International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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The Satellite Era: How Earth Observation Data is Being Mobilized as Potential Digital Evidence

Public monitoring of ongoing conflicts, for example, in Gaza, Ukraine, and Sudan, demonstrates the extent to which both human rights defenders and journalists increasingly rely upon earth observation data (EOD) to ascertain and substantiate facts on the ground. EOD is inclusive of data collected by satellites—such as satellite images, radar information, and other remote sensing data—as well as aerial images collected by aircraft or drones. As this blog will discuss, EOD can be a highly probative form of digital information. EOD can objectively depict static and transient features of geographical areas of interest and activities contained therein, which makes it particularly useful as potential evidence of international crimes. Combined with its exponentially increasing availability and quality, the past decade has seen an increasing reliance on EOD as evidence. As a result, some scholars have called for the establishment of standards regarding satellite data and its use potential as evidence. It is evident that we have entered a ‘satellite…

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The Attainability of the Evidentiary Standard for Genocidal Intent in Gaza

Since 2019, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has been perceived as a viable instrument for stopping ongoing genocides after the UN political organs have failed to take effective actions to that effect. Thus, under Article IX of the Genocide Convention (1948), South Africa took Israel to the ICJ alleging genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza after Israel’s…

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UN Secretary-General Refuses to Reappoint Turkish Judge on the MICT

Yesterday the UN Secretary-General reappointed 23 of the 24 Judges of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. The one judge not reappointed was Judge Aydin Sefa Akay of Turkey, who is one of hundreds of Turkish judges purged by the Erdogan regime, which accused him of being a member of a terrorist organization. This…

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First and Second Degree Genocide? Considering a Case for Bifurcation of the Law

At its inception, the crime of genocide, which broadly concerns criminal conduct targeted at a group, was generally seen as somehow more culpable or aggravated than international crimes targeted at an individual. Critical opposition to that view exists (See Milanović on the Karadžić and Mladić Trial Chamber judgments). Contemporary application, however, of the law continues to…

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Public Opinion Survey in Serbia Sheds Light on ICTY Legacy

In anticipation of the closing of the ICTY, there has been plenty of discussion, including at EJIL: Talk! (see here), on the court’s impact in the former Yugoslavia, particularly relating to the public’s acceptance of ICTY findings and reconciliation. I’d like to contribute to this discussion with findings from the most recent public opinion survey conducted in…

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