While, there probably has never been a year that has not been ‘interesting’ for modern international law, the past twelve months has seen several developments which were entirely unpredicted this time last year. This post aims to give a general overview of the various developments in international law over the past year. While significant events such as Libya and the Durban environmental conference, particularly Canada’s decision to leave the Kyoto Protocol to reduce carbon emissions, have dominated the news, a number of other significant events have also contributed to an absorbing year for international law. The events chosen here are mainly picked based on their impact on the development of international law at a general level, more specific developments in particular human rights fields are left for those more expert in their fields to discuss.
At the United Nations the suspension of Libya from the Human Rights Council, the attempts of Palestine to become a member as well as its successful application to join UNESCO, the establishment of a Special Rapporteur for Transitional Justice, as well as the annual General Assembly speeches and the usual Security Council wranglings regarding sanctions on Iran were dominant.