international courts news

New Decision on Immunity for Foreign Leaders in War Crimes Trials by Germany’s Federal Court of Justice

submitted by heywood on Monday, 1 February 2021 - 1:51pm EST

Preliminary look by Professor Claus Kress in on the 28 January 2021 decision on the lack of immunity for foreign leaders in war crimes trials.


Kosovo Relocated Specialist Judicial Institution to open in the Hague

submitted by heywood on Friday, 15 January 2016 - 12:46pm EST

The Kosovo Relocated Specialist Judicial Institution, created by the government of Kosovo in agreement with the European Union, will open in the Hague sometime in 2016. The tribunal has been set up to try former Kosovo Liberation Army fighters for the killing, abduction, illegal detention, and persecution of those believed to be collaborators with Serbia or KLA political opponents. The Law on Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor's Office, passed by the Kosovo parliament on 3 August 2015, is a hybrid court, founded as a court of Kosovo, applying Kosovar and international law, with a bench of international judges, funded by the EU. Its ratione materiæ includes crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes under the laws of Kosovo. Ratione temporis is for crimes committed between 1 January 1998 and 31 December 2000. Ratione loci is "consistent with the territorial jurisdiction of Kosovo courts." Ratione personæ extends to natural persons only, and they are claiming both active and passive personality jurisdiction over "persons of Kosovo/FRY citizenship or over persons who committed crimes within its subject matter jurisdiction against persons of Kosovo/FRY citizenship wherever those crimes were committed." [Article 9(2)]

The Balkan Transnational Justice blog has had several good articles on the new court:


OSCE criticizes Serbia on lack of prosecutions

submitted by heywood on Tuesday, 27 October 2015 - 10:55am EDT

An article in the Balkan Transitional Justice blog highlights the new report from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe that criticizes Serbia's performance in prosecuting war crimes.


Ratko Mladic Witness Found Dead in Hotel

submitted by heywood on Thursday, 22 October 2015 - 12:53pm EDT

Denis Dzidic, on the blog Balkan Transitional Justice, is reporting that Dusan Dunjic, a Serbian forensic expert who was to testify in the trial of Ratko Mladic in the ICTY, has been found dead in his hotel in the Netherlands.


ICC Chooses New President and Vice-Presidents

submitted by heywood on Tuesday, 17 March 2015 - 3:29pm EDT
ICC President Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi

On 11 March 2015, the judges of the International Criminal Court elected Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi of Argentina as President of the Court, Judge Joyce Aluoch of Kenya and Judge Kuniko Ozaki of Japan as First and Second Vice-Presidents. They will serve for a three-year term.

This marks the first time in the history of the Court that the entire Presidency has been female, which has been hailed as an important step for gender equity in the administration of international justice.


icc prosecutor's preliminary examination of us conduct in afghanistan

submitted by heywood on Thursday, 4 December 2014 - 11:58am EST

Ryan Goodman has a good post up at Just Security entitled: "Int’l Criminal Court’s Examination of U.S. Treatment of Detainees Takes Shape." Worth a read.


un finishes electing icj justices

submitted by heywood on Monday, 17 November 2014 - 8:48pm EST
The ICJ in session

On 11 November 2014, the Republic of Argentina formally withdrew the candidacy of its candidate for the remaining spot on the ICJ, Ms. Susana Ruiz Cerutti. On 12 November 2014, the Secuity Council and General Assembly elected the remaining candidate, Mr. Patrick Lipton Robinson of Jamaica. The Court is now composed of:

  • Term ending 2018:
    • Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia)
    • Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh (Jordan)
    • Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (Brazil)
    • Ronny Abraham (France)
    • Christopher John Greenwood (United Kingdom)
  • Term ending 2021:
    • Julia Sebutinde (Sierra Leone)
    • Hisashi Owada (Japan)
    • Xue Hanqin (China)
    • Peter Tomka (Slovakia)
    • Giorgio Gaja (Italy)
  • Term ending 2025:
    • Mohamed Bennouna (Morocco)
    • Joan E. Donoghue (United States of America)
    • James Richard Crawford (Australia)
    • Kirill Gevorgian (Russian Federation)
    • Patrick Lipton Robinson (Jamaica)

un general assembly & security council elect 4 justices, leaving 1 opening unfilled

submitted by heywood on Friday, 7 November 2014 - 12:51pm EST
Raimonda Murmokaitė (right), Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the UN, casts her country’s ballot in the Security Council.

The UN General Assembly and Security Council, meeting in parallel, elected four members of the ICJ on Thursday, 6 November 2014. They could not agree on who should fill the fifth open slot, and met again Friday to try to finish the election. They failed to decide between two candidates (Susana Ruiz Cerutti of Argentina and Patrick Lipton Robinson of Jamaica), and a third round is scheduled for 17 November 2014.

Press Release from the ICJ (PDF)

Official UN Photo: Raimonda Murmokaitė (right), Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the UN, casts her country’s ballot in the Security Council.