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.

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?

At a shelter for Yazidis refugees who fled IS attacks in Iraq, Mahoubet says the jihadist movement killed her husband and kidnapped her sister and daughter (Photo: Flickr/Caroline Gluck/EU/ECHO)
23 March 2015 by Karina Hof

The Islamic State (IS) is perpetuating heinous human rights violations in Iraq and members of the jihadist movement may be guilty of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, says a UN report released last week. Its author, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, recommends Iraq join the International Criminal Court and accept its jurisdiction “over the current situation”.

Interior of Ramincu Sarat prison in Romania (Photo: IICCMER)
09 February 2015 by Isabelle Wesselingh, Bucharest (Romania)

The first trial of a Communist-era prison commander charged with crimes against humanity [IJT-168], in a case the media have dubbed “Romania's Nuremberg”, raised great expectations. But after a few months, many people in the country still struggling to reconcile with its past have voiced disappointment.

07 December 2011 by -

The primary purpose of the retrial of Ramush Haradinaj, as proclaimed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in its appeal judgement in July, should have been to hear testimonies of two “key” witnesses who proved unwilling to testify in the original trial in 2007.

By Radosa Milutinovic, The Hague

21 November 2011 by -

Dutchbat commander Thom Karremans, and indeed his entire battalion knew what would happen to the men and boys who were ultimately slaughtered in the genocide perpetrated by Ratko Mladić's Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995.

By *Tom Dannenbaum

So alleged a former surgeon, Ger Kremers, who was attached to Dutchbat (the Dutch battalion deployed to Srebrenica as part of a UN peacekeeping force in the 1990s), in a recent interview with the Dutch TV programme Profiel.

10 February 2010 by -

Appeals judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) last week reversed a decision that prosecutors had not provided sufficient evidence to charge Sudanese President Omar al Bashir on three counts of genocide.

By Thijs Bouwknegt

“The pre-trial chamber is directed to decide anew,” presiding judge Erkki Kourula said, upholding an appeal by ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo.

21 November 2011 by -

In widely-criticised procedures, the government will finally bring traitors from Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence to justice, said official on Sunday.

The first trial of a suspect, Delawar Hossain Sayedee, now a senior figure in the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami party, stood in the dock as the war crimes tribunal opened in Dhaka with a lengthy statement from the chief prosecutor.

10 February 2010 by -

Vojislav Šešelj, leader of Serbia’s ultra-nationalist Radical Party, currently standing trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY ) for alleged war crimes, has been charged with contempt of court.

By Vessela Evrova

The court initiated contempt proceedings against Šešelj on February 4th for having disclosed information on 11 protected witnesses, including their real names, occupations and places of residence, in a book he authored.

14 May 2010 by -

Although 100% of cases currently before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague involve crimes of gender based violence committed in Africa, only 4% of ICC lawyers are women from that continent. The ICC is hoping to change this with a campaign to recruit African women lawyers to represent both victims and defendants at the court.

By Hélène Michaud

“Most of the victims said: she understands us better because she’s a woman and a mother.”

Africa needs more lawyers like Carine Bapita.


crimes against humanity