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News updates

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

23 September 2022: The Appeals Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) has found Khieu Samphan, the last surviving senior leader of Cambodia’s radical Khmer Rouge regime, guilty of genocide and rejected his appeal against the conviction. The ruling marks the final decision by the court and ends 16 years of work by the UN-backed war crimes tribunal.

22 September 2022: UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has reported that through military and civilian State intelligence agencies, Venezuela is allegedly repressing political opposition by committing crimes against humanity

21 September 2022: The universal jurisdiction case of Alieu Kosiah, sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for his role in the First Liberian civil war from 1989 to 1996, by the Swiss Federal Criminal Court (FCC), will go on appeal in January 2023. It was the first war crimes trial before the FCC and with the amended indictment including charges of crimes against humanity, it will also be the first time that the FCC will try such crimes.

20 September 2022: The UN Human Rights Council has reported on international crimes committed by all sides in the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, that erupted in November 2020. The Ethiopian government allegedly committed crimes against humanity and war crimes and the report warned of "further atrocity crimes".

19 September 2022: The current president of the EU Council, Czech foreign minister Jan Lipavsky, has called for the creation of an international tribunal to prosecute crimes committed in the Ukraine-Russia conflict, including the crime of aggression. 

16 September 2022: A London-based court has ordered the extradition of a suspected war criminal to Croatia from the UK, where he had been quietly living for years. He is suspected of having committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in a prison from August to September 1991 during the Balkan War. 

15 September 2022: As ordered by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Uganda has paid the first instalment of a total of $325 million in reparations to DR Congo as compensation for losses caused by wars in the 1990s when Ugandan troops occupied Congolese territory. The ICJ ruled in 2005 that Uganda had committed international crimes by occupying regions of DR Congo and supporting other armed groups during the conflict. 

14 September 2022: The appeals chamber of the ICC, in The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda case, has ordered the review of a $30 million reparation package for victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity in DR Congo, citing several errors in the Trial Chamber’s decision.

13 September 2022: The UN special rapporteur on the rights situation in Afghanistan, Richard Bennet, has described ‘systematic attacks’ against Shiite communities in Afghanistan, including “arbitrary arrest, torture and displacement”, which could amount to crimes against humanity and other international crimes. 

12 September 2022: Human Rights Watch has urged the United Nations Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution concerning the ongoing extrajudicial killings executed during the Philippine government's “war on drugs”. The ICC has recently requested to resume investigations into these alleged crimes against humanity

09 September 2022: The specialized international crimes section of the Court of Appeal in The Hague has sentenced a former representative of the Derg’s “Red Terror”-regime to life imprisonment for war crimes committed in the Gojjam province of Ethiopia during the 1970s. 

08 September 2022: The Pre-Trial Chamber of the ICC has terminated proceedings against the alleged former Libyan army Lieutenant General Al-Tuhmany Mohamed Khaled following the Prosecution’s notification of his death and request to withdraw the warrants of arrest. He had been accused of committing crimes against humanity and war crimes in Libya between 2011 and 2014.

07 September 2022: A German court has sentenced a member of the extremist group Islamic State (IS) to 10 years in prison for war crimes and murder committed in Syria, including causing serious bodily harm to a prisoner who later died in custody.

06 September 2022: Ukraine’s government urged the EU to support the creation of a special tribunal to prosecute Russian authorities for international law violations, possibly amounting to war crimes, aggression and crimes against humanity. The government highlighted the legal constraints of the ICC investigation into alleged crimes committed in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

05 September 2022: Two genocide suspects will return to court for the continuation of their hearings in substance. The two suspects are accused of various counts of genocide and crimes against humanity for their alleged participation in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.

01 September 2022: The UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) has reported that China’s "arbitrary and discriminatory detention" of Uyghurs and other Muslims in the Xinjiang region under the government’s "counter-terrorism strategy" may constitute crimes against humanity

31 August 2022: Human Rights Watch has stated that the Sri Lankan government should refrain from using counterterrorism laws to charge peaceful protesters and release those in custody. The Prevention of Terrorism Act, allowing for detention without trial for up to a year, has been utilised by authorities to obtain peacefully protesting students. 

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 "Ecocide and the End of the Anthropocene: An Ecocentric Critique of the (Failed) Developments of an International Crime of Ecocide", by Clémentine Dècle-Classen. This Brief is part of the ICD Ecocide Brief Series. 

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.