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Helen Mack, sister of murdered Guatemalan anthropologist Myrna Mack, speaks at March 2015 meeting of La Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) (Photo: Flickr/cidh/Daniel Cima)
02 December 2015

IJT 188 takes a close look at Guatemala's newly opened 'high-risk' court, which many hope will expedite lawsuits concerning the country's decades-long armed conflict. 

Other features:

  • In the Netherlands, an Afghan army commander-turned-Dutch national was arrested and accused of war crimes allegedly committed in 1979.
  • In Bangladesh, two men were hanged for committing international crimes during the war of independence, compelling many Bangladeshis to celebrate and international human rights organizations to question the International Crimes Tribunal's fairness.
  • While ICC state parties held their annual meeting last month in The Hague, groups discussed on the side whether ecocide could become the fifth crime against peace.

 

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Secoya chief Humberto Piaguaje, with microphone, protests among Rainforest Action Network activists outside Chevron’s shareholder meeting in May 2011 (Photo: Flickr/Rainforest Action Network)
30 November 2015 by Tjitske Lingsma, The Hague (The Netherlands)

“The rainforest is our supermarket, our hospital, pharmacy, our school, and it is where we pray,” says Humberto Piaguaje, chief of Ecuador’s Secoya indigenous group, speaking at a Hague Talks discussion timed to coincide with the annual state parties meeting of the International Criminal Court (ICC). In stark contrast with the audience in The Hague, he wears a white tunic, overlaid by long, colourful beads crossing at the waist, and a red and yellow headdress. The Secoya see themselves as part of their habitat, the Amazon rainforest, where each earthly element has a living spirit identity. “The trees are our siblings,” the chief explains. “That’s why we feel so hurt when someone comes and destroys our land.”

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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.

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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?

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02 September 2011 by -

Should the killing of journalists during conflict be considered as a war crime? Should journalists be embedded with troops in warfare, or not? Are journalists protected under the Geneva Conventions?

By Geraldine Coughlan in The Hague

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14 March 2005 by -

Article 18
Preliminary rulings regarding admissibility

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14 March 2005 by -

Article 40
Independence of the judges

1. The judges shall be independent in the performance of their functions.

2. Judges shall not engage in any activity which is likely to interfere with their judicial functions or to affect confidence in their independence.

3. Judges required to serve on a full-time basis at the seat of the Court shall not engage in any other occupation of a professional nature.

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14 March 2005 by -

Article 75
Reparations to victims

1. The Court shall establish principles relating to reparations to, or in respect of,
victims, including restitution, compensation and rehabilitation. On this basis, in its decision the Court may, either upon request or on its own motion in
exceptional circumstances, determine the scope and extent of any damage, loss and injury to, or in respect of, victims and will state the principles on
which it is acting.

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14 March 2005 by -

Having been established by the Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991 (hereinafter referred to as « the International Tribunal ») shall function in accordance with the provisions of the present Statute.

Article 1
Competence of the International Tribunal

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Rome Statute