Crimes Against Humanity

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The Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty for Core Crimes: Filling the Gap?

Since 2011, work has been underway in the Mutual Legal Assistance Initiative (MLAI) to create a modern, procedural, multilateral treaty on mutual legal assistance and extradition, which better facilitates cooperation between states in the prosecution of international crimes. However, recent drafts of the Convention on International Cooperation in the Investigation and Prosecution of the Crime of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes (The MLA Convention) go far beyond the regulation of inter-state assistance and create domestic regimes requiring the prosecution of alleged perpetrators and redress for victims. A number of Supporting States have voiced concerns regarding the inclusion of wider obligations, arguing that they will make the treaty less attractive and lead to fewer state ratifications. Instead, they advise a return to a ‘pure’ MLA treaty focused on cooperation. As negotiations around the adoption of a new treaty reach a crucial stage as states prepare for a Diplomatic Conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia, this post asks whether, in its current form, the MLA Convention fulfils its original purpose of filling the cooperation gap.

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Sexual and Gender-Based Violence against Women in the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

In April 2022, it was reported that Ukrainian law enforcement intercepted a phone call between a Russian soldier and his wife. In the phone call, they joked about the soldier raping Ukrainian women. His wife told him, “Yes, I allow it. Just wear protection”. The shockingly cavalier attitude of these two young Russian people towards rape emanates…

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Is the Dispute between Germany and Italy over State Immunities Coming to an End (Despite Being Back at the ICJ)?

For nearly two decades Germany and Italy have been embroiled in a dispute over the scope of State immunities under international law. The dispute which relates to the question of compensation for victims of crimes committed by Nazi forces in Italy or against Italian citizens, has recently been resubmitted by Germany to the International Court of Justice…

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Violations of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity Committed in Ukraine since 24 February 2022: Summary of the Report by a Mission of Experts under the OSCE Moscow Mechanism

On 13 April 2022, we presented the report of our mission on Ukraine to a special session of the Permanent Council of OSCE. Based on this presentation, the following contribution summarizes the establishment and mandate, methodology and findings of our 94 pages Report. Establishment and mandate On 3 March 2022, Ukraine,…

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Prosecuting Atrocity Crimes Committed in Northern Ethiopia: The Need for Special National Prosecution Mechanism

Over the last four years, serious human rights violations and abuses, have been committed in Ethiopia in and outside of the context of an armed conflict. These violations may constitute international crimes, such as crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture. The situation particularly worsened and garnered international attention after an armed conflict broke out in Tigray on…

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