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UN: Call to Include Human Rights Provisions in Trade Agreements and Dispute Resolution

(Sept. 27, 2016) On September 13, 2016, the United Nations Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, Alfred de Zayas, called for all future trade agreements to include provisions extolling the primary importance of human rights. He also said that the treaties should be aligned with the duty that states […]

ICC: Court to Expand Focus to Environmental and Other Serious Crimes

(Sept. 26, 2016) On September 15, 2016, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it will work on prosecuting environmental and other serious crimes. The announcement came in a press release and policy paper on how the Court will prioritize and select cases. By publishing the paper, described as an “internal document,” the Court hopes […]

Norway: Procurement Law to Stem Deforestation, Protect Human Rights Adopted

(Sept. 16, 2016) On June 17, 2016, the Norwegian Parliament passed a new procurement law that mandates consideration of environmental consequences, human rights, and other social effects in public procurement processes. (Lov om Offentlige Anskaffelser (Anskaffelsesloven), LOV 2016-06-17-73 [Procurement Act No. 73 of June 17, 2016], LOVDATA.) This goal is spelled out in article 5 […]

Peru: Paris Accord on Climate Change Ratified

(Sept. 2, 2016) On July 21, 2016, Peru ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, adopted in Paris, France, under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). (Ratifican el Acuerdo de París [Ratification of the Paris Agreement], EL PERUANO (July 25, 2016); Paris Agreement (Dec. 12, 2015), UNFCCC website.) On July 25, 2016, Peru deposited […]

China: New Wildlife Protection Law

(Aug. 5, 2016) On July 2, 2016, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) revised the Wildlife Protection Law.  This is the first time the Law has been substantively revised since its promulgation in the 1980s.  The revised Law will take effect on January 1, 2017.  (Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo […]

Japan: Act Aims to Promote Trade in Legally Produced Timber

(July 28, 2016) Japan’s Act on Promotion of Distribution and Use of Legally Logged Wood Products was promulgated on May 20, 2016.  (Act No. 48 of 2016, OFFICIAL GAZETTE (in Japanese).)  Under the new Act, wood product companies may apply for registration, certifying that they will apply measures to trade only in legally produced timber in their […]

Japan: PCB Special Measures Act Amended

(July 25, 2016) An amendment to the Act on Special Measures for Promotion of Proper Treatment of Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) (PCB Special Measures Act) was promulgated by the Japanese government on May 2, 2016. (Act No. 34 of 2016, OFFICIAL GAZETTE (in Japanese).) PCBs, which are ”man-made organic chemicals consisting of carbon, hydrogen and chlorine atoms,” have been shown “to cause […]

United Nations: Agreement on Illegal Fishing

(July 22, 2016) In a July 1, 2016, statement, the Director-General of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, lauded an agreement on illegal fishing which, although concluded on November 22, 2009, just came into force on June 5, 2016. The Director-General stated that “[g]enerations to come will recognize the importance […]

South Africa: Moratorium on Domestic Trade in Rhino Horn Temporarily Re-Instituted

On June 6, 2016, South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) effectively, if only temporarily, re-instituted a 2009 ban on domestic trade in rhino horn and products derived from it.   This was due to the DEA appealing to the Constitutional Court a prior Supreme Court of Appeal ruling affirming a 2015 decision of the High Court […]

Sierra Leone: Changes to the 1991 Constitution Proposed

(Feb. 29, 2016) On February 16, 2016, Sierra Leone’s Constitutional Review Committee (an 80-member body established in 2013 to review the 1991 Constitution and a 2008 report proposing changes to it) published an abridged draft report of its findings.  (Ibrahim Tarawallie, New Chapters Proposed in New Constitution, CONCORD TIMES (Feb. 17, 2016).)   The draft report, which took two years […]