Swiss judge delivers harsh criticism of Lebanon Tribunal

Swiss judge delivers harsh criticism of Lebanon Tribunal
Pierre Hazan, JusticeInfo editorial advisor and professor at Neuchâtel University
17.05.18
Pierre Hazan, JusticeInfo editorial advisor and professor at Neuchâtel University

Robert Roth, professor of law at the University of Geneva and former judge of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon has for the first time explained why he resigned from that court in September 2013. He points in particular to a lack of independence of the STL, which he says has succumbed to multiple political pressures.  On February 14, 2005, a huge...

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COUNTRY FOCUS

Sri Lanka warns of Tamil separatist resurgence
AFP 19.05 - Sri Lanka's president Saturday warned that Tamil extremists were regrouping abroad...
UN votes to send war crimes probe to Gaza
AFP 18.05 - The UN Human Rights Council voted Friday to send a team of international war crimes...
Israel army disputes Hamas 'fake news' on tear gas baby
AFP 18.05 - The Israeli army on Friday disputed Palestinian accounts that a baby had died of...
Erdogan compares Israel's Gaza 'brutality' to Nazi persecution of Jews
AFP 18.05 - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday compared Israel's actions against...
UK Law Students on Why the ICC Matters
Without information, no reconciliation
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This Week

OPINION: Justice and press freedom go hand in hand
OPINION: Justice and press freedom go hand in hand
03.05.18
François Sergent, JusticeInfo.net

In Franz Kafka’s novel The Trial, Joseph K’s friend Ms Burstner says: “I find stories about justice extremely interesting. Justice has a strange power of seduction, don’t you think?” This is a terrible irony given the trial in the book, which has become a symbol of totalitarianism and tyranny. Justice and press freedom are good indicators of overall freedom in a country. The UN ritually celebrates press freedom for one day on May 3, and this year the theme is “Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law”.It is right to link justice and media, even if their practices and ways...

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Preventing sexual violence: lessons from rebel armies in Burundi and Uganda
Preventing sexual violence: lessons from rebel armies in Burundi and Uganda
11.04.18
The Conversation, Angela Muvumba Sellström

I conduct research on wartime sexual violence. But hold on. My work focuses on the non-cases: armed political actors which have committed little sexual violence and have a history of disciplining their members’ sexual behaviour. This effort seems ridiculously extraneous in the current climate. Just in the last years, Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or Daesh) in Syria and Iraq have systematically abducted and abused thousands of women and girls. However, as researcher Elisabeth Jean Wood has demonstrated, sexual violence patterns vary because...

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Vojislav Seselj: Unrepentant Serb ultranationalist
11.04.18
AFP

Serb academic turned far-right leader Vojislav Seselj, who was found guilty Wednesday by a UN court of crimes against humanity, won notoriety during the 1990s Balkan wars for his incendiary rhetoric and remains defiant in defending the idea of a "Greater Serbia". UN war crimes judges in The Hague overturned the shock 2016 acquittal of the stocky, ruddy-faced former deputy prime minister, sentencing him to 10 years behind bars, although ruling that he had already served 12 years in custody. The court found the 63-year-old guilty of "instigating persecution, deportation and other inhumane acts". Prosecutors had accused Seselj of poisoning the minds of volunteer forces who committed...

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Opinion : Nepali war victims demand real reparations and remembrance
Opinion : Nepali war victims demand real reparations and remembrance
13.05.18
Ram Kumar Bhandari

In Nepal, the Conflict Victim Common Platform (CVCP) has submitted an advocacy paper on “reparative needs, rights and demands” to the Justice Minister and the country's two transitional justice bodies, in the hope of creating momentum for a national policy of reparation. Victims are urging the government to address their needs through urgent support in terms of livelihoods, health, education, employment, remembrance and recognition, based on prior consultations with victims of the civil war.  CVCP has demanded that the government declare a “national remembrance day” in memory of the...

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By Region

Burundi: three years of bloody political crisis
15.05.18
AFP

The small central African state of Burundi has been mired in a bloody crisis since 2015 over President Pierre Nkurunziza's bid to cling to power, the unrest claiming 1,200 lives. The violence has stoked fears of a return to the 1993-2006 civil war in which 300,000 people died. As the country votes Thursday on constitutional reforms that would enable Nkurunziza to rule until 2034, here is a recap of the past three years of unrest. - Demonstrations erupt - On April 26, 2015, a day after Nkurunziza is declared candidate for a third term in office by his ruling CNDD-FDD party, thousands gather in the capital in protest, defying a ban on demonstrations. It is the start of six weeks of almost daily protests that the police clamp down...

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Sperisen verdict “gives hope to Guatemalan victims”
Sperisen verdict “gives hope to Guatemalan victims”
07.05.18
Julia Crawford, JusticeInfo.net

A 15-year prison sentence handed down by a Geneva court on former Guatemalan police chief Erwin Sperisen for complicity in the 2006 murder of seven prison inmates is an “important step in the fight against impunity for State crimes”, says Swiss NGO Trial International, which helped bring the case. It is a rare case of a person being tried in Switzerland for crimes committed on foreign soil.  The court also awarded the plaintive, the mother of one of the murdered prisoners, CHF 30,000 as compensation. “This verdict demonstrates the healthy functioning of our institutions, and gives hope to victims as well as to individuals and organizations committed to the fight against impunity in Guatemala,” says Trial International’s director Philip...

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Palestine to bring Israel before ICC for “war crimes”
Palestine to bring Israel before ICC for “war crimes”
17.05.18
Stéphanie Maupas, correspondent in The Hague

The Palestinian Authority is preparing to refer Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged war crimes -- a potential key development for a case opened by the Court in 2015. A document referring Israel to the ICC for “war crimes” was signed in Ramallah on Tuesday evening by Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki and is expected to be filed with the Prosecutor next week. The decision was taken after the May 14 protests in Gaza, senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat told the press. Once Ramallah has filed the case to the office of ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, she will have the possibility to open an investigation without a green light from the judges. The Court is expected to appoint three trial-chamber judges to...

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Kosovo war crimes weigh heavy on Serbian film 'The Load' at Cannes
11.05.18
AFP

Serbian director Ognjen Glavonic says the topic of his new film, which tackles the lingering horror of the Kosovo war, probably explains why his script was rejected seven times. "Teret" (The Load), which will screen at Cannes on Saturday, addresses one of the grim secrets revealed after the war, a taboo subject in a country still struggling to confront its past. It follows Vlada, a truck driver on the road from Kosovo to Belgrade, who discovers that he is transporting the bodies of victims from war crimes committed by Serb forces in Kosovo. Most of them are ethnic Albanian civilians, including many women and children. Based on real events, the bodies are transported to Serbia to be buried in mass graves in a bid to cover up the...

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