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News updates

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

22 July 2016:
 On 22 July 2016, the District Court in The Hague issued its judgments in the cases concerning four men who were charged with committing terrorist crimes in 2012-2014. At the time of judgment, they were presumed to still be in Syria. The Court found that the men joined IS, Jabhat al-Nusra or another jihadist armed group. They were all convicted of participating in a criminal organisation with a terrorist objective. In addition, they were found guilty of preparation for terrorist crimes. It was also established that one had joined a training camp for the armed jihad (with another person acquitted on this charge) and two others were found guilty of incitement to commit terrorist crimes (with a third person acquitted on this charge). The men were each sentenced to six years' imprisonment. The four judgments - for now only available in Dutch - can be found here, here, here and here

22 July 2016: The United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has urged other countries fighting the Islamic State to do more to gather evidence of war crimes. Mr Johnson proposed a UK summit to examine how to tackle this issue and emphasized that more needed to be done to collect evidence in territory the group has lost.

22 July 2016:
 The appeal in the case of Prosecutor v Radovan Karadzic has been filed. The notice of appeal contains 50 grounds of appeal against the original judgment issued on 24 March 2016, where Radovan Karadzic was found guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity, and violations of the laws or customs of war.

21 July 2016: A new Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International Report on Ukraine has identified examples of torture and secret detention from parties to both sides of the conflict. The report found that the Ukrainian authorities and pro-Kiev paramilitary groups have detained civilians suspected of involvement with or supporting Russian-backed separatists, while the separatist forces have detained civilians suspected of supporting or spying for the Ukrainian government.

20 July 2016: A report reveals that German federal prosecutors are currently pursuing more than 130 cases against foreign fighters in connection with the civil wars in Iraq and Syria, with an additional 50 cases so far referred to state prosecutors.

18 July 2016:  The Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal has sentenced three men to death and five men to life sentences for crimes against humanity. The charges included rape, murder, confinement and torture of unarmed civilians.

17 July 2016: Today marked International Criminal Justice Day, to mark the anniversary of the signing of the Rome Statute in 1998.

15 July 2016: El Salvador’s Supreme Court’s has voted 4-1 to overturn an amnesty‬ law in place covering its 12 year civil war.The ruling made it clear that amnesty was lifted for not only those accused of directly committing crimes, but also the command structures of the military and guerrilla forces who gave the orders.

12 July 2016:   Yesterday, the Appeals Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) issued a decision in which it reversed the Trial Chamber’s decision to continue the trial against Mr Mustafa Amine Badreddine in the Ayyash et al. case and ordered the Trial Chamber to terminate the proceedings against Mr Badreddine. By majority, the Appeals Chamber found that there was sufficient evidence presented before the Trial Chamber to prove the death of Mr Badreddine.

New cases, briefs and videos

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

NEW ICD BRIEF: Laetitia Ruiz  currently a PhD candidate at the International Victimology Institute Tilburg (INTERVICT), Tilburg University has written a new ICD Brief titled "Gender Jurisprudence For Gender Crimes?

NEW CASE:  The case of Prosecutor v. Imane B. et al.  otherwise known as the 'Context case' is now online. In this large terrorism case known as the ‘Context’ case, nine individuals were found guilty of various ‪‎terrorism‬ offences, ranging from online incitement to the recruitment of individuals to travel to Syria. This case arose out of investigations into the flow of foreign fighters from the Netherlands, that is, people heading to Syria in order to join various terrorist groups, including ‪#‎ISIS‬ and al-Nusra,.... The Prosecution successfully argued that an organisation existed in the Netherlands that aimed at recruiting other people to support terrorist groups in Syria and to travel to join the fighting. The case also looked into the use of social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, and its role in recruiting individuals

The nine accused, including several individuals who had travelled to Syria, faced charges concerning the incitement to join terrorist groups, the dissemination of inciting materials, the recruitment of people to travel to Syria, the participation in training to commit terrorist crimes, participation in a criminal and terrorist organisation and other charges relating to inciting hate and defamation. The defendants were all convicted of differing offences and their sentences range from seven days’ to six years’ imprisonment.

An analysis of the judgment can be found here.

: The case of Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Radmilo Vuković aka Rade is now available online. Radmilo Vuković was charged with war crimes against civilians in 2006. In his capacity as member of the military forces of the so-called Serb Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, also known as “Republika Srpska”, Vuković allegedly raped a woman from the Foča municipality. On 13 August 2008, the Appeals Panel of the War Crimes section of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina did not find Vuković guilty, because the main piece of evidence provided by the victim and presented before the Appellate Panel contained inconsistencies. Therefore, it could not be established beyond reasonable doubt that Vuković raped the woman.

CALL FOR INTERNS: The T.M.C. Asser Instituut in The Hague is looking for two full-time interns, for a period of six months, for recently graduated or advanced law students specialising in public international law, and more specifically in counter-terrorism, international criminal law, international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Students who wish to apply should send their letter of motivation and CV (in Europass format), in English and MS-Word only, to before 9 March 18:00 The Hague time. Interviews will take place in the third week of March (14-15 March). The envisaged starting date is 21 March 2016. For more information see here.

NEW CASE: The case of United States v. William L. Calley Jr. is now available online. William Laws Calley Jr. was born on 8 June 1943 in Miami, Florida. Calley was a former army officer in the United States and found guilty of war crimes involving the killing hundreds of unarmed, innocent South Vietnamese civilians in the My Lai Massacre on 16 March 1968, during the Vietnam War. After several reductions, Calley’s original sentence of life in prison was turned into an order of house arrest, but after three years, President Nixon reduced his sentence with a presidential pardon.

NEW CASE: The case of Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Slavko Šakić is now available online. Slavko Šakić was born on 18 November 1972 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In July 1993, he allegedly detained a number of Bosnian Muslims in a motel in Bugojno, taking their money and jewellery. Šakić was also suspected of having inflicted physical injuries on some of the detained civilians. On 5 September 2008, Šakić concluded an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina according to which he admitted guilt for the alleged crimes. On 29 October 2008, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina found Šakić guilty of war crimes against civilians and sentenced him to eight years and six months in prison.

NEW CASE: The case of Doe et al. v. Constant is now available online. Emmanuel Constant was the founder of the Revolutionary Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti (FRAPH), a death squad that terrorised supporters of Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide who was overthrown in September 1991. Members of the FRAPH killed, put in prison, and abused supporters of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide during the military regime that ruled Haiti between September 1991 and October 1994. Constant, as the leader of FRAPH, was found guilty of torture, crimes against humanity, and the systematic use of violence against women committed during the military regime and sentenced to life imprisonment. He was ordered to pay $19 million in damages to three women who survived the crimes committed under Constant’s control.