18 Mar 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice

Articles

Opinion: Only the International Criminal Court in The Hague Can Restrain Israel
Haaretz, 17 Mar 2020

In the summer of 2014 we killed over 500 Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip, in surgical strikes and so-called statistical bombings. Then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and then-Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz now head the country’s two largest parties. In the fall of 2017 then-Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, head of Yisrael Beiteinu, declared his intention of totally destroying the West Bank village of Khan al-Ahmar, including the local school and the tin shacks that are home to over 30 families, all of them Palestinian, of course. The Supreme Court judges reiterated their approval of the “legality” of the demolition.

Read More

Closing Statements Conclude in Ongwen Trial; Defense Ask for One of Three Outcomes
International Justice Monitor, 16 Mar 2020

 Dominic Ongwen’s defense team have asked Trial Chamber IX to make one of three determinations when they write their judgement for atrocities he is alleged to have committed in northern Uganda more 15 years ago. On Thursday last week, the defense asked the judges to find Ongwen not guilty of the crimes he has been charged with at the International Criminal Court (ICC) because the prosecution failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.

Read More

Joint Statement – ICC should heed the request from Palestine to investigate war crimes
Women's Initiative for Gender Justice, 16 Mar 2020

 Four international human rights organisations – the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), No Peace Without Justice, REDRESS and Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice – submitted observations on 16 March 2020 to a panel of judges at the International Criminal Court on the Court’s competence to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the territory of Palestine: the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza.

Read More

Israel, PA allies escalate ICC war crimes legal fight
The Jerusalem Post, 16 Mar 2020

 Fourteen parties including countries, NGOs and leading jurists filed legal briefs by press time on Monday for both the Israeli and the Palestinian sides of the war-crimes contest currently before the International Criminal Court. The ICC is expected to hand down a fateful decision about Israel, the Palestinians and alleged war crimes sometime after March 30.

Read More

“Even in Wartime There are Moral Limits:” Plaintiffs Finalize Presentation of Genocide Charges against Senior Military Officials
International Justice Monitor, 13 Mar 2020

 During the evidentiary phase hearing held on Wednesday, March 11, in the Maya Ixil genocide trial, the Attorney General’s Office finalized its presentation of the charges against former Chief of Military Operations, Colonel César Noguera Argueta, for the crimes of genocide and forced disappearance. On Tuesday, prosecutors presented the charges against former Chief of the General Staff of the Guatemalan Army, General Benedicto Lucas García, and former Chief of Military Intelligence, General Manuel Callejas y Callejas for the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity against the Maya Ixil population, and dozens of cases of forced disappearance.

Read More

Myanmar army sues Reuters over report on deaths of Rohingya women
The Guardian, 10 Mar 2020

Myanmar’s police said the army had filed a lawsuit against Reuters news agency and a local lawmaker for criminal defamation, weeks after the military objected to a news story published about the death of two Rohingya Muslim women as a result of shelling in Rakhine state. After publication, the army said its artillery fire had not killed the women or caused other civilian injuries and blamed insurgents of the Arakan Army (AA), who are fighting for greater autonomy in Rakhine state. The AA denied responsibility and blamed the army. Reporters are banned from the area where the incident happened. 

Read More

By Failing to Screen ICC Prosecutor Candidates for Sexual Misconduct, States Put Court at Risk
International Justice Monitor, 09 Mar 2020

 The states that ultimately elect the next prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) have only minimal measures in place to screen candidates for histories of committing, condoning, or tolerating sexual harassment, even though “high moral character” is one of the requirements for the position. With this deficit, states risk a debacle that could devastate an institution struggling to tackle internal problems and attacks by powerful states.

Read More