06 September 2017-NPWJ News Digest on international criminal justice


Trust Fund Unveils Reparations Plan for Katanga Victims
International Justice Monitor, 06 Sep 2017

The International Criminal Court’s (ICC’s) Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) has published a plan for implementing reparation awards to 297 victims of crimes committed by former Congolese militia leader German Katanga. According to an order by ICC judges, each victim will receive an individual symbolic compensation of US$250, while housing and educational assistance, income-generating activities, and psychological rehabilitation will form the collective reparations.In March 2014, Katanga was found guilty of being an accessory to war crimes and crimes against humanity stemming from a February 2003 attack on civilians in Bogoro, a village in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In May of that year, he was sentenced to 12 years in jail. Last March, judges issued an order for reparations to victims of his crimes. Since Katanga had been found indigent, judges asked the TFV to indicate whether it would undertake the payment of the awards. In compliance with a directive by judges, the TFV has drafted a plan that shows how it would implement the reparations awards. The implementation plan will benefit only the 297 victims identified in the judges’ order. However, victims who live far from Bogoro may not benefit from collective reparations.

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Syria war crimes prosecutor vows justice for atrocities
The National, 06 Sep 2017

 War crimes prosecutors have set to work to establish cases against those accused of some of Syria's worst atrocities, Catherine Marchi-Uhel, the judge who will run the unit, has revealed.  The International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism was created on the orders of the United Nation General Assembly. Mrs Marchi-Uhel, who was appointed to head the body last July by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, has served as an international judge in Kosovo, Cambodia and at the war crimes court for the former Yugoslavia. "It is tasked with collecting, consolidating, preserving and analysing information and evidence," she said of the body. "On the other hand, with preparing files in order to facilitate and expedite fair and independent criminal proceedings, in accordance with international law standards, in national, regional or international courts or tribunals."

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UN commission: Burundi commits crimes against humanity
By Al Jazeera, 06 Sep 2017

 Fatsah Ouguergouz, commission chair, told reporters in Geneva that the abuses were part of a "general or systematic attack against the civilian population" that could be considered "state policy". UN investigators have accused Burundi's government of crimes against humanity and urged the International Criminal Court to open a case "as soon as possible". The UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi said on Monday it had "reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed and continue to be committed" in the country, pointing a finger at "the highest level of the state". The three investigators, appointed by the UN Human Rights Council last September, described a "climate of fear" fuelled by violations including executions, torture and sexual violence.

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ICC President to address the Pacific Islands Forum: “In order to ensure sustainable peace and development for all, we must rally support for international cooperation to address global challenges through the rule of law”
By International Criminal Court, 31 Aug 2017

The President of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "Court"), Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi is travelling next week to Samoa to participate in the 48th Pacific Islands Forum, where she will address heads of state and government from the 18-member group as well as speak at an ICC workshop organised in the margins. The purpose of the mission is to urge more member states of the Forum to join the ICC's founding treaty, the Rome Statute, as well as raise awareness and strengthen collaboration between the ICC and the Pacific region. "In order to ensure sustainable peace and development for all, we must rally support for international cooperation to address global challenges through the rule of law", President Fernández stated ahead of her travel to the Pacific Islands Forum. 

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