10 February 2014
Government forces, pro-government forces and armed opposition groups are employing civilian suffering as a method of warfare by starvation, denying humanitarian relief, targeting civilians, subjecting them to inhumane treatment and committing other human rights violations. This statement, issued by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, is based on the reports of six unpaid independent experts appointed by the Human Rights Council. ‘The acts being committed amount to crimes against humanity, carried out as a deliberate and systematic effort to cause civilian suffering. They also constitute war crimes and serious violations of customary international humanitarian law which binds all parties,’ they stated. The rapporteurs urge all parties to stop using civilian suffering as a method for warfare and to ensure immediate humanitarian relief.
Source: UN News Centre | Both sides in Syria guilty of war crimes in ‘systematic effort to cause civilian suffering’ – UN experts
6 May 2013
On 22 March, the Versailles Court of Appeal ruled that international humanitarian law does not create direct obligations for a private company involved in a tramway building project in Jerusalem. The lawsuit was initiated in 2007 against the French company Alstom for violations of international law on the basis that the company provided equipment for a tramway building project in Jerusalem, supervised by the State of Israel. Alstom signed a concession contract with Israel. The Court considered that the Fourth Geneva Convention 1949, Additional Protocol 1 to Geneva Conventions, the Hague regulations and the Hague Convention do not create direct obligations that may be placed upon private companies. The Court also held that, supposing that the Israel’s litigious concession contract constituted a violation of international law, this violation would not invalidate the contract (because the contract is governed by Israeli law and not by the French Civil Code).
Source: Cour D'appel de Versailles | Association France-Palestine Solidarite “AFPS” C/ Societe Alstom Transport SA | Code nac: 59A | 3ème chambre | R.G. N° 11/05331 | 22 Mars 2013 (in French)
Source: Rights as Usual | Backtracking on Responsibility: French Court Absolves Veolia for Unlawful Railway Construction in Occupied Territory