Justice for victims at heart of ICC credibility, says Open Society

Justice for victims at heart of ICC credibility, says Open Society
Stéphanie Maupas, correspondent in The Hague
23.03.17
Stéphanie Maupas, correspondent in The Hague

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is to decide on March 24 what reparations to grant victims of former Congolese militiaman Germain Katanga, whom it sentenced in 2014 to 12 years in jail for crimes against humanity. To date, the Court has handed down only one incomplete decision on reparations for victims in the case of another Congolese, Thomas Lubanga. Mariana Pena, legal advisor to the Open Society in The Hague, talked to...

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This Week

Week in Review: Steps towards justice for a forgotten genocide
Week in Review: Steps towards justice for a forgotten genocide
20.03.17
François Sergent

Transitional justice this week caught up with the colonial German army’s genocide of Herero and Nama people in Namibia in 1904, seen as the first genocide in history. A New York judge accepted a complaint filed by descendants of Hereros and Namas massacred by the German colonial army. Although this crime has never been brought to trial and has been lumped together with colonial wars, it nevertheless meets the criteria of genocide defined by American jurist Raphael Lemkin in 1944 for the Shoah and later recognized by the UN. And Nambia intends to file a case against Germany for 30 billion...

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Kenya: will technology deliver a free election ?
Kenya: will technology deliver a free election ?
21.03.17
John Walubengo

Elections present a milestone beyond which countries either strengthen their democratic credentials or become failed states. Often states fail when there are either perceived or blatant election malpractices. This in turn can lead to prolonged civil unrest.   Numerous cases exist across the continent. But I will use the Kenyan case to illustrate how election processes can be compromised, and then brought back from the brink with the use of technology.   Following the election in 2007 Kenya erupted into two months of unprecedented conflict. People were unhappy with the outcome which...

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Tensions stoked up in the Balkans
Tensions stoked up in the Balkans
12.03.17
AFP

The devastating wars in the Balkans ended almost two decades ago but tensions have spiked throughout the region, where a battle for influence is playing out between Russia and the West. Here are the key issues at stake: - Montenegro's NATO accession - Montenegro's veteran leader Milo Djukanovic has officially transferred power to his successor Dusko Markovic, but the goal remains the same: to join NATO this year. The pro-Western path is, however, disputed -- and even triggered violent protests in 2015 in the small country of 620,000 people, who are predominantly Orthodox...

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Hannah Arendt or the power of ordinary people facing totalitarianism
Hannah Arendt or the power of ordinary people facing totalitarianism
22.03.17
Kathleen B. Jones, San Diego State University

  In the weeks since the election of President Donald J. Trump, sales of George Orwell’s “1984” have skyrocketed. But so have those of a lesser-known title, “The Origins of Totalitarianism,” by a German Jewish political theorist Hannah Arendt. “The Origins of Totalitarianism” discusses the rise of the totalitarian movements of Nazism and Stalinism to power in the 20th century. Arendt explained that such movements depended on the unconditional loyalty of the masses of “slumbering majorities,” who felt dissatisfied and abandoned by a system they perceived to be “fraudulent” and...

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By Regions

HRW : War Crimes in Libya as Benghazi Residents Flee
HRW : War Crimes in Libya as Benghazi Residents Flee
22.03.17
Human Rights Watch

Libyan National Army (LNA) forces may have committed war crimes, including killing and beating civilians, and summarily executing and desecrating bodies of opposition fighters in the eastern city of Benghazi on and around March 18, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. The army forces allegedly intercepted civilians trying to flee a besieged neighborhood, some accompanied by opposition fighters, and the whereabouts of some civilians are unknown. Khalifa Hiftar, the commander of the LNA forces in eastern Libya, should order a full and...

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Colombia to set up special war crimes courts
Colombia to set up special war crimes courts
14.03.17
AFP

Colombia's senate late Monday approved a constitutional reform to set up special war crimes courts, a key component of the historic peace agreement with FARC guerrillas that ended five decades of war. The court system will be made up of three sections: a truth commission, a unit to search for missing people, and a temporary, autonomous body to try crimes committed during the armed conflict before December 1, 2016. Establishing the courts was the backbone of the peace deal Bogota reached in November with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of...

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Rakhine camps must close, says Myanmar's Annan Advisory Commission
Rakhine camps must close, says Myanmar's Annan Advisory Commission
20.03.17
Su Myat Mon, Frontier

The office of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar has accepted the recommendations of an advisory panel led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, which also call for the perpetrators of human rights violations to be “held to account”. YANGON — The Advisory Commission on Rakhine State says the government needs a comprehensive plan to close displacement camps as part of any solution toward the festering communal tensions in Myanmar’s west. Releasing its interim report on Thursday, the commission noted that efforts to return or...

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A Foundation of Lies: "Relatives for Justice" Unpacks the Truth about the Irish Conflict
A Foundation of Lies: "Relatives for Justice" Unpacks the Truth about the Irish Conflict
15.03.17
ICTJ

  On February 12th, 1989, sledgehammers smashed through Pat Finucane’s front door in north Belfast. Paramilitaries stormed his family home and found the 39-year-old human rights lawyer eating Sunday dinner with his wife and three children. They shot him 14 times and fled. Nearly 30 years after Finucane’s killing, questions persist. Who commissioned the murder? Was the British government involved in some capacity? And when will justice for victims finally be served?     Mark Thompson These are the...

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On the Web
Not All it’s Cracked Up to Be – The African Union’s “ICC Withdrawal Strategy”
07.02.17

I want to make something clear from the outset: what follows is not a defence of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Seriously. It may sound like one or be interpreted as one, but it is not one....

Makeshift justice the only recourse for ill-protected women at South Sudan camp
23.01.17

It is late afternoon when the white Jeep pulls up outside a compound attached to one of the largest camps for families fleeing South Sudan’s civil war. Accompanied by two UN police officers, a...

China Breaks a Human Rights Lawyer
19.01.17

“Chunfu was thin like sticks, he was pale, his eyes lifeless.” This was the initial reaction of Bi Liping when she went to the local police station on January 12, 2017, and saw her husband, human...

Your Call! Sending Copies of Justice in Conflict (the Book) to African Libraries and Universities
17.01.17

As readers will know, Oxford University Press (OUP) and I have hatched a plan to send copies of my book, Justice in Conflict – The Effects of the International Criminal Court’s Interventions on...

Rwanda: Events of 2016
13.01.17

In a referendum in December 2015, Rwandan citizens overwhelmingly voted in favor of constitutional amendments that allow President Paul Kagame to run for a third term in 2017 and two additional...

Confronting the Use of Child Soldiers in Iraq
13.01.17

The issues pertaining to child soldiering have occupied much attention in recent global justice debates. In Colombia, minors were released from the rebel group of the Revolutionary Armed Forces....

The “Forgotten Genocide” that was a Precursor to the Holocaust
11.01.17

It is a sad truth. Few know, let alone speak, of the mass murder and policies of extermination wrought upon by colonial Germany against the Herero and Nama people in German South West Africa — what...

Protect the press
11.01.17

Media freedom has improved significantly in Myanmar since 2011 but journalists working here still face many threats. IT HASN’T been a great few months for media freedom in Myanmar but...

10 Conflicts to Watch in 2017
06.01.17

The world is entering its most dangerous chapter in decades. The sharp uptick in war over recent years is outstripping our ability to cope with the consequences. From the global refugee crisis to...

What Happens Off-Camera in Burma?
05.01.17

This “has to be an isolated case.” So claims a spokesman at Burma’s foreign ministry about a disturbing video that emerged this weekend showing police officers brutally beating ethnic Rohingya...

A New Tool to Fight Genocide
16.12.16

It has been 65 years since the Genocide Convention, drafted in reaction to the Holocaust, first came into force, but the international response to mass atrocities remains largely ineffective. The...

Living up to its Reputation – Complementing Justice and Achieving Accountability in Nigeria
07.12.16

James P. Rudolph joins JiC for this guest-post on the International Criminal Court’s ongoing preliminary examination into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Nigeria. James is an...

Five Things to Know about the ICC’s Afghanistan Investigation
29.11.16

With the International Criminal Court (ICC) on the verge of opening an investigation into Afghanistan, much has been written about how this might affect Canada. Could the investigation focus on the...

The Clock is Ticking – Keeping South Africa in the ICC is a Tall, but Not Impossible, Order
25.11.16

The clock is ticking. In just about eleven months, South Africa will officially withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC). Here at the Assembly of States Parties (ASP), though, the...