(For older news updates, please visit our news archive.)
17 December 2018: The Chief Prosecutor of the UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, Serge Brammertz, stated that Croatia's no-cooperation policy with regard to certain war crimes leads to a deadlock as it comes to investigation and prosecution. Croatia refuses to collaborate with the neighbouring countries in situations when the indictments state that the suspected persons took part in a joint criminal enterprise with Croatian military or political officials.
14 December 2018: On Thursday, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution with a vote of 394 to 1 declaring that the crimes committed against the Rohingya constitute genocide. This comes at a time when the UN has called for Myanmar's generals to face an international tribunal on charges of genocide.
13 December 2018: Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona faces surrender to the International Criminal Court for alleged coordination of attacks on the Muslim population in the CAR in 2013 and 2014, which could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. Ngaïssona is currently a committee member of the Confederation of African Football.
12 December 2018: The Chief Prosecutor of the MICT, Serge Brammertz, has published a new report in which he denounces the lack of cooperation from the Croatian government as well as the blocking of several war crimes cases. In fact, in 2015, the Justice Ministry of Croatia said it will not provide court cooperation in cases.
11 December 2018: The Institute for Economics and Peace in Sydney published the Global Terrorism Index, which indicates that deaths caused by terrorism have fallen in the last three years. Ten States most affected by terrorism were all involved in a conflict and together they accounted for 84% of the terrorism-caused casualties.
10 December 2018: Today marks the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Universal Declaration emerged from the horrors of World War II, which resulted in more than 65 million deaths, including six million Jews and hundreds of thousands of others who were systematically murdered during the Holocaust. Stunned by this carnage, the UN’s framers created an organization with three core objectives: advancing collective security, promoting economic development in poorer countries, and, for the first time, making the protection of human rights a global priority. The UN adopted the declaration on December 10, 1948, by a vote of 48-0, with eight abstentions. Eleanor Roosevelt, who led the effort, called it a “Magna Carta for all mankind.”
7 December 2018: A UN team (UNITAD) will begin investigating possible genocide of the Yazidi minority, alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by ISIS. The UNSC decided to bring to justice the ISIS fighters responsible for alleged atrocities in a resolution from September 2017.
6 December 2018: According to the Annual Report on Preliminary Examinations activities of the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC, the ICC continues the thorough factual and legal assessment of the Philippines' drug war in which President Rodrigo Duterte and other senior government officials are accused of promoting the killing of suspected drug users/dealers.
5 December 2018: War crimes prosecutor Stephen Rapp stated that although the evidence of war crimes is often hard to find, in case of Syria there is very strong evidence. For instance, over 750,000 pages of the regime's documents have been accessed. The information collected points in the direction of war crimes more clearly than in case of any other conflict after the World War 2, including in Rwanda and Liberia.
4 December 2018: Public International Law & Policy Group, a law firm specialized in international law, has found sufficient evidence that genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes have been committed against the Rohingya and urges the international community to establish a criminal investigation.
3 December 2018: A Bosnian court in Sarajevo acquitted Naser Oric of war crimes. He was charged with killing Serbs in villages in vicinity of Srebrenica in 1992, a few years before the Srebrenica genocide.
30 November 2018: The UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals received complaints about alleged mistreatment of two Serbs, Milosevic and Martic, serving sentences for war crimes in Estonia. They could serve their sentences in Serbia, but such a decision is subject to the approval of the United Nations Security Council.
New cases, briefs and videos
(For older announcements, please visit our announcements archive.)
NEW CASES: The twelve summaries (available in the database) added are related to terrorism, attempted terrorism, and providing material support. Most of the cases are from the United States as well as England and Wales, and relate to (attemped) fighting in Syria and Iraq (foreign fighters). They give a good insight of common law approaches to prosecuting terrorism-related offences. An example of a new case analysis is United States of America v. Nader Elhuzayel and Muhanad Badawi. Both Mr. Elhuzayel and Mr. Badawi were convicted by a federal jury of conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist group, the Islamic State (IS). The defendants had used social media accounts to support IS, and Mr. Badawi had filmed Mr. Elhuzayel pledging allegiance to IS and promising to travel to Syria to fight. Mr. Elhuzayel was arrested prior to boarding a flight to Israel via Turkey. They were also found guilty of financial fraud charges, the proceeds of which had been used to fund the travel. In the preparation of the US cases for the ICD database, the Asser Institute received assistance from students enrolled in the International Justice Project of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law.
NEW BRIEFS: The new briefs (available here) are related to the work and legacy of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (‘ICTY’), that operated from 1993 - 2017. Among its accused were Slobodan Milošević, Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić. The tribunal was formally closed last year after 24 years of operation and after having issued 161 indictments. The authors of these Briefs have all worked for the ICTY.
Appeals on errors of fact
Rupert Elderkin’s ICD Brief concentrates on the ICTY’s appeals on errors of fact. It highlights the Appeals Chamber’s little deference to the trial chambers’ factual findings. By implicitly identifying the judges responsible for those judgements, the Appeals Chamber unnecessarily raised doubts about the judicial professionalism of the institution.
Role of defence in international criminal proceedings
In their Brief, Fiana Reinhardt and Lisa Feirabend examine the changing perception of the importance and role of the defence in international criminal proceedings. They emphasise the changing role of the defence before the ICTY, and how the lessons learnt there are reflected in the practice of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and the International Criminal Court.
Jonas Nilsson elaborates upon the last case before the ICTY, the trial of Ratko Mladić. Nilsson analyses its pre-trial and trial proceedings and expands on its lessons learned that are of relevance to present and future courts and tribunals. Nilsson also provided a lecture on this topic in the context of the Supranational Criminal Law Lecture Series, which can be viewed here.
NEW VIDEOS: New videos available online. On 22 March 2018, David Schwendiman, former Specialist Prosecutor at the Kosovo Specialist Prosecutor’s Office, provided a lecture on his time at the Kosovo Specialist Prosecutor’s Office and the challenges ahead. On 31 January 2018, Jonas Nilsson, team leader of the Mladić case in Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, gave a lecture on ‘The Mladić Trial - An Insider's View’. Both lectures were given in the context of the Supranational Criminal Law (SCL) Lectures Series hosted by the T.M.C. Asser Instituut. The video recordings for both lectures can be viewed here. The report on the Mladić Trial lecture can be found here.
INTERNSHIP VACANCY: We are currently hiring for the International Criminal Law and Legal Aspects of Counter-Terrorismintern Internship position (French required). The intern will work on the International Crimes Database and capacity building projects on International Criminal law and Transnational Criminal Law. The internship will be based at the T.M.C. Asser Instituut in The Hague (Deadline: 3 April 2018).
NEW CASE: The analysis of the plea agreement in the case of United States of America v. Mufid A. Elfgeeh is now available online. Mr. Elfgeeh pleaded guilty in December 2015 to providing material support to a foreign terrorist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). As part of the guilty plea, Mr. Elfgeeh acknowledged he had encouraged support for ISIL via social media, he had been involved in trying to recruit foreign fighters, and he had provided financial assistance.