11 Mar 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice

Articles

In Closing Statements, Prosecutors Say Ongwen Willingly Committed Crimes
International Justice Monitor, 10 Mar 2020

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutors said on Tuesday that as a commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), Dominic Ongwen willingly committed the war crimes and crimes against humanity he is alleged to have had a role in more than 15 years ago. “We are not here to deny that Dominic Ongwen was a victim of abduction,” said Gumpert. “But the defense line that this should somehow make him immune is untenable.”

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Military Officials on Trial for Genocide Seek Judge’s Removal
International Justice Monitor, 10 Mar 2020

Judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez suspended yesterday’s pretrial hearing in the Maya Ixil genocide case after less than an hour. The suspension happened after one of the defense attorneys presented a motion seeking Judge Gálvez’s removal of from the case. Last November, Judge Gálvez, who presides over High Risk Court “B,” charged three senior military commanders with genocide, crimes against humanity, and forced disappearance against the Maya Ixil population. The alleged crimes in this case include 1,668 massacre and other deaths, 81 cases of forced disappearance, and 36 cases of sexual violence.

 

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Why the International Criminal Court will investigate possible U.S. war crimes — even if the Trump administration says it can’t
The Washington Post, 09 Mar 2020

 Judges in the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court on Thursday authorized Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to open an investigation into alleged U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan. This is a big milestone in international criminal justice — for the first time in history, U.S. leaders, armed forces and intelligence personnel may face a trial in an international court for crimes perpetrated in the context of the nation’s wars abroad.In April, the Pre-Trial Chamber rejected Bensouda’s first request for an investigation. On Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned the Appeals Chamber’s overturning of the decision, calling the ICC “an unaccountable political institution masquerading as a legal body.”
 

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Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi case: ICC Appeals Chamber confirms case is admissible before the ICC
The International Criminal Court, 09 Mar 2020

Today, 9 March 2020, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "Court") unanimously confirmed the admissibility of the case against Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi before the Court and rejected his appeal against the Pre-Trial Chamber I's decision dismissing his challenge to the admissibility of this case. The Appeals Chamber recalled that the Court is "complementary to national criminal jurisdictions". A case is inadmissible when a person "has already been tried" and no person "who has been tried by another court" for crimes under the ICC jurisdiction shall be tried by the ICC with respect to the same conduct. In reviewing the Pre-Trial Chamber's decision, the Appeals Chamber found no error in it and agreed with its interpretation of the Rome Statute, indicating that the decision issued by a national jurisdiction must be final before a case can be declared inadmissible.

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International Criminal Court marks International Women’s Day
The International Criminal Court, 09 Mar 2020

 The International Criminal Court ("ICC" or the "Court") marks International Women's Day in support of global action to achieve gender equality for all women and girls. The theme for International Women's Day 2020 is "I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women's Rights", and commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.  The ICC promotes women's rights and considers gender perspectives through its work and institutional approach, including in the ICC Courtroom itself, in communities affected by atrocity crimes, in its global work cooperating with over 120 States Parties, as well as internally, among Court staff.
 

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