Refugees arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos in September 2015 (Photo: Flickr/Ben White - CAFOD)
08 March 2016 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Parallel to calls for the establishment of an international tribunal to address alleged war crimes committed in Syria [IJT-169], many European countries say they have stepped up screening procedures to weed out possible war criminals amid the influx of Syrian refugees. The Netherlands, which has been somewhat of a pioneer in this regard, last week announced that in 2015 they denied asylum to 10 Syrian nationals because they are suspected of committing war crimes. But past experience points to a wide gap between identifying potential perpetrators and actually bringing them to justice.

27 January 2010 by -

Germany has issued an arrest warrant for Argentina’s former dictator General Jorge Videla on suspicion of murdering a German man.

The Nuremberg prosecutor’s office opened a probe into the junta’s former leaders, including Videla, at the end of the 1990s over the killing and disappearance of Germans during Agentina’s so-called ‘dirty war’. But the initial investigations were stopped in 2008 after an Argentine court rejected an extradition request submitted by the German government.

25 November 2009 by -

The 94th edition of the International Justice Tribune is now available. You can read it here.

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25 November 2009 by -

Members of the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) were put on notice last week with the arrest of the group’s leader and deputy leader in Germany on November 17th. 

By Karl Dowling

FDLR president Ignace Murwanashyaka and his deputy Straton Musoni command a force of around 5,000-6,000 fighters.

Murwanashyaka is charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity, and is also accused of leading a terrorist organisation.

12 September 2011 by -

Germany warned Monday of severe consequences should its immunity as a state be breached if the UN's highest court allows Italian civil courts to rule on compensation for Nazi war crimes.

"The consequences would be severe," the director-general for legal affairs in Germany's foreign ministry, Susanne Wasum-Rainer, told judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague.

"Once state immunity has been perforated, there is no reason not to extend the exceptions to a range of other areas," she told the 16-judge bench.

14 January 2011 by -

Spain has called for an international arrest warrant against alleged former Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk for complicity in "crimes against humanity" over the deaths of Spanish prisoners during World War II.

The warrant concerns Demjanjuk's alleged role as a guard at the German concentration camp of Flossenburg, where 50 of the 155 Spanish prisoners held were killed, according to a court ruling released Friday.

30 June 2010 by -

The world’s first pirate court opened in the Kenyan port town of Mombasa on Thursday. Set up with the help of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the high-security courtroom will hear cases of maritime piracy and other serious criminal offences.

By Thijs Bouwknegt

24 September 2014 by Stephanie van den Berg

Despite successes, national war crimes units still rely too heavily on local counterparts, says a Human Rights Watch report comparing three EU members that use universal jurisdiction to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity. For the 109-page report ‘The long arm of justice’, Leslie Haskell looked at how war crimes units in the Netherlands, Germany and France operated and what could be learnt from them. HRW chose the Netherlands for having the oldest and most robust unit, and France and Germany for having units less than five years old.