Afghanistan

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The Situation in Afghanistan, US Sanctions and the Historical Narratives Emerging from the ICC

On 11 June 2020, the US announced a series of economic and travel sanctions against any officials of the ICC involved in an investigation into whether US forces committed war crimes related to the Afghan conflict (see here). The ICC Appeals Chamber had previously authorised the ICC Prosecutor to commence such an investigation (see here) and these sanctions are aimed at scuppering any attempt at investigating the actions of US forces. Previous discussions on this topic may also be found here. Given the geopolitical forces at play and the dependence of the ICC on the cooperation of States for effective investigations, evidence and prosecutions, it is likely (if unfortunate) that the US will succeed in disrupting effective investigations into the possible involvement of US forces. The exclusion of one of the key “sides” to the Afghan conflict will naturally raise questions of victor’s justice. As a secondary, but important, consideration, it will also have implications for the historical narratives about the conflict emerging from the ICC.

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(Not) Investigating Kunduz and (Not) Judging in Strasbourg? Extraterritoriality, Attribution and the Duty to Investigate

  A 2009 airstrike near Kunduz, Afghanistan, that led to more than 100 casualties and was ordered by a German colonel will be the subject of oral arguments in the Grand Chamber (GC) of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in the case of Hanan v. Germany, tomorrow, 26 February 2020. On 4 September…

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Whither the Aspirational ICC, Welcome the ‘Practical’ Court?

What is the promise of the International Criminal Court (ICC)? What do we, as observers, scholars, and constructive critics of the Court, believe that the ICC should do in a world of populism, altered balances of power, and persistent atrocity? Why has the Court been able to achieve so little and what would be required, in terms of…

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Reforming the International Criminal Court: Is it Time for the Assembly of State Parties to be the adults in the room?

The self-inflicted misfortunes of the International Criminal Court continue. The recent Pre-Trial Chamber decision not to authorise the opening of an investigation in Afghanistan has already generated considerable controversy (see here, here, here, here and here). The rather surprising news that Judge Ozaki would be allowed to continue to serve…

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Afghanistan and the ‘interests of justice’; an unwise exercise?

It has been more than a week now that a reference to the ‘interests of justice’ has highjacked the international criminal law blogosphere. The recent decision by the International Criminal Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) to reject the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP)'s request for authorization to open an investigation in the Afghanistan situation, solely on the basis…

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