International Criminal Court

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The ICC Appeals Judgment on Abd-Al-Rahman Jurisdictional Challenge: A Foreseeable Turn to Substantive Justice?

On 1 November 2021, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued its Appeals Judgment on Abd-Al-Rahman Jurisdictional Challenge which could have been the ICC’s own Tadic Interlocutory Appeal on Jurisdiction. In addition to challenging the legality of Security Council (SC) Resolution 1593, the Defence claimed the ICC was prevented from exercising its subject matter jurisdiction over crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in a non-international armed conflict (NIAC), as defined in Articles 7, 8(2)(c) and (e) Rome Statute, for conduct that occurred in Darfur, Sudan in 2003-2004. While the ICC Appeals Chamber did not find the legality challenges posed to the SC referral of the situation Darfur, Sudan, persuasive, it mentioned that if confronted with a genuine incompatibility with the Statute it could exercise its compétence de la competence/Kompetenz-Kompetenz to determine whether a SC referral is invalid (para 46). It thus confirmed that in contrast to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, it would be ready to follow the legacy of Tadic.

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UN Security Council Referrals to the ICC and the Principle of Legality

Introduction On 1 November 2021, the Appeals Chamber (AC) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) rendered an interesting judgment relating to a jurisdictional challenge brought by the Defence in the case of Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rhaman (“Ali Kushayb”). The challenge is noteworthy because it confronted the Court with novel issues of law relating to the…

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The return of “positive complementarity”

The (new) Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim A. A. Khan Q.C., on 28 October announced the closure of the preliminary examination of the Situation in Colombia after well-nigh two decades (exactly 17 years without opening a formal investigation, let alone filing charges). However, the announcement comes with an unprecedented quid pro quo…

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Ntaganda and the ‘Conduct of Hostilities Crimes’

The ICC’s appeals judgement in the Ntaganda case, although covering a diverse array of legal issues, will likely be remembered as the focus for a confused and chaotic debate on the meaning of ‘attack’ within IHL and ICL. Raised in the specific context of Ntaganda’s ordering of ‘ratissage’ operations during the NIAC in the DRC, the…

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The Ntaganda Reparations Order: a marked step towards a victim-centred reparations legal framework at the ICC

NB: The author has been involved in the work of reparations at the ICC, first as a Court-appointed expert in the Al Mahdi case in 2017 and, between 2018 and 2020, as a reparations expert at the TFV. However, this post is written in the author’s personal capacity. On 8 July 2019, Trial Chamber…

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