03 May 2023 - NPWJ News Digest on international criminal justice


Family of ex-Bosnian Serb leader sues US to escape sanctions list
Reuters, 03 May 2023

Family members of former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic, who was convicted of war crimes for his role in the 1990s Balkan conflict, sued the U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday over their continued inclusion on a U.S. sanctions list. Karadzic’s wife Ljiljana, son Aleksandar and daughter Sonja said in a complaint in Washington, D.C., federal court that the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which administers U.S. sanctions, has unreasonably delayed its decision on whether to lift sanctions against them. A Treasury Department spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The trio was sanctioned by the U.S. government in 2003 after being suspected of helping Karadzic evade authorities as he faced indictment by a United Nations tribunal on charges connected to the genocide of Muslims in Bosnia.

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Senator urges release of new US report on killing of Abu Akleh
Aljazeera, 02 May 2023

Washington, DC – A Maryland senator has called on the administration of President Joe Biden to give legislators access to a report from the United States Security Coordinator (USSC) about the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. Democrat Chris Van Hollen said on Tuesday that he sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging him to make the assessment “available immediately for Congressional review”. “I ask that you immediately authorize the release of the full and unedited USSC Report under appropriate classification to me and other interested Members of Congress,” the senator wrote to Blinken. The Biden administration has not acknowledged the existence of the report, and it is not clear when the report was submitted. But Van Hollen said his office had been in contact with individuals at the State Department over the matter for the past 12 days. [...] Washington has rejected efforts to seek accountability for the killing of Abu Akleh at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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Focusing International Justice on Children: The Time is Now
OpinioJuris, 01 May 2023

It has been 20 years since the launch of “International Criminal Justice and Children” by UNICEF’s Innocenti Research Centre and No Peace Without Justice. At the time, it was the only book dealing explicitly and exclusively with children and the myriad of ways in which they could become involved with an international criminal justice process. The impetus underpinning the book was the fact that while the disproportionate impact of conflict and violations during conflict on children was well-known, little emphasis was placed on children by accountability and truth-seeking processes. Even less attention had been paid to the intersections between such processes and the rights of the child, to justice, to redress and to participation.

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International Criminal Court signs working agreement with Europol, the EU-wide policing agency
The Irish Times, 30 Apr 2023

There was good and bad news for the International Criminal Court (ICC) last week, both relating to Vladimir Putin’s relentless war in Ukraine and the broader polarising effect of its geopolitical impact. On the positive side the ICC signed its first working agreement with Europol, the European Union-wide policing agency. On the negative South Africa appeared to threaten to withdraw its support for the court because of its decision to issue arrest warrants for President Putin last month. On the face of it even the good news, a working agreement between two international institutions, doesn’t exactly quicken the blood. Yet the agreement signed last Thursday between the ICC and Europol is in practical terms more significant than it first appears. 

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Experts of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Discuss the Development of International Human Rights Law with Judge Patrick Robinson of the International Court of Justice
OHCHR, 27 Apr 2023

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination today held a meeting with Judge Patrick Robinson of the International Court of Justice, discussing developments in international human rights law after the Second World War. Judge Robinson said the greatest development in international law after the Second World War was the growth of a corpus of law affirming fundamental human rights based on respect for the inherent dignity and worth of the human person.  An integral part of this development was the vast number of human rights treaties and international instruments that had been adopted since 1945; equally important was the contribution to this development made by the ten United Nations treaty bodies.  

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