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From an Unconstitutional Rome Statute to Its Constitutionality: Why It Took Over 20 Years for Armenia to Join the ICC?

On November 14, 2023, the Republic of Armenia officially deposited the instrument of ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).  While the Statute will come into force for Armenia on February 1, 2024, officially making it the 124th State Party to join, the process leading to Armenia's ICC membership commenced significantly earlier on October 1, 1999, when Armenia, among the first countries globally, signed the Rome Statute. This blog post aims to delve into the intricacies of the considerable time lapse between the initiation of Armenia's journey toward ICC membership and the eventual ratification. It will primarily focus on the analysis of the decision of the Constitutional Court of Armenia on August 13, 2004, finding the text of the Rome Statute unconstitutional, and the recent landmark decision of the Constitutional Court on March 24, 2023, revising the Court’s position regarding the constitutionality of the Statute, underscoring Armenia’s commitment to international criminal justice. What were the significant changes and implications that triggered this legal shift?…

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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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Reproductive Violence in International Criminal Law and the ICC OTP’s Revised Policy on Gender-Based Crimes: An Emerging Concept

We are on the cusp of a new concept emerging in international criminal justice (ICJ): reproductive violence. While the broader concept of reproductive rights is well-known, and has a long and fraught history in domestic and international human rights law (for instance, Center for Reproductive Rights), the narrower concept of reproductive violence occurring in contexts…

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Absent Kony, Absent Justice? Notes on the ICC’s Decision to Potentially Confirm Charges Against Kony In Absentia

With the deaths of Vincent Otti, Raska Lukwiya, and Okot Odhiambo and the conviction of Dominic Ongwen by the International Criminal Court (ICC), the only remaining leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) at large is its founder, Joseph Kony. Long-time followers of the ICC will remember its first-ever arrest warrants were issued…

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EJIL: The Podcast! Episode 21: The ICC’s Other Africa Bias?

The International Criminal Court has been frequently accused of a bias against Africa in that all its defendants thus far have been from Africa. But might the ICC suffer from another bias that disadvantages Africa? EJIL editor-in-chief Sarah Nouwen discusses with Stewart Manley and Pardis M. Tehrani who, together with Rajah Rasiah,…

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