15 Jan 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


Victims unhappy as Nepal revives transitional justice process
By AlJazeera, 13 Jan 2020

Kathmandu, Nepal - Nepal's transitional justice process, which has been stalled for years, looks all set to take a step forward, as authorities plan to begin nationwide consultations with victims and stakeholders. Nepal formed two commissions in 2015 to address transitional justice, but activists say it has been beset with delays and political interference. The two bodies have been lying defunct since last year but this week, a recommendation committee set up by the government is ready to recommend officials to be appointed to the two commissions - the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP).  The government on Monday began nationwide consultations with victims regarding the Transitional Justice Act (TJA), but victims of Nepal's decade-long civil war (1996-2006) claim that government processes are "cursory" and do not take victims' voices into consideration.

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ICC Prosecutor: Netanyahu’s anti-Semitism charge is “particularly regrettable”
Bt The Times of Israel, 13 Jan 2020

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court this week shot back at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who last month accused her of “pure anti-Semitism” for seeking to investigate possible war crimes committed in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. “This is a particularly regrettable accusation that is without merit,” Fatou Bensouda told The Times of Israel in a wide-ranging interview. On December 20, Bensouda announced that she found “reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine.” In her statement, which followed a five-year preliminary examination, the prosecutor determined that Israeli officials, as well as Palestinian armed groups, may have committed war crimes in the areas claimed by the Palestinians.

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ICC Seeks Experts to Advise on Ntaganda Reparations
By International Justice Monitor, 13 Jan 2020

International Criminal Court (ICC) judges have issued guiding questions that will help determine the nature of the reparations in the Bosco Ntaganda case. They have also provided a timetable for parties and participants in the case to submit their observations. As part of the reparations proceedings, the court’s Registry has issued a call for experts to assist the court in determining the nature of the reparations in the case. The call follows a December 5, 2019 order issued by Trial Chamber VI, in which it set the timelines for filing observations on the reparations and ordered the Registry to identify three or more experts.

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Ongwen’s Trial has Highlighted SGBV Crimes, Says Gender Activist in Uganda
By International Justice Monitor, 09 Jan 2020

 Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) crimes have featured in the trial of Dominic Ongwen that is currently ongoing before the International Criminal Court (ICC). Nancy Apiyo is a gender practitioner who has worked with female returnees of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) to facilitate their rehabilitation and reintegration into the community. Working under the auspices of the Justice and Reconciliation Project (JRP) between 2010 and 2015, Nancy oversaw the rehabilitation of several former abductees. 

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Ivorian Government Opposes Former President Gbagbo’s Unconditional Release by ICC
By International Justice Monitor, 08 Jan 2020

Next month, lawyers for former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo will argue before International Criminal Court (ICC) judges the case for the release of the 74-year-old former head of state. Gbagbo was acquitted last February but remains on conditional release in Belgium pending determination of the prosecution’s appeal of his acquittal. Last October, defense lawyers requested appeals judges order the definitive release of Gbagbo. The defense wants judges to reconsider their February 1, 2019 ruling that imposed conditions on Gbagbo’s release following his acquittal and order his immediate unconditional release. Before his release last year, Gbagbo had previously been in ICC detention since November 2011.

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