ICC

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ICC registrar Herman von Hebel speaks with IJT in his office  (Photo: Stephanie van den Berg)
20 January 2016 by Janet H. Anderson, The Hague (The Netherlands)

In part 1 of an interview with the International Criminal Court’s registrar [IJT-189], IJT asked Herman von Hebel about the ICC budget for 2016 and criticism he’s faced for internal programmes, such as ReVision. Part 2 looks at the bigger picture, asking how he sees the next few years at the ICC. Topics include prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s model for how much work her office can realistically do and its resource implications, the introduction of performance indicators at the court and a website that the ICC’s own staff are reluctant to rely on for timely information.

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ICC registrar Herman von Hebel in his new offices (Photo: Stephanie van den Berg)
18 January 2016 by Janet H. Anderson, The Hague (The Netherlands)

It’s a new era for the International Criminal Court. New premises [IJT-189]. New trials. New pressures. Shortly after he moved into to his new office late last year, IJT met with the court’s registrar, Herman von Hebel. Ensconced high up in one of the building’s six towers, he has a view to woods one way and the judges’ tower and the courtrooms the other. An ICC flag and four tomato-red chairs have been salvaged from his previous office.

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Lady justice, Williamson county court house (Photo: Flickr/Jack)
06 January 2016 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

The range of justice processes across the world is continuing to become more multi-faceted each year – and 2016 is no exception. But while providing fodder for the burgeoning groups of academics considering the significance and influence of the wide variety of courts, there is no sense that the world has settled on an ideal format with which to hold perpetrators of violence during conflicts to account. The plurality is the grist to IJT’s mill. For the year ahead, there are significant cases – and institutions – coming to an end, while other sagas continue.

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The ICC presents its annual report to Assembly of States Parties in November 2015 (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
17 December 2015 by Benjamin Duerr, The Hague (The Netherlands)

In the face of financial and geopolitical realities and with several major judicial developments and administrative reforms coming up, 2016 could be a decisive year for the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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Visitors must cross a moat before entering the International Criminal Court's new permanent premises (Photo: Tjitske Lingsma)
15 December 2015 by Tjitske Lingsma and Janet H. Anderson, The Hague

Six block buildings, the tallest holding the courtrooms, stand in a row along the coastal landscape of The Hague. They are bedecked with trapezoid windows, meant to reflect the changing daylight and convey a sense of transparency. High fences are absent. The sand dunes that protect the Netherlands from the North Sea’s high tide are, along with many other measures, ingeniously used to provide security. This is the new permanent premises of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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South Ossetian Internally Displaced Persons in Skra, Georgia in March 2012 (Photo: Flickr/Marco Fieber)
29 October 2015

This month we look at the investigation ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda wants to open into Georgia with commentators arguing this could be a double-edged sword for Tblisi as the court has made it clear it will investigate alleged crimes from all sides. For the ICC meanwhile this probe signals a clear move away from the attention on situations in Africa, a big point of criticism from the court's detractors.

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Jean-Pierre Bemba at the start of his bribery trial at the ICC (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
29 October 2015 by Tjitske Lingsma, The Hague (The Netherlands)

The first trial for offences against the administration of justice is a testing ground for the International Criminal Court (ICC) but has been hard to follow. Since its start last month, crucial proceedings in the case against Congolese suspect Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, two of his lawyers and two others for allegedly bribing witnesses have taken place behind closed doors.

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Radio talk show in Gulu, Uganda, facilitated by the ICC in commemoration of International Justice Day in July 2011 (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
21 October 2015 by Samuel Egadu Okiror, Lira (Uganda)

Ugandan war crimes’ victims are growing increasingly frustrated with what they see as too little or too late from the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV). They ask why the fund, which is part of the International Criminal Court (ICC) but operates independently, seems to be scaling back reparations while the court is expanding the charges in its first Ugandan case, against former LRA commander Dominic Ongwen.

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South Ossetian Internally Displaced Persons in Skra, Georgia in March 2012 (Photo: Flickr/Marco Fieber)
15 October 2015 by Janet H. Anderson and Sofio Natsvlishvili, Tbilisi (Georgia)

International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda this week made her first consequential move towards a case outside Africa by asking ICC judges to permit an investigation into the 2008 war over South Ossetia. The conflict, between Georgian, Russian and South Ossetian forces, killed hundreds and displaced thousands.

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The ruins of the mausoleum Sheikh Sidi Ahmed Ben Amar Arragadi in June 2013. The mausoleum is one of the structures named in the preliminary charges against Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi (Photo: Flickr/MINUSMA-Sophie Ravier)
06 October 2015 by Benjamin Duerr, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Some see the case concerning cultural destruction in Mali as a blueprint for the International Criminal Court’s prospective, more successful prosecutions. Others call it the debut of the prosecutor’s new strategy in action: building cases from bottom-up instead of directly pursuing the most responsible perpetrators. Still, some critics say the case’s first suspect, Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi, just fell into the court’s lap.

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