I was busy mugging up the law on human rights last week preparing for the case in front of the Grand Chamber of the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in Guzelyurtlu against Cyprus and Turkey. It turned out to be a unique experience, not least because I have never been surrounded by so many judges at the bar of a courtroom. So much so it was a relief to share the front row with the attorney-general of Cyprus and Clare Montgomery QC, queen of English extradition law, for Cyprus and the formidable professor Stefan Talmon for Turkey as opponents. The court will now deliberate and decide, and it would not be right to comment anymore about the legal aspects of the case than is absolutely necessary, save to say that an oral hearing sharpens and refines the issues a lot better than written submissions. It is the poetry of legal procedure because like poetry it reveals the truth in style. There were seventeen judges of the court in horseshoe formation en face and a huge number of visiting … [Read more...] about Strasbourg is not just a court of human rights
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They had to find common ground - and they did. After four days of good vibes among the mediators, an unprecedented 23-hour marathon of negotiations followed. The Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Christian Social Union (CSU) and Social Democratic Party (SPD) will enter coalition talks if the SPD party congress on January 21 gives the go-ahead. Read more: Another Merkel-led grand coalition - what you need to know So, a package has been put together. It looks more like a draft coalition agreement than a tentative agreement on a basis for a mutual government program. "We would like to renew our ties," said Martin Schulz, the head of the SPD. Chancellor Angela Merkel said that good communication is the premise for "a good life in Germany, even in 10 or 15 years from now." Each party had to make concessions The agreement is much more comprehensive than expected. One can clearly see the points on which the individual parties have made concessions. And some parts do come … [Read more...] about Opinion: German coalition talks, a tale of success and reluctance
BRITISH reporters were locked out of the White House ahead of a landmark press conference with Theresa May and President Trump — because guards were confused about their date of birth.A press pack from the UK were held at the gates because security officials could not understand their documents listing birth dates in day, month and year.Dates of birth in the US are listed in month, day and year.One reporter, who laughed when he was blocked from entering, was blasted by a White House press aide who said: "Why is that funny?"The world's media were gathering ahead of Friday's symbolic meeting between Donald Trump and the Prime Minister.Mrs May is the first foreign leader to visit the US since Trump's inauguration last week.On Thursday she told leading Republicans that Brexit Britain and Trump's America have "the responsibility to lead the world", drawing huge applause and leading to comparisons with the famously strong relationship between President Ronald Reagan and … [Read more...] about British reporters locked out of Theresa May and Donald Trump press conference at the White House because Secret Service were confused about their dates of birth
There is currently a big show of force happening in Northeast Asia. On March 7, for the second time in a month, North Korea fired missiles into the Sea of Japan, rattling both the nerves of its neighbors and their allies in the West. Pyongyang raised tensions further by adding that the recent launch was a drill for attacking US military bases in Japan. It came just a day after the US moved a missile defense system known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) into positions in South Korea. And last week, the US and South Korean militaries began what is being described as "the largest ever" military drill between the two countries. China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday that both sides were racing towards a "head-on collision." But behind this very public display of hostility is a complex system of information technology - a less visible but crucial strategic element that defense departments and experts are increasingly viewing as the future of … [Read more...] about Is US cyberdefense a key weapon against N. Korea’s missile program?
"My heart is overflowing, and my soul is grateful," said an emotional French President Charles de Gaulle in fluent German, shortly after he and German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer signed the Elysee Treaty in January 1963. The heartfelt words were followed by two kisses on the cheek and a boisterous hug, leaving a flustered Adenauer to say, "I have nothing to add." 'Michel' and 'Marianne' The Elysee Treaty was signed on a cold winter day in Paris, at the official residence of the French president, the Elysee Palace. Eighteen years after the end of World War II, the two neighboring countries were pledging to discuss all important policy matters, including those related to foreign affairs, defense, education, youth and culture. Regular meetings between the government heads, ministers and senior officials were to ensure the implementation of the treaty. The German "Michel" and the French "Marianne," representative figures of the two countries who were once bitter enemies, had become … [Read more...] about Elysee – A treaty for friendship