30 August 2017 - NPWJ News Digest on international criminal justice


Ntaganda Trial: Uganda Cited in Training of Child Soldiers
By International Justice Monitor , 29 Aug 2017

Following a one-month break, Bosco Ntaganda has resumed testimony in his own defense at the International Criminal Court (ICC), denying knowledge of the existence of child soldiers among the Congolese militia forces trained by the Uganda government. Under cross-examination by prosecution lawyer Nicole Samson, Ntaganda stated that Ugandan authorities were in charge of the training exercise and he “was not in a position to know” the age of recruits airlifted to Uganda in 2000.

Read More

South America rights groups file war crimes suits against former Sri Lanka army general
The Jurist , 29 Aug 2017

Human rights groups on Monday filed suits against Jagath Jayasuriya, a former Sri Lanka army general, for alleged war crimes and human rights violations he committed during the 2009 civil war in Sri Lanka. The suits are based on his role as a commander in the Sri Lanka military during the final phase of the government's conflict against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) [Britannica backgrounder]. The suits allege [AP report] that Jayasuriya supervised units that are responsible for the torturing, killing or enforced disappearances of thousands of individuals, including civilians. Carlos Castresana Fernandez, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, stated: "This is one genocide that has been forgotten, but this will force democratic countries to do something ... This is just the beginning of the fight." According to Fernandez, suits have been filed in Brazil and Colombia, and will also be filed in Argentina, Chile and Peru. Fernandez also added that Jayasuriya has reportedly fled Brazil, although this fact could not be confirmed.

Read More

Release of the 2017 IBA ICC & ICL Programme Discussion Paper: ‘Offences against the administration of justice and fair trial considerations before the International Criminal Court’
By The International Criminal Law Bureau, 29 Aug 2017

Offences against the administration of justice and fair trial considerations before the International Criminal Court’ is the latest Discussion Paper from the IBA’s ICC & ICL Programme. This Discussion Paper seeks to provide the basis for a policy-level discussion on how the International Criminal Court (ICC) implements its jurisdiction over ‘offences against the administration of justice’, as defined in Article 70 of the Rome Statute.

Read More

ICC: Support Victims in Choosing Counsel
By Human Rights Watch , 29 Aug 2017

The International Criminal Court (ICC) should prioritize victims’ views and wishes when it comes to choosing lawyers to represent them in the courtroom, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 60-page report, “Who Will Stand for Us? Victims’ Legal Representation at the ICC in the Ongwen Case and Beyond,” compares the way victims’ lawyers were selected in one ongoing trial to broader trends in court practice. At the ICC, victims have a right to participate in trials and are represented at trial through lawyers. The court’s system of victim participation, a key innovation in international criminal justice, creates a critical link between communities affected by atrocities and the courtroom. But Human Rights Watch found that ICC practice is falling short of ensuring that the victims’ views are adequately considered in decisions about whether and how to organize victims’ legal representation.

Read More

An Update of the Israel-Palestine-International Criminal Court Timeline
By Just Security, 28 Aug 2017

 A lot has happened before the International Criminal Court since we last reported on the Palestine and related situations. The timeline below picks up where my last timeline of relevant events left off. At that time, the Prosecutor had opened a preliminary examination into the Comoros referral based upon events on the Mavi Marmara, which was part of the Gaza freedom flotilla. The Prosecutor subsequently closed that examination on gravity grounds in November 2014. A month later, Palestine acceded to the ICC Statute, putting its territory—however that is to be defined—under ICC jurisdiction. The Office of the Prosecutor subsequently opened a preliminary examination into alleged crimes committed in occupied territory since June 13, 2014, when violence erupted anew in the region. 

Read More