International Criminal Court

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The ICC concludes its preliminary examination in Crimea and Donbas: What’s next for the situation in Ukraine?

Last week was eventful for the ICC despite the disruption of its work caused by the current pandemic. While everyone tuned in to the live hearings with the expanded list of candidates for the coveted position of the new ICC Prosecutor, the outgoing Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, was busy tidying up her work desk for the incoming Prosecutor by taking decisions on the fate of some key situations pending determination at the preliminary examination stage. First, she issued a statement on the conclusion of the preliminary examination of the situation in UK/Iraq, refusing to move ahead with an investigation due to the lack of evidence showing that the UK was unwilling to genuinely investigate alleged war crimes committed by its soldiers in Iraq. The OTP’s questionable complementarity assessment was discussed elsewhere. From a broader perspective, the ICC Prosecutor’s decision not to investigate may be seen by some as an attempt to steer clear of situations potentially implicating criminal responsibility of nationals of powerful states, especially in light of the lessons learnt when dealing with the situation…

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The ICC Prosecutor Releases Guidelines for Agreements Regarding Admission of Guilt

On 12 November 2020, the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) released its Guidelines for Agreements Regarding Admission of Guilt (the Guidelines). The document represents the most recent mile on a long and bumpy road headed towards the consolidation of negotiated justice in International Criminal Law. Since plea bargaining anywhere (but…

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The International Criminal Court Independent Expert Review: questions of trust and tenure

I have previously written on the Independent Expert Review (IER) of the International Criminal Court and its findings on questions of governance structure and culture. In this blog post I’d like to turn to two other running themes through the report: trust and tenure.* The problem of trust My previous post noted the…

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The International Criminal Court Independent Expert Review: questions of accountability and culture

The Independent Expert Review of the International Criminal Court commissioned by the ICC Assembly of State Parties (ASP) reported on 30 September 2020.* (Final report here, background here.) There were concerns this could be a dry, technocratic report. It is not. It is frank and forthright in setting down in black…

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Hate Speech as Persecution: Tackling the Gordian Knot

Two recent incidents have reignited the question of whether hate speech can constitute the actus reus for persecution, giving rise to a successful charge of crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). First, the report of the UN International Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar (FFM) to the United Nations Human Rights…

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