Africa

I have posted a substantially rewritten version of my essay "Situational Gravity Under the Rome Statute" on SSRN.  Here, again, is the abstract: The ICC is often derided as the "African Criminal Court." That criticism cannot easily be dismissed: all of the Office of the Prosecutor's (OTP) current investigations focus on African states -- Uganda, the Central African Republic, the Democratic...

With all the attention being paid to the pending genocide charges against Bashir, the media has largely ignored Moreno-Ocampo's recent announcement that he intends to seek an arrest warrant against rebel commanders in Darfur who are believed to be responsible for a vicious attack on AU peacekeepers in 2007: "In a couple of weeks I will present my third case against...

 The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Community Court of Justice has found that the West African state of Niger has violated its obligations to protect its citizens for slavery.  Specifically, Niger failed to prevent  Hadijatou Mani, who was sold into slavery at the age of 12 in 1996 for about £300 and regularly beaten and sexually abused.  The Court...

A couple of months ago, I blogged about the possibility that Blackwater would support the African Union's peacekeeping mission in Darfur.  That hasn't happened yet, but the company seems to have found another line of work -- fighting pirates off the coast of Somalia: Blackwater Worldwide and other private security firms — some with a reputation for being quick on the...

It appears that there may have been some progress regarding the Prosecutor's ability to disclose the potentially exculpatory information to the defense -- progress that is not reflected in yesterday's decision.  According to a recent motion, the Prosecutor has received permission to turn over all of the disputed documents to the Trial Chamber in unredacted form, so that the judges...

The Lubanga fiasco continues.  Earlier today, the Appeals Chamber upheld the Trial Chamber's indefinite stay of the proceedings, but refused to order his immediate release, instead remanding the case to the Trial Chamber for further consideration of the issue. I have not had a chance to read the two -- typically lengthy -- decisions in any great detail, but these are...

Hope springs eternal in the Sudan -- at least on the part of the government.  Apparently, Khartoum has managed to convince itself that the Pre-Trial Chamber's recent request for additional information concerning the charges against Bashir means that it intends to dismiss those charges: The Sudanese government hailed a decision by the judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) requesting more...

That's the situation with the Sudanese government's latest contribution to the "peace" process: The United States, Darfuri rebels and Sudanese opposition parties have greeted a new initiative to solve the Darfur crisis with scepticism and boycotts, while Khartoum, the Arab League and the UN say it’s the region’s best hope. Widespread doubts about the credibility of the process prevail ahead of deliberations...

For the last several years, I have been watching with fascination and admiration as my friend and Washington College of Law colleague, Daniel Bradlow, has been developing more or less from scratch an innovative tool in development finance for his native South Africa, what he has titled "Reconciliation and Development Bonds."  Professor Bradlow heads the international legal studies program at...

That's the headline of today's New York Times article about Ali Kushayb, the janjaweed militia leader who has been indicted by the ICC.  According to the article, the "[t]he move is widely being interpreted as a way for Sudan to improve its image abroad and attempt to head off the possible genocide prosecution of the country’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir." Honestly,...

Ladies and gentlemen, your peacemaker: Al-Bashir who rarely gives interviews told the British Channel 4 News from Khartoum that rape claims are made up by Darfuri women. “The women inside the camps are under the influence of the rebels and some are even relatives of the rebels. That’s why they make these claims” Al-Bashir said. “We are fully convinced that no rape took...