Archive for May, 2010

The Age of Accountability
By Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General May 27 2010
Twelve years ago, world leaders gathered in Rome to establish the International Criminal Court. Seldom since the founding of the United Nations itself has such a resounding blow been struck for peace, justice and human rights.
On May 31, nations come together once again, this time in Kampala, Uganda, for the first formal review of the Rome treaty. It is a chance not only to take stock of our progress but to build for the future. More, it is an occasion to strengthen our collective determination that crimes against humanity cannot go unpunished — the better to deter them in the future.
As UN Secretary-General, I have come to see how effective the ICC can be — and how far we have come. A decade ago, few could have believed the court would now be fully operational, investigating and trying perpetrators of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity across a broadening geography of countries.
This is a fundamental break with history. The old era of impunity is over. In its place, slowly but surely, we are witnessing the birth of a new “age of accountability.” It began with the special tribunals set up in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia; today, the ICC is the keystone of a growing system of global justice that includes international tribunals, mixed international-national courts and domestic prosecutions.

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By MIKE CORDER, The Associated Press May 27 2010

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The 111 member nations of the International Criminal Court hope to finally agree on how to prosecute illegal attacks by one state on another when they meet next week in Uganda, the conference’s leader said Thursday.

President of the Assembly of States Parties, Lichtenstein diplomat Christian Wenaweser, told reporters during an online question-and-answer session that he is “cautiously optimistic and believe that we have a good basis for a solution that finds very wide political support.”

But top jurists and a prominent human rights organization warn that prosecuting the as-yet-undefined crime of aggression could open the world’s first permanent war crimes tribunal to accusations of politicization.

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May 27, 2010 Radio Free Europe

The human rights group Amnesty International is calling on Russia, China and the United States to join the International Criminal Court — the only independent permanent court with the authority to try genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

In its annual “State Of The World’s Human Rights” report, Amnesty also called on India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey to sign up for the court.

Amnesty said 2009 was a landmark year for international justice because the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur region.

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From the Liu Institute: “The Liu Institute for Global Issues aims to bridge the gap between academics and practitioners. This blog, Reports from the Field, will offer information and analysis from Liu Institute researchers. Our first series is on the Review Conference of the International Criminal Court.’

Current Blog Posts:

Asad Kiyani: Africa and the ICC – Resistance or Cooperation? May 25 10

Adam Bower: What is the Review Conference, and Why Should You Care? May 24 2010

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International Herald Tribune- May 26 2010

On Monday, members of the International Criminal Court gather in Kampala, Uganda, to consider whether to amend the Court’s statute to allow it to exercise jurisdiction over the crime of “aggression.” Previous articles on these pages have argued that the crime is too vague and should be rejected (Michael J. Glennen, April 6), and that criminal responsibility for the illegal use of armed force would make international law more credible (Noah Weisbord, May 4).

By Richard Goldstone

Based on my experience as an international prosecutor, and speaking as a strong supporter of the International Criminal Court, I think it would be a mistake to add the crime of aggression to the Court’s docket now. The issue should be deferred again.

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The European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC) in Venice will host a distinct human rights program this summer:

The inaugural session of the Venice Academy of Human Rights will take place from 12-17 July.

Confirmed speakers include

Jochen Abr. Frowein, Former director of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg

Douglas A. Johnson, Executive Director of the Center for Victims of Torture, Minneapolis

Theodor Meron (Judge and Former President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia),

Manfred Nowak, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture

Giorgio Sacerdoti, Former Member of the WTO Appellate Body

Kathryn Sikkink, McKnight Presidential Chair in Political Science at the University of Minnesota


Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics, Thomas W. Lamont University Professor at Harvard University

The Academy offers interdisciplinary thematic programs open to academics, practitioners and Ph.D./J.S.D. students from anywhere in the world who have an advanced knowledge of human rights. It is open to a maximum of only 50 participants who attend the morning lectures in the plenum and will be divided in smaller groups for more intensive afternoon seminars.

For further information please visit: www.eiuc.org/veniceacademy

Deadline for applications is 31 May 2010.

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OTJR has recently produced a new debate series on International Justice In Africa: http://www.csls.ox.ac.uk/otjr.php?show=currentDebate10.

Contributions Include:

11. International Criminal Justice and Non-Western Cultures

12 April 2010 by Tim Kelsall

As the ICC Review Conference nears, it is time to consider how best to create a form of international criminal justice that is culturally and socially appropriate in non-Western settings.

10. Peace, Justice, and the International Criminal Court

19 March 2010 by Sara Darehshori and Elizabeth Evenson

This paper argues that justice initiatives, and the ICC’s work in particular, do not seriously impede peace processes. The paper shows instead that remaining firm on justice yields short- and long-term benefits that contribute toward peacebuilding.

9. What the ICC Review Conference Can’t Fix

15 March 2010 by Adam Branch

8. Root and Branch, Tree of Life: Sowing the Seeds of Grassroots Transitional Justice

10 March 2010 by Andrew Iliff

7. The Standoff between ICC and African Leaders Debate Revisited

10 March 2010 by Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai

6. The Contribution African States Can Make to the ICC Review Conference

10 March 2010 by Valentina Torricelli

5. Understanding Africa’s Position on the International Criminal Court

10 March 2010 by by Comfort Ero

4. The Limits of Prosecutions

10 March 2010 by Okechukwu Oko

3. Inside the Minds of the ICC Judges: Will They Give Ocampo the Benefit of the Doubt in Kenya?

10 March 2010 by Lionel Nichols

2. A Note on State Policy and Crimes Against Humanity

10 March 2010 by Larry May

1. International Justice in Africa – Debate Summary

10 March 2010 by Lydiah Kemunto-Bosire

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