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Preliminary hearing in the Lubanga Trial

03/09/2007 – 11:07 pm | Comments Off on Preliminary hearing in the Lubanga Trial

Today, the International Criminal Court (ICC) will hold hearings in the trial of Thomas Lubanga (see press release by the ICC). Lubanga was arrested on 19 March 2005 and transferred to the ICC on 17 March 2006. He stands accused of committing the following war crimes: (1) the war crime of enlisting children under the age of fifteen; (2) the war crime of conscription of …

New online database & commentary on the jurisprudence of the International Criminal Court

30/08/2007 – 1:58 pm | Comments Off on New online database & commentary on the jurisprudence of the International Criminal Court

A new online database & commentary on the jurisprudence of the International Criminal Court is available at www.iclklamberg.com. The purpose of the website is to provide the starting point for researchers and practitioners working in the field of international criminal law by presenting up-to-date jurisprudence and the most relevant parts of doctrine.
At the moment the jurisprudence of the ICC is sorted on the Court’s …

The European Identity

30/08/2007 – 10:11 am | Comments Off on The European Identity

According to a press release of the EU Parliament, the Parliament will work closely with the Commission to conclude the drafting of the EU Reform Treaty, although “some issues still need to be properly discussed“. What is interesting here is the fact that the two organs, which in essence represent the unity (vs. diversity) of the European Union, work so closely together in order to …

Update on the Hoshinmaru Case

20/08/2007 – 8:09 am | Comments Off on Update on the Hoshinmaru Case

On Friday the ITLOS announced that Russia had released the Japanese fishing vessel Hoshinmaru and its crew following the courts judgment of 6 August 2007 (see earlier reports here, here and here). I guess this is another good example of the fact that public international law is indeed being followed by (most) States and that it provides a functional framework for inter-State relationships. And although one …

Elections in Sierra Leone

11/08/2007 – 1:17 pm | Comments Off on Elections in Sierra Leone

Today, five years after the end of a vicious civil war, the people of Sierra Leone are going to the polls to elect a president and members of parliament. Still the country is far from recovered from the war. According to a UN Secretary General report in May, overall poor living conditions along with “high rates of youth unemployment… remain key threats to the country’s …

Case 14 and 15 before the ITLOS

09/08/2007 – 12:30 pm | One Comment

On 6 August 2007 the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) presented its judgments in the “Tomimaru” Case (No. 15) and “Hoshinmaru” Case (No. 14) – see also the previous entry of 31 July 2007: New Cases for the ITLOS.
The Cases had been filed with the ITLOS on 6 July 2007 by Japan against the Russian Federation and concerned the release of …

International Day of the World's Indigenous People

09/08/2007 – 9:44 am | Comments Off on International Day of the World's Indigenous People

Today, the world celebrates the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. To learn more, visit the website of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights or read the Message of the UN Secretary-General on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. 

A bit late but nevertheless

08/08/2007 – 7:57 am | Comments Off on A bit late but nevertheless

Yesterday, the UN Special Representative for Timor-Leste finally got around to condemn the violence in the capital Dili. Mr Khare announced that he considered the violence, which had broken out after the president had announced the new government, to be sporadic and isolated. Nevertheless, he reassured that those who participate in the violence would be treated as criminals.
The fact that the violence could not be averted in …

New Government in East Timor

07/08/2007 – 6:36 am | Comments Off on New Government in East Timor

Although elections were held in East Timor already in June 2007, the formation of a new government was significantly delayed; until now. Yesterday, President Jose Ramos-Horta, decided that the former independence leader and first President of the young nation, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão is to be the new PM. While the formation of a new government had not been possible following the June elections (it …

ITLOS to deliver judgment

06/08/2007 – 7:58 am | Comments Off on ITLOS to deliver judgment

On 6 August 2007, the ITLOS will deliver its judgments in the cases “Hoshinmaru” and “Tomimaru”, which had been brought before the court on 6 July 2007 (see the previous post).  A detailed comment on the judgments will follow as soon as they have been made public.

Fighting terrorism – European and American approach

03/08/2007 – 9:08 am | Comments Off on Fighting terrorism – European and American approach

On Wednesday, the Financial Times published an interesting article by Professor Jack L. Goldsmith on the seeming convergence between Europeans’ and Americans’ approach to fight terrorism. Another sign which might point in this very direction is the recent agreement reached between the European Union and the United States on the sharing of passenger flight data.
According to Goldsmith, there are several indications that Europe is getting grim on …

Peacekeeping in Darfur

02/08/2007 – 7:58 am | Comments Off on Peacekeeping in Darfur

On Tuesday, the UN Security Council finally authorized the establishment of a new peacekeeping force (UNAMID) for Darfur.
According to the new Resolution 1769, the size of the operation is quite significant: comprising of up to 19,555 military personnel and a civilian component, including up to 3,772 police personnel and 19 formed police units of up to 140 personnel each, this will probably be the largest …

New cases for the ITLOS

31/07/2007 – 8:45 am | Comments Off on New cases for the ITLOS

On 6th July the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) received two applications on behalf of Japan and against the Russian Federation. According to the applications, Japan requests the prompt release of two fishing vessels and the crew of one of those vessels (the Hoshinmaru and 17 crew members and the Tomimaru).
Apparently, the Hoshinmaru had been boarded on 1 June 2007 …

Russia and the ECHR: Tensions Rising?

27/07/2007 – 8:54 am | Comments Off on Russia and the ECHR: Tensions Rising?

The European Court of Human Rights has yet again condemned the actions of Russian armed forces in Chechnya. The case at hand, Musayev and others v. Russia, concerns a (para-)military operation conducted in early 2000 in the course of which numerous persons were killed and others mistreated. In a unanimous judgment delivered on 26 July, the ECHR found a violation of the right to life, …

Is the British Judge on the bench of the first trial at the ICC coming to The Hague?

11/07/2007 – 11:19 am | Comments Off on Is the British Judge on the bench of the first trial at the ICC coming to The Hague?

Today the BBC reports that the four 21/7 bomb plotters get life. The judge of the aforementioned trial, Mr Justice Fulford QC, is also a judge on the bench of the first trial at the ICC. The conclusion of the trial concening the 21/7 bomb plotters means that Judge Fulford is now one step closer to The Hague.
In its decision on the 6 March of 2007 the ICC …

UN Official Probable Succesor of Carla Del Ponte

02/07/2007 – 2:26 pm | Comments Off on UN Official Probable Succesor of Carla Del Ponte

New York Times reports that Carla Del Ponte probable successor as the ICTY Prosecutor is Serge Brammertz. I believe that Serge Brammertz has already been asked whether he wants to assume the position and that he has accepted. Two weeks ago the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a press release that Serge Brammertz had resigned from the ICC. Serge Brammertz has already been on leave …

Different presidency – Same success?

01/07/2007 – 9:06 pm | Comments Off on Different presidency – Same success?

Starting today, Portugal will take over the presidency in the EU Council (see: presidency website). This is reason enough to take a look back on the achievements of the past 6 month under the German presidency.
One has to acknowledge that the presidency did indeed accomplish to strengthen the EU’s transparency and to promote the image of the union with its people; according to a recent …

Anniversary of the International Criminal Court

01/07/2007 – 8:21 am | Comments Off on Anniversary of the International Criminal Court

On July 1st, the ICC celebrated its 5th anniversary. As of 1st January 2007 an impressive 104 States have signed the Rome Statute of the ICC. Considering the rather controversial nature of the “ICC-project”, namely the prosecution of persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, i.e. genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, this number is indeed strong. The Secretary General …