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Preview: Journal of International Criminal Justice - current issue

Journal of International Criminal Justice Current Issue

Published: Mon, 25 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Mon, 25 Dec 2017 04:45:25 GMT


The Colombian Integrated System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition

Mon, 25 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

The peace negotiations carried out between the government of Colombia and the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces-Popular Army (FARC) were finalized with the Final Agreement to End the Conflict and Establish a Stable and Long-lasting Peace, dated 24 November 2016. This Agreement is constituted by a complex set of documents consisting of six interconnected agreements on rural reform, political participation, ceasefire and disarmament, illicit drugs, victims and implementation mechanisms, all of which must be read together as an indissoluble whole. The Agreement sets up an Integrated System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition, which establishes the following judicial and non-judicial mechanisms: (i) amnesty and pardon for FARC members and special treatment for state officials; (ii) a Truth Commission; (iii) a Special Jurisdiction for Peace; (iv) measures to provide comprehensive reparation for victims; and (v) other measures, including a Special Unit for Finding Missing Persons as well as non-repetition guarantees. None of these mechanisms can be assessed in isolation. Each element forms part of an attempt to provide a comprehensive response to victims of the armed conflict in Colombia. At the time that this system is beginning to be set in motion, this article primarily aims at describing its multiple elements and their links.

In MemoriamM. Cherif Bassiouni,1937–2017

Mon, 25 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Leila Nadya Sadat writes:

The International Criminal Court’s Chambers Practice ManualTowards a Return to Judicial Law Making in International Criminal Procedure?

Mon, 25 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

This article discusses the nature of the International Criminal Court (ICC)’s Chambers Practice Manual as an interpretative source, in the context of a wider debate on judges as procedural lawmakers in international criminal law. As is clear from the ICC Statute, the Practice Manual should not be seen as a source of law on a par with the Statute or Rules of Procedure and Evidence (RPE), nor even does it represent a secondary source of law. However, this article argues that the Practice Manual oversteps the mark of what could be expected from a guidance document containing merely non-binding recommendations in two important respects. Firstly, as expressly acknowledged by the ICC’s President, the judges have perceived the amendment of the Practice Manual as an alternative to proposing amendments to the Court’s RPE to the Assembly of States Parties, a practice which has been fraught with difficulty in recent years. Secondly, the Practice Manual contains explicit instructions to Chambers, including text to be included in Chambers’ decisions, which appears to cross the boundaries of what should be expected from a guidance document. This article further argues that some early decisions of the Court following its adoption give the Practice Manual a normative force that ought not to attach to it. This raises issues of fairness, legal certainty, predictability and coherence, and overall, it is argued that the Practice Manual marks an unforeseen return to judicial law making in international criminal procedure.

Whose Number is it Anyway?Common Legal Representation, Consultations and the ‘Statistical Victim’

Mon, 25 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Ensuring effective and meaningful participation by large numbers of victims of international crimes continues to pose significant challenges for the International Criminal Court (ICC). This is evident in the implementation of provisions in the ICC’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence concerning the appointment of lawyers to represent victim participants. These allow the Chamber to request victims to choose common representation. Making provision for victims to choose is, however, far easier than ensuring that choice is appropriately achieved in practice. Typically the ICC’s Registry consults with victims before presenting a report for consideration by the Chamber. These reports may, as in the proceedings in the Ntaganda case considered here, contain statistical indicators to express some of the outcomes of its consultations with victims. This practice, has, we suggest, resulted in the emergence of what can be termed the ‘statistical victim’. Consultations with victims are important and welcome. However, we strike a cautionary note about the turn to statistics. The use of statistics can bolster institutional interests in debates about representation, thereby impacting upon the portrayal (and therefore the management) of dissent on the part of victim participants at the ICC. This is a matter of particular concern when what is at stake is how victims might be able to contest the current arrangements in place for their legal representation. In highlighting the emergence of the ‘statistical victim’ we seek to contribute to wider debates about the representation of victims in international criminal law as well as indirectly to discussions about measuring victim satisfaction.

International Criminal Courts and the Right to Information

Mon, 25 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Transparency of criminal proceedings is enshrined in international human rights instruments and the statutes of international criminal courts and tribunals. It is one of the fundamental rights of the accused and also a right of the public to be informed about the work of international judicial institutions. This article considers the rights at issue and looks at how international courts have discharged their duty to provide information to those interested in their work. It discusses freedom of information and what it means to conduct public trials at the international level. It analyses the public’s right to know and how it should apply to international judicial institutions. The article provides concrete proposals for measures that could be adopted to ensure full compliance with the freedom of information guarantees.

The ICC’s First ‘Forced Pregnancy’ Case in Historical Perspective

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Reproductive violence, as distinct from the related issue of sexual violence, is yet to be truly ‘surfaced’ in international criminal law. Yet, this kind of violence has long been a feature of war, and is repugnant to the values that international criminal law protects. The Ongwen case, which commenced trial in the International Criminal Court in December 2016, is a step forward in this regard. Not only is this the first case in any international criminal court to include charges of ‘forced pregnancy’; it is also one of the only cases in which reproductive violence outside the context of genocide or ‘ethnic cleansing’ has been understood as a crime under international law. This article situates this landmark case is its historical contex, and raises some broader concerns about the limited response to reproductive violence in the development and enforcement of international criminal law. Based on an analysis of the law and practice of past and present international criminal courts, it shows that accountability for conflict-related reproductive violence has been patchy at best, and that there has been little recognition of the harms that such violence causes to individual victims, as distinct from the groups to which they ‘belong’. The article concludes by sketching out some steps to remedy these omissions, building on the progress made in the Ongwen case. Underlying the article is a view that reproductive autonomy is a distinct value from sexual autonomy, and that, where possible, conduct which offends this value should be punished as a separate crime.

The Kosovo Specialist Chambers’ Rules of Procedure and EvidenceA Diamond Made Under Pressure?

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

The Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) and the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) are the latest addition to a multi-layered and burgeoning spectrum of international(ized) courts and institutions dedicated to the investigation and prosecution of international crimes. Their creation on 3 August 2015, however, did not only mark a new chapter in international criminal law, but also in the field of international criminal procedure. The judges of the KSC, in accordance with Article 19(1) of the Law on Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (KSC Law), adopted the Rules of Procedure and Evidence (KSC RPE) in March 2017. After two decisions by the Constitutional Court Chamber and further amendments, the Rules have now been declared compatible with the Constitution of Kosovo and made public. In this article, I will provide a first analysis of the KSC RPE, focusing on their institutional background, origin, development, and selected issues that might provoke internal conflicts. Methodologically, I will not only compare the rules to their sister rules at other international(ized) criminal tribunals but also portray them against the background of Kosovo’s procedural tradition and political situation.

Andrea Carcano, The Transformation of Occupied Territory in International Law

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

CarcanoAndrea, The Transformation of Occupied Territory in International Law (Brill/Nijhoff, 2015) xxx, 540 pp. (Hardcover) €218 ISBN 978-9-0042-2787-3

Simon M. Meisenberg and Ignaz Stegmiller (eds), The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia: Assessing their Contribution to International Criminal Law

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT

MeisenbergSimon M. and StegmillerIgnaz (eds), The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia: Assessing their Contribution to International Criminal Law (T.M.C. Asser Press, 2016) XVIII, 612 pp. (Hardcover) £126.50 ISBN 978-94-6265-104-3

Kamari M. Clarke, Abel S. Knottnerus and Eefje de Volder (eds), Africa and the ICC: Perceptions of Justice

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT

ClarkeKamari M., KnottnerusAbel S. and de VolderEefje (eds), Africa and the ICC: Perceptions of Justice (Cambridge University Press, 2016) 470 pp. (Hardcover) £79.99 ISBN 978-11-0714-765-2