11 April 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


'Hallmarks of genocide': ICC prosecutor seeks justice for Rohingya
by The Guardian, 10 Apr 2018

The prosecutor of the international criminal court has asked it to rule on whether it has jurisdiction over the deportations of Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh, a possible crime against humanity. A ruling affirming jurisdiction could pave the way for an investigation into the deportation of many thousands of Rohingya, though Myanmar is unlikely to cooperate. In a filing published on Monday, the court prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, listed the well-documented mistreatment of Rohingya and cited the UN special envoy for human rights who described it as bearing the “hallmarks of genocide”.

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Statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, regarding the worsening situation in Gaza
by ICC, 08 Apr 2018

It is with grave concern that I note the violence and deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip in the context of recent mass demonstrations. Since 30 March 2018, at least 27 Palestinians have been reportedly killed by the Israeli Defence Forces, with over a thousand more injured, many, as a result of shootings using live ammunition and rubber-bullets. Violence against civilians - in a situation such as the one prevailing in Gaza – could constitute crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "the Court"), as could the use of civilian presence for the purpose of shielding military activities. I remind all parties that the situation in Palestine is under preliminary examination by my Office. While a preliminary examination is not an investigation, any new alleged crime committed in the context of the situation in Palestine may be subjected to my Office's scrutiny. This applies to the events of the past weeks and to any future incident.

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Rape and Torture Charges for Jihadist Police Chief of Timbuktu
by The New York Times, MARLISE SIMONS, 04 Apr 2018

PARIS — A jihadist fighter from Mali was brought before the International Criminal Court on Wednesday to face charges of rape, torture and sexual slavery, crimes that prosecutors say were perpetrated while he was the head of the police during a jihadist occupation of the ancient city of Timbuktu.

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Autonomous weapon systems: An ethical basis for human control?
by Humanitarian Law & Policy, Neil Davison, 03 Apr 2018

The risks of functionally delegating complex tasks—and associated decisions—to sensors and data-driven algorithms is one of the central issues of our time, with serious implications accross sectors and societies. Nowhere are these more acute than in relation to decisions to kill, injure and destroy.  Concerns about loss of human control over these decisions underlie current international work by governments and civil society to address increasingly autonomous weapon systems, as well as broader reflections on ‘war algorithms’.

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