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News updates

(For news updates older than two weeks, please visit our news archive.)
 
23 November 2017: The trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court will deliver its decision on 15 December 2017 setting the amount of reparations for which Mr. Lubanga is liable. The Trial Chamber found Lubanga guilty in 2012 of the war crime of the enlistment and conscription of children under the age of 15 into the FPLC, a decision confirmed by the Appeals Chamber in 2014.

22 November 2017: 
On 22 November 2017, Ratko Mladic was found guilty by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity during the armed conflict in Bosnia Herzegovina from 1992 to 1995. The Chamber sentenced him to life imprisonment.

22 November 2017: UNHCR report found that multiple men and boys in the Syria crisis were subjected to sexual violence including sexual torture by multiple parties to the conflict. A focus group of refugee women in Jordan estimated that 30 to 40% of all adult men in their community had experienced sexual violence while in detention in Syria. 

21 November 2017: UN Secretary General said in a statement that he was horrified by the reported auctioning of African migrants in Libya as slaves. He added, “Slavery has no place on our world and these actions are among the most egregious abuses of human rights and may amount to crimes against humanity” and asked the relevant UN actors to conduct an investigation.

21 November 2017: The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has formally requested on Monday authorisation to investigate alleged crimes in Afghanistan since 2003. The OTP found a reasonable basis to believe that the following crimes occurred: crimes against humanity and war crimes by the Taliban, war crimes by the Afghan National Security Forces, and war crimes by members of the US armed forces and the CIA in secret detention facilities.

20 November 2017: UN secretary-general António Guterres argued that upholding human rights and the rule of law was the safest way to prevent a vicious circle of instability, and unquestionably a part of the solution in fighting terrorism. He called on foreign governments to prosecute foreign fighters who return to their country instead of killing them in combat.

19 November 2017: The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia will pronounce its last judgment in the Mladić case on 22 November 2017 at 10:00. The accused is indicted for two counts of genocide, five counts of crimes against humanity, and four counts of violations of the laws or customs of war. Pending the outcome of the trial, key information and a timeline and of the case can be found here.

18 November 2017: An Amnesty International report released on Friday claims that both the Islamist insurgents and the Philippines’ military forces may have committed war crimes in the Marawi city 5-month battle. The NGO calls for an independent investigation into the conflict during which more than 1,100 people were killed.   

17 November 2017: Luisa Ortega, ex-Prosecutor General of Venezuela, turned over more than 1,000 pieces of evidence to the International Criminal Court, calling upon the Court to open an investigation into President Nicolas Maduro and four other senior officials for alleged crimes against humanity. In 2006, the OTP had declined to open an investigation but added that the decision could be reconsidered in light of new evidence.

16 November 2017: New report by Human Rights Watch found that since 25 August 2017, Myanmar security forces have committed widespread rape and sexual violence against women and girls as part of a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims in Burma’s Rakhine State. According to the NGO, these violations amount to crimes against humanity and should be investigated by the International Criminal Court.

16 November 2017: Interesting blogpost by Abel Knottnerus on the jurisprudence of the International Criminal Court regarding Omar al-Bashir’s immunity. The author is a PhD researcher at the University of Groningen working on ‘African Presidents and the International Criminal Court’.

15 November 2017: Guernica 37 IJC presented a dossier to the International Criminal Court seeking an investigation into the role of Khalifa Haftar, the leader of the Libyan National Army, in Libya’s ongoing power struggle. The group alleges that Haftar and his forces have committed crimes against humanity, including extensive destructions, torture and murder.

15 November 2017: The International Criminal Court and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture have concluded an agreement for the monitoring of conditions of detention of persons sentenced by the Court. President of the Committee, Mykola Gnatovskyy insisted on the importance for international tribunals to “live up to the high standards that they demand of States in upholding individual rights”.

14 November 2017: Dutch women Laura Hansen was convicted on Monday 13 November of preparing and supporting terrorist acts, and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment by the Court of Rotterdam. She had travelled with her husband and two children to Syria and Iraq in September 2015 to support her family while her husband fought for ISIL.

13 November 2017: New Amnesty International report alleges that forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad in Syria have committed international crimes through their “starve or surrender” strategy and sieges that have devastated areas controlled by the opposition. The report claims that the regime’s strategy of systematically preventing crucial food and medicine supplies from entering civilian areas while mounting bombing campaigns amounts to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

12 November 2017: Ugandan President and current chairman of the East African Community Yoweri Museveni has condemned the International Criminal Court’s decision to launch an investigation into the Burundi conflict. At the invitation of Uganda's government, Sudanese president al-Bashir is expected to visit the country this week, despite the ICC’s arrest warrant against him.

11 November 2017: The presiding judge of the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) rejected the pleas of Ratko Mladic’s defence lawyers to postpone the 22 November 2017 judgment. The defence had contended that Mladic, 75, was no longer mentally and physically competent to appear in court.

10 November 2017: More than 50 Tamil men seeking asylum in Europe claim they were abducted, raped and tortured by government forces in Sri Lanka. The Associated Press conducted interviews with 20 men and reviewed 32 medical and psychological evaluations, alleging that they had been accused by a special police unit of trying to revive the Tamil Tigers.

10 November 2017: On 9 November 2017, the Pre-Trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Court issued a public version of its decision authorizing the prosecutor to open an investigation regarding crimes allegedly committed in Burundi by the government and government-linked groups against political foes from 26 April 2015 to 26 October 2017. The Chamber considered that the prosecutor had presented enough evidence of crimes against humanity to merit a formal investigation, including murder, torture, rape and persecution.

09 November 2017: The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court told the UN Security Council on 08 November that the situation in Libya remains dire and promised to seek new arrest warrants if serious crimes continue to be committed. She also demanded the arrest and transfer of the suspects already subject to arrest warrants, including Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

New cases, briefs and videos

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

NEW VIDEO: New video available online. On 7 June 2017, Dr. Kinga Tibori-Szabó and Megan Hirst provided a lecture at the Asser Institute in the context of the Supranational Criminal Law Lectures Series. The speakers shared their views on the issue of victims’ entitlement to procedural fairness guarantees in the context of international criminal proceedings before the International Criminal Court and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. The video recording can be viewed here and a report on the event can be found here.

NEW CASE: The case analysis of R. c. Habib is now available online. On 19 June 2017, Canadian citizen Ismaël Habib was the first adult found guilty of attempting to leave Canada to participate in the activities of a terrorist group. Even though the accused conceded that he had the primary intent of leaving Canada, there was a dispute on his reasons for doing so. While Mr. Habib argued that he wished to join his first wife and children in Syria, the prosecution contended that the defendant’s intent was to join ISIS and participate in its terrorist activities.

NEW CASE: The case analysis of R v Blackman is now available online. On 15 September 2011 a badly wounded insurgent was killed in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, by Alexander Blackman, then an Acting Colour Sergeant of the Royal Marines. On the basis of apparent premeditation, Blackman was convicted of murder by the court martial. In this appeal, however, the court considered fresh evidence suggesting that Blackman was incapable of making rational judgements or exercising self-control as a result of adjustment disorder and several “exceptional stressors”.

CALL FOR PAPERS: In view of the ICTY closing its door at the end of this year and in an effort not to lose the valuable insights from its former employees, the ICD invites submissions of short articles for publication in the online paper series of the ICD, the ICD Briefs. The call for papers is reserved exclusively for current and former staff of the ICTY. The Briefs are ultimately between 5,000 and 7,500 words (excluding footnotes), relating to any area of international criminal law or jurisprudence. Please send your draft paper to editors@internationalcrimesdatabase.org by 1 March 2018. Please also include a CV with your and indicate when you worked at the ICTY, in what role and in which section. Find out more about the selection process and guidelines for ICD Briefs here.

NEW VIDEOS: New videos available online. These include the only surviving Nurmeberg war crimes prosecutor, Benjamin Ferencz's lecture provided in the context of the Supranational Criminal Law Lecture Series co-organised by the International Humanitarian and Criminal Law Platform on his life dedicated to the pursuit of international criminal justice, and lectures from Guido Acquaviva and Dov Jacobs in the context of the Lebanon lecture series. The video recording of the lecture provided by Benjamin Ferencz can be viewed here and a report on the event can be found here. The video excerpts of Guido Acquaviva's lecture on war crimes can be found here. The video excerpt of Dov Jacobs's lecture on genocide can be found here.

NEW ICD BRIEFNadia Grant, who is a former intern at the T.M.C. Asser Institute and is currently working with Médecins Sans Frontières, has written a new ICD Brief entitled 'Duress as a Defence for Former Child Soldiers? Dominic Ongwen and the International Criminal Court'. You can read the Brief here

NEW CASE: The analysis of the Dutch Supreme Court's judgment in the case of Omar H is now available online. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal against the Court of Appeal's judgment in the case of Omar H, a foreign fighter convicted of training for terrorism. In upholding the Court of Appeal's judgment, the Supreme Court decided that training for terrorism in this context would be interpreted broadly and could include self-study. 

NEW CASE: The analysis of the Sentencing Remarks of Mr. Justice Holroyde in the case of R v Anjem Choudary and Mohammed Rahman is now available online. Mr. Choudary and Mr. Rahman were found guilty by a jury verdict of inviting support for the proscribed terrorist organisation, the Islamic State, by signing an oath of allegiance and publishing a series of lectures online. They were both sentenced to 5.5 years' imprisonment and will be subject to notification requirements for 15 years after their release. 

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. 

NEW CASE: The case analysis of United States of America v. Nader Elhuzayel and Muhanad Badawi is now available online. 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.   

NEW ICD BRIEFLaetitia Ruiz, who is currently a PhD candidate at the International Victimology Institute Tilburg (INTERVICT) at Tilburg University, has written a new ICD Brief entitled 'Gender Jurisprudence for Gender Crimes?'.