EJIL Analysis

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ICC Issues Arrest Warrant for Bashir, but Rejects the Genocide Charge

(Updated) Today the International Criminal Court issues an arrest warrant for Omar al Bashir, the serving President of Sudan, for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur. (The decision is now available here). The news were expected after a leak a few weeks ago. What came as a pretty big surprise, however, is that the Pre-Trial Chamber rejected the genocide charges against Bashir. Though many commentators, including myself, have expressed skepticism that the prosecution would be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of genocide in Darfur at trial, the test for the issuance of an arrest warrant is much lower. Under Article 58(1) of the Rome Statute, all the prosecution had to prove to obtain an arrest warrant was that there were reasonable grounds for believing that the person in question committed the crimes charged. It is a bit strange that the prosecution was unable to furnish such proof at this stage of the proceedings in respect of the genocide charge. Either that, or the judges themselves implicitly employed a higher standard.

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Is Gaza Still Occupied by Israel?

While the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas was still ongoing, I was wary of commenting on what is a very contentious legal issue - whether Gaza is still to be considered as occupied as a matter of international humanitarian law, even after Israel's unilateral disengagement from Gaza in 2005. I was wary of doing so primarily because the issue…

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Kadi and Al Barakaat: Luxembourg is not Texas – or Washington DC

Piet Eeckhout is Professor of Law and Director of the Centre for European Law at King's College London. He was a member of the legal team for the applicant Yassin Kadi. The European Court of Justice's approach in the Kadi decision has already been described as sharply dualist (see,Professor Joseph Weiler's…

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The Obligation to “Extradite or Prosecute” is not an Obligation to “Prosecute or Extradite”

Joanna Harrington is Associate Professor of Law, University of Alberta, Canada. Her Phd obtained from the University of Cambridge dealt with extradition and human rights. From 2006-2008, she was on secondment to the Legal Affairs Bureau of the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. In that capacity, she, among other things, was a member of the…

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European Court decides A and others v. United Kingdom

Today the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights delivered its judgment in A and others v. United Kingdom, App. No. 3455/05, the sequel to the Belmarsh case, [2005] UKHL 71, decided by the House of Lords several years ago. The applicants were detained preventatively as suspected terrorists by UK authorities pursuant to legislation passed by…

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