Today, Radovan Karadzic has filed an appeal to the UN’s Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals against his conviction by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in March this year.
The 238-page appeal “details 48 substantive and procedural errors” that led to an incorrect verdict, according to a statement issued by Karadzic’s lawyer Peter Robinson.
“Unless corrected, flawed trials and unjust judgments like mine will only accelerate the flight of countries such as South Africa and Russia from an international legal system that is politicised and based on double standards,” Karadzic said in the statement.
“It will also ruin the chance for international justice to succeed in the long term by establishing legal precedents based on short-term political expediencies,” the former Bosnian Serb political leader added.
Karadžić was charged with responsibility for atrocities including the siege of Sarajevo and the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslim men in the Srebrenica enclave. Continue reading
This week, the Defence for Jovica Stanišić filed a request in front of the Trial Chamber of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) to stay the proceedings until the Prosecution respects the principle of finality and the Appeal Chamber’s order for retrial.
On 31 May 2013, the Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) acquitted Jovica Stanišić, formerly Deputy Chief and Chief of the State Security Service (SDB) of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia, and his co-accused, Franko Simatović, formerly Deputy Chief of the Second Administration of the Serbian SDB and special advisor in the SDB.
In December 2015, the ICTY Appeals Chamber ordered that they be retried on all counts of the indictment.
In September 2016, the Prosecution filed its Pre-Trial Brief and other pre-trial materials.
In its request, the Defence submits that the Prosecution’s approach to the retrial amounts to ‘’such an egregious violation of the Accused’s rights that it is detrimental to the Court’s integrity, contravenes any sense of justice, and makes a fair trial impossible’’. The Defence submits that the Trial Chamber should stay the proceedings until the Prosecution fully respects the res judicata and non bis in idem principles and the order of the Appeals Chamber for a retrial on the previous Indictment without addition or expansion of the counts or charges. Continue reading
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network has launched a unique database of the publicly-available final verdicts delivered in 386 war crimes cases by courts in the former Yugoslavia and by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague.
This War Crimes Verdicts Map is an interactive tool intended to provide an overview of court rulings on the crimes that were committed during the wars in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
“While reporting on war crimes, we as journalists often struggled to get all the documents related to the war crimes cases we have been following. Through the years, we accumulated a significant archive and then also collected verdicts from the various courts,” said the map project’s team leader, Marija Ristic.
“Bearing in mind how closed to the public our courts still are, we believe this map will be a unique resource for journalists, students, researchers and the general public,” she added.
According to the map data, so far at least 646 people have been convicted by local courts and 83 more by the ICTY for crimes committed during almost a decade of conflict in the former Yugoslavia which left some 125,000 people dead and 12,000 still missing.
Besides the verdicts, the ‘Resources’ section includes indictments and other case records.
The map will be periodically updated.
Former ICTY Judge Kwon O-gon gave a TV interview this month during which he shared his story of bringing justice for the victims of one of the most atrocious and devastating wars since World War II.
After sitting in the Korean court of law for more than two decades, Kwon O-gon became the first Korean judge to preside over the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), where he served for the past 15 years.
Judge Kwon was one of the judges in the trial of Slobodan Milošević, the former President of Serbia.
Judge Kwon was also the Presiding Judge for the case of former Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadžić, handing him a 40-year sentence last March.
Judge Kwon resigned from the ICTY and returned home earlier this year. Now, he is opening a new chapter in his life and career, as the president of a research institute that specializes in international law.
If you wish to watch the interview, click here.
Goran Hadžić, the former Croatian-Serb rebel leader, has died at the age of 57.
Hadžić was on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) over his role in the 1991-1995 Yugoslavia war.
Last April, the Trial Chamber ordered an indefinite halt to his trial, as he battled the advanced stages of terminal brain cancer.
His health significantly deteriorated in the last two months and he spent most of that time in the hospital where he died.
Hadžić was the last fugitive arrested by the ICTY.
He was accused of having participated in a Joint Criminal Enterprise (JCE). It is alleged that the purpose of the JCE was the permanent forcible removal of a majority of the Croat and other non-Serb population from a large part of the Republic of Croatia in order to make it part of a new Serb-dominated state.
The accusations included the murder of civilians taken from Vukovar hospital in 1991 in one of the conflict’s darkest episodes.
He was also charged with responsibility for the massacre of Croat civilians who were forced to walk into a minefield in the Croatian town of Lovas in October 1991.
His trial opened in October 2012 following his arrest in Serbia in 2011 after seven years on the run.
Investigators had tracked Hadžić down as he was trying to sell an early 20th-century painting by the Italian master Amedeo Modigliani valued at several million dollars.
Mićo Stanišić (left) and Stojan Župljanin
Today, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) confirmed the convictions of Mićo Stanišić, former Minister of the Interior of Republika Srpska, and Stojan Župljanin, former Chief of the Regional Security Services Centre of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The Appeals Chamber affirmed that Stanišić and Župljanin are criminally responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in BiH in 1992, in 20 and eight municipalities respectively. The Judges affirmed both of the accused’s sentences of 22 years’ imprisonment.
The Appeals Chamber dismissed all of Stanišić’s and Župljanin’s grounds of appeal. It confirmed their convictions for committing, through participation in a joint criminal enterprise (JCE), persecutions as a crime against humanity and murder and torture as violations of the laws or customs of war. Župljanin’s convictions for committing extermination, through participation in a JCE, and ordering persecutions through plunder as crimes against humanity were also affirmed. Continue reading
Date: 2 June, 2016 – 9:30 to 17:00
Venue: Schouwburgstraat 2, 2511 VA Den Haag, Netherlands
McGill University’s Faculty of Law and the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, Leiden University, invite you to a one-day Symposium on the theme of legal diversity and the theory and practice of contemporary international law.
The speakers will be:
- The Ambassador of Canada to the Netherlands, H.E. Sabine Nölke
- Professor Daniel Jutras, Dean, Faculty of Law, McGill University
- Judge Hisashi Owada, International Court of Justice
- Hans van Loon, former Secretary General, Hague Conference on Private International Law
- Alex Mills, Reader in Public and Private International Law, Faculty of Laws, UCL
- Norman Farrell, Prosecutor, Special Tribunal for Lebanon
- Justice David Baragwanath, Special Tribunal for Lebanon
- James Stewart, Deputy Prosecutor, International Criminal Court
- Justice Bertram Schmitt, International Criminal Court
- Payam Akhavan, Associate Professor, McGill University Faculty of Law (and Counsel at PCA, ICJ, ECtHR, ITLS, ICC, ICTY)
- Silke Studzinsky, Trust Fund for Victims, International Criminal Court (previously Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC))
- Sergey Vasiliev, Assistant Professor in Public International Law, Grotius Centre, Leiden University
The speakers will be asked to address one or more of the following themes:
- Legal pluralism, legal diversity and international law: retrospective and prospective views; experiences from the practice of various Hague legal institutions; traditions of multiculturalism and legal pluralism (including the McGill Law Faculty educational method);
- Human rights, peremptory norms, international legal standards and legal /cultural diversity;
- “Cosmopolitan attitudes, methods & officials” in the practice of international law;
- “Harmonious coexistence rather than obligatory universality” & universality through diversity;
- The enrichment of international law through principles and approaches of diverse traditions / legal systems ;
- Envisioning future pathways for international law / institutions in the light of global legal diversity.
Conference proceedings will be inspired in part by the works of the late Professors Patrick Glenn and Roderick Macdonald of McGill University, Faculty of Law, including their study of legal traditions of the world and legal pluralism, interlinked with Canadian traditions of multiculturalism.
For registration or additional information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ambassador of Canada, H.E. Sabine Nölke, will host a post-conference reception that evening, at the Canadian Official Residence (Groot Haesebroekseweg 44, Wassenaar), from 18:30 to 20:30.
The Association of Defence Counsel Practising Before the ICTY (ADC-ICTY) has published the 100th issue of its newsletter.
This edition covers the recent developments in the Mladić case as well as in the Karadžić case, where the Defence filed two motions before the Appeals Chamber of the MICT (Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals) requesting on one hand the Prosecution to disclose statements to the Defence and on the other hand access to Ex Parte Filings in Completed Cases.
The newsletter also addresses the recent developments which took place at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, as well as in Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, where a war crimes trial is held against a former Bosnian Presidency Member, Borislav Paravac, accused of having participated in a joint criminal enterprise, targeting the Bosniak and Croat civilian population in Doboj (Northern Bosnia) between May 1992 and the end of 1993.
The newsletter also contains an op-ed analysis on the recent conviction of Radovan Karadžić and whether his conviction impedes Ratko Mladić’s right to a fair trial.
This week, the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) launched its first online exhibition entitled A Glimpse into the Archives.
The purpose of this exhibition is to allow the general public to contextualize, access, and understand the value of the archives of the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda (ICTR) and for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which are now in the custody of the Mechanism.
The exhibition features a selection of interesting items to illustrate the diversity of the records in the archives. The items include photographs of artefacts used as evidence in court, drawings made by witnesses, and an extract from a historic trial judgement.
The exhibition aims to create an interactive experience. Each image has descriptive details and links to databases where other records can be found.
This exhibition is an opportunity to reflect on the many facets these records have: they document the judicial process while also depicting specific events that are part of larger contexts. The archives also help make tangible the complexity of the events that took place in Rwanda and in the former Yugoslavia.
Today, the ICTY Prosecutor, Serge Brammertz stated that his Office will appeal the acquittal of Vojislav Šešelj.
The Office of the Prosecutor considers that there has been “a fundamental failure” by the Trial Chamber Majority to perform its judicial function and to properly adjudicate core aspects of the Prosecution’s case by, among other things, failing to consider large parts of the evidentiary record, making unreasonable and conflicting factual findings, or failing to properly apply the elements of modes of liability such as joint criminal enterprise and aiding and abetting in accordance with established case-law.
Moreover, the Prosecution explains that the Trial Chamber Majority unreasonably allowed for the possibility that criminal conduct was simply a lawful contribution to the war effort, despite the overwhelming body of evidence pointing against it. According to the Prosecution, this led the Trial Chamber Majority to unreasonably credit the possibility that: expelling civilians was a humanitarian gesture; that incendiary hate speech was simply morale boosting for the Serb forces; and that the deployment of ethnic cleansing forces was a measure to protect the Serb population.
Vojislav Šešelj, 61, had been charged with three counts of crimes against humanity and six of war crimes over ethnic cleansing in Croatia, Bosnia and the Serbian province of Vojvodina between August 1991 and September 1993.
The charges involved the forcible transfer of tens of thousands of civilians; torture, sexual assaults, beatings and other physical abuse of detained non-Serbs; the destruction of homes, religious sites, cultural institutions; and hate speech. Continue reading