigration flow at sea as inevitable if the legal position were different. There would be calls for pushback—and a policy discussion about whether such an approach would be morally justified. Now, the policy debate is more limited— and it remains to be seen what the consequences will be for Europe, or those desperate to get there. Bloomberg

Noah Feldman is a professor of constitutional and international law at Harvard University.

http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/z8cTSlaRi3meTUIHU43zeM/International-courts-and-refugees.html

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