On January 15 2019, Mr Laurent Gbagbo, the former head of state of Côte d’Ivoire (2000-2011) and his right-hand man, Charles Blé Goudé, were acquitted from all charges of crimes against humanity that were allegedly committed between 2010 and 2011. Post-electural bloodshed in Côte d’Ivoire in 2010 resulted in the death of about 3,000 people and the displacement of 500,000. Gbagbo was charged with four counts of crimes against humanity: murder, rape, other inhumane acts or – in the alternative – attempted murder, and persecution, allegedly committed during the 2010-2011 post-election violence in Côte d’Ivoire. Gbagbo, who has pleaded not guilty, was taken into custody by the ICC in 2011. He remained in custody for seven years. The trial was a landmark in the history of the ICC. Gbagbo was the highest profile official and the first former head of state, to stand trial at the ICC since the establishment of the Court.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
Violence against women occurs throughout the world. Despite great strides made by the international women’s rights movement over many years, women and girls around the world are still married as children or trafficked into forced labor and sex slavery. They are refused access to education and political participation, and some are trapped in conflicts where rape is perpetrated as a weapon of war. Not to mention sexual violence against women and girls, massive rape and sexual assaults in India, Germany and Brazil. In this blog I will address the UNiTE campaign, goals and the most prominent global norms and standards concerning the ending of violence against women.Read more
In the Netherlands a massive case of internet child abuse has been reveiled this week. A 48 year old man has been arrested and is suspected of online child grooming and sexually abusing hundreds of girls. At least 11 girls stated they have had a meeting with the man and were sexually abused by him. The Dutch police has found 26.000 videos and 144.000 photographs during a raid on his house. The man has been active for eight years. What is online child grooming and what is the International and European policy on combating this form of cyber crime and internet abuse?Read more
Several violent and cruel gang rapes in India and South Africa, and the death of Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot and killed inside the house of her Olympic athlete boyfriend, have brought the issue of violence against women to the public conscience. The tsunami of violence against women has shocked and dismayed people all over the globe and led to public outrage, protests and public debates. How should the Indian criminal justice system be improved? What will it take to end violence against women?Read more
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.Read more
Peace Palace Library Lecture: Documentary Film ‘Justice for Sale ‘ on criminal Justice in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)July 3, 2012
On June 26 2012, The Peace Palace Library held a screening of the award-winning Documentary Film Justice For Sale about the criminal justice system in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by Dutch Documentary filmmakers Ilse & Femke van Velzen . The documentary was introduced by Dr. Janine Ubink, an expert on African legal issues […]Read more
On June 26 2012, The Peace Palace Library held a screening of the award-winning Documentary Film Justice For Sale about the criminal justice system in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by Dutch Documentary filmmakers Ilse & Femke van Velzen . The documentary was introduced by Dr. Janine Ubink, an expert on African legal issues from […]Read more
The Peace Palace Library will present the award winning documentary film Justice For Sale by Ilse and Femke van Velzen about the failing criminal justice system in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Dr. Janine Ubink, senior lecturer at the Law Faculty of Leiden University will give an introduction. She is an expert on African law issues and has published extensively on subjects such as customary law, land rights and traditional legal practices.Read more