International Tribunals

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ICC Issues Arrest Warrant for Bashir, but Rejects the Genocide Charge

(Updated) Today the International Criminal Court issues an arrest warrant for Omar al Bashir, the serving President of Sudan, for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur. (The decision is now available here). The news were expected after a leak a few weeks ago. What came as a pretty big surprise, however, is that the Pre-Trial Chamber rejected the genocide charges against Bashir. Though many commentators, including myself, have expressed skepticism that the prosecution would be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of genocide in Darfur at trial, the test for the issuance of an arrest warrant is much lower. Under Article 58(1) of the Rome Statute, all the prosecution had to prove to obtain an arrest warrant was that there were reasonable grounds for believing that the person in question committed the crimes charged. It is a bit strange that the prosecution was unable to furnish such proof at this stage of the proceedings in respect of the genocide charge. Either that, or the judges themselves implicitly employed a higher standard.

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ICTY Trial Chamber decides Milutinovic et al

Today a Trial Chamber of the ICTY delivered its judgment in Milutinovic et al, a case against a number of high-ranking political, military and police officials of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Serbia regarding crimes committed by FRY/Serbian forces in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999. This is the first judgment delivered by the ICTY on Kosovo, since the Kosovo…

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Kadi and Al Barakaat: Luxembourg is not Texas – or Washington DC

Piet Eeckhout is Professor of Law and Director of the Centre for European Law at King's College London. He was a member of the legal team for the applicant Yassin Kadi. The European Court of Justice's approach in the Kadi decision has already been described as sharply dualist (see,Professor Joseph Weiler's…

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The Obligation to “Extradite or Prosecute” is not an Obligation to “Prosecute or Extradite”

Joanna Harrington is Associate Professor of Law, University of Alberta, Canada. Her Phd obtained from the University of Cambridge dealt with extradition and human rights. From 2006-2008, she was on secondment to the Legal Affairs Bureau of the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. In that capacity, she, among other things, was a member of the…

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Belgium brings case against Senegal in the ICJ over Failure to Prosecute Hissene Habre

Belgium has filed a case in the ICJ against Senegal (see press release) with regard to Senegal's failure to prosecute former Chadian Head of State, Hissene Habre. This is the latest episode in the long running saga regarding the possible prosecution of Habre. Habre is accused of torture and crimes against humanity committed in the 1980s against…

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