The International Criminal Court


How The Hague Courts and Tribunals Protect Human Rights
Brookings Institution
4 April 2013


For the last twenty years, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has given a voice to victims as it prosecuted those accused of grave human rights abuses in the Yugoslav conflict. The International Criminal Court (ICC), established just over ten years ago, also plays a vital role in holding violators responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. These anniversaries provide a valuable opportunity to reflect on the past and look to the future of international courts and tribunals and how they promote and protect human rights globally.
On April 4, the Managing Global Order Project at Brookings and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands hosted a discussion to take stock of the ability of the ICTY, the ICC, and other international and regional justice mechanisms to hold leaders accountable for grave human rights abuses. Panelists included: Fatou Bensouda, prosecutor for the International Criminal Court; Theodor Meron, president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and its successor the United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals; and Ambassador Stephen Rapp, ambassador-at-large for War Crimes Issues at the U.S. Department of State. Senior Fellow Ted Piccone, deputy director of Foreign Policy at Brookings, provided introductory remarks. Abiodun Williams, president of The Hague Institute for Global Justice, moderated the discussion.


U.S. Grows More Helpful to International Criminal Court, a Body It First Scorned
By Marlise Simons, New York Times
2 April 2013


THE HAGUE — When a fugitive African warlord, Gen. Bosco Ntaganda, gave himself up in March to the United States Embassy in Rwanda and asked to be sent to the International Criminal Court here, American diplomats publicized the episode and swiftly brokered the transfer. Related
Court officials were elated. “It was important that Washington was so upfront about cooperating,” one official said on the condition of anonymity because he was not an authorized spokesman. “It was a great boost for the court.”
On Wednesday, Washington is expected to further bolster the decade-old court, an institution that it initially tried to sink and still has no intention of joining. (read more)


Bosco Ntaganda in the ICC’s custody
Press Release 
by ICC
22 March 2013
Today, Friday, 22 March 2013, Bosco Ntaganda, against whom the International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued two arrest warrants, surrendered himself voluntarily and is now in the ICC’s custody. Bosco Ntaganda is currently escorted by an ICC delegation that has left Kigali (Rwanda) heading to the ICC detention centre in The Hague (Netherlands). (read more)


Tribunal calls on ICC to probe Israeli ‘crimes’ in Palestine
Agence France-Presse
17 March 2013


The Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RToP) called Sunday for the International Criminal Court to investigate “crimes” committed by Israel in the territories as it wrapped up four years of investigation.
Meeting in Brussels, the people’s tribunal, which has no legal status but aims to draw international attention to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, said it would “support all initiatives from civil society and international organisations aimed at bringing Israel in front of the International Criminal Court”.
Since Palestine was awarded observer status at the UN in November, it can now file complaints against Israel with the ICC.
The tribunal also called on the ICC to recognise Palestinian jurisdiction and for an extraordinary session of the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid, set up for South Africa, to this time examine the Israeli case. (read more)


Karim Khan (L), the lawyer for Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain (C) and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus (R), both suspected of having committed war crimes in Darfur, speaks at the International Criminal Court in The Hague June 17, 2010 (Reuters)

ICC judges set May 2014 as trial date for two Darfur rebel commanders
Sudan Tribune
6 March 2013


(KHARTOUM) – The judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) have decided that the trial for two Darfur rebel commanders accused of killing African peacekeepers will commence in May 2014.
Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus each face three counts of violence to life in the form of murder, war crime of attacking a peacekeeping mission and pillaging.
The two men allegedly commanded a 1,000-strong rebel force in the Sept. 2007 attack, on the African Mission in Sudan (AMIS) base in Haskanita in North Darfur. They looted the camp of 17 vehicles, refrigerators, computers, mobile phones, ammunition and money. (read more)


Egypt’s former President Mubarak and Sudan’s President Bashir shake hands, Photo: AP

Egypt to Join the ICC but also Guarantee Bashir Immunity
By Mark Kersten, Justice in Conflict
20 February 2013


Many, many months ago, I wrote that Egypt had declared it was set to join the International Criminal Court (ICC). That was back in early April 2011, when the country was in the midst of the ‘Arab Spring’. Nearly two years later, Egypt’s Minister of Justice, Ahmed Mekki has announced that the country will soon join the Court. But that wasn’t all. Mekki also announced that Egypt will sign an Article 98 Bilateral Immunity Agreement with Sudan in order to prevent Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir from being arrested and surrendered to the ICC. Bashir, as readers will know, has been charged by the ICC with crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide for his role in the Darfur conflict.
Back in April 2011, Egypt’s Foreign Minister declared that the country was on the road to joining the ICC:
“Egypt is currently taking the required steps to join all United Nations agreements on human
rights and to join the International Criminal Court…I think the events that have taken place in Egypt in recent days and the arrest of senior officials is evidence that the state wishes to follow the rule of law… domestically and internationally.” (read more)


For earlier articles, please see the “Archived Updates” section.

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