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News updates

[Online] Advanced summer programme on terrorism, countering terrorism and the rule of law

(For older news updates, please visit our news archive.)

22 June 2021: Montenegro's parliament has adopted a resolution condemning the Srebenica genocide, banning its denial and introduced a commemoration day for the incident. It also dismissed Justice Minister Vladimir Leposavic, who had recently denied the 1995 killing of some 8,000 Bosniak Muslims in Srebrenica by Bosnian Serb in the Bosnian War.

21 June 2021: The Swiss Federal Criminal Court convicted Alieu Kosiah, a former commander of the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy armed group, for war crimes committed during the first Liberian civil war, from 1989 to 1996. He received the maximum 20-year sentence in what was Switzerland's first war crimes trial in a civilian court. 

18 June 2021: The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf, Germany convicted 'Sarah O', a German ISIS member for crimes against humanity against Yazidi's. She was held guilty of membership in a foreign terrorist organisation, assault, deprivation of liberty, aiding and abetting rape, enslavement and religious and gender-based persecution as crimes against humanity.

17 June 2021: The Netherlands Compensation Commission Potocari opened the doors of its Sarajevo office to potential compensation claims from relatives of people who were killed in the Srebenica genocide after being taken from Dutch UN peacekeeping troops’ base in Potocari in July 1995. 

16 June 2021: Mr. Karim Khan was sworn in today in The Hague as the new Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court for a term of nine years. He took over from Fatou Bensouda of Gambia, whose nine-year term ended yesterday.

15 June 2021: Amnesty International has published a report titled ‘Like We Were Enemies in a War’: China’s Mass Internment, Torture, and Persecution of Muslims in Xinjiang, which states that state-organized mass imprisonment, torture and persecution in Xinjiang may amount to crimes against humanity

14 June 2021: Outgoing International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda announced the conclusion of the preliminary examination in the situation in the Philippines and requested judicial authorisation to proceed with an investigation. She stated that on the basis of analysis of a large amount of information, her Office believes that the crime against humanity of murder has been committed between 1 July 2016 and 16 March 2019 in the context of the Government of Philippines 'war on drugs' campaign.

New cases, briefs and videos

(For older announcements, please visit our announcements archive.)

NEW CASES: Case analysis of the summary of the judgment in the Husayn (Abu Zubaydah) v. Poland case (July, 2014) is now online. It can be accessed here.

NEW CASES: Case analysis of the summary of the judgment in the Abu Zubaydah v. Lithuania case (May, 2018) is now online. It can be accessed here.

NEW CASES: Case analysis of the summary of the judgment in the The Prosecutor v Ayyash et al. case (August, 2020) is now online. It can be accessed here.

NEW VIDEO: A new video is available online. The very first online (Zoom) Supranational Criminal Law (SCL) lecture was organised on 3 June 2020, titled ‘Challenges to Prosecuting Paramilitaries: Insights from the former Yugoslavia and Syria’. Speakers were Dr Iva Vukušić, Visiting Research Fellow at Department of War Studies, King’s College London, Ali Aljasem, MA, Researcher at the History Department, Utrecht University and Dr Matthew Gillett, Director, Peace and Justice Initiative and Trial Lawyer, Office of the Prosecutor at the ICC. The video recording can be viewed here

NEW VIDEO: A new video is available online. On 10 February 2020, Dr Christopher Soler, Judge Kimberly Prost and Dr. Yasmin Naqvi provided a lecture at the Asser Institute in the context of the Supranational Criminal Law Lectures Series (SCL). The lecture was organised to celebrate the publication of the book The Global Prosecution of Core Crimes under International Law. The video recording can be viewed here

NEW BRIEF: A new ICD Brief is available on the International Crimes Database entitled “Human Rights Remedies for Violations of the Law of Armed Conflict: Reflections on the Right to Reparation in Light of Recent Domestic Court Decisions in the Netherlands and Denmark”, by Vessela Terzieva.

Vessela Terzieva is an international criminal lawyer and an external PhD researcher at the University of Amsterdam. Her ICD Brief relates to recent decisions in the Netherlands and Denmark awarding compensation for damage at the hands of the military during armed conflict, including the July 2019 ruling of the Dutch Supreme Court in the 'Mothers of Srebrenica' case. It explores how these decisions contribute to the debate on the right to reparation for victims of international humanitarian law violations.

NEW CASES: New case summaries are available on the International Crimes Database!

Prosecutor v Ayyash et al.

Two of the five new case summaries relate to the case of The Prosecutor v Ayyash et al. before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL). In its Interlocutory Decision of 16 February 2011 (available here), the Appeals Chamber of the Tribunal found whilst it was bound to apply Lebanese criminal law, international law could be used to aid in the interpretation of these domestic provisions. Significantly, the Chamber concluded that the crime of terrorism exists in customary international law. In the STL Trial Chamber Decision of 1 February 2012 (available here), the Tribunal found that the four accused may be tried in absentia, as all four of the accused had absconded or otherwise could not be found and all reasonable steps had been taken to secure their presence.

Prosecution of Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan

The other three summaries (herehere and here) relate to the trial of Nuon Chea, the former Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, and Khieu Samphan, the former Head of State of Democratic Kampuchea, before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). This string of cases culminated in the conviction and life sentence of Chea and Samphan for crimes against humanity relating to the forcible transfer of the population, as well as war crimes and crimes against humanity committed at security centres and worksites. Both were also found guilty of genocide of the Vietnamese people, whilst Chea was also guilty of genocide of the Cham people.

The Asser Institute received assistance from the Washington College of Law Internship Programme in the preparation of these case summaries.