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Spain to Curb Universal Jurisdiction

03/02/2009 – 3:57 pm |

Jurist reports that the Spanish government is contemplating limiting the scope of its universal jurisdiction. The principle of universal jurisdiction does away with traditional conditions for a state wanting to exercise jurisdiction in criminal cases (such as for a personal or territorial condition to be present), and stipulates that the state has jurisdiction regardless of where the alleged offence took place, regardless of nationality of …

Can video help bring a warlord to justice?

31/01/2009 – 9:47 am |

As readers of this blog are well aware, the trial of Thomas Lubanga Diylo is the first trial at the ICC, what you may not know is that it is also the first time that video has played an integral role in bringing a warlord to the court. Though there is debate about whether the charges against Mr. Lubanga are the “most heinous crimes which …

Coverage of the Lubanga trial

28/01/2009 – 4:59 pm |

For more information on the ongoing trial of Thomas Lubanga at the ICC, you may want to visit the newly created website lubangatrial.org, an initiative from the Open Society Justice Initiative. The website promises daily updates on the trial from the courtroom, as well as “regular legal analysis and commentary on the Lubanga case”.

International Criminal Court starts first war crimes trial

26/01/2009 – 9:39 am | One Comment

Today the trial of Thomas Lubanga at the International Criminal Court (ICC) will (finally) begin. After much confusion and delay inter alia regarding the issue of disclosure of evidence from the prosecutor to the defence/judges of the court (we reported earlier here, here and here), the first trial will start after almost three years of preparation with the examination of charges against the founder of the Union …

New judges at the International Criminal Court

21/01/2009 – 11:16 am | One Comment

At the seventh session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which opened on 19th January at the UN Headquarters in New York, six members of the ICC were elected (see press release).
1. SHAHABUDDEEN, Mohamed (Guyana)
2. SAIGA, Fumiko (Japan)
3. TARFUSSER, Cuno (Italy)
4. MONAGENG, Sanji Mmasenono (Botswana)
5. VAN DEN WYNGAERT, Christine (Belgium)
6. ALUOCH, Joyce (Kenya)
On the first ballot, …

Confirmation hearing in the Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo

09/01/2009 – 10:24 am |

The hearing on confirmation of charges in the case of The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo is scheduled to commence on next Monday (12 January 2009) before the Pretrial Chamber III of the International Criminal Court.
         The case derives from the situation in the Central African Republic. Mr Jean-Pierre Bemba was arrested in the Kingdom of Belgium on 24 May 2008 and on 3 July …

“The Problem from Hell”

15/12/2008 – 6:05 pm |

Last week the Genocide Prevention Task Force, of the US Peace Institute, published its report “Preventing Genocide: A Blueprint for U.S. Policymakers”, containing a number of recommendations on how future US administrations can actively seek to avoid incidents of genocide. Members of the Genocide Prevention Task Force count, among others, Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who was Secretary of State when US-led NATO forces …

Guest Post: 10th ICTY Completion Strategy report to UNSC

15/12/2008 – 7:23 am |

[In this post Amy Senier returns with a piece on last week's report by President Robinson of the ICTY to the UN Security Council on the Tribunal's completion strategy.]
Last week Judge Patrick Robinson, President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (“ICTY”) delivered the ICTY President’s 10th report on the Tribunal’s Completion Strategy to the UN Security Council.  Pursuant to UN Security Council …

Ban Ki-moon on Human Rights Council

13/12/2008 – 2:29 pm |

This week saw the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Although immense progress has been made in those 60 years toward the aim of universal respect for fundamental rights, it is often asserted that major setbacks have occurred in the area of civil liberties over the last eight years or so. While these setbacks are often down to state action, or perhaps …

Guest Post: The ICC Prosecutor's appointment of a Special Advisor on Gender Crimes

05/12/2008 – 4:56 pm |

A recent appointment by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) promises a more focused strategy on the prosecution of gender-based violence at the supranational level.  Last week, ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo named Professor Catherine A MacKinnon as his Special Advisor on Gender Crimes.  The appointment, announced on November 26, signals an intensified commitment on behalf of the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) to …

International Law Observer Welcomes Guest Blogger Amy Senier

05/12/2008 – 4:51 pm |

We are pleased to welcome guest blogger Amy Senier from the litigation and international disputes departments of Foley Hoag LLP in Boston, Massachusetts.
Amy Senier is an associate in the litigation and international disputes departments of Foley Hoag LLP in Boston, Massachusetts.  She received her Master’s in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University and her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.  …

Trial Chamber of the ICC lifts stay of proceedings in the case against Thomas Lubanga

18/11/2008 – 2:34 pm | 2 Comments

Today the International Criminal Court announced, that the Trial Chamber I lifted the stay of proceedings in the case “The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo” (we reported earlier). AP has the story; press release of the ICC is available here.
Today, Trial Chamber I decided to lift the stay of proceedings in the case of The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo that had been imposed on …

Darfur: Impact of ICC Warrant of Arrest Against Bashir to the Peace Processes

14/11/2008 – 1:42 pm |

The Office of the Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court has received a lot of critcism  from diffrent sections of the world with regards Mr  Moreno Ocampo’s application for a warrant of arrest against one the most ruthless dictators Africa has ever seen, President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan who is being accused of perpetrating war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Many African countries, including …

A critical look at the ICC

10/11/2008 – 8:28 am | One Comment

This week’s “Clip of the Week” is the first part of three of a documentary that takes a critical look (to say the least) at the International Criminal Court: “Injustice for all: The International Criminal Court”. The documentary is made from the perspective of the United States, and although most of us have already heard the usual criticism that has been/is being brought forward against the …

Annual report of the ICJ and ICC

02/11/2008 – 10:08 pm |

On October 30, the President of the International Court of Justice, Judge Rosalyn Higgins, and the President of the International Criminal Court, Judge Philippe Kirsch, addressed the United Nations General Assembly and presented the annual report for their respective courts.
Judge Higgins was able to report that the past year was the most productive year in the history of the court (see press release). Since August …

Kenyan Commission Recommends an International Crimes Tribunal

28/10/2008 – 7:18 am | One Comment

The Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence (CIPEV) established to investigate the violence witnessed after the 27 December 2007 elections in Kenya officially presented its much-anticipated report to President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga on 15 October 2008. The CIPEV, or Waki Commission, was vested with a mandate to ‘investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the violence, the conduct of state security agencies …

ICC Appeals Chamber: Lubanga won't be released (… yet)

22/10/2008 – 12:00 pm |

Yesterday the Appeals Chamber of the ICC delivered two judgments with regard to appeals of the prosecutor against decisions of the Trial Chamber in the case of Mr Lubanga Dyilo (we reported on this case earlier here, and here). The first judgment concerned an appeal against the Trial Chamber’s decision on the release of Thomas Lubanga of 2 July 2008. The Appeals Chamber decided to …

Darfur and the International Criminal Court: Some Jurisdictional Issues

15/10/2008 – 3:09 pm |

The International Criminal Court (ICC), dubbed by one leading commentator, William Schabas, as ‘arguably the most significant international organization to be created since the United Nations’, has ushered in a new era in the protection of human rights. The Rome Statute of the ICC puts in place individual criminal liability for those responsible for the most serious human rights violations, and creates an institution – …