ICC

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26 June 2006 by HEIKELINA VERRIJN STUART

Less than three months after being placed in detention in Freetown, former Liberian president Charles Taylor was transported to The Hague on June 20, where he will be tried before a Special Court for Sierra Leone to be relocated in the premises of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Thus the Sierra Leonean "model" of rendering international justice in country has been shelved, while the Netherlands is trying to share the burden of being the world center of international justice.

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24 April 2006 by Thierry Cruvellier

Three weeks after the Special Court for Sierra Leone requested that former Liberian president Charles Taylor be tried in The Hague, Taylor's transfer is still facing several obstacles. The guarantees required by the Netherlands are not in place; Taylor's lawyer is objecting, while Sierra Leoneans are divided over the issue and some members of the Dutch parliament are opposed to the transfer. Robin Vincent, who set up and led the Special Court's administration in Freetown from July 2002 to September 2005, analyzes some of the financial and strategic consequences of transferring the trial to a courtroom rented from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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20 November 2006 by Thierry Cruvellier

Nothing could distinguish the justice handed down for former tyrant Saddam Hussein in war-torn Baghdad more than that unfolding in the comforts of The Hague against modest Congolese militiaman Thomas Lubanga. Nothing could also be more different in the unanimous criticisms of the microcosm that is international justice, in how they deal with the trial of Saddam, and their leniency towards the way the International Criminal Court (ICC) works. Admittedly, Saddam's trial was a failure in many respects.

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25 September 2006 by Franck Petit

On September 28, the judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) were to hear prosecution and defense arguments before ruling on the opening of the Lubanga trial. This hearing was postponed for the second time. Back in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), many are at a loss as to how the prosecutor could produce such feeble results after two years of investigation. Already disappointed that the most senior officials are not being prosecuted, the Congolese are now frustrated to see only one defendant - Thomas Lubanga - charged with only one crime, the enlistment of child soldiers.

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09 October 2006 by Pierre Hazan

The shocking events of 9/11 provided fodder for the Bush administration's radical opposition to both the ICC and some of the provisions in the Geneva Conventions. Both were deemed incompatible with the "war on terrorism." After three years of hostility, Washington is now beginning to accept the ICC out of sheer pragmatism. This discrete, but nonetheless real change in attitude does not apply to the Geneva Conventions, judging from the law passed by the Senate on September 28 that strips "illegal combatants" of their habeas corpus rights if they are held outside the US and reduces their protection against ill treatment.

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04 December 2006 by Maria Kolesnikova

The Federation of Russia maintains verbal support for the International Criminal Court (ICC) and still considers ratification of the Rome Statute to be its "strategic goal." Yet, Moscow says it needs to adapt its legislation and to monitor the court's operation before it can ratify the Statute. However, the political will to ratify has been waning in the past few years. Moreover, as the conflict in Chechnya looms over the debate, Russia foresees more losses than gains from joining the ICC.

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25 September 2006 by Franck Petit

Paradox? On March 3, 2004 the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo deferred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) because "the Congolese authorities are unfortunately not in a position to investigate the crimes" under the Rome Statute. Today, the world court is the one that has produced mediocre results while the Congolese courts have been handing down rulings in a series of trials for some of the most serious crimes.

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06 November 2006 by Pierre Hazan

France's attitude towards international criminal justice is marked by ambiguity. Paris subscribes to a vision of the world in which international humanitarian law is considered a way to curb violence against civilian populations, but at the same time it is wary of an unchecked judicial system that could end up prosecuting French soldiers engaged in areas where it has old and deep-rooted interests.

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11 September 2006 by Emmanuel Chicon and Benjamin Bibas

Four years ago, on September 19, 2002, an aborted coup d'état attempt plunged Côte d'Ivoire into civil war and political violence. In October 2003, Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo sent a document to The Hague acknowledging the International Criminal Court's (ICC) jurisdiction over the crimes committed in Côte d'Ivoire since September 2002. The Court finally confirmed the existence of this document in February 2005. However, one and a half years later, and despite several detailed investigations by the UN and NGOs, the ICC prosecutor is "still questioning whether crimes were committed, analyzing the issues of jurisdiction and admissibility, and trying to determine whether the interests of justice would be served by opening an investigation," according to the ICC's report to the UN Assembly General in August. 

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23 October 2006 by Christine Chaumeau

China is keeping a polite distance from international criminal justice. Beijing is hardly disinterested, but China does want to make sure that these new global mechanisms are not going to infringe upon its sovereignty by delving into particularly sensitive cases such as Tibet. 

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