The International Criminal Court (ICC) took another step this week away from its much-criticized Africa focus that could take the court beyond armed conflict situations and into the tactics used in peacetime by state security forces and police against alleged drug gangs and attacks on dissidents when it announced it was opening preliminary examinations in the Philippines and Venezuela.
Judges at the international Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague are set to consider whether the prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will be allowed to open a case into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan after she filed her request last November. With her request the court also opened the procedure for victims’ representation where those who may be directly concerned by the specific situation can register to have their views and concerns regarding a possible investigation heard. But on the eve of January 31 – the deadline for such submissions – victims’ organizations and observers on the ground say the court is not doing enough to reach the thousands of people affected.
There will be a lot of celebration that it actually got through. “It’s down to the wire” tweeted Amanda Gharemani of the Canadian Centre for International Justice.
There’s already a lot of ‘historic’ and ‘momentous’. But the agreement to activate a fourth crime at the International Criminal Court (ICC) – that of aggression, in addition to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes – is very limited. And those limitations reflect the current discussions and uncertainties about the ICC’s role that characterise many of the crises the ICC is grappling with.
30 November 2017 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)
After the initial shock has faded Justice Tribune editor Stephanie van den Berg, wonders if Slobodan Praljak's suicide in the courtroom of the Yugoslav tribunal is not in many ways a fitting ending for the court which leaves an uneasy legacy.
It was supposed to be a predictable appeals verdict in the case of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia against six Bosnian Croat officials. Important. But not one of the tribunal’s highest profile cases. And made special to a degree because it was the last verdict the ICTY would ever pronounce.
On the eve of the verdict in the case of Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic ICTY prosecutor Serge Brammertz has given a lengthy interview to Serbian and Bosnian media. Here is shortened version of the interview conducted by Boro Kontic which has appeared in Novi magazine and Oslobodjenje newspaper.
23 October 2017 by Benjamin Duerr, The Hague (The Netherlands)
As Burundi becomes the first country to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) this week, the withdrawal is a test case for the commitment of the international community to global justice. Will there be consequences for the country?
The first ever member state is about to leave the ICC silently. About a year ago the Burundian government decided to withdraw from the Rome Statute, the ICC's founding treaty. It notified the United Nations, where the treaty is deposited, and now, one year later on 27 October, the withdrawal comes into effect.
26 September 2017 by Janet H. Anderson, The Hague (The Netherlands)
Every few weeks it seems one NGO or another is lobbying to get its issue onto the agenda of the ICC’s prosecutor. It’s a tribute to the way that the International Criminal Court has come to be seen as an avenue for justice. But it also means that there’s a lot of noise, without necessarily much action.
12 September 2017 by Tjitske Lingsma, The Hague (The Netherlands)
Several African governments complain that the ICC has been targeting Africans. But national authorities are by no means powerless when it comes to the court. Here are fifteen – successful - strategies that governments and allies have been using to keep the ICC off their backs.
05 July 2017 by Benjamin Duerr, The Hague (The Netherlands)
Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) rule on Thursday whether South Africa had the obligation to arrest the president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, during an official visit. What are the legal and political issues at stake?
28 June 2017 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)
The Srebrenica massacre always seems to boil down to numbers when it gets to court. I have sat through many hours of discussions about the actual number of victims, whether that number was large enough to constitute a genocide, the precise times to pinpoint who knew what and when at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and later in the genocide case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).