blog
Des veuves et des survivants remercient leurs avocats après la condamnation par une cour tchadienne en mars 2015 des agents de Habré (Photo : Twitter/@HenriThulliez)
19 June 2015 by Thierry Cruvellier

« La CPI en rêvait, les CAE l’ont fait.» Cette remarque d’un observateur de longue date des tribunaux pour crimes de guerre souligne l’une des raisons pour lesquelles les Chambres africaines extraordinaires (CAE) pourraient bien constituer l’évènement le plus important de cette année dans le domaine de la justice pénale internationale. L’objectif de la Cour pénale internationale est d’encourager les juridictions nationales à prendre en charge les poursuites judiciaires pour crimes de guerre ; or, les CAE l’ont déjà accompli. 

issue
Victims' widows and survivors thank lawyers after a court's March 2015 sentence against Habré's agents (Photo: Twitter/@HenriThulliez)
17 June 2015

In IJT 184, veteran war crimes tribunal journalist and former IJT editor Thierry Cruvellier analyzes the significance of Chadian ex-dictator Hissène Habré's upcoming trial at the Extraordinary African Chambers.

Other features:

  • There's a new start date for the retrial of former Guatemalan dictator Ríos Montt
  • Scholars say it's time for a crimes against humanity convention
  • Complementarity remains a guessing game at the International Criminal Court

News brief:

Sudan's President Bashir gets away again but who looks worse: the ICC or South Africa?

article
South African President Jacob Zuma and Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir at a press conference in Sudan in July 2008 (Photo: Flickr/GovernmentZA)
17 June 2015 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

The six-year cat-and-mouse game between Omar al-Bashir and the International Criminal Court continues. On Monday, the Sudanese president fled Johannesburg, where he was attending an African Union summit, despite a Pretoria court order for him to stay in the country while local judges ruled on if he should be arrested and extradited to The Hague.

article
First ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo at March 2011 press conference on situation in Libya, as successor Fatou Bensouda looks on (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
17 June 2015 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Recent cases at the International Criminal Court have revitalized the on-going discussion about when the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) should step in to demand that suspects be brought to The Hague and when it should let countries handle their own prosecutions.

article
Ixil Mayan women attend Rios Montt trial in Guatemala in April 2013 (Photo: Flickr/9975353@N0)
16 June 2015 by Louisa Reynolds, Guatemala City (Guatemala)

After repeated delays, the retrial of former Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt and his head of intelligence, facing charges of genocide and crimes and against humanity, is scheduled to begin on 23 July. Prosecution of Guatemala’s human rights violators has been hindered by endless delays as defence teams have used a myriad of excuses – particularly defendants’ purported ill health – to prevent trials from moving forward. But even though progress has been painfully slow, witnesses remain upbeat and determined to testify.

article
Scholars and practitioners gathered at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, for the 2009 Experts’ Meeting of the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative (Photo: Mary Butkus/WUSTL Photo Services)
16 June 2015 by Benjamin Duerr, The Hague (The Netherlands)

While war crimes have the Geneva Conventions and international treaties criminalize genocide, torture and slavery, crimes against humanity have no dedicated treaty that prohibits states from committing them. Legal scholars are working to change this, and are in the final drafting stages of an International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Humanity.

article
Victims' widows and survivors thank lawyers after a court's March 2015 sentence against Habré's agents (Photo: Twitter/@HenriThulliez)
15 June 2015 by Thierry Cruvellier

“What the ICC has dreamed of, the EAC is doing.” This remark by a long-time observer of war crimes tribunals highlights one of the reasons the Extraordinary African Chambers appears to be the most important event in the field of international criminal justice this year. The aim of the International Criminal Court has been to prompt national courts to take responsibility for war crimes prosecutions – something that the EAC has already achieved. 
 

article
Exhumations from May 2015 on a Periprava site believed to be a graveyard for camp victims (Photo: IICCMER)
03 June 2015 by Isabelle Wesselingh, Bucharest (Romania)

Many in the Bucharest courtroom held their breaths when, after a long day of gruelling testimonies, Mihai Dionisie got up and walked towards the man who ran the Romanian labour camp where he was held nearly 50 years ago. But the 81-year-old witness, who had told the court of beatings, unbearable hunger and inhumane work targets, simply extended his arm and shook hands with the former camp commander.

article
Names of ESMA navy officers are displayed at the Espacio Memoria y Derechos Humanos (Photo: Luciana Bertoia)
03 June 2015 by Luciana Bertoia, Buenos Aires (Argentina)

A memorial museum newly opened at the location of one of the most infamous illegal detention centres during Argentina’s dictatorship illustrates a national debate about how to commemorate such sites. 

article
United Nations Operation in Burundi disarms rebel forces in Mbanda in February 2005 (Photo: Flickr/UN Photo/Martine Perret)
03 June 2015 by Janet H. Anderson, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Over the last month, Burundi has hit the headlines as the president put himself forward to be elected for a controversial third term, resulting in street protests, thousands of refugees who fled instability and an attempted coup. Behind the issues of elections and constitutionalism are also those of justice following Burundi’s long-running civil war. The international community supported an intensive process of negotiation and the signing of the Arusha Accord in 2000. But in the decade and a half since, its provisions on justice have been debated though never fully implemented.

Pages