U.N. experts seek international court ruling on North Korean human rights violations

The Japan Times

GENEVA โ€“ Two legal experts called on the international community to bring human rights violations by the North Korean government before the International Criminal Court in a report released Thursday ahead of a session of the U.N. Human Rights Council. In the report compiled by the U.N. special rapporteur on the human rights situation in North Korea, the two experts called "on the international community to continue efforts to seek accountability for crimes against humanity through the International Criminal Court." U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein named in September 2016 Sonja Biserko of Serbia and Sara Hossain of Bangladesh as part of a team to seek accountability for human rights violations in the isolated country. The two experts work closely with Tomas Ojea Quintana, who succeeded Marzuki Darusman of Indonesia as special rapporteur on North Korea in August 2016. Since their appointment, Biserko and Hossain have visited Geneva, The Hague, Seoul, Tokyo and New York to consult with various stakeholders, including scholars of international criminal justice and persons who left North Korea to assess the human rights situation in the country.


Ad giant Dentsu may face criminal case as offices raided in probe of excessive overtime

The Japan Times

Dentsu Inc. offices were raided Monday by labor ministry officials looking for evidence that the advertising firm's employees exceeded legal limits on overtime hours. The latest raid comes after the suicide of a young worker drew national attention to the employment practices of one of the country's largest and most prestigious companies. As a result, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry is set to refer the company to prosecutors on suspicion of violation of the Labor Standards Law, ministry sources said. Officials from local labor bureaus searched the company's headquarters in central Tokyo and its branches in Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya. Dentsu said it would fully cooperate with the investigations.


South Korea's top court to issue ruling this month on wartime forced labor claims against Japanese firm

The Japan Times

SEOUL โ€“ South Korea's Supreme Court has said it will rule on Oct. 30 on a damages lawsuit against Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. filed by four victims of wartime forced labor under Japan's colonial rule. The Japanese government says all matters of assets and claims between the two countries were fully and finally resolved under a bilateral agreement concluded when their diplomatic relations were normalized in 1965. If the court recognizes the plaintiffs' right to claim damages incurred during World War II, a diplomatic spat between Tokyo and Seoul would likely follow. In 2012, the court judged that the accord did not eliminate individuals' rights to claim damages, sending back the suit against the Japanese steel-maker to the Seoul High Court. Following the ruling, the high court ordered the firm to pay 100 million won per plaintiff in 2013.



Argentine judge acts on rights group's bid to prosecute Saudi Arabian crown prince

The Japan Times

BUENOS AIRES โ€“ Argentine legal authorities took initial action Wednesday to consider a request from Human Rights Watch to prosecute Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for alleged crimes against humanity. The rights group's move is apparently aimed at embarrassing the crown prince as he attends the G20 summit in Buenos Aires this week. Federal Judge Ariel Lijo agreed to a request by prosecutor Ramiro Gonzalez to determine if other entities are investigating the prince for possible crimes against humanity before deciding whether to open an investigation in Argentina. Argentina's legal system allows cases to be brought against crimes against humanity allegedly committed elsewhere. But it is unlikely anything will happen soon, given the time it will take the judge to make a decision after the request for information from Yemen, Turkey and the International Criminal Court is filed by the Argentine Foreign Ministry.