International Criminal Law

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Military Courts and Human Rights Violations in Brazil from the Perspective of the Inter-American Human Rights System

The Supreme Federal Court of Brazil will soon rule (under a constitutional review case called Ação Direta de Inconstitucionalidade no. 5032, commonly referred to as ADI 5032) whether members of the armed forces that commit crimes against civilians during peacetime should be tried before civilian or military courts. This judgment is critical for Brazil, a country with a long (and recent) period of authoritarian military rule (1964-1985) but without comprehensive transitional justice mechanisms and State accountability for human rights violations. While the current Brazilian Constitution (adopted in 1988) restricted the institutional role of the military, starting from the 1990s, governments began to routinely employ the Armed Forces in public security contexts – from fighting organised crime in the Favelas or the Amazon rain forest to assisting local security forces with mega-events, such as the 2016 Olympics and the 2014 World Cup (often called “operations to guarantee law and order”). This resulted in a complex and conflictual institutional context: unresolved political and human rights issues combined with increasing reliance on the military for…

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Artificial Intelligence and International Criminal Law

Artificial Intelligence (‘AI’), particularly large language models (‘LLMs’) such as Open AI’s ChatGPT, Bing Chat, and Google Bard, pose clear risks when lawyers use them without understanding their limitations. One need look no further than recent news, where an attorney incurred the wrath of a New York federal judge for submitting a brief with cases…

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The Ljubljana – The Hague Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance: Was the Gap Closed?

26 May 2023 was a historical day for the fight against impunity for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community. On that day, a Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries, held in the city of Ljubljana, Slovenia, between 15 and 26 May, adopted by consensus the Ljubljana – The Hague Convention on International Cooperation…

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France’s Highest Court Confirms Universal Jurisdiction

In November 2021, the Criminal Chamber of the French Cour de cassation, shocked the international criminal law community (see here and here) by considering that French courts did not have jurisdiction over crimes against humanity committed in Syria because Syria was not party to the Rome Statute and did…

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“Failure to Act” of Mr Putin: Liability by Omission

As announced on 17 March 2023, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Mr Vladimir Putin (the President of the Russian Federation), who has been charged with unlawful deportation and transfer of children (Articles 8(2)(a)(vii) and 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute) from the occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation at least…

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