03 February 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


ICC ready to rule on ex-child soldier accused of war crimes
The Guardian , 03 Feb 2021

A former militia leader from Uganda may become the first defendant at the international criminal court to be found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity – despite being both an alleged perpetrator and victim of the same offences.

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Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi’s fiancée: “History will judge those who praise Saudi Arabia regime”
Il Fatto Quotidiano , 02 Feb 2021

“Saudi Arabia? Those who choose to sit at the court of human rights violators and to sing their praises make their own choice of where they stand: it is not for me to judge. Their conscience and history will judge them accordingly”

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Accountability for atrocities—why Ethiopia should join the ICC
Ethiopia Insight, 02 Feb 2021

Following the conflict in Tigray and atrocities committed elsewhere in Ethiopia, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been mentioned as a possible forum for seeking justice for victims of violence. Legal experts, commentators, army personnel, and the broader public have been characterizing crimes committed in the country as atrocity crimes deserving of the attention of and possible investigation by the ICC.

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Myanmar’s military coup: impunity for atrocities is not a pathway to democracy
No Peace Without Justice, 01 Feb 2021

Today, Myanmar’s military authorities announced a State of Emergency for one year, with all legislative, executive and judicial "independent" powers suspended and transferred to Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. In a series of early morning raids, the military detained several senior members of the ruling NLD, including former Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as many pro-democracy and human rights activists, student leaders and representatives of minorities’ parties and movements.

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Sri Lanka: Justice Under Attack
Human Rights Watch, 01 Feb 2021

Sri Lanka’s government is aggressively attacking efforts to hold officials to account for past grave abuses, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 93-page report, “Open Wounds and Mounting Dangers: Blocking Accountability for Grave Abuses in Sri Lanka,” examines efforts by the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to thwart justice in seven prominent human rights cases. It describes the current context of government repression of activists, journalists, lawyers, and the families of victims, as well as threats against vulnerable minorities.

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German Court Major Judgment on Foreign Officials’ Lack of Immunity in War Crimes Trials
Just Security , 01 Feb 2021

Last Thursday, Germany’s Federal Court of Justice issued a potentially landmark judgment in a case that pits the immunity that foreign state actors enjoy in criminal proceedings against efforts to achieve accountability for war crimes. The court rejected the idea that “functional immunity” under customary international law precludes criminal proceedings against organs of a foreign State for international crimes. 

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