06 May 2020 – NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


ICC Prosecutor Recommends Israel Be Investigated for War Crimes — Why the US Should Care
Allgemeiner, 05 May 2020

On April 30, amid a global pandemic, the Chief Prosecutor of the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, reaffirmed her recommendation that Israel be investigated on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity toward the Palestinians. The complaint submitted by the Palestinians refers first and foremost to alleged crimes committed by Israel in 2014 during Operation Protective Edge, as well as Israeli settlement construction and its handling of the violent riots at the Gaza security fence since March 2018. An investigation into Israel’s conduct is now contingent upon authorization from a pre-trial chamber of three ICC judges. 

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Instead of attacking the ICC, Israel now ignores it
AI Monitor, 03 May 2020

Israeli politicians and media seemed to ignore an announcement April 30 by prosecutor Fatou Bensouda of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, maintaining that she still has the authority to investigate Israel Defense Forces (IDF) war crimes in Palestinian territories. Her statement looks like it slipped completely under their radar. Under normal circumstances, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would not miss a chance to attack the ICC and its prosecutor in the harshest possible terms, even claiming that it was motivated by anti-Semitic, pro-Palestinian sentiments. This time, however, he ignored the new development.

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Venezuela: Massacre at Guanare detention centre must not go unpunished
Amnesty International, 02 May 2020

 In response to reports that at least 46 prisoners were killed and more than 70 injured in a violent incident inside the Los Llanos Penitentiary Centre (CEPELLA) in Guanare, Portuguesa state, yesterday, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said: “This is not the first time we have seen prisoners in Venezuela suffer terrible violations of their right to life. The grotesque images that are now being broadcast around the world should serve as a reminder that all those responsible for this atrocity must be brought to justice. The authorities’ lethal response must be thoroughly investigated and analysed so that these international crimes do not go unpunished.”

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Boosting the reach and resilience of international justice institutions
ReliefWeb, 29 Apr 2020

International courts and dispute settlement institutions are an integral part of rules-based global governance. However, in today’s environment characterized in many places by an “anti-multilateralist turn,” they are subject to severe political pressures and criticisms, while they often lack the universal reach, enforcement mechanisms, and resilience to effectively carry out their mandates. This policy memo offers recommendations for international judicial institutions to increase both their reach and resilience. 

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