(For older news updates, please visit our news archive.)
12 April 2021: In a letter to the International Criminal Court, Israel has said that it will not co-operate with the Court in its investigation into war crimes in the Israel occupied territories. The letter states that the Court is acting without authority in carrying out its probe. The investigation is supposed probe alleged war crimes committed by both Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem since 13 June 2014.
9 April 2021: Protais Mpiranya, the former commander of the presidential guard for the Rwandan army is believed to be hiding in Zimbabwe. The former soldier, who has been on the run for 27 years has been indicted by the U.N. International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
8 April 2021: United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres commemorated the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda by highlighting Rwanda's display of the power of justice and reconciliation while warning about the increasing use of technology and techniques used by extremists worldwide.
7 April 2021: Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda visited Mali and addressed the issue of destruction of cultural heritage in war and conflict. She emphasised that cultural heritage must not be attacked and destroyed with impunity. The trial of Al Hasan on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including deliberate attacks on cultural property in Timbuktu is currently ongoing at the Court.
6 April 2021: Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic of Montenegro launched a procedure to dismiss the justice minister over his denial of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide. Vladimir Leposavic, the Minister of Justice, Human and Minority Rights questioned the legitimacy of international courts that ruled the Srebrenica massacre of over 8,000 Muslim men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces constituted genocide.
5 April 2021: The US government revoked its Executive Order 13928 which imposed sanctions against the International Criminal Court Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda and senior staff member Phakiso Mochochoko. The revocation also ends visa restrictions on certain ICC personnel. The decision of the US government was welcomed by the Court.
2 April 2021: The BBC reports that a massacre in northern Ethiopia was carried out by members of the Ethiopian army, killing atleast 15 people. BBC Africa Eye uncovered evidence and investigated five video clips that surfaced on social media showing armed, uniformed men leading a group of unarmed men to the edge of a cliff, shooting at them and pushing the dead bodies over the cliff. The incident in the videos could amount to war crimes.
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 (here, here 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.