War Crimes

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The German reform of war crimes against the environment – A missed opportunity to live up to the principle of legality

On June 6th, the German legislator, the Bundestag, adopted a new law reforming the German international criminal code (CCIAL / Völkerstrafgesetzbuch). The adoption of the reform law (Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Fortentwicklung des Völkerstrafrechts) was preceded by a number of discussions initially not foreseen when the reform was first introduced in November 2023. The new reform law now touches upon a wide range of issues, among them sexual and gender-based violence, aspects of enforced disappearances as well as questions of immunity. This contribution will focus on the modification in the German international criminal code regarding environmental crimes in the newly inserted Section 11(1) no. 8 CCAIL (formerly Section 11(3) CCAIL).

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Applications for Arrest Warrants in the Situation in Palestine: In Defence of the Legal Process

The recent announcement by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) seeking arrest warrants for leaders of both Israel and Hamas has sent shockwaves through the region. Unlike last year’s similar action against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, which received widespread approval from Western states, the ICC Prosecutor’s application…

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Justice for Persons with Disabilities at the Liberia War Crimes Court: Learning from Missed Opportunities at the Special Court for Sierra Leone

On May 2, 2024, Liberian President Joseph Boakai signed an executive order establishing a United Nations-backed war crimes court. This historic achievement is the culmination of years of advocacy, both within Liberia and internationally, to create a forum to investigate and prosecute gross violations of human rights law and humanitarian law that occurred during Liberia’s two civil…

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ICC Prosecutor’s application for arrest warrant against Israeli leaders: The war crime of starvation and its contextual element

On 20 May 2024, the ICC Prosecutor requested arrest warrants against leaders of both Hamas and Israel. The key crime charged against the Israeli leaders, Benjamin Netanyahu (Prime Minister) and Yoav Gallant (the Minister of Defence), is the war crime of starvation of civilians as a method of warfare. This crime raises numerous issues, including…

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Karim Khan’s Dubious Characterization of the Gaza Hostilities

In his 20 May 2024 press statement announcing his intent to seek arrest warrants for Palestinian and Israeli figures, Prosecutor Karim Khan of the International Criminal Court says, “My Office submits that the war crimes alleged in these applications were committed in the context of an international armed conflict between Israel and Palestine, and a…

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