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4 November 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

ECCC Chambers orders Defence to appear November 17:  Defence teams currently boycotting hearings in Case 002/02 have been ordered to appear November 17 before the ECCC.  Accordingly, both teams have been threatened with counsel substitution if the boycott continues. The defence teams argue that more time for trial preparation is needed but such arguments have been largely brushed aside by the ECCC.  (Phnom Penh Post).

STL Judge postpones contempt hearing for news editor al-Khayyat:  Khayyat and its parent company have been accused of contempt and obstruction of justice in connection with the disclosure of personal details of secret witnesses in the Hariri case.  A delay in the hearing has come in response to a request from the defense sufficient time to investigate.  Once trial begins, both sides expect a speedy conclusion.  (Daily Star).

ICC President appeals for widespread adoption of Rome Statute:  On 30 October 2014, Judge Sang-Hyun Song in his capacity as President of the ICC plead his case for the adoption of the Rome Statute by States while in front of the UN General Assembly.  Judge Song highlighted the similarities shared between the ICC and the UN.  (The Hague).

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13 October 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

UN Report details ongoing human rights abuses by M23: In a report published 9 October 2014, the Joint Office of the UN for Human Rights in the DRC (JHRO) has founds that during a time when M23 had effective control of parts of North Kivu, serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law – which could constitute international crimes as well as crimes under the Penal Code Congolese – were committed by the group. The UN applauds the Congolese response in seeking justice against any wrongdoers. (UN News).

ICC sets date for Ntaganda Case: Bosco Ntaganda, former alleged Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Force Patriotiques pour la Libération du Congo [Patriotic Force for the Liberation of Congo] (FPLC), is accused of 13 counts of war crimes. On 9 October 2014, Trial Chamber VI of the International Criminal Court (ICC) scheduled the opening of the trial in the case The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda on 2 June 2015. (ICC).

HRW Report outlines crimes against Yezidi women in Iraq: HRW has provided a detailed account of the alledged atrocities occurring to Yezidi men, women and children at the hands of the Islamic State (IS) fighters in Iraq. HRW states that forced marriages, abductions, sexual slavery and other international crimes have been and continue to occur. HRW recommends that the UN investigate and that the Iraqi government join the ICC. (HRW).

Kenyatta appears at ICC for status conference: On 8 October 2014, Kenyan President Kenyatta appeared before the ICC for a status conference. He is the first serving head of state to come before the Hague. Mr. Kenyatta is accused of orchestrating post-election violence during 2007. In response to these accusations, Mr Kenyatta says the charges against him are politically motivated and insists that the case should be thrown out. (BBC).

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15 September 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

ICC issues an arrest warrant against Sudanese accused Banda: On 11 September 2014, the ICC issued an arrest warrant against Abdallah Banda Abakaer. Banda had previously been under a summons of the court until it decided that an arrest warrant was necessary to ensure the accused’s presence. Banda faces three charges of war crimes allegedly committed in September 2007 against AU Peacekeeping Mission in Sudan. (ICC).

Russell Tribunal condemns actions of Obama and Poroshenko in Ukraine: The informal Russell Tribunal trial, which met in Venice to hear evidence of war crimes committed by the West has condemned the actions of President Poroshenki and President Barack Obama. Allegations of military operations conducted by the West in the Donetsk region, which involved the destruction of schools and hospitals, were presented to the Tribunal. The Tribunal’s ruling wil be sent to the US Secretariat, the EU, and the ICC.  (For additional information about this topic, please click here.) (Press, RT).

FIDH asks ICC to investigate crimes in Mexico: The ICC has been charged with the task of investigating a series of alleged violations of human rights committed between 2006 and 2012 in Baja California at the hands of Mexican soldiers. The court rejected a 2011 request by Mexican activists but at this point an investigation still remains a possibility. (Fox).

Croatian prosecutor and MICT sign memorandum on future prosecutions: Croatia’s Chief Prosecutor and prosecutor for the MICT, successor of the ICTY, have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at more efficiently prosecuting persons charged with the alleged commission of violating international human rights law. The ICTY exit strategy will continue as necessary, allowing for MICT to effectively maintain its caseload in the most efficient manner. (Google News).

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8 September 2014 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

UN Releases Report on Libya: The UN has issued a report indicating that there are serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian occurring in Tripoli and Benghazi. Civilians are being abducted and are subjected to unlawful killings. There is also a deepening political polarization taking place in Libya, leading to many to a decision to leave the country.   (UN News).

Sri Lanka NGOs respond to UN War Crimes Report: Several NGOs have criticized the UN for failing to understand the seriousness and nature of he problem in connection with civilian death during the end of the civil conflict in India. There are also allegations that the UN failed in its mandate to protect civilian populations by relocating. The UN has declined to comment on the report’s findings at this time. (Reuters).

Nuon Chea to appeal ECCC verdict: Cambodia defense attorneys for former Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea have decided to appeal on behalf of their client on the basis that he did not commit at least one of the crimes for which he was found guilty. The majority of evidence for the appeal is from documentary filmmaker Thet Sambath’s research into the killings. Apparently, there is evidence that Chea was not involved. At this point, sources say it is unlikely the case will be reheard. (VOA).

UN to send team to investigate rights violations in Iraq: The UNHCR said Monday that it will send an investigative team to Iraq to look deeper into the alleged crimes committed by the rebel group ISIS. The investigation is estimated to cost $1.2 million. The allegations of mass killings and other atrocities continue to mount against ISIS. The UN has said that this missions main purpose is to protect the people of Iraq. (For additional information on this topic, please click here) (IBT, Reuters).

Ble Goude confirmation hearing delayed: Charles Blé Goudé, national of Côte d’Ivoire, 42 years of age, allegedly bears individual criminal responsibility, as indirect co-perpetrator, for four counts of crimes against humanity, namely murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, persecution, and other inhuman acts, allegedly committed in the territory of Côte d’Ivoire between 16 December 2010 and 12 April 2011. The ICC has decided to postpone the commencement of charges at the Defence’s request to give them time to finish their preparation. (ICC).

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Happy Birthday ICL Media and Review!

On the third anniversary of the ICL Media and Review launch, we would like to thank our readers, followers and contributors for supporting our mission of making the development of international criminal law easily accessible to the public.

Since our 2011 launch, we’ve grown, have been certified as a registered charity in the UK, and are in the process of developing a  highly functional and searchable webpage!  Thank you for your support, and we look forward to another great year of providing updates and analysis on events and developments in the international criminal law arena.

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BREAKING: Kenya votes for ICC withdrawal

Kenyan Parliament Votes to Withdraw from ICC : The Kenyan parliament has just approved a motion for the country to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, where Kenya’s sitting President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto face charges of committing crimes against humanity.  This does not change Kenya’s obligations under the Rome Statute for cases already underway (such as Ruto’s and Kenyatta’s), but does send a strong message of Kenya’s displeasure with the Court.

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24 July 2013 – NEWS ABOUT THE COURTS

ICC Prosecutor says attacks on peacekeepers may constitute war crimes:  ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has condemned the killing of seven joint UN-African Union peacekeeprs in Darfur earlier this month, stating once again that such attacks may constitute war crimes.   In a statement issued by the Office of the Prosecutor earlier this week, Bensouda stated that she “reminds all parties to the conflict that the [ICC] has jurisdiction in Darfur and that the intentional directing of attacks against peacekeeprs may constitute war crimes.”  She then called on Sudan’s government to conduct a “prompt and full investigation and to hold all those responsible in account.”  The attacks, which were some of the most serious against the mission since its 2008 deployment, were carried out by a large, unidentified group.

Senior UN official warns Syria about possible prosecutions in light of crimes against children : Leila Zerrougi, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, warned Syrian officials and rebels alike about the risk of possible prosecution for atrocities committed against minors in the region.  After visiting Syria and surrounding countries hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees from the civil war, Zerrougui said she was overwhelmed by the suffering of children who witnessed the death of their siblings and teens who were forced to fight with opposition groups.  Approximately 7,000 children under the age of 15 have been killed in the two-year war, and half of the 1.7 million Syrian refugees are children.  “One day Syria will come to peace,” she said, “and those committing the atrocities will have to face – I hope – justice.”

ICC Prosecutor concludes investigative mission in Cote d’Ivoire: Fatou Bensouda concluded a mission in Cote d’Ivoire earlier this week.  The primary purpose of the fact-finding mission was to gather more information for the trial of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo.    He faces crimes against humanity charges for his alleged role in the country’s 2010-2011 post-election conflict in which more than 3,000 people died.  Bensouda met with the ministers of Justice and Interior, as well as victims of the post-election violence and representatives of various human rights groups.  She has yet to release a statement indicating her findings during the mission.   

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