International Human Rights Law

Julian's latest snide swipe at the ICC focuses on Bashir's visit to Kenya, which he describes as a "slap in the face to the ICC Prosecutor and the defenders of the Bashir arrest warrant."  Not surprisingly, Julian conveniently fails to mention the details of Bashir's visit: Sudanese President Omar al Bashir curiously flew in through Nairobi’s Wilson Airport, and ...

So says a draft UN report that studied events in the Congo between 1993 and 2008: An exhaustive U.N. investigation into the history of violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo has concluded that the Rwandan military and its allies carried out hundreds of large-scale killings of ethnic Hutu refugees during the 1990s that amounted to war crimes,...

The report is here.  I have neither the time nor the stomach to fully engage with it, but I couldn't let paragraph 82 pass without comment: 82. The United States is currently at war with Al Qaeda and its associated forces. President Obama has made clear that the United States is fully committed to complying with the Constitution and with all...

So reports Reuters: The Dutch prosecutor's office said on Friday it would look into whether Dutch peacekeeping soldiers should face criminal charges over the 1995 massacre in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica. About 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed at Srebrenica after Bosnian Serb forces overran the United Nations-protected enclave where Dutch troops were ...

Dave has kindly sent another post on piracy.  Here it is. Kevin graciously offered me the chance to respond to his contrasting reading of the logic of Judge Jackson’s decision dismissing the piracy charge. But since we both reach the same ultimate conclusion—that the correct legal definition of piracy should be that contained in the 1958 High Seas Treaty/1982 UN Convention...

I have to respectfully disagree with Dave's interpretation of Judge Jackson's decision.  The decision is almost certainly incorrect from the standpoint of the law of nations; as Dave rightly points out, the definition of piracy in the High Seas Convention and in UNCLOS likely represents the customary standard.  But I think Judge Jackson's decision makes complete sense given the US's...

Omar Khadr's trial began a couple of days ago at Guantanamo.  Here is what the prosecutor said in his opening statement: This trial is about holding an Al Qaeda terrorist accountable for his actions and vindicating the laws of war. Two small problems with this.  Throwing a grenade at U.S. soldiers is not an act of terrorism.  And four out...

Two commenters on my previous post on Kagame's increasing authoritarianism questioned whether Rwanda arrested Peter Erlinder because of his representation of defendants at the ICTR.  Fortuitously, Kate Gibson -- my colleague on the Karadzic case and a defense attorney at the ICTR -- has just published an ASIL Insight on the arrest that supports my claim.  Here is a taste...

Hell must have had central air conditioning installed, because I find myself in complete agreement with Ruth Wedgwood's recent post at EJIL: Talk! on Paul Kagame's rapid descent into authoritarianism.  Here is a snippet: The West’s failure to address Tutsi violations of the laws of war has allowed Kagame to conclude, justifiably, that he can do nearly anything with...

El Universal -- along with other newspapers -- is reporting that one of President Uribe's final acts in office was to file a complaint with the ICC alleging that Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela, is responsible for permitting FARC guerrillas to use Venezuela as a staging area for crimes committed in Colombia: Jaime Granados, the lawyer of Colombian outgoing president...

I've argued for the past couple of years that the ICC should open a formal investigation into the situation in Colombia, because it is a non-African situation that satisfies most, if not all, of my criteria for situational gravity: (1) crimes committed with government involvement; (2) systematic criminality; (3) socially alarming crimes such as enforced disappearance and torture.  Here is...

Not surprisingly, the AU has condemned the ICC's decision to issue an arrest warrant against Bashir for genocide.  Equally unsurprising, the new resolution seems to have been adopted with the same kind of back-room machinations that led to the AU's previous resolution condemning the ICC: Over the weekend, delegates from the AU countries reportedly fought a fierce battle that led...