No Release for Detained Counsel

Aimé Kilolo, Jean-Jacques Mangenda and Jean-Pierre Bemba

Aimé Kilolo, Jean-Jacques Mangenda and Jean-Pierre Bemba on trial at the IC

On 14 March 2014 and 17 March 2014, respectively, the requests for interim release of Me Aimé Kilolo Musamba, former lead counsel for Mr Bemba, and Mr Jean Jacques Mangenda, former case manager for Mr Bemba, were denied.

Under article 60(2) of the Statute, upon an application for interim release, the Chamber has to determine whether “the conditions set forth in article 58 paragraph 1 are met”. In the negative, the person shall be released “with or without conditions”.

It is worth noting that in the contempt case in relation to which Messrs Kilolo and Mangenda were detained, the Prosecution did not decide to make use of the alternative enshrined in the Statute at Article 58 (7), namely to request the Pre Trial Chamber to issue a summons for the person to appear. The accused did not therefore have the opportunity to demonstrate their willingness to appear voluntarily before the Court.

In its decisions, a Single Judge denied the requests for interim release on the basis that, in his view, there are reasonable grounds to believe that the accused have committed the crimes they are accused of, and, among other reasons, that there are concrete flight risks. Continue reading

ICJ Rules in Timor-Leste’s Request for Provisional Measures Against Australia

by Shehzad Charania*

International Court of JusticeOn 17 December 2013, Timor-Leste instituted proceedings at the International Court of Justice against Australia. The application related to the seizure and detention of “documents, data and other property” by “agents of Australia” from the offices of Timor-Leste’s legal adviser in Canberra, pursuant to a warrant issued by the Australian Attorney General under the Australian Security Intelligence Act.  Timor-Leste claimed that the material seized related to a pending arbitration in which the 2006 Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea was invalid because Australia had bugged the offices of the Timor-Leste cabinet room for a number of years, thereby gaining an unfair advantage in treaty negotiations.  In their application, Timor-Leste argued that the material should be returned, and copies retrieved and destroyed.  They demanded an apology, and a declaration from the ICJ that Australia’s actions were illegal under international law.

The same day, Timor-Leste submitted a request for provisional measures.  They sought the delivery of the seized documents to the ICJ; information relating to, and destruction of copies made; and an assurance that Australia would “not intercept or cause or request the interception of communications between Timor-Leste and its legal advisers, whether within or outside Australia or Timor-Leste”. Continue reading

International Criminal Court Summer School

Nui Galway

National University of Ireland, Galway

Date: 16-20 June 2014

Location: Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, University Rd, Galway, Ireland.

The annual International Criminal Court summer school at the Irish Centre for Human Rights is the premiere summer school specializing on the International Criminal Court. The summer school allows participants the opportunity to attend a series of intensive lectures over five days.The lectures are given by leading academics on the subject and by legal professionals working at the International Criminal Court.

The summer school is attended by legal professionals, academics, postgraduate students and NGOs. Participants are provided with a detailed working knowledge of the establishment of the Court, its structures and operations, and the applicable law.

Participants are also given the opportunity to network with the speakers throughout the week. Lectures also speak to related issues in international criminal law, including: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, the crime of aggression, universal jurisdiction, immunities, and the role of victims.

A limited number of scholarships are available for the ICC Summer School 2014. Please see here for further information.

Jobs: Legal Consultant for the Defence at the ECCC

ECCCInternational legal consultant sought for ECCC Defence team, to start work immediately.
For job description, please see the ECCC website. Job requires full-time residence in Phnom Penh.
At least 5 years PQE, specifically in ICL, and ability to draft fluently in English, are required.
Anyone interested should send an email with cv to J.Jones@doughtystreet.co.uk

ICC: Kenyatta Trial Adjourned until October

President Uhuru Kenyatta (c) EPA

On 31 March 2014, the Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) adjourned the trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta until 7 October 2014.

The purpose of the adjournment is to give the Government of Kenya an opportunity to comply with a cooperation request by the Prosecution to hand over financial and other documents related to President Kenyatta. The records are allegedly relevant to proving that President Kenyatta financed the crimes with which he is charged.

The Prosecution had initially requested these documents from the Kenyan Government in April 2012 without success. The Government argued that the Prosecutor has no authority to make such a request, under either the Statute and the Rules of the Court or Kenyan domestic law.

In its decision, the Trial Chamber confirmed that the Prosecutor does have an independent authority to make such a cooperation request under Article 93(1) of the Rome Statute. It deferred consideration of the Prosecution request for a finding of non-compliance by the Kenyan Government until after the expiration of the adjournment period.

President Kenyatta is charged with crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the post-electoral violence in Kenya in 2007-2008.

Report of the Human Rights Advisory Panel

HRAP

The Human Rights Advisory Panel rendered its annual report for 2013. The Panel issued a number of important opinions in the past year, deciding whether and to what extent facts alleged by the complainants had led to different violations of human rights by the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

Those opinions particularly deserving of attention came from cases involving allegations of a lack of an adequate police investigation in connection with abductions, disappearances, and killings related to procedural obligations under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as allegations of violations of Article 3 of the Convention against victims and close relatives. The importance of the right to truth has also been recognized by the Panel.

In these opinions, as well as in other cases, the Panel has continued to elaborate its own  jurisprudence, taking into consideration the international human rights standards expressed in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and other international bodies, including, in particular, the UN Human Rights Committee. Continue reading

Summer School: Transitional Justice, Conflict and Human Rights

Geneva Academy Summer School 2014Date: 7-11 July 2014

Location: Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights,
Villa Moynier – Rue de Lausanne 120B – CP 67 – 1211 Geneva 21 – Switzerland

The Antonio Cassese Initiative for Justice, Peace and Humanity and the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights open their application process for the Summer School 2014.

The 2014 Antonio Cassese Summer School offers an intensive course on transitional justice principles and processes, with a special focus on post-conflict situations.

Based on both scholarly and practitioner expertise across a range of areas (including human rights, international criminal law, security reform, legal philosophy, gender politics) and country situations, the programme combines a general course on transitional justice with complementary topic-specific lectures. The general course will be delivered by leading transitional justice scholar Naomi Roht-Arriaza, Professor of law at the University of California.

For further information about the Summer School please click here.

Event: Lecture on Genocide Prosecution in a National Court

Asser InstituteDate: Wednesday 9 April 2014

Venue: T.M.C., Asser Institute, R.J. Schimmelpennincklaan 20-22, 2517 JN Den Haag

Lecture: “Genocide Prosecution in a National Court: Guatemala’s Rios Montt Trial in Latin American Context

Speaker: Naomi Roht-Arriaza, Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

SCL Lectures are public and free of charge. Registration is not necessary, seats are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Charles Blé Goudé Makes First Appearance Before the ICC

Charles Blé Goudé

Today, Charles Blé Goudé appeared before the Single Judge of Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi set the date of the beginning of the confirmation of charges hearing in the case for 18 August 2014.

The Chamber will soon set a calendar for proceedings leading to the confirmation of charges hearing, including for upcoming status conferences and for the disclosure of evidence.

Background: On 22 March 2014, Charles Blé Goudé was surrendered to the ICC by the national authorities of Ivory Coast on the basis of a warrant of arrest issued by ICC judges on 21 December 2011 and unsealed on 30 September 2013.

Charles Blé Goudé, national of Ivory Coast, allegedly bears individual criminal responsibility, as indirect co-perpetrator, for four counts of crimes against humanity, namely murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, persecution, and other inhuman acts, allegedly committed in the territory of Ivory Coast between 16 December 2010 and 12 April 2011.

Event: International Weapons Law Course

Geneva AcademyDate: 4-29 August 2014

Venue: Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Villa Moynier – Rue de Lausanne 120B – CP 67 – 1211 Geneva 21 – Switzerland

Aim and Objectives of the Training:

The aim of the course is to instil participants with a detailed understanding of international weapons law: police use of force, use of weapons as a means or method of warfare, disarmament, and small arms control.

Objectives:

  • Acquire detailed knowledge and understanding of international legal regimes governing weapons.
  • Be able to apply the law to use of force by police, military, private security companies, and armed non-state actors.
  • Understand the characteristics and effects of different weapons from a handgun up to a nuclear weapon.

Lecturers:

The training course is taught by members of academia and senior professionals from international organisations and NGOs. In addition to staff from the Geneva Academy, former police officers, and experts on robotics, biological and chemical weapons, and others will provide the tuition.

If you wish to apply, click here.