Articles by Jacob Margolis

International Law

UN Orders Russia to Cease Operations in Ukraine

April 4, 2022 Jacob Margolis 0

The invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces on February 24th shook the world, as well as international affairs organizations such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the United Nations (UN). Just three days after these events transpired, Ukraine filed a suit to the ICJ calling out Russian military forces for having manipulated “the concept of genocide” in order to justify their invasive actions. On March 16th, the ICJ responded with a ruling that Russia must “immediately suspend the military operations that it commenced on 24 February.” More specifically, Russia has been asked to not only suspend current military operations and retract their deployments, but to also make sure that any Russian-backed units, whether they be paramilitary or “irregular units,” cease their respective activities immediately. The Court came to their verdict on a 13-2 vote, with Russian ICJ Vice-President Kirill Gevorgian and Judge Xue Hanqin of China dissenting.  The […]

International Law

UN Orders Uganda to Pay War Reparations

March 16, 2022 Jacob Margolis 0

On Wednesday, Feb. 9th, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the United Nations (UN) ordered that Uganda pay $325 million in war reparations to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The dispute was first brought to the UN in 1999, and this new ruling comes 17 years after the UN had initially found Uganda to have breached international law by violating the principle of non-intervention in the DRC. This charge entails infringing on the right of a sovereign state to conduct its internal affairs without outside intervention. Additionally, they allegedly breached human rights law through the brutalities committed by their army on the people of the DRC. The conflict, which officially lasted from 1998-2003 and involved both rebel incursions and outsider attacks, was believed to have brought about a devastating hundreds of thousands of deaths, though there is no official confirmation on the exact amount, as well as […]

International Law

New Ban on Imports from Xinjiang; U.S. Reaffirms their Stance on Uyghur Forced Labor

January 27, 2022 Jacob Margolis 0

In recent years, many reports have emerged that accuse China of repressing Uyghurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority. Earlier in 2021, the U.S. State Department estimated that possibly up to 2 million Uyghurs were being held in detainment centers in the country’s western region of Xinjiang. Former detainees have reported that while in the camps, they were “subjected to intense political indoctrination, forced labor, torture, and even sexual abuse.” Subsequently, in March of 2021, the U.S. put pressure on China through sanctions on various officials over human rights violations, a move that was followed by the European Union, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Now, almost a year later, U.S. legislation has been passed that will, effective immediately, ban imports from the Xinjiang region, citing the many previously mentioned human rights abuses.  The Act serves four main functions: An enforcement strategy that will generate lists of products and materials from Xinjiang […]

International Law

H.R.4686: US Sanctions on Cambodian Military Officials

November 29, 2021 Jacob Margolis 0

On Sept. 28, 2021, the United States House of Representatives passed H.R.4686, The Cambodia Democracy Act of 2021. This bill requires that the president impose sanctions on Cambodian individuals who commit acts that directly undermine democracy. While the bill has yet to be passed by the Senate, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control were able to impose the sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which gives the department the right to sanction individuals and entities accused of human rights violations which would include, as in this case, corruption. Such violations that the legislation describes are in reference to attempts at collusion by members of the Cambodian Ministry of National Defense, Chau Phirun and Tea Vinh. These military officials, who have most recently been stationed at the Chinese-Cambodian Ream Naval Base, allegedly inflated the costs for new construction on facilities at the base and then […]

International Law

Lithuania and Belarus: New Policy Surrounding Iraqi Immigrant Crisis

November 9, 2021 Jacob Margolis 0

Lithuania has seen a recent influx of Iraqi immigrants. Just south of the country lies Belarus where many of these migrants have been coming from. In normal years, Lithuania catches about 70 “unlawful” migrants in total from this country. Due to recent tension between the European Union (EU) and Belarus, however, those numbers have increased to over 470 people in June of this year and 2,600 in July. On May 23, 2021, Belarus “sparked uproar” as they forced an EU passenger jet to land in Minsk, the country’s capital, where they then proceeded to abduct a “high-profile dissident passenger.” In response to this act of air piracy, the EU imposed sanctions on the country, attempting to prevent future crises from arising. Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenko has retaliated by facilitating illegal migration which Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda has called a “state-sponsored weapon.” Allegedly, Lukashenko threatened to allow human traffickers and drug […]