04 May 2022 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


Bid to overturn Sierra Leone loitering laws that activists claim ‘criminalise poverty’
The Guardian, 04 May 2022

A case has been filed against the government of Sierra Leone to overturn the country’s loitering laws, which activists and lawyers claim are discriminatory, and used by police to extract bribes from people and sexually abuse women.
The laws are used to target poor and vulnerable people, say critics, and to subject them to criminal sanctions for potential conduct rather than actual harm caused. 


Finding a pathway out of genocide for the Rohingya
East Asia Forum, 04 May 2022

On 21 March 2022, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the United States has determined that the acts committed against the Rohingya minority in 2017 constitute genocide and crimes against humanity. This determination draws attention to the systematic and large-scale atrocities committed under the Myanmar military (the Tatmadaw) and strengthens international pressure on the military regime that staged a coup in February 2021.


What Roe v Wade Means for Human Rights
Human Rights Watch, 03 May 2022

On Monday night, POLITICO published a leaked draft US Supreme Court opinion on the Mississippi case that would overturn Roe v. Wade.
Last September, in advance the court’s hearing in a case challenging the constitutionality of a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks, we joined dozens of other groups in submitting amicus briefs providing additional context for the court to consider. The lesson is clear: If an abortion ban like the one in Mississippi becomes law, it will be catastrophic. 


Expert warned against wrist X-rays used by AFP to prosecute children as adult people smugglers
The Guardian, 03 May 2022

An expert radiologist says Australian federal police continued to use wrist X-rays to prosecute children as adult people smugglers after he had given unequivocal evidence of the technique’s unreliability, something he now says was “just wrong” and akin to “child abuse”.
Last week, six Indonesian boys won a major case overturning their convictions as adult people smugglers in 2010 amid the highly charged political atmosphere around border protection. 


United States, the veto, and the International Criminal Court
Monroe News, 02 May 2022

The human rights tragedy in Ukraine has directed our attention to the International Criminal Court (herein ICC) with the hope of eventual justice for Putin and other Russians. International law normally deals with states, not with individuals per se. An exception is human rights, as they have developed after World War II with the Nuremburg and Tokyo war crimes tribunals. Along with human rights is the penetration of sovereignty of the state in the human rights inquiry. In the 1990s, the United Nations Security Council created war crimes courts regarding human rights crimes in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. 


International Criminal Court joins team probing alleged war crimes in Ukraine
Reuters, 25 Apr 2022

The International Criminal Court (ICC) will take part in the joint team investigating allegations of war crimes in Ukraine following the Russian invasion, the European Union's agency for criminal justice cooperation said on Monday.
ICC prosecutor Karim Khan and the Prosecutors General from Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine signed an agreement for the international war crimes tribunal's first-ever participation in an investigative team, Eurojust said.