As the war in Syria entered its fifth year, the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic on Tuesday called for the establishment of an ad-hoc tribunal to prosecute both sides to ensure accountability for the perpetrators of mass crimes committed in Syria.
Members of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria ©Martial Trezzini / EPA
Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, Chair of the Commission of Inquiry, addressed the Human Rights Council in Geneva warning that the Syrian civil war had intensified in its destructive scale as combatants used aerial and ground weapons “indiscriminately and disproportionately” and committed an alarming number of human rights violations.
The Commission of Inquiry reiterated the Commission’s dedication to find a path to justice through a Security Council referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC). However, it held that ensuring accountability was a process rather than a single action and that impunity had lasted for too long. Continue reading
Date: 15-19 June 2015
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. To register and for more information regarding the 2015 ICC Summer School, please visit the conference website or send an email.
As the United Nations recently took over the peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), calls for imminent justice were made earlier this week by Human Rights Groups.
UN Secretary-General meets with internally displaced people camped near the airport in Bangui, Central African Republic, 5 April 2014
©UN Photo/Evan Schneider
MINUSCA officially started its mission on 15 September 2014. Adopted by the Security Council in April 2014, Resolution 2149 gives mandate to MINUSCA to ensure the security of the civilian population, contribute significantly to the establishment of the rule of law with the redeployment of the public services and help to fight against impunity. This force deployment, in majority composed of the African forces of the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA) placed under UN command, must continue until April 2015, date on which the mission should reach the total number of 10 000 soldiers and 2 000 policemen. Continue reading
Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA)’s office in the Hague is currently accepting applications for a Summer 2014 internship assisting the PGA Campaign for the Universality and Effectiveness of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
The intern will be involved in administrative, logistic, and research activities, including providing support in the organization of meetings and events to be held in The Hague and worldwide.
The intern will support the team in collecting and organizing information on stakeholders and political developments in different regions of the world, and establishing and maintaining communication with PGA members on behalf of the PGA Secretariat. In addition, the intern will support the administration of the Campaign’s database of contacts and the coordination of PGA’s social media, website and outreach tools.
The internship will begin in June 2014 and will last three to four months. The deadline for applications is 20 May 2014.
For more information on the internship, click here.
Parliamentarians for Global Action is a network of more than 1,100 legislators from 139 elected parliaments around the world who use their legislative and political prerogatives for the solution of global problems and to undertake specific actions and international initiatives with the support of PGA’s secretariat. PGA works on an expanded list of global issues such as fostering democracy, conflict prevention and management, international law and human rights, population and sustainable development.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) yesterday examined photographs of about 11,000 Syrians said to have been tortured, starved and killed by the Syrian government’s forces.
Tramline bruises are produced by blows with rod-like objects, the report explains. ©Carter-Ruck and Co.
Most of the photographs were collected by a Syrian military police photographer, code-named Caesar, who smuggled them out on flash drives when he defected and joined an anti-Assad opposition group. “Caesar”, a crime scene photographer for the Syrian military police, was assigned in 2001 to photograph corpses at a military hospital that received bodies from three detention centres in the Damascus suburbs. In his testimony, the photographer described a highly bureaucratic system:
“The procedure was that when detainees were killed at their places of detention their bodies would be taken to a military hospital to which he would be sent with a doctor and a member of the judiciary, Caesar’s function being to photograph the corpses… There could be as many as 50 bodies a day to photograph which require 15 to 30 minutes of work per corpse,” the report said. “The reason for photographing executed persons was twofold. First to permit a death certificate to be produced without families requiring to see the body, thereby avoiding the authorities having to give a truthful account of their deaths; second to confirm that orders to execute individuals had been carried out.” Continue reading
After almost a two-year break, the International Justice Tribune is back.
In their newsletter, you will find analyses on the legal dispute between Serbia and Croatia in front of the International Court of Justice over the alleged commission of genocide by Serbia in the early 1990’s. The issue also comprises comments on the Gbagbo case at the International Criminal Court (ICC) but also on the asylum trial faced by Mathieu Ngudjolo after his acquittal by the ICC. The newsletter finally addresses the case of General Augustin Bizimungu in front of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
The International Justice Tribune is also finalizing a new website which will be launched soon.
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.