AllAboutLaw Blog: ICJ orders imposed on Myanmar, a series of phone-hacking scandals and more

Standfirst: In this week’s edition of the AllAboutLaw Blog, we cover the unanimous decision of the UN’s highest court regarding Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingya people, the alleged Saudi Arabian phone hacking scandals and the concerns of achieving a cashless society.

  • Last updated Jan 29, 2020 10:55:55 AM
  • Tuula Petersen
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Justice in sight for the Rohingya people

Last week, the International Court of Justice imposed emergency “provisional measures” on Myanmar following hearings related to the Rohingya crisis. The United Nation’s highest court ordered the state to prevent genocidal violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority, ensure military and police forces do not commit genocide, to preserve any evidence of past crimes, and report back on its compliance with these orders within four months.

The decision made by the 17-judge panel was unanimous despite the head of state and Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi’s objections to such accusations. Following the ruling, the orders have been communicated to the UN Security Council, who will oversee Myanmar’s compliance with the court rules. The UN’s most powerful body is unlikely to take any action without allowing Myanmar time to implement the orders.

While Roginhya refugees have welcomed the news as a step in the right direction, the common consensus amongst the persecuted Muslim minority is also one of distrust towards the Myanmar state. This order to protect the Roginhyas is the first step of many for the judges at the International Court of Justice. The judges have yet to decide on the substance of the case which could amount to years of debate before a final ruling is reached.

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“Over the coming days, you will hear remarkable consistent evidence of President Trump’s corrupt scheme and cover-up… There is no serious dispute about the facts underlying the president’s conduct. This is why you will hear the president’s lawyers make the claim that you can’t impeach a president for abusing the powers of his office because they can’t seriously contest that that is exactly what he did”.

Adam Schiff, the top prosecutor in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

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Firm news

Withers has expanded its dispute resolution practice with the hire of Martin Auerbach as head of white-collar defence and investigation.

Dechert is accused of worker discrimination by an employee in a new lawsuit.

Further increasing its Dublin presence, Simmons & Simmons has hired two new partners for its banking and corporate divisions.

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Saudi Arabia embroiled in phone hacking accusations 

A Saudi Arabian satirist who has been living in the UK under police protection claims to have been hacked by his government and has brought legal action against Saudi Arabia at the High Court. Ghanem al-Masarir claims to have been hacked by the state after criticising the Saudi royal family on social media in 2018. The High Court’s decision to proceed with the case has been hailed as a significant milestone to “hold [Saudi Arabia accountable] in a fair and independent court of law”. This news follows allegations made by Jeff Bezos against Saudi Arabia for hacking into his phone through the medium of a WhatsApp message from the crown prince, Mohammed Bin Salman.

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Achieving your aspirations of becoming a lawyer can at times seem challenging and overwhelming. Our website offers plenty of tips to help you get started, as well as concise information on your next steps, whether that is the GDL, the LPC, a vacation scheme and more. 

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Is the move to a cashless society fostering discrimination?

As more and more cities are rapidly moving towards becoming a cashless society, issues associated with this trend have surfaced, most notably, its potential to worsen a socio-economic divide. Such a concern has led the New York City council to ban cashless business, stating “the excesses of the digital economy” and the desire to cease discrimination against low-income residents who are less likely to have a bank account or access to credit. The bill has yet to be approved by the mayor, Bill De Blasio and could lead to retail outlets facing fines for failure to accept cash payments. 

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Recommended reading

Are we witnessing an end to democracy and the growth of authoritarianism?

Is venture capital worth the risk?

A trade war could be on the cards if the UK wishes to secure favourable trade deals.

A regulation allowing for the blueprints of guns for 3D printers to be published online is being sued by a coalition of states in the US.

Apple reportedly veered away from allowing users to fully encrypt their backups following intervention from the FBI.

Seeking privacy in Canada, Harry and Meghan could invoke British Columbian privacy laws.

Overwhelmed by claims of clinical negligence, the NHS may pay up to £4.3 billion in compensation.

Is a points-based immigration system the way forward for the UK?

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