08 Jan 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


Prosecuting Israel could get ICC off the hook for claims of anti-Africa bias
The Times of Israel, 07 Jan 2020

The International Criminal Court is facing sharp criticism from several world leaders for its talk about prosecuting Israelis for war crimes. But some analysts who have followed the ICC think the controversy could be worth the trouble. On December 20, the court’s lead prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, asked the Netherlands-based court to decide whether she has jurisdiction to prosecute Israelis. Bensouda, who had previously dismissed calls to prosecute Israelis in the ICC over a 2010 incident involving a flotilla raid in Gaza, referred the judges to a 112-page report from 2015 alleging war crimes both by the Jewish state’s army and Palestinian militant groups during the 2014 Gaza war.


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Al Hassan case: Trial to open on 14 July 2020
International Criminal Court, 06 Jan 2020

On 6 January 2020, Trial Chamber X of the International Criminal Court (ICC) scheduled the opening of the trial in the case of The Prosecutor v. Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud for 14 July 2020. In addition, the Chamber decided that the presentation of evidence by the Prosecution in the case will commence on 25 August 2020. These dates were set by the Chamber after noting the respective submissions by the Prosecution and the Defence as well as the necessary time for the disclosure of evidence and other materials.


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Ntaganda to Appeal “Excessive” 30-Year Prison Sentence
International Justice Monitor, 02 Jan 2020

Bosco Ntaganda is contesting the 30-year prison term handed to him by International Criminal Court (ICC) judges, terming it manifestly excessive and disproportionate. His lawyers are asking the court’s Appeals Chamber to quash the sentence and impose a new one that is not higher than 23 years. Last November, judges handed Ntaganda, a former rebel commander in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the harshest sentence ever by the court based in The Hague. This followed his conviction for 18 war crimes and crimes against humanity. 


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ICC to investigate alleged Israeli and Palestinian war crimes
The Guardian, 20 Dec 2019

There is sufficient evidence to investigate alleged Israeli and Palestinian war crimes committed in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, the international criminal court has announced. In a landmark decision, the ICC said it saw “no substantial reasons to believe that an investigation would not serve the interests of justice”. The announcement ended years of preliminary investigations into alleged crimes by both Israeli forces and Palestinians, and signalled that the court was preparing to open a formal investigation. A statement published by the court’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, on the court’s website on Friday said her office “has concluded with the determination that all the statutory criteria under the Rome statute for the opening of an investigation have been met”.


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