The International Court of Justice has delivered its decision on South Africa’s accusation of Israel for committing genocide in Gaza. The Court has ordered Israel to take all steps to prevent genocide and improve the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian Gaza Strip through provisional measures. Israel has a month to inform the Court of its compliance with the order. The Court emphasized the serious risk of the deteriorating situation in Gaza, necessitating immediate action.
The Czech Republic has a long-term reputation as a state striving for respect for human rights worldwide. Last year, it succeeded in the very heart of human rights protection, the UN Human Rights Council.
The UN Human Rights Council (hereinafter “the Council”) is the pivotal human rights body of the United Nations (hereinafter “the UN”). It is an intergovernmental body based in Geneva, Switzerland, whose main task is to prevent and address human rights violations, cooperate in international law development, and conduct the Universal Periodic Review.
Between July 1 and December 31 2022, the Czech Republic assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The priorities of its six-month presidency were determined mostly by ongoing Russian aggression in Ukraine. They include the management of the refugee crisis, the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine, energy security, the strengthening of European defense capabilities, security of cyberspace, the strategic resilience of the European economy and the resilience of democratic institutions. What have been the major outcomes of the Czech presidency?
Employees of the European Court of Human Rights, who enter through its rear entrance, encounter a name every day at the last pedestrian crossing by the traffic light – René Cassin. The whole "allée" they've just crossed is named after him. On that sign by the traffic light they can read that he lived from 1887 to 1976, received the Nobel Peace Prize, and served as a president of the Strasbourg court from 1965 to 1968. Of course, there is a lot missing on that sign. For that reason, I would like to remind everyone of one thing on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: René Cassin is one of its main authors. Its father.
On 1 December 2022, the Czech parliament adopted Act No. 1/2023 Coll., on restrictive measures against certain serious acts in international affairs (Sanctions Act). The Sanctions Act, known also as “the Czech Magnitsky Act”, entered into force on 3 January 2023 and added the Czech Republic to the UN and EU sanctions regimes. It should serve as a national instrument for protecting human rights and freedoms, combating terrorism, and contributing to international peace and security. It applies to all perpetrators, regardless of their country of origin.
5. 1. 2024
Pavel Doubek, translated by Daniela Skácelíková
On 10 December 2023, in Café Morgal, we organised the first Human Rights Cultural Festival and did not choose the date randomly. In fact, it was a birthday party for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10 December, exactly 75 years ago. Although we are not contemporaries of its birth, we see the merits of the Declaration in everyday life, whether it is the right to free expression, to travel, or to enjoy judicial protection against injustice.