29 Jan 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice

Articles

Iraq: UN report on ISIL trials recognizes efforts and raises concerns
By ReliefWeb, 28 Jan 2020

BAGHDAD – A UN report published today on the trials conducted under Iraq’s anti-terrorism laws recognizes the considerable efforts taken to ensure accountability for the atrocities committed by ISIL fighters, yet raises serious concerns about unfair trials placing defendants at a serious disadvantage. The report is based on independent monitoring of 794 criminal court trials of defendants mainly associated with the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) from 1 May 2018 through 31 October 2019, conducted with the full support of Iraq’s High Judicial Council. The joint report* by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the UN Human Rights Office acknowledged that judicial proceedings against ISIL defendants were generally conducted in an orderly manner, were well organized, and judges were routinely prepared with investigation files. It however found that violations of fair trial standards placed defendants at a serious disadvantage compared to the prosecution – with ineffective legal representation and limited possibilities to present or challenge evidence.

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International Court of Justice Orders Burmese Authorities to Protect Rohingya Muslims from Genocide
By Human Rights Watch , 28 Jan 2020

In a major ruling, the U.N. International Court of Justice at The Hague has ordered Burma to “take all measures within its power” to protect Rohingya Muslims from genocide. The court issued the ruling Thursday, calling the 600,000 Rohingya remaining in Burma, also known as Myanmar, “extremely vulnerable” to military violence. The court ordered Burma to report regularly to the tribunal about its progress. The ruling is a sharp rebuke of Burma’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who last month asked the court to drop the genocide case against Burma. Suu Kyi is a Nobel Peace Prize winner who spent over a decade fighting against the Burmese military that she is now defending.

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USA/Israel and OPT: Dismal ‘peace deal’ would exacerbate violations, enshrine impunity
By Amnesty International , 28 Jan 2020

The Trump administration’s dismal package of proposals to violate international law and further strip Palestinians of their rights is a handbook for more suffering and abuses in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), Amnesty International said today. The organization urged the international community to reject measures contravening international law that are set out in President Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century”. These include a formal extension of Israel’s sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the vast majority of the illegal settlements in the rest of the occupied West Bank in exchange for land currently inside Israel. 

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ICC Registry to Map Beneficiaries of Ntaganda Reparations
By International Justice Monitor, 28 Jan 2020

The Registry of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is due to map the potential new beneficiaries of reparations in the case cof Bosco Ntaganda, the former Congolese general convicted last July for war crimes and crimes against humanity. According to judges, this assessment will facilitate the fair and expeditious conduct of the reparations proceedings. Although 2,132 victims were authorized to participate in the Ntaganda trial, at the reparation stage of the proceedings the court needs to identify victims who may benefit from the reparations. Victims may include those already authorized to participate as well as others who did not participate in the trial phase.

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A Perfect Storm: Guatemalan Judge Dismisses War Crimes Charges Against Feared Military Commissioner
By International Justice Monitor, 27 Jan 2020

A judge has dismissed war crimes charges against Juan Alecio Samayoa Cabrera, 69, a former chief military commissioner in the municipality of Chinique, department of El Quiché, and ordered his immediate release. In the first declaration hearing held on January 16, the judge said prosecutors had not presented evidence linking Samayoa to the alleged crimes. She then ordered Samayoa’s immediate release, even though he had been a figutive of justice for 25 years and was only brought to trial after a lengthy deportation proceeding in the United States, and ordered prosecutors to continue investigating the crimes. 

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