Female Victims Only? Casting Doubt on the Prosecution of Forced Marriage in Ongwen’s Case

Author: Laura Nacyte*

In December 2016, the trial against Dominic Ongwen, a former commander of Uganda’s rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), commenced before the Trial Chamber IX of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Remarkably, the defendant is the first person at the ICC to face the charge of forced marriage. The latter was brought in addition to other charges of sexual and gender-based crimes, including rape, sexual slavery, enslavement, and forced pregnancy. Although not a separate offence under the Rome Statute, forced marriage is prosecuted as an ‘other inhumane act’, a crime against humanity, pursuant to Article 7(1)(k). Continue reading

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At the court of the naked Emperor: Reflections on the Assembly of State Parties of the ICC

David Hoile

The Assembly of State Parties, the body charged with the management and oversight of the International Criminal Court, is meeting this week in The Hague. It brings together smug western politicians, lawyers infused with their own self-importance, bored diplomats, naïve fresh-faced interns and a slew of excitable, self-righteous human rights activists from a variety of well-funded western non-governmental organisations. Having spent several days in attendance at this annual jamboree and having spent several years closely observing the behaviour of the ICC, Hans Christian Andersen’s tale The Emperor’s New Clothes comes immediately to mind. Continue reading

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Civilians And The Rome Statute

Written by Garima Tiwari

 

More than 2,000 Palestinians were killed in the 50-day conflict in July and August, about 70 percent of them civilians, according to the U.N. Seventy-one Israeli soldiers and civilians were killed in combat and in rocket and mortar strikes. [i]The chief Palestinian Authority negotiator, Saeb Erekat, claimed that 96 percent of Gazans killed in the summer’s Israel-Hamas conflict were civilians, reiterated PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s charge of Israeli “genocide,” and accused Israel of seeking to impose apartheid on the Palestinians.[ii] Continue reading

Diminishing Space for the International Criminal Court

From recent events around the global the continued efficacy of the ICC as a global court of last resort is seemingly under threat. The loud silence of the prosecutor new armed conflicts emerge and the old conflicts take new dimensions heightens the question regarding the continued viability of the court. Continue reading

Stepping Forward Into the Past

The African Union has had a draft resolution that will merge the current continental judicial bodies- the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the African Court of Justice and Human Rights- into one judicial body- African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples’ Rights. Part of the resolution proposes that the new court should have an enhanced criminal jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity and acts of genocide on the continent. Without getting into the merits or demerits of such a step, the sting is in the tail of additional proposed changes. Continue reading

Early Release in International Criminal Law

Written by: Jonathan Choi

The drama of international criminal justice is mostly in the initial conviction and sentencing; few reporters investigate what happens to the convict after she is locked away, and few academics consider why or how she is released. Continue reading

“Equality of Arms” and its Effect on the Quality of Justice at the ICC

Written by: Tosin Osasona [1]

The concept of equality of arms has a dinstinctive European origin and can be traced back to the medieval era, when dispute was settled by ordeal of trial by battle. Because the trial would be to death, a rigid set of rules were put in place to ensure parity between contestants and each contestant was put at par in terms of armament and armor.[2] This worldview midwived the common law system of adversarial proceeding. Continue reading