21 March 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


ICC Statement on The Philippines’ notice of withdrawal: State participation in Rome Statute system essential to international rule of law
by ICC, 20 Mar 2018

Yesterday evening, 19 March 2018, the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "Court") was officially notified by the United Nations that the Republic of the Philippines had on 17 March 2018 deposited a written notification of withdrawal from the Rome Statute, the Court's founding treaty, with the United Nations Secretary-General as the depositary of the Statute. The Court regrets this development and encourages the Philippines to remain part of the ICC family.

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UN rights chief: Syria siege involved 'war crimes'
by ABC News, 19 Mar 2018

The U.N. human rights chief told an informal meeting of the Security Council Monday that the Syrian government's five-year siege of the Damascus suburbs of eastern Ghouta has involved "pervasive war crimes," use of chemical weapons and starvation as a weapon of war.High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein was blocked from addressing a formal council meeting by a Russian procedural maneuver, but he delivered his hard-hitting speech to an open meeting anyway, decrying "mind-numbing crimes" committed by all parties in Syria using "unlawful methods of warfare."

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Aung San Suu Kyi cannot be prosecuted in Australia, Christian Porter says
By The Guardian, 17 Mar 2018

Aung San Suu Kyi cannot face prosecution for crimes against humanity while in Australia because she has immunity, the attorney general Christian Porter has said. The Guardian reported on Saturday morning that five Australian lawyers, including a former federal court judge, had filed a private application in the Melbourne magistrates court seeking prosecution of Aung San Suu Kyi over crimes against humanity committed against the Rohingya ethnic and religious minority in Myanmar. More than 650,000 Rohingya have crossed the Myanmar border to Bangladesh since August, fleeing systemic violence from the country’s military, including murder, rape, and the deliberate torching of villages. The UN has said the persecution “bears all the hallmarks of genocide”.

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Prosecution experts to challenge Ongwen's mental incapacity defence
International Justice Tribune, 15 Mar 2018

The prosecution is wrapping up its case against Dominic Ongwen, a former commander of the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army almost a year after the trial started at the International Criminal Court (ICC). In the coming weeks they will call three experts who have assessed whether Ongwen suffered a mental disorder at the time of the alleged atrocities which destroyed his capacity to understand he committed crimes.

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