Special Court for Sierra Leone
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
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.Read more
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.Read more
International criminal law is the part of public international law that deals with the criminal responsibility of individuals for international crimes. A distinction can be made between international crimes which are based on international customary law and therefore apply universally and crimes resulting from specific treaties which criminalize certain conduct and require the contracting states to implement legislation for the criminal prosecution of this conduct in their domestic legal system.Read more