Author: Kevin Jon Heller

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...

I am very happy to welcome Opinio Juris 2.0's first guest blogger: Angela Mudukuti, a Zimbabwean international lawyer who currently works for the Wayamo Foundation. Angela focuses on enhancing the domestic capacity of African prosecutors and investigators to investigate and prosecute core international crimes. She previously worked for the superb Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) in South Africa, where she was involved with precedent-setting...

Well, that was predictable. The Ntaganda defence has filed two motions relating to the news that the ICC's judges have permitted Judge Ozaki to simultaneously serve as a judge in the case and as Japan's ambassador to Estonia. The first, directed to the Presidency, is styled "Request for Disclosure Concerning the Decision of the Plenary of Judges on the Judicial Independence...

This is truly scandalous -- even by the ICC's standards. Thomas Verfuss explains: The Hague Judge Kuniko Ozaki wants to leave her position as a full-time judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to become the ambassador of Japan in Estonia in April. Her departure from fulltime engagement at the ICC comes before she and two of her colleagues...

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...

In a recent post at EJIL: Talk! on the India/Pakistan crisis, Mary Ellen O'Connell references a book chapter in which she suggests that Israel's 1976 raid on Entebbe was the first situation in which a state invoked the "unwilling or unable" doctrine as a jus ad bellum justification for self-defense: Christian Tams, Dire Tladi, and I will soon publish, Self-Defence Against Non-State...

The Philippines' withdrawal from the ICC becomes effective this Saturday, March 17. There are domestic legal proceedings underway that have the potential to nullify the withdrawal. But if the withdrawal goes forward, we are faced with an important question: what happens to the OTP's preliminary examination? This is, of course, Burundi redux. In that case, the OTP preserved its ability to...

Jean-Pierre Bemba, recently finally acquitted by the Appeals Chamber, dropped quite the legal bombshell last night on the ICC: he is demanding nearly €70,000,000 from the Court -- €22,000,000 in compensation for the 10 years he spent in detention; €4,000,000 in legal fees; and €42,400,000 for the economic loss he has suffered as a result of the Court's mismanagement of property it...

The FAO has asked me to post the following advertisement for five positions with the organization. Three are based at FAO headquarters in Rome; the other two are in Addis and Dakar. We are currently recruiting for five positions; the announcements are posted here. The posts are in: Development Law Branch, which undertakes normative work and supports Member States in developing their legislation...

Nearly 100 employees recently released an open letter to Microsoft demanding that the company cancel its nearly $500 million contract with the Army to develop an Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS). I will let the employees explain why: The contract's stated objective is to "rapidly develop, test, and manufacture a single platform that Soldiers can use to Fight, Rehearse, and Train that...

I tweeted a link to the presentation, but I thought I might post it here along with the accompanying slides. Here is the abstract: This presentation will argue that the ICC’s newly-adopted crime of aggression is useless, anachronistic, and yet beautiful. The crime is useless because the jurisdictional regime adopted by the Assembly of States Parties ensures that the Court will...

Though most of the outrage was manufactured and hypocritical, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) deserved criticism for her ill-expressed tweet about AIPAC. But she has more than redeemed herself with this exchange with Elliott Abrams, Trump's Special Envoy to Venezuela, at a House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting yesterday. It is a delight to watch Elliott Abrams' face as he is asked --...