International Criminal Court

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Interview of the former President of the ICC, Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji, by Shehzad Charania

  In the final weeks of the Presidency of ICC Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji, I conducted the following interview with him. I begin by asking Eboe-Osuji why he wanted to become President. ‘I have always believed in the idea that if you want to achieve real change, you cannot just sit on the sidelines and complain.’ There were things that ‘needed attending to urgently at the Court,’ he says, ‘and I was in a unique position to assist’. When Eboe-Osuji was elected President, many considered the Court to have an ‘Africa problem’. Nearly all the Court’s ongoing investigations were situations in Africa, all the Court’s live cases involved crimes committed in Africa, and all the indictees were (and still are) African. This triggered an anti-ICC resentment in Africa that began around 2009 and eventually developed into anxiety amongst many about mass withdrawal of African States Parties. It was a big problem for the Court at the time, he emphasises. ‘As an African myself, I felt I would be able to relate a carefully…

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The ICC Prosecutor’s statement on the Situation in Palestine: A Hand Stretched forth in Friendship?

On 3 March the OTP of the ICC confirmed that it had initiated an investigation regarding the Situation in Palestine. The investigation will cover crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court that are alleged to have been committed in the Situation since 13 June 2014. The OTP statement was no surprise: according to Article 18…

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“To Release or not to Release, that is the Question”: Detention Pending Trial at the International Criminal Court after the Gicheru Case

On 29 January this year, the Pre-Trial Chamber A of the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided to grant interim release to Paul Gicheru, a lawyer suspected of offences against the administration of justice under Article 70(1)(c) of the Rome Statute, consisting in corruptly influencing ICC witnesses in cases from the Kenyan situation in 2013 (Decision). This…

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Unpacking Sovereignty and Self-determination in ITLOS and the ICC: A Bundle of Rights?

In a short space of time, two international courts have handed down rather dramatic decisions related to the contested issues of self-determination and sovereignty of the Chagos Archipelago and Palestine, which have, for a very long time now, been under the UK and Israeli occupation respectively. On 28 January 2021, an ITLOS Special Chamber found…

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“Solid jurisdictional basis”? The ICC’s fragile jurisdiction for crimes allegedly committed in Palestine

On 5 February 2021, Pre-Trial Chamber I issued its long-awaited decision regarding the ICC’s jurisdiction for possible war crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territories (Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem) since 13 June 2014 (for an academic analysis, see the symposium here). The decision was requested by the Office…

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