International Criminal Law

It's official.  President Bush has signed the Child Soldiers Accountability Act: The Child Soldiers Accountability Act makes it a federal crime to recruit knowingly or to use soldiers under the age of 15 and permits the United States to prosecute any individual on US soil for the offense, even if the children were recruited or served as soldiers outside the United...

Who would have thought that the US would emerge as the most committed supporter of the ICC in Darfur? From the "Hague Invasion Act" to protecting the Court from the spinelessness of its erstwhile supporters, the UK and France: "If asked—if forced to vote today—the United States, even if it was 191 countries against one, would veto an Article 16 [resolution],"...

The following post was written by Chimène Keitner, an Associate Professor at Hastings.  Our thanks to her for contributing it. The Ninth Circuit issued a panel opinion this week in Abagninin v. AMVAC Chemical Corp., a corporate Alien Tort Statute (ATS) case that had largely been flying under the radar screen of many of us who follow these cases, myself included....

This just gets more and more interesting.  Lt. Col. Vandeveld has said he will testify for the defense -- but only if he is given immunity from prosecution: Defense attorneys asked the judge to give Vandeveld immunity. "The suggestion he may have something criminal to hide is intriguing and suggests there is something very, very important this commission needs to get...

I wish I could say I was surprised: Long before Mr. Hussein was hanged on Dec. 30, 2006, with supporters of Iraq’s new Shiite-led government taunting him as the noose was tightened around his neck, a pattern of intervention by powerful Iraqi officials had been established. The court’s first chief judge was dismissed under government pressure for giving Mr. Hussein too...

Shocking: An Army prosecutor has resigned from the Guantánamo war court in a crisis of conscience over plans to try a young Afghan accused of throwing a grenade rather than settle the case out of court, according to an affidavit filed with the court Wednesday. Army Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld, a reservist from the Pittsburgh area, becomes the fourth known prosecutor to...

Apparently, France will no longer even insist that the Sudan try Haroun and Kushayb.  It only wants Haroun to be removed from his government position: France had previously stressed that Sudan must turn over Ahmed Haroun, state minister for humanitarian affairs, and militia commander Ali Mohamed Ali Abdel-Rahman, also know as Ali Kushayb who are wanted by the ICC in connection...

Last week, I defended deferring the ICC's investigation of Bashir for a year in exchange for, inter alia, the Sudanese government turning Harun and Kushayb over to the ICC for prosecution.  That would have been a strong demand on the part of France and the UK -- one that, I argued, Bashir would be unlikely to accept. Lest they be accused...

I have posted a new essay on SSRN, "Situational Gravity Under the Rome Statute," which is forthcoming in Future Directions in International Criminal Justice, a book that Carsten Stahn and Larissa van den Herik are editing for TMC Asser/Cambridge University Press.  Here is the abstract: The ICC is often derided as the “African Criminal Court.” That criticism cannot easily be dismissed:...

Two interesting trials involving very old defendants began last week. The first, in Poland, involves General Wojciech Jaruzelski, who orchestrated the Polish government's brutal repression of Solidarity in 1981: The 85-year-old man, who was once the very symbol of communist repression, faces a possible ten-year jail sentence for “directing a criminal organisation” – a reference to the Military Council that imposed...