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War crimes

  • ICTY Judge Alphons Orie

    Interview: ICTY Judge Alphons Orie

    July 25, 2013

    The editors of the Peace Palace Library Newsletter are very pleased to publish an interview with Judge Alphons Orie of the International Criminal Tribunal of the Former Yugoslavia. This year, the ICTY celebrates its 20th anniversary and for this reason, it might be interesting to learn first-hand from an ‘insider’ about the Tribunal’s achievements, its failures and its possible role and contribution to the development of international criminal law.

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  • Crimes against Cultural Property in Mali

    January 18, 2013

    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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  • Peace Palace Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize 2012 awarded to War Child

    Peace Palace Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize 2012 awarded to War Child

    November 15, 2012

    On November 15 2012 War Child received the Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize. The Carnegie Foundation awarded the Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize to War Child for the global efforts that War Child has made on behalf of children and young people in (former) conflict. War Child is an independent humanitarian organization that since 1995 has committed itself to helping children and youngsters that have been affected by war to attain a peaceful future. With a creative approach War Child helps children and teens deal with their war experiences.

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  • Silenced Women- Gender Crimes

    The International Criminal Prosecution Of Gender Crimes

    July 23, 2012

    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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  • Charles Taylor

    Judgment in the Trial of Former Liberian President Charles Taylor

    April 26, 2012

    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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  • Child Soldiers in Congo

    The International Criminal Court Delivers Judgment on Child Soldiers

    March 16, 2012

    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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  • International Criminal Law

    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.

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  • Eichmann Trial 50 years

    October 10, 2011

    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

    May 30, 2011

    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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  • Dresden 1945

    Dresden 1945: An Allied War Crime?

    February 18, 2011

    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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