Crimes Against Humanity

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Gaza, Forced Displacement, and Genocide

International courts and commissions of enquiry have been reluctant to find that forced displacement constitutes genocide. Forced displacement, in its various forms, is a war crime (Rome Statute, Article 8(2)(a)(vii)) and a crime against humanity (Rome Statute, Article 7 (1)(d)), but not genocide. Indeed, the Genocide Convention omits forced transfer as a genocidal act. Still, in Croatia v. Serbia (2015), while the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found that there was no evidence to conclude that the forced displacement of Croatians was carried out with genocidal intent (Croatia v. Serbia, Judgment, para. 428), and the forced displacement was a consequence of other actions capable of being viewed as acts of genocide (para. 376), it nevertheless affirmed that it could, when taking place in circumstances calculated to bring about the physical destruction of the group, also constitute genocide (para. 163). With the mass forced displacement, starvation, and the inability to flee to safety in Gaza, this article considers the standards set by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the ICJ to…

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The Operational Logic behind Designating States for the Enforcement of International Sentences: The Implications of the Ongwen Case

Dominic Ongwen, convicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of 61 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed as a senior commander of the “Lord’s Resistance Army” (LRA) rebel group, was transferred on 18 December 2023 to an as yet undisclosed prison facility in the Kingdom of Norway to serve his 25-year sentence. After…

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The Responsibility of Syria under the Convention Against Torture before the ICJ

With the oral proceedings and marathon round of interventions over the past two weeks on the preliminary objections in the Allegations of Genocide (Ukraine v Russia) case (on which, see the excellent summary here), one might forget that the International Court of Justice will be in session again from 10 October to hear pleadings in yet…

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Territorial Jurisdiction at the International Criminal Court for Deportation Across the High Seas

There is a lacuna in the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) jurisprudence on jurisdiction for the transboundary crime against humanity of deportation. The issue is whether the deportation of victims across the high seas into the territory of a Rome Statute state party falls within the ICC’s territorial jurisdiction. The ICC’s leading decisions —arising from Bangladesh/Myanmar— appear to point…

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On the rape of men in the context of forced marriages at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

On December 23rd, 2022, the Supreme Court Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) published its full appeal judgment in the Samphân KHIEU case. The Supreme Court Chamber mostly upheld Samphân KHIEU’s conviction, including for forced marriages as crimes against humanity of other inhumane acts. The Supreme Court Chamber, however, reversed…

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