International

    Why the ICC should rejoice when America attacks it
    18.09.18
    Thierry Cruvellier for The New York Times

    In an Op-ed for The New York Times, the editor of Justice Info, Thierry Cruvellier, unfolds the meaning of the renewed attack by the U.S. national security adviser John Bolton against the International Criminal Court (ICC). What's on the Trump's administration mind? What are the risks for the ICC? How the court may, in fact, receive renewed support from being Bolton's target. READ on The New York Times website: "Why the I.C.C. Should Rejoice When America Attacks It"

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    Week in Review 14/09/18
    14.09.18
    JusticeInfo.Net

    On September 10, US President Donald Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton launched a frontal attack on the International Criminal Court (ICC).  At the beginning of the George W. Bush presidency in 2002 Bolton was the main architect of a strategy against the ICC, which was just starting its work. This policy was abandoned three years later in favour of constructive cooperation between the United States – which does not recognize the ICC’s jurisdiction – and the court in The Hague. Under Obama, for example,  Washington helped get two ICC suspects arrested and transferred to the...

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    Can John Bolton unite the friends of the ICC?
    13.09.18
    By our correspondent in The Hague, Benjamin Duerr

    The International Criminal Court (ICC) is in the spotlights of global politics after John Bolton, the national security adviser of US President Donald Trump, lashed out at the court. He outlined a strategy to undermine the work of the ICC, but his attacks could also rally its supporters behind the institution. If there were any doubts about the Trump administration’s position towards the ICC, John Bolton cleared them up. The US president’s national security adviser said on Monday the United States “will not cooperate with the ICC”, “will provide no assistance to the ICC” and “will not...

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    Week in Review: Myanmar regime and Liberian warlords under pressure
    10.09.18
    JusticeInfo.Net

    Judges of the International Criminal Court have stepped up pressure on the Myanmar regime by deciding that the court has jurisdiction to prosecute crimes committed against the Rohingyas. The effect of this decision, rejected by the Burmese authorities, is likely to be very controversial. The court is giving itself the right to intervene on a country that is not a State Party to the ICC’s founding treaty, without going through the UN Security Council (where China and /or Russia would have used their veto). The judges considered that being forced to cross the border into Bangladesh (which...

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    Week in Review: Congolese warlord’s trial ends, Burmese generals accused of genocide
    03.09.18
    Ephrem RUGIRIRIZA, JusticeInfo.Net

    In The Hague, the International Criminal Court (ICC) last week concluded its hearings in the trial of former Congolese militia leader Bosco Ntaganda.  And in New York, UN experts called for international prosecution of top Burmese army commanders accused of genocide against the Rohingya.  Former Congolese militia leader Bosco Ntaganda, 44, now awaits the verdict of his ICC judges. On Thursday, the last day of closing arguments, Ntaganda told the court he was a “revolutionary”, not a criminal. He is charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity for recruiting child soldiers and for...

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    Week in Review: Retrial for Rwandan ex-minister, appeal for Rohingya children
    27.08.18
    Ephrem Rugiririza, JusticeInfo.Net

    The retrial of former Rwandan Planning Minister Augustin Ngirabatware is to take place on September 24 to 28 before the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), which is the residual mechanism of the UN’s Rwanda tribunal.  According to an order posted on the Mechanism website, the calendar for testimonies of any defence and prosecution witnesses will be announced at a later date.  Ngirabatware, who holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), was sentenced by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to 30 years in jail for...

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    Week in Review: Ivorian amnesty and Bemba acquittal provoke reactions
    20.08.18
    Ephrem RUGIRIRIZA, JusticeInfo.Net

    In Côte d’Ivoire, the main transitional justice focus remained an amnesty granted on August 6 by President Ouattara to 700 people convicted or charged in relation to the post-election crisis of 2010-2011. In an August 17 declaration on its website, the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Côte d’Ivoire said it “welcomes this historic amnesty by the President of the Republic, which is a strong contribution to forgiveness and reconciliation, both conducive to stability, development and people’s wellbeing”. The declaration hails what it calls a “decision that carries hope”, whilst also urging the...

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    Week in Review: Targeting impunity in the CAR, DR Congo and Palestine
    06.08.18
    Ephrem RUGIRIRIZA, JusticeInfo.Net

    MINUSCA, the United Nations mission in the Central African Republic, has called on the nation’s judicial authorities to investigate grave crimes committed in the southeast of the country and take steps to ensure the perpetrators are brought before national courts, including the Special Criminal Court. The call came in a MINUSCA statement on July 31. It is urging prosecutions for grave crimes committed between May and December 2017 in that part of the Central African Republic (CAR). Stressing that some of these abuses could amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity, the document points...

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    Week in Review: Twenty years of the International Criminal Court
    23.07.18
    Ephrem RUGIRIRIZA, JusticeInfo.Net

    This week was marked by the celebration on July 17 of 20 years since the signing of the Rome treaty which founded the International Criminal Court (ICC). Despite its difficulties in arresting top suspects like Sudanese president Omar Al Bashir, despite the veto of big powers that stops it intervening in situations like Syria, and despite various attempts by governments to manipulate it, “the ICC opened up the possibility of global justice”, says Human Rights Watch director Kenneth Roth in an interview with JusticeInfo. Created as the world’s first permanent international criminal court, to...

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    Week in Review: Bangui rejects hate message, Euro-MPs make an appeal
    16.07.18
    Ephrem RUGIRIRIZA, JusticeInfo.Net

    Central Africans from all sides have come out strongly against a message calling on Christians to avenge the deaths of priests and members of the faithful killed in recent days. That call came in a communiqué from the “Church Defence League”, a hitherto unknown organization which says it wants to “denounce the lack of action by national authorities and Catholic church leaders in the face of violence against priests and religious people”, according  to Radio Ndeke Luka. The Catholic church, Muslim organizations, journalists’ associations and other members of civil society have come out as...

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    “If the ICC had jurisdiction in Syria, it might save many lives”
    16.07.18
    Stéphanie MAUPAS, The Hague

    On July 17, the International Criminal Court (ICC) celebrates the 20th anniversary of its founding document, the Rome treaty. Interview with Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch (HRW). Justice Info: What is the significance of this 20th anniversary? Kenneth Roth: I think the creation of the ICC twenty years ago was an historic moment, because it signals theoretical commitment by the international community to attack the impunity that so often stood behind mass atrocities. So many abusive governments had figured out that if they kill or compromise their domestic...

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    "Recognizing sexual violence in conflict is part of sexual equality"
    21.06.18
    Frédéric Burnand, correspondent in Geneva

    Better fighting sexual violence in conflict, prosecuting perpetrators more efficiently and strengthening judicial procedures so that victims can get justice and reparation – this was the focus of a conference organized in Geneva by the NGO TRIAL International on June 18-19. TRIAL’s specialist in the field Lucie Canal talked to JusticeInfo about the progress made in the fighting such atrocities which have been ignored all too long. JusticeInfo: Why this focus now? Lucie Canal: For several years our organization has been working more and more on sexual violence, especially in the Democratic...

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    Sexual violence in conflict: how international guidelines can help investigators
    18.06.18
    Julia Crawford, JusticeInfo

    Swiss NGO TRIAL International, a partner of JusticeInfo that supports victims of international crimes, is putting the spotlight on sexual violence in conflict at a series of events in Geneva on June 18-19 to mark its fifteenth anniversary. Among the participants is Danaé van der Straten Ponthoz, who has in particular worked with TRIAL and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI), and is the co-author of the International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict (the “Protocol”). She spoke to...

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    Pay more attention to witness protection and reparations, says sexual violence expert
    16.06.18
    Julia Crawford, JusticeInfo

    Sexual violence in conflict is one of the most important but also hardest crimes to prosecute. Swiss NGO TRIAL International, a partner of JusticeInfo and Fondation Hirondelle that supports victims of international crimes, is putting the spotlight on this at a series of events in Geneva on June 18-19 to mark its fifteenth anniversary.  Kim Thuy Seelinger, director of the sexual violence project at the Human Rights Center of Berkeley University in California, will be among the participants. She spoke to JusticeInfo. JusticeInfo: What are the specific challenges and difficulties of...

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    Teachers’ Influence: Transitional Justice and the Impact of Education
    12.06.18
    Dr. John Sturtz

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, recently advocated a deeper form of education – one that “goes beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic to include skills and values that can equip people to act with responsibility and care…guided by human rights education to make informed choices in life, to approach situations with critical and independent thought, and to empathize with other points of view.” Education is an important part of transitional justice and calls for new ideas about what and how we teach young people. If the goal is to use...

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    UN schizophrenia and the choice of international judges
    31.05.18
    Pierre Hazan, JusticeInfo editorial advisor and professor at Neuchâtel University

    International criminal justice puts forward the idea of universal, detached justice delivered by judges who are themselves completely independent and impartial because they are not part of the reality of societies at war whose crimes they judge. But the practices of the United Nations, international and mixed tribunals are questionable in terms of this ideal of justice. The blindfold on the eyes of Justice is a symbol of impartiality. It signifies that justice is (or should be) delivered objectively, without fear or favour, independently of the identity, power or weakness of the accused...

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    Week in Review: Views on the ICC and violence in Mali
    28.05.18
    François Sergent, JusticeInfo.net

    Once again this week, questions have been raised about current models of transitional justice and reconciliation procedures. Justice Info spoke to three lawyers and activists from Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire and Georgia, who shared their views on the International Criminal Court (ICC). These three perspectives shine a light on the Court’s impact and its failures.  Burundian lawyer Lambert Nigarura, listed as an “enemy of the country” and in exile since 2015, says “the regime is afraid of the Court” after the ICC launched investigations Burundi’s leaders for alleged crimes against humanity....

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    Week in Review: Israeli impunity and Gambian perseverance
    21.05.18
    François Sergent, JusticeInfo.net

    This week was marked by the events in Gaza and the possibility that those responsible in Israel might be brought before a court. The violence on May 14, which saw nearly 60 people killed by the Israeli army, has drawn anger and concern abroad. It coincided with the controversial inauguration of the new US embassy in Jerusalem. Israel is accused of “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity”, while the United States moved in the Security Council to block an “independent inquiry”, which the UN and numerous leaders have called for.   The Palestinian Authority is trying to refer Israel to the...

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    Week in Review: ICC and universal jurisdiction slowly making a mark
    06.05.18
    François Sergent, JusticeInfo.net

    It was an eventful week for transitional justice. Human rights activists in the Democratic Republic of Congo called on the oft-criticized International Criminal Court (ICC), whilst Human Right Watch said the ICC is inciting national jurisdictions to act. And in France, two Rwandan mayors accused of genocide returned to court for appeals proceedings seen as a test for universal jurisdiction. This week also saw World Press Freedom Day, with this year’s focus on the link between information, justice and the rule of law. Freedom of information is under more threaten than ever, in both...

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    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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