International Criminal Law

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A Response to Carsten Hoppe: Minimising the regulatory gap – a flexible interpretation of Article 5 of the ILC Articles

Editors note: Hannah Tonkin is currently a Law Clerk to President Judge Kirsch in the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court. She is also writing a DPhil at the University of Oxford on States' International Obligations to Control Private Military and Security Companies. Carsten Hoppe's article highlights the regulatory "gap" arising from the application of the traditional rules of attribution to modern private military and security companies (PMSCs) hired by a state in armed conflict or occupation.  According to Hoppe, states that hire PMSC personnel "will always face less responsibility for acts of those persons than for acts of soldiers, and its responsibility will be harder to prove."  Hoppe points to two main situations in which this accountability gap may arise: Where the private contractor is "empowered by the law of that state to exercise elements of the governmental authority" within Article 5 of the International Law Commission's Articles on State Responsibility (ILC Articles), but is not in…

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Territorial Scope of Application of the Genocide Convention

In the Bosnian Genocide case, Bosnia alleged that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY, Serbia) was responsible for, inter alia, committing genocide and failing to prevent genocide on Bosnian territory. This argument, of course, immediately raised the question whether the FRY had any obligations under the Genocide Convention regarding its actions outside its own territory. To answer this question, it…

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The Two Faces of the Genocide Convention

In keeping with Christmas spirit, here’s my next post on the Genocide Convention. Can a state be responsible for genocide? What does that even mean? Aren’t international crimes, in the sage words of the Nuremberg Tribunal, committed by men, not by abstract entities?Can a state even possess genocidal intent, a basic requirement for the crime of genocide?…

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Prosecution of Senior Rwandan Government Official in France: More on Immunity

French authorities have announced this week (see here) that a senior Rwandan official, Rose Kabuye, who is curently detained in France, will be allowed to travel to Rwanda for the Christmas holidays. Rose Kabuye was at the time of her arrest the Chief of Protocol to current Rwandan President Paul Kagame. She is accused (see here), under French Anti-Terrorism…

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60 Years of the Genocide Convention

Many thanks to Dapo for inviting me to blog here at EJIL: Talk! - hopefully the blog will turn out to be as successful in the blawgosphere as the EJIL is in print. In the next couple of weeks I intend to write on various topics, first about certain issues regarding the the Genocide Convention, which has had its sixtieth…

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