War Crimes

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Panel of Experts Publishes Report Supporting ICC Arrest Warrant Applications for Crimes in Israel and Palestine

A Panel of Experts in International Law convened by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan KC, today announced its conclusions. The Panel was established at the Prosecutor’s request in support of his investigation into the ‘Situation in the State of Palestine’, which covers international crimes committed either on the territory of Palestine or by a Palestinian national. The Panel’s mandate was to advise the Prosecutor on whether his applications for arrest warrants met the standard provided in Article 58 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The Panel members unanimously endorsed the Prosecutor’s assessment that the Court had jurisdiction over the case and that there were ‘reasonable grounds to believe’ that individuals named in the arrest warrants — including senior leaders of Hamas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — have committed war crimes or crimes against humanity within the jurisdiction of the Court. The Panel was comprised of the following experts: Lord Justice Fulford, former Vice-President of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales and former Judge…

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French Contributions to the issue of Head of State Immunity with regard to International Crimes

On 14 November 2023, a French court issued an arrest warrant for Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad on “charges of complicity in crimes against humanity and complicity in war crimes”. This decision might have come as a surprise to the majority of scholars who view the issue of head of state immunity through the lens of the judgment…

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Gaza, Forced Displacement, and Genocide

International courts and commissions of enquiry have been reluctant to find that forced displacement constitutes genocide. Forced displacement, in its various forms, is a war crime (Rome Statute, Article 8(2)(a)(vii)) and a crime against humanity (Rome Statute, Article 7 (1)(d)), but not genocide. Indeed, the Genocide Convention omits forced transfer as a genocidal act. Still, in…

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First war crimes conviction at the KSC: Developing jurisprudence and the right to reparations

Last December, the Appeals Panel at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) delivered its judgment in its first war crimes prosecution. Salih Mustafa, a special unit (BIA) commander in the Kosovo Liberation Army during the Kosovo war had been convicted for the war crimes of murder, torture and arbitrary detention. He is now facing 22 years…

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The Putin-South Africa arrest warrant saga: A tale of the shrinking world of an accused war criminal

Since March of this year, the travel plans of one particular accused war criminal have been the subject of much speculation and legal debate. On 17 March 2023, the ICC announced that it had issued an arrest warrant for President Putin (and one of his officials – Ms Lvova-Belova). This, unsurprisingly, occasioned world-wide interest and attention. One focus…

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