skip navigation

News updates

[Summer programme] Online summer law programme on international criminal law & international legal & comparative approaches to counter-terrorism [Advanced summer programme] Terrorism, counter-terrorism and the rule of law

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

6 July 2022: The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has stated that arbitrary detention of civilians, as well as enforced disappearances, has become widespread in the parts of Ukraine that are under the control of the Russian military and affiliated armed groups.

5 July 2022: The Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya has identified new suspected mass graves in Tarhuna, Libya, and found evidence of widespread and systematic perpetration of enforced disappearances, extermination, murder, torture and imprisonment amounting to crimes against humanity, committed by militias.

4 July 2022: French prosecutors have opened an investigation into allegations of complicity in war crimes against French corporation Groupe Castel. The corporation is suspected of having made payments to local armed militia in the Central African Republic.

1 July 2022: Pre-Trial Chamber 1 of the ICC has issued three arrest warrants in the context of the situation in Georgia with the three individuals being accused of war crimes. The arrest warrants relate to conduct during the 2008 armed conflict between Russia and Georgia. 

28 June 2022: A German court will deliver its verdict in the trial of a 101-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard charged with complicity in war crimes during the Holocaust. Josef Schuetz is accused of involvement in the murders of 3,518 prisoners between 1942 and 1945.

27 June 2022: Ukraine has opened its first trial of a Russian soldier charged with rape. Mikhail Romanov is accused of murdering a civilian and repeatedly raping a 33-year-old woman (the wife), Romanov will be tried in absentia.

23 June 2022: The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar stated that the military's attacks against civilians amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes and urges the international community to address the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar

21 June 2022: Belgium has repatriated six Belgian women and 16 children linked to ISIS from a camp in northeastern Syria. The women had already been convicted in Belgium for participating in the activities of an armed group and were handed over to Belgian court services upon arrival.

18 June 2022: The Federal Police of Germany has announced to be investigating several hundred potential Russian war crimes in Ukraine, including political and military officials suspected of being linked to the alleged offenses. The investigations fall under the principle of universal jurisdiction.

17 June 2022: The Appeals Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) has sentenced Hassan Habib Merhi and Hussein Hassan Oneissi to life imprisonment. Earlier, Mr. Merhi and Mr. Oneissi were convicted (in absentia) for conspiracy to commit a terrorist act, being accomplices to a terrorist act and (attempted) intentional homicide.

16 June 2022: The Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has terminated the proceedings against Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf Al-Werfalli following the Prosecution’s notification of his death and request to withdraw the warrants of arrest. Mr. Al-Werfalli was alleged to have directly committed and to have ordered the commission of murder as war crime in Libya between 2016 and 2018.

15 June 2022: The Trial Chamber of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) has found that 87-year-old Felicien Kabuga is fit to stand trial after the defense tried to halt the proceedings on health grounds. Kabuga, an alleged financier of the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda, is accused of genocide, incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity

14 June 2022: In a new report, Amnesty International has stated that the shelling of the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv with cluster munitions by Russia constitutes a war crime. During the attacks hundreds of civilians were killed, allegedly violating the principle of distinction of international humanitarian law that prohibits indiscriminate attacks.

New cases, briefs and videos

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

NEW BRIEF: A new ICD Brief is available on the International Crimes Database entitled "The Crime of Ecocide Through Human Rights: A New Tool for Climate Justice", by Lisa Oldring and Kate Mackintosh. This Brief is part of the ICD Ecocide Brief Series. 

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.