Mission impossible for Kosovo war crimes court?

Mission impossible for Kosovo war crimes court?
Stéphanie Maupas, correspondent in The Hague
26.04.17
Stéphanie Maupas, correspondent in The Hague

In a few days, the 19 judges of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC), a European Union initiative ratified by Kosovo’s parliament in 2016, will have their own Rules of Procedure and Evidence. In theory, everything will then be ready for the first indictments against the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 2000. The Specialist Chambers are an...

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This Week

International Criminal Justice Should Tackle Environmental Destruction
International Criminal Justice Should Tackle Environmental Destruction
20.04.17
International Green parties *

The intensive exploitation of natural resources triggers serious environmental destruction locally that has serious consequences on the global ecosytem. Based on this scientific fact, the Global Greens ask to reorganize international environmental law on the model of international criminal law. In July 2010 the International Criminal Court (ICC) launched a warrant of arrest against Omar Al Bashir, President of Sudan, for three counts of genocide including ''deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction'', among which the contamination of...

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Rethinking customary law in Somaliland: specific jurisdiction for rape to promote post-conflict development
Rethinking customary law in Somaliland: specific jurisdiction for rape to promote post-conflict development
24.04.17
Rakiya Omaar and Caitlin Lambert

 Somaliland does not enjoy international recognition as an independent state, but it does have what its people regard as their most precious asset : peace. After seceding from Somalia in May 1991, following a prolonged and bloody civil war, a shattered territory had to be rebuilt from scratch by people impoverished and scarred by years of exile, mainly in refugee camps in neighbouring Ethiopia. Despite the odds, Somaliland has established a functioning system of governance with little outside assistance while the rest of Somalia remains at war. This success is underpinned by the...

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Joseph Kony: uncatchable, brutal rebel chief
25.04.17
AFP

Brutal rebel commander Joseph Kony has sowed terror across four African nations for three decades, even evading capture by US and Ugandan soldiers who have now given up the chase. The former Catholic altar boy became one of Africa's most notorious rebels at the head of his Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), combining religious mysticism with an astute guerilla mind and bloodthirsty ruthlessness. The US passed a law in 2010 to deploy around 100 special forces to work with regional armies in hunting down Kony but is now withdrawing while the rebel leader remains at large, though his power is much diminished. Kony's marauding insurgency claimed to be fighting to overthrow the Ugandan...

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Tunisia: Empowerment, Participation and Reawakening Conscience through the Arts
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26.04.17
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The sufferance marking the legacy of sixty years of dictatorship cannot be felt, touched and expressed through the sophisticated speeches of politicians and government members. It is only through the stories of victims that pain and hope can be crystalized. The bridge between the darkness of the past and the lightness of the future can be truthfully and faithfully revealed in the honest tears of a mother who wants to bury her son, in the deep breath of a prisoner for whom torture became a matter of daily routine and in the harsh guilt of someone who witnessed the persecution of his friends...

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By Regions

Uganda's brutal Lord's Resistance Army: timeline
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Key dates in the history of Uganda's brutal Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), which the United States and Uganda have decided to stop hunting down, saying the rebels have been neutralised. One of Africa's longest-surviving rebel groups, the LRA has terrorised parts of central Africa for 30 years, becoming notorious for mutilations, massacres, kidnappings, and the forced enrolment of children. - January 1987: a year after the takeover of Uganda by rebel leader Yoweri Museveni, voodoo priestess Alice Auma Lakwena takes up arms to topple the new regime. Her Holy Spirit Movement is defeated at the end of 1987. - 1988: Joseph Kony, presented as Lakwena's cousin, takes over the fight at the head of what becomes the LRA. - March 1994: The...

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Serial executions take toll on executioners too, critics say
16.04.17
AFP

Putting a prisoner to death "stays with you for a long time," says Ron McAndrew. The former warden of Florida State Prison says his own mental health had begun to deteriorate by the time he left his position in 1998 after taking part in eight executions. Now, McAndrew is fighting against the death penalty.  He is particularly concerned about the psychological well-being of the handful of officials who would be involved if Arkansas were to proceed with the rapid-fire executions of several condemned men, originally set for April 17 to 27. Courts in that southern state have blocked those executions for now, as legal appeals continue.   "We wanted the governor (of Arkansas) to understand that he's sitting in his office very...

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Nepal : when does conflict finish for conflict survivors?
Nepal : when does conflict finish for conflict survivors?
24.04.17
Ram Kumar Bhandari

On April 13th, 2017 The Supreme Court of Nepal issued an arrest warrant for Balkrishna Dhungel, a Maoist leader and former parliamentarian, who was convicted of a murder that took place during the Nepal’s Armed Conflict. Supreme Court Justice Anand Mohan Bhattarai said “If the government agencies keep silent when the judiciary receive threats and intimidation from convicted perpetrators, the judges and the court will lose the credibility” in the direction to the government. Seven years ago Dhungel was sentenced to life in prison when he...

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Turkish obstruction keeps Geneva’s Armenian genocide memorial in public eye
Turkish obstruction keeps Geneva’s Armenian genocide memorial in public eye
19.04.17
Pierre Hazan, JusticeInfo editorial advisor and associate professor at Neuchâtel University

The irony is that Turkey, by blocking for years the construction of a memorial in Geneva to the Armenian genocide, has made this monument more alive than if it had been built, if only because of the passions it arouses.  Austrian writer and philosopher Robert Musil talked in one of his works about the paradox of building monuments. Although they are erected in the public space to be seen, they tend to disappear from conscious view and condemned to the ocean of forgetfulness. “Nothing in the world is less visible than monuments,” he wrote....

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The “Forgotten Genocide” that was a Precursor to the Holocaust
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