In Global Justice news this week: The European Union holds its first annual EU Day Against Impunity; the ICC held up as an example of the norms that uphold humanity at the World Humanitarian Summit; the ICC prosecutor addressed the UN Security Council on the situation in Libya; and much more.
European Union and World Humanitarian Summit urge an end to impunity
Global and regional events took place this week to promote comprehensive justice and accountability in the case of mass atrocities.
During Monday’s 1st EU Day Against Impunity, several EU institutions raised awareness on the legal and human tools available to EU countries in the fight to eradicate impunity worldwide.
Participants in the World Humanitarian Summit also looked to reinforce the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the wider Rome Statute system as an accepted response to humanitarian crises.
Central African Republic: Victims have called for ICC judges to hand recently convicted MLA commander Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo a 30-year sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Côte d’Ivoire: Judges in Côte d’Ivoire rejected Simone Gbagbo’s appeal of the 20-year sentence she landed for “attacking state authority” during the country’s 2010-2011 post-election crisis. The Prime Minister reaffirmed that the former first lady, who is still wanted by the ICC for alleged crimes against humanity, would not be surrendered to the Court in The Hague.
Kenya: Can the ICC order reparations to victims of Kenya’s post-election violence without a conviction? The ICC Prosecutor meanwhile called the Ruto defence’s allegations against her staff, following the termination of the case against their client, “unsubstantiated, sensationalist and in some cases gratuitous.”
Libya: The ICC prosecutor called for Libya’s Government of National Accord to satisfy its legal obligation to surrender Saif al-Islam Gaddafi to the ICC while commending national law enforcement agencies for continuing to coordinate with the ICC, each other and Libyan authorities. She reiterated that justice and accountability would be crucial for achieving lasting peace in Libya.
Mali: Jihadist Ahmad al-Faqi al-Madhi’s lawyer told the ICC this week that the ICC suspect will seek forgiveness when he pleads guilty to attacking the world heritage site of Timbuktu as a war crime. The prosecution and defense jointly requested that the trial begin in The Hague in August this year.
Uganda: Journalists for Justice on why the ICC is a court of convenience for Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
Meanwhile, victims and civil society commemorating the Lukodi massacre expressed hope after the ICC announced the trial against Lord’s Resistance Army Commander Dominic Ongwen may begin 5 December this year.
ICC preliminary examinations
Iraq/UK: According to Mark Kersten, “short-sighted partisan bluster and squabbles” will not bring Iraqi victims justice for abuses at the hands of western officials and citizens.
Palestine: Could three trials by Israel around the killing of Palestinians shape the ICC’s next moves in Palestine?
Campaign for Global Justice
Human Rights lawyer Philippe Sands’ new book revisited how definitions for core international crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity arose from the Nuremberg trials following World War II.
Could Germany be close to joining the more than 20 countries that have recognized the 1915-16 massacres of Armenians by Ottoman forces as ‘genocide’? Will the U.S. push for ICC intervention after declaring that ISIS is committing ‘genocide’ two months ago?
Johns Hopkins University released a report suggesting medical facilities and healthcare workers have been attacked in 19 countries in just over a year of warfare. The report’s coordinator noted that such attacks constitute war crimes at the ICC.
FIDH expressed disappointment at the African Commission’s call for African Union states to ratify a regional treaty that protects heads-of-state from prosecution, which FIDH noted goes against the right of victims to obtain truth, justice and reparations. FIDH urged those states to instead support existing avenues for justice like the ICC.
Around the world
The President of Niger said his country has arrested and would hand over “scores” of Boko Haram militants for prosecution at the ICC.
Do the Rohingya face the final stages of genocide in Myanmar? One study called for the UN Security Council to work with ASEAN to bring the military leaders allegedly responsible to the ICC.