International Humanitarian Law

[Hans Boddens Hosang is Deputy Director of Legal Affairs of the Netherlands Ministry of Defence and Senior External Researcher at the Law of Armed Conflict and Military Operations (LACMO) Research Group, Amsterdam Center for International Law at the University of Amsterdam. Terry Gill is Professor of Military Law at the University of Amsterdam & the Netherlands Defence Academy and is...

[Elvina Pothelet is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Geneva, and a teaching assistant and researcher at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.] It is tempting to think of soldier self-defense as a black hole in the galaxy of international law: in the same way as black holes grow continuously by absorbing mass from their surroundings, soldier self-defense seems...

I thought I was done blogging about the Pre-Trial Chamber's authorization decision, but there is another aspect of it that keeps nagging at me: the limits PTC II would have imposed on the OTP's investigation if it had authorized it. Here are the key paragraphs (emphasis mine): 40. More specifically, the precise width and breadth of the Prosecutor's power to investigate...

I have been thinking more about how the OTP can appeal the Pre-Trial Chamber's refusal to authorize the Afghanistan investigation. I was perhaps a bit too dour in my assessment of whether the Appeals Chamber is likely to get the chance to reverse a decision that I consider fundamentally flawed. The most obvious option would be to seek leave to appeal the...

In my previous post, I defended the right of the Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) to review  the OTP's assessment of whether there were, to quote Art. 53(1)(c) of the Rome Statute, "substantial reasons to believe that an investigation would not serve the interests of justice." In this post, I want to explain why I think the PTC got that review completely,...

Dov Jacobs has a typically excellent post at Spreading the Jam on the PTC's decision to reject the Afghanistan investigation. I agree with nearly all of it, but I do take issue with this comment: First of all, and perhaps most importantly, the exercise that the Pre-Trial Chamber did is most likely ultra vires. Indeed, Article 53(1)(c) is very clear that...

I will write a longer post tonight criticising the PTC's understanding of the "interests of justice," but I thought I'd start by cutting to the legal chase: can the OTP appeal the PTC's decision to reject its request to investigate the situation in Afghanistan? As I read the Rome Statute, I don't think so. Here is the text of the relevant...

[Kingsley Abbott is the International Commission of Jurists' Senior Legal Adviser for Global Redress and Accountability & Saman Zia-Zarifi is the Secretary General of the International Commission of Jurists. This is the second part of a two-part post. Part I can be found here.]   Some important questions In the previous installment we raised some of the arguments in favor of creating...

[Kingsley Abbott is the International Commission of Jurists' Senior Legal Adviser for Global Redress and Accountability & Saman Zia-Zarifi is the Secretary General of the International Commission of Jurists. This is the first part of a two-part post.] Introduction The International Independent Investigative Mechanism for Syria and the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar are recent examples of States responding to situations where...

Luke Moffett is a senior law lecturer at Queen's University Belfast and Principal Investigator on the "Reparations, Responsibility and Victimhood in Transitional Societies” project.  Following the award of the Nobel Peace prize to Dr Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad in December 2018, there is a substantial effort to capitalise on the publicity by pressing for an ‘International Reparation Initiative’ for victims of...

[Emma Irving is an Assistant Professor of Public International Law at the Grotius Centre for International Law, Leiden University and Nicholas Ortiz is a Research and Teaching Associate at the Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum on International Humanitarian Law.] On 18 March 2019, the UN Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 Protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (‘CoI’) published its detailed findings of its...

Last week, the excellent lawyers at The Guernica Group, led by my friend Toby Cadman, filed an Article 15 communication with the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) arguing that the ICC should open an investigation into the deportation of civilians from Syria to Jordan. The communication itself is not public, so what we know of TGG's legal argument comes from their...