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Witness appears before the ECCC in case 002/02 against on 13 January 2016 (Photo: Flickr/ECCC/Nhet Sok Heng)
10 February 2016 by Ate Hoekstra, Phnom Penh (Cambodia)

Judges at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) continued this month hearing eyewitness testimony about how the Khmer Rouge targeted Cham Muslims and ethnic Vietnamese, including women and children. Case 002/02, part two of the case against former Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan [IJT-176, IJT-179], tackles the question of whether the regime committed genocide as per the narrow legal definition.

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Judge Yassmin Barrios presiding the Sepur Zarco trial in Guatemala (Photo: Twitter/@usembassyguate)
03 February 2016 by Louisa Reynolds, Guatemala City (Guatemala)

Guatemala this week started the landmark trial of two former military officers who face charges of sexual and domestic slavery and forced disappearances. This marks the first time – ever and anywhere – that a national court will hear charges of sexual slavery committed during an armed conflict.

 

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ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda addresses the UN Security Council in November 2015 (Photo: Flickr/IICC-CPI)
27 January 2016 by Janet H. Anderson, The Hague (The Netherlands)

IJT asked legal experts William Schabas and Evelyn Ankumah how they thought the ICC was doing and what remains needed. Schabas is optimistic and Ankumah shares a more reserved view. Both agree that the court must start showing it is not afraid to pursue alleged suspects from powerful states. 

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ICC registrar Herman von Hebel in his new offices (Photo: Stephanie van den Berg)
27 January 2016

IJT 189 takes an in depth look at the International Criminal Court with an in depth interview with the court's registrar Herman von Hebel. We also look ahead at what the court will face in 2016 and experts weigh in on where the ICC stands now.

 

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Ivorian ex-president Laurent Gbabgo at his confirmation of charges hearing at the ICC in February 2013 (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
27 January 2016 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

As the International Criminal Court (ICC) prepares to try its first former head of state when Ivory Coast's ex-president Laurent Gbagbo goes on trial in The Hague Thursday many question if the ICC is balanced in trying only the leadership of one side in the post-electoral violence.
 

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Dominc Ongwen at the ICC for his confirmation of charges hearing (Photo: Twitter/ICC)
21 January 2016 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

The confirmation of charges hearing of former Lord's Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen started before the International Criminal Court (ICC) 21 January.
Prosecutor Benjamin Gumpert painted a harrowing picture of a victim and former child soldier Dominic Ongwen [IJT-174] who turned into a perpetrator himself. Ongwen went on to play a “crucial” role in the LRA's practice of abducting children, some as young as six years old, to be used as child soldiers and women and girls to be used as sex slaves or so-called  forced wives of LRA fighters.

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ICC registrar Herman von Hebel speaks with IJT in his office  (Photo: Stephanie van den Berg)
20 January 2016 by Janet H. Anderson, The Hague (The Netherlands)

In part 1 of an interview with the International Criminal Court’s registrar [IJT-189], IJT asked Herman von Hebel about the ICC budget for 2016 and criticism he’s faced for internal programmes, such as ReVision. Part 2 looks at the bigger picture, asking how he sees the next few years at the ICC. Topics include prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s model for how much work her office can realistically do and its resource implications, the introduction of performance indicators at the court and a website that the ICC’s own staff are reluctant to rely on for timely information.

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ICC registrar Herman von Hebel in his new offices (Photo: Stephanie van den Berg)
18 January 2016 by Janet H. Anderson, The Hague (The Netherlands)

It’s a new era for the International Criminal Court. New premises [IJT-189]. New trials. New pressures. Shortly after he moved into to his new office late last year, IJT met with the court’s registrar, Herman von Hebel. Ensconced high up in one of the building’s six towers, he has a view to woods one way and the judges’ tower and the courtrooms the other. An ICC flag and four tomato-red chairs have been salvaged from his previous office.

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Lady justice, Williamson county court house (Photo: Flickr/Jack)
06 January 2016 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

The range of justice processes across the world is continuing to become more multi-faceted each year – and 2016 is no exception. But while providing fodder for the burgeoning groups of academics considering the significance and influence of the wide variety of courts, there is no sense that the world has settled on an ideal format with which to hold perpetrators of violence during conflicts to account. The plurality is the grist to IJT’s mill. For the year ahead, there are significant cases – and institutions – coming to an end, while other sagas continue.

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The ICC presents its annual report to Assembly of States Parties in November 2015 (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
17 December 2015 by Benjamin Duerr, The Hague (The Netherlands)

In the face of financial and geopolitical realities and with several major judicial developments and administrative reforms coming up, 2016 could be a decisive year for the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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