Droit pénal international

Introduction

International Criminal Law - Research Guide International Law

Le droit pénal international au sens strict est une partie du droit international public qui concerne la responsabilité pénale des individus pour des crimes internationaux. Les quatre principaux crimes internationaux, à savoir les crimes pour lesquels les tribunaux internationaux sont compétents en vertu du droit international, sont : le génocide, les crimes contre l'humanité, les crimes de guerre et les crimes d'agression. Les autres crimes considérés comme des crimes internationaux comprennent entre autres le terrorisme, les disparitions forcées, la torture, l'apartheid, l'esclavage, le mercenarisme et la piraterie. Le droit pénal international trouve son origine à la fois dans le droit international et le droit pénal et est étroitement lié à d'autres domaines du droit international. Les plus importants d'entre eux sont celui des droits de l'homme et celui du droit international humanitaire, ainsi que le droit sur la responsabilité des États. Les sources du droit pénal international sont les mêmes que celles du droit international général mentionnés à l'article 38(1) du statut de la Cour internationale de justice :  les traités, la coutume internationale, les principes généraux du droit, les décisions judiciaires et la doctrine écrite pas des universitaires de renom. Jusqu'à la création des tribunaux de Nuremberg et de Tokyo après la deuxième guerre mondiale, le droit pénal international consistait surtout en une coopération entre États visant à la lutte contre la délinquance et était centré sur l'extradition. Les tribunaux de Nuremberg et de Tokyo annoncent la naissance du droit pénal international actuel, à savoir la poursuite d'individus devant des tribunaux internationaux pour des crimes internationaux. Au début des années quatre-vingt-dix du siècle précédent, le droit pénal international a bénéficié d'un coup d'accélérateur avec l'établissement du Tribunal pénal international pour l'ancienne Yougoslavie et du Tribunal pénal international pour le Rwanda par le conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies.  De même, la création de différents tribunaux pénaux internationalisés ou mixtes et les propositions de la Commission du droit international, qui ont donné naissance à la création de la Cour pénale internationale en 2002, ont contribué au développement rapide du droit pénal international au cours des deux dernières décennies.

Le présent guide de recherche se veut un point de départ pour mener des recherches en droit pénal international. Il fournit les textes juridiques de base disponibles à la Bibliothèque du Palais de la Paix, qu'il s'agisse de documents imprimés ou de documents sous format électronique. La section intitulée "Bibliographie sélective" présente une sélection de manuels, d'articles importants, de bibliographies, de publications périodiques, de publications en série et de documents pertinents. Des liens permettent de rejoindre le catalogue PPL. Le code de classification de la bibliothèque 248. Ouvrages généraux et le mot-matière (mot-clef) Droit pénal international sont des instruments permettant de faire une recherche dans le catalogue. Une attention particulière est prêtée à nos inscriptions aux bases de données, revues électroniques, livres électroniques et autres ressources électroniques. Enfin, le présent guide de recherche contient des liens vers des sites Internet pertinents et d'autres ressources en ligne présentant un intérêt particulier.

Bibliographie

Reference works

Books

2017-2018

Before 2017

Articles

Documents

Periodicals and Serial Publications

Bibliographies

Systematic classification → International criminal law

 

New titles

Updated every Friday morning.

The Peace Palace Library has a collection of over a million publications. Each week, about six hundred new titles are added to our collection: books, articles, documents, online publications, etc. On this page, access is provided to this week’s new titles on International criminal law and criminal procedure. It covers a wide variety of topics which include, international crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression; international criminal tribunals: Nuremberg and Tokyo International Military Tribunals, International Criminal Court, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Iraqi Special Tribunal, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Special Court for Sierra Leone, Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Other subjects in this section include, among others: child soldiers; women and sex crimes; individual criminal responsibility; Residual mechanism; Rome Statute; superior orders; victims; and universal jurisdiction.


1. Internationales Strafrecht
Internationales Strafrecht : Strafanwendungsrecht - Völkerstrafrecht - Europäisches Strafrecht - Rechtshilfe / von Dr. Dr. h.c. Kai Ambos. - 5., völlig überarbeitete und erweiterte Auflage / unter Mitarbeit von Dr. Alexander Heinze, Dipl.-Jurist Christopher Penkuhn. - München : C.H. Beck, 2018. - LXI, 742 pages. ; 25 cm. - (Große Lehrbücher) Includes bibliographical references and an index. - 2018
Keywords: International criminal procedure, European criminal law, European criminal procedure, Manuals,

2. Prosecuting Sexual Violence at the Cambodian War Crimes Tribunal: Challenges, Limitations, and Implications
Prosecuting Sexual Violence at the Cambodian War Crimes Tribunal: Challenges, Limitations, and Implications / Douglas Irvin-Erickson In: Human Rights Quarterly = ISSN 0275-0392: vol. 40, issue 3, page 570-590. - 2018
Keywords: Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Sex crimes, Prosecution,

3. Criminal Responsibility for Omissions in ICTY and ICTR Jurisprudence
Criminal Responsibility for Omissions in ICTY and ICTR Jurisprudence / Ines Peterson In: International Criminal Law Review = ISSN 1567-536X: vol. 18, issue 5, page 749-787. - 2018
Keywords: International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, International crimes, Criminal liability, Obligations,

4. Recharacterisation of Crimes and the Principle of Fair Labelling in International Criminal Law
Recharacterisation of Crimes and the Principle of Fair Labelling in International Criminal Law / Talita de Souza Dias In: International Criminal Law Review = ISSN 1567-536X: vol. 18, issue 5, page 788-821. - 2018
Keywords: International criminal law, Legality, Human rights,

5. The Offence of Terrorist Financing; Why Does It Go Wrong
The Offence of Terrorist Financing; Why Does It Go Wrong / Hamed Tofangsaz In: International Criminal Law Review = ISSN 1567-536X: vol. 18, issue 5, page 822-852. - 2018
Keywords: Terrorism, Finances, International crimes,

6. Towards an Intersectional Understanding of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence: Gender, Sexuality, and Ethnicity at the ICTY
Towards an Intersectional Understanding of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence: Gender, Sexuality, and Ethnicity at the ICTY / Maike Isaac, Olga Jurasz In: International Criminal Law Review = ISSN 1567-536X: vol. 18, issue 5, page 853-882. - 2018
Keywords: International crimes, Sex crimes, Gender, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia,

7. The Problem of the Authority of the International Criminal Court
The Problem of the Authority of the International Criminal Court / Clare Frances Moran In: International Criminal Law Review = ISSN 1567-536X: vol. 18, issue 5, page 883-901. - 2018
Keywords: United Nations, Security Council, International criminal law,

8. 50 years after Russell: an interview with Tariq Ali
50 years after Russell: an interview with Tariq Ali / Tor Krever In: London Review of International Law = ISSN 2050-6333: vol. 5, issue 3, page 493-500. - 2017
Keywords: Vietnam, Vietnam War, War crimes, International criminal tribunals,

9. Remembering the Russell Tribunal
Remembering the Russell Tribunal / Tor Krever In: London Review of International Law = ISSN 2050-6333: vol. 5, issue 3, page 483-492. - 2017
Keywords: Vietnam, Vietnam War, War crimes, International criminal tribunals,

10. Genocidal Takings and the FSIA: Jurisdictional Limitations
Genocidal Takings and the FSIA: Jurisdictional Limitations / Françoise N. Djoukeng In: Georgetown Law Journal = ISSN 2159-7707: vol. 106, issue 6, page 1883-1913. - 2018
Keywords: Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, Expropriation, Genocide, Criminal jurisdiction, War reparations,

11. Universal Jurisdiction and Syria: A Treaty Based Expansion of Universal Jurisdiction as a Solution to Impunity
Universal Jurisdiction and Syria: A Treaty Based Expansion of Universal Jurisdiction as a Solution to Impunity / Shelby Black In: International Trade and Business Law Review = ISSN 1836-8573: vol. 21, page 177-203. - 2018
Keywords: Civil wars, War crimes, Impunity, International Criminal Court, Universal jurisdiction, Customary international law, Aut dedere aut judicare, Criminal jurisdiction,

12. War Crimes, or When International Law Moved ahead of Domestic Law
War Crimes, or When International Law Moved ahead of Domestic Law / Eulalia W. Petit de Gabriel In: Spanish Yearbook of International Law = ISSN 2211-6125: vol. 20, page 119-160. - 2016
Keywords: United States of America, War crimes, Criminal liability, Criminal jurisdiction, Comparative criminal law, International criminal law,

Choix de bibliothécaire

  • Yanev, L.D., Theories of Co-perpetration in International Criminal Law, Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2018.

    The proper construction of co-perpetration responsibility in international criminal law has become one of the most enduring controversies in this field, with the UN Tribunals endorsing the theory of joint criminal enterprise, and the International Criminal Court adopting the alternative joint control over the crime theory to define this mode of liability. This book seeks to reconcile the ICTY/R’s and ICC’s jurisprudence by providing a definition of co-perpetration that could be uniformly applied in the two justice models that these institutions represent: the ad hoc- and the treaty-based model. An evaluation framework is adopted, pursuant to which the origins, merits and deficiencies of the said competing theories are critically assessed, and a refined legal framework of co-perpetration responsibility is proposed.

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  • Kittichaisaree, K., The Obligation to Extradite or Prosecute, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2018.

    Kittichaisaree The obligation to extradite or prosecute

    Prosecution of serious crimes of international concern has been few and far between before and even after the establishment of the International Criminal Court in 2002. Hope thus rests with the implementation of the international legal obligation for States to either extradite or prosecute such perpetrators among themselves or surrender them to a competent international criminal court. This obligation was considered by the United Nations International Law Commission (ILC) which submitted its final report in 2014. Kittichaisaree, Chairman of the ILC Working Group on that topic, not only provides a guide to the final report, offering an analysis of the subject and a unique summary of its drafting history, he also covers important issues left unanswered by the report, including the customary international legal status of the obligation, the role of the universal jurisdiction, immunities of State officials, and impediments to the surrender of offenders to international criminal courts. Authoritative, encyclopaedic, and essential to those in the field, The Obligation to Extradite or Prosecute also offers practical solutions as to the road ahead.

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  • Bergsmo, M., Rackwitz, K. and Tianying, S. (eds.), Historical Origins of International Criminal Law, Brussels, Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher, 2017.

    Bergsmo, M., Rackwitz, K. and Tianying, S. (eds.), Historical Origins of International Criminal Law, Brussels, Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher, 2017.
    Editors' Preface:
    "This book seeks to make two contributions. First, the development of national capacity to investigate and prosecute core international crimes–genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression–will continue for several decades into the future. (...) The book has been organised in four autonomous parts:
    Part I contains 41 individual expert opinions on investigations, prosecutions and questions of management, staffing and operations;
    Part II has three reports produced by groups of experts;
    Part III concerns the draft Code of Conduct and Regulations of the Office of the Prosecutor;
    Part IV explains some aspects of its first budget.
    (...) The second contribution we seek to make with this book is to open up this interesting interregnum to analysis and research, based on sound facts chronicled by first-hand materials. As such, the book contributes towards the institutional history of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor at the time of its birth. It is for this reason that the book appears as Volume 5 of Historical Origins of International Criminal Law."
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Database

Blogs

  • Argentina To Report Venezuela to the ICC for Alleged Crimes Against Humanity

    On August 20, the President of Argentina, Mr. Mauricio Macri, announced during a press meeting that he intends to report Venezuela to the International Criminal Court (ICC) over alleged crimes against humanity. President Macri stated that his plans to refer the Venezuelan government to the ICC are supported by Colombia, Chile and Paraguay. If Argentina succeeds, it will be the first time in history that a state party to the Rome Statute refers a fellow member to the ICC.

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  • International Criminal Tribunal of Bangladesh (ICTB) sentences 4 persons to death for war crimes committed during 1971 war.

    On 17 July 2018 International Crimes Tribunal-1 of the International Criminal Tribunal of Bangladesh (ICTB) sentenced four persons to death for crimes against humanity and genocide which were committed during the 9-month war of independence of Bangladesh in 1971. This civil war resulted in mass killings, persecutions, deaths, sexual violence and displacements and genocide by the Pakistan armed forces and paramilitary groups that collaborated with them. The four accused, residents of Moulavibazar, resisted the idea of an independent Bangladesh and were affiliated in a local para military force that collaborated with the Pakistan armed forces. The crimes took place in Pachgaon village, Paschimbag village, Moulaviazar Town and at Rajanagar Police station in 1971 against those who were in favor of a liberated Bangladesh. All four have been found guilty of committing genocide of 59 Hindu villagers, raping 6 Hindu women, looting around 102 houses and setting more than 132 houses on fire in 1971.

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  • Men and Boys as Hidden Victims of Sexual Violence

    Generally, victims of rape and other types of sexual violence are reluctant to speak out. Unfortunately, exclusion and stigmatization are the unavoidable corollary of acts of sexual violence. While there still is limited awareness, focus and advocacy on women’s rights in sexually violent circumstances, it is even less so when men are the victims of these crimes. Reflections on the male victims’ perspective to sexual violence in unrest inspired Sophia Ugwu and her team at Centre for African Justice Peace and Human Rights, a non-profit Foundation based in The Hague, to organise a Symposium on sexual violence perpetrated against the Male gender.

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  • The ESMA Mega Trial: Crimes against Humanity during the Last Dictatorship in Argentina 1976-1983

    This blog has been written by Argentinean lawyer Federico Gaitan Hairabedian. From 2014 to 2017, he has taken on the role of a plaintiff attorney for CELS (Centre of Legal and Social Studies) in the ESMA Mega-case for the crimes committed at the Naval School of Mechanical Engineering (ESMA) representing the victims and families of those disappeared during the military dictatorship in Argentina between 1976-1983. ESMA functioned as an illegal, secret detention center during the so-called National Reorganization Process. It was the largest detention center for thousands of instances of forced disappearance, torture, and illegal execution.

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  • Mali War Crimes Suspect Mr. Al Hassan Makes Initial Appearance Before the ICC

    After the Al Mahdi case, a landmark trial, a second case has been referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Timbuktu, Mali between 2012 and 2013. Another Malian national, 40-year-old Mr Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud, faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He has been accused of destroying holy places, mausoleums of Muslim saints in Timbuktu and of enforcing a policy of forced marriage which had led to sexual slavery and rape of women and girls. The alleged crimes were committed between 2012 and 2013 when Timbuktu was under the control of militant islamists. From April 2012 until January 2013, Mr Al Hassan was head of the Islamic Police.

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  • Perspectives on Mass Violence: Peace and Conflict Studies and Genocide Studies Compared

    This week’s compelling guest blog compares the fields of Conflict Studies with Genocide Studies, its intriguing differences and similarities and the general lack of cross-pollination between them, even though they both deal with questions of collective violence and individual participation in violence. The author, Kjell Anderson, is a jurist and social scientist and works in both fields of Conflict Studies and Genocide studies.

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  • Former Nazi Officer's Plea for Mercy Rejected

    The mercy plea of Oskar Gröning, a 96-year-old former Nazi officer, has been denied. On July 15, 2015, Mr Gröning, who is also called the ‘bookkeeper of Auschwitz’, was condemned of being “guilty of aiding and abetting murder in three hundred thousand legally concurrent cases”, referring to the 300,000 murders that took place in the Nazi death camp Auschwitz during the Second World War. During the trial of 2015, Oskar Gröning expressly admitted moral guilt, but not criminal guilt.

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  • ICTY Sentences Ratko Mladić to Life Imprisonment

    Ratko Mladić, the former commander of the Bosnian Serb army and one-time fugitive from international justice, has been sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague. The “Butcher of Bosnia” to his enemies and critics, Mladić was the most notorious of the ICTY’s 161 indictees, along with former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadžić and late Serbian President Slobodan Milosević. The ICTY convicted Mladić of crimes it labelled as some of the “most heinous” in human history, in one of the highest profile war crimes cases since the post-World War Two Nuremberg trials of Germany’s Nazi leadership.

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  • Are Syria and Iraq the Middle Eastern Bloodlands?

    Deir az-Zor is a sleepy town on the banks of the Euphrates in the Syrian desert, and did not ring much of a bell for most non-Syrians. Except for Armenians. During the 1915 Armenian Genocide, the Ottoman government deported hundreds of thousands of Ottoman Armenians to Deir az-Zor, where they were left to die or were killed outright. A German diplomat who was stationed in that area wrote that the Armenians were “slaughtered like sheep”. To the casual observer this looked allegorical or even hyperbolical, in any case unreal, removed far away in geography, time, and culture. Until recent times, when ISIS videos surfaced online. And again the desert soil of Deir az-Zor shone red with blood, and once more the word ‘Deir az-Zor’ served as a symbol of bloodshed.

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  • An Ad Hoc Hybrid Special Court for Sri Lanka: What Does It Take?

    On 16 September 2015, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka issued two reports on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka. Their recommendation: the creation of an ad hoc hybrid special court to try war crimes and crimes against humanity. Which crimes were committed and how did the international community reach such a recommendation? This post will take a look at the civil war which plagued Sri Lanka for 25 years, the subsequent international response and finally, what does it take to create an ad hoc hybrid tribunal?

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  • AAIL-AFIL Distinguished Lecture Series

    The African Association of International Law and the African Foundation for International Law are organizing the second lecture in the AAIL-AFIL Lecture Series in association with the Hague Academy of International Law. The lecture will take place on 19 June 2015 at 6.00 p. m. in the Historical Reading Room at the Peace Palace. The lecture will be followed by a reception. Earlier this month, on June 3, Justice Hassan B. Jallow addressed the United Nations Security Council and presented a progress report on the work of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

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  • International Corporate Criminal Liability at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon: Prosecutor v. Karma Al Khayat and Al Jadeed

    On Thursday the 16th of April, the trial against journalist Karma Al Khayat and television network Al Jadeed started at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) in Leidschendam, the Netherlands. Both Ms. Karma Al Khayat and Al Jadeed are charged with contempt of court and obstruction of justice. Because the alleged crimes are media-related and the accused have argued that the trial threatens the freedom of press, the case has already attracted much attention. However, what is more striking is the fact that this is the first time a legal person is prosecuted by an international or internationalized criminal court.

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  • A Supreme Offence against International Morality and the Sanctity of Treaties: William II of Hohenzollern and the Treaty of Versailles

    Early during World War I, jurists and statesmen in both France and Great-Britain, such as Larnaude and Lapradelle, had advocated the German Emperor William II to be arrested and brought to trial. The principle that military officers should be held personally responsible for orders in violation of the laws and customs of war, if pushed to its logical limits, would render commanders-in-chief, that is heads of State, liable for illegal acts for which they are responsible, directly or indirectly. And in Germany, there was one commander-in-chief: the Emperor William II.

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  • Crimes against Cultural Property in Mali

    In an earlier Peace Palace Library blog (Cultucide in Timbuktu: Shari’a and war crimes) Ingrid Kost wrote that the Islamist Group Ansar (Ed)dine (“Defenders of the Faith”) destroyed some of the age-old mausolea of Sufi Saints in Timbuktu, Mali. One of the major causes of destruction of cultural property (the illicit trading, stealing and looting of cultural property is not covered in this blog) over the ages has been armed conflict. Crimes against cultural property should therefore be addressed properly.

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  • Achievements of the ICTY

    Twenty years ago the United Nations Security Council unanimously adapted Resolution 827. With this resolution the international community envisaged to put to trial those individuals that were alleged to be responsible for grave crimes against humanity, infractions of international humanitarian law and the law of war which have been committed during the Yugoslav wars (1991-1999). The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), was the first ad hoc criminal tribunal that came into existence since the erection of the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals after World War II.

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  • Homeland, Zero Dark Thirty and Jack Bauer: Rendition, Torture and the Demise of American Values

    The latest in a series of Hollywood productions which reopened a debate about torture and extraordinary rendition is Zero Dark Thirty. Real life variations of Hollywood-scenarios have been unfolding as the US government has engaged in a program of extraordinary rendition since the Clinton Administration and which became widespread under the Bush Administration following the September 11 terrorist attacks.This blog examines Obama’s policy towards torture and (extraordinary) rendition.

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  • The International Criminal Prosecution Of Gender Crimes

    When we first think about wars and armed conflicts, we very often think about battlefields, burned villages, wounded soldiers, air-bombs and tanks. We tend to forget that civilians, women and children in particular, are at the centre of warfare and frequently fall victim to sexual violence in staggering numbers. The international community and the UN Security Council have established that gender crimes are part of the most serious of international crimes and should therefore be of great concern to the international community as a whole. In spite of this, international crimes involving sexual violence continue to be one of the most difficult crimes to prosecute.

    This blog will briefly discuss the international criminal prosecution of gender crimes by various international legal institutions.

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  • The ICC's 10th Anniversary

    Ten years ago, on 1 July 2002 the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) entered into force. At the moment there are 121 States Parties to the Rome Statute. The ICC is the first permanent international court for the prosecution of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

    What has been achieved by the Court since 2002?

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  • Cultucide in Timbuktu: Shari’a and War Crimes

    Last weekend the Islamist Group Ansar Eddine (“Defenders of the Faith”) destroyed some of the age-old mausolea of Sufi Saints in Timbuktu. Despite the fact that recently on June 28 2012, these mausolea were placed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger.

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  • The African Union and the International Criminal Court

    The handling of the ICC arrest warrant against the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir continues to create major problems for the African Union. The planned attendance by Al-Bashir of the 19th AU Summit in Malawi coming July and the threat of the Malawi government to arrest him if he did attend has forced the African Union to move the summit to its headquarters in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.

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  • Judgment in the Trial of Former Liberian President Charles Taylor

    On Thursday 26 April, Trial Chamber II of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) delivered its verdict in the case against Charles Taylor, former president of Liberia. Taylor was found criminally responsible of aiding and abetting rebel forces in the commission of 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international humanitarian law in neighboring Sierra Leone during its civil war.

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  • The International Criminal Court Delivers Judgment on Child Soldiers

    On Wednesday 14 March, Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) delivered it’s first verdict. In a unanimous decision three judges convicted Thomas Lubanga Dyilo of the war crimes of conscripting, enlisting, and using children under the age of 15 to participate actively in hostilities. With this judgment the ICC firmly establishes the use of children in armed conflict as an international crime and also focuses renewed attention on the many thousands of children still used in various other conflicts in the world.

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  • Eichmann Trial 50 years

    Lecture in the Peace Palace Library on the Eichmann trial, that took place 50 yeras ago.

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  • Ratko Mladić's arrest and the ICTY

    It was all over the news that Ratko Mladić, one of two remaining the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) fugitives, was arrested on Thursday 26th of May in the village of Lazarevo, northern Serbia. After 16 years on the run, the arrest of this Colonel General, former Commander of the Main Staff […]

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  • Libya and the International Criminal Court (ICC)

    On February 16th 2011- following a wave of uprisings throughout the Middle-East- Libya experienced a so-called Day of Rage which led to protests breaking out to challenge Colonel Muammar Qadhafi’s 41 year old iron rule- the region’s longest. This blog will briefly discuss the actions taken by the United Nations Security Council and the ICC in response to the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Libya.

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  • Dresden 1945: An Allied War Crime?

    Since 1945, the bombing of Dresden is considered by many as a violation of international law and as a crime against humanity, even though positive rules of international humanitarian law were absent at the time. The Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, were among the first formal statements of the laws of war and war crimes in the nascent body of international law. However these conventions, adressing the codes of wartime conduct on land and at sea, were adopted before the rise of air power. Despite repeated diplomatic attempts (→ The Hague Rules of Air Warefare 1922/1923) to update international humanitarian law to include aerial warfare, it was not done before the outbreak of World War II. The absence of positive international humanitarian law does not mean that the laws of war did not cover aerial warfare, but there was no general agreement of how to interpret those laws. The aerial bombardment of Dresden does not only raise the question as to whether or not it was an Allied war crime, but it also makes a moral appeal to prevent total war against civilian populations. It’s memory is kept alive.

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  • Arabian leaders try to tackle tension in Lebanon

    King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and Syrian President Bashar Assad visited Beirut on Friday 30th July in a show of unity before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s indictments in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Lebanon’s president, prime minister and parliamentary speaker stood side by side to receive the heads of state as they descended from a Saudi jet onto a red carpet at Rafik Hariri International Airport. The visit appeared to be an attempt to quell anxiety in Lebanon that followed a speech last week by Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the militant group Hezbollah, in which he denied links between his party and Hariri’s death.

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  • Karadžić located and arrested

    During the night of the 21st of July Radovan Karadžić was located and arrested by Serbian security officers.

    Radovan Karadžić is charged with genocide for the murder of close to 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995. The indictment alleges that Radovan Karadžić also committed genocide, persecutions and other crimes when forces under his command killed non-Serbs during and after attacks on towns throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    The arrest of Radovan Karadžić was welcomed as a “milestone” by war crimes prosecutors of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia [ICTY]in The Hague.

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  • Judgement of the ICTY Appeals Chamber in the 'Dubrovnik' Case

    On Thursday, 17 July, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) rendered its judgement [PDF document] on the appeals of both the Prosecution and the Defense against the conviction and sentence of the former Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) General Pavle Strugar (Case No. IT-01-42-A).

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  • ICC Prosecutor Presents Second Case on Crimes in Darfur

    On Monday, 14 July, Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo of the International Criminal Court (ICC) filed an application for an arrest warrant and submitted to the Judges of the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber evidence of crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Darfur by the Sudanese President, Omar Hassan al-Bashir (Read here the Application for warrant of arrest [PDF]).

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Systematic classification → International criminal law