International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Establishing Performance Indicators for the International Criminal Court

2016 will be a busy year for the International Criminal Court (ICC), with three new trials scheduled to begin hearings in January, adding to an already active caseload. With this growth comes an increasing demand to better understand how the court works.

Last year at the 13th session of the ICC Assembly of States Parties (ASP), States Parties told the court to intensify its efforts to develop indicators, or benchmarks, to evaluate the court’s work and assess its performance. The Open Society Justice Initiative will be hosting a discussion on the issue at this year’s ASP.

In general terms, performance indicators measure the success of an organization. While the notion of performance indicators is relatively simple, the actual process of developing them … Continue Reading

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Le témoin : M. Ntaganda a ordonné l’exécution d’un soldat qui avait tué un civil

Un témoin de l’accusation a raconté que Bosco Ntaganda avait ordonné l’exécution d’un soldat des Forces patriotiques pour la libération du Congo (FPLC) puisqu’il avait abattu un civil dans la ville congolaise de Mongbwalu en 2002.

Témoignant au procès Ntaganda devant la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) le 17 novembre 2015, le témoin P-8059 a déclaré que le jour où son frère a été abattu, Thomas Kasangaki, qui commandait les troupes des FPLC à Mongbwalu, avait envoyé des soldats au domicile du défunt. Les soldats avaient demandé au témoin et sa famille s’ils avaient besoin d’aide, comme de la nourriture pour les personnes en deuil par exemple.

Selon le témoin, les soldats avaient expliqué que quiconque tuait serait « traité de la même manière ». Les … Continue Reading

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Ntaganda Trial Goes on Break after Testimony of Ninth Prosecution Witness

The trial of former Congolese militia leader Bosco Ntaganda at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has gone on break until January 18, 2016. The break came after the ninth prosecution witness concluded his testimony.

The November 18, 2015 cross-examination of Witness P-8059 by the defense was done in closed session. However, when he first took the witness stand on November 17, the witness recounted the UPC’s invasion of his hometown of Mongbwalu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). According to the witness, there was fierce fighting between the Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC) militia and the Congolese Popular Army (APC), another rebel group. During the fighting, the witness’s brother was shot dead by an FPLC soldier. … Continue Reading

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Civil Society and the International Criminal Court: Local Perspectives on Fact-Finding

Civil society plays an important role in the implementation of the mandate of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The President of the ICC recognized this during the event commemorating International Justice Day this year, by highlighting the benefits of maintaining regular dialogue with civil society. The Open Society Justice Initiative is hosting a discussion on this issue at this year’s Assembly of States Parties meeting in The Hague.

Civil society organizations (CSOs) greatly contributed to bridging the gap between the court and local communities, which is particularly important for the ICC given its physical and cultural distance from the affected communities. The relationship between civil society and the ICC has been especially crucial in the context of gathering information relating to … Continue Reading

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Witness: Ntaganda Ordered Execution of Soldier Who Killed a Civilian

A prosecution witness has recounted how Bosco Ntaganda ordered the execution of a soldier from his Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC) militia because the soldier shot dead a civilian in the Congolese town of Mongbwalu in 2002.

Testifying in Ntaganda’s trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on November 17, 2015, Witness P-8059 stated that on the day his brother was shot dead, Thomas Kasangaki, who commanded the FPLC troops in Mongbwalu, sent soldiers to the home of the deceased. The soldiers asked the witness and his family if they needed any assistance such as food for the mourners.

According to the witness, the soldiers explained that anyone who killed would be “treated to similar treatment.” The FPLC militiamen … Continue Reading

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Sepur Zarco Trial to Start in February

Guatemala’s high-risk court A announced last week that the opening of the landmark Sepur Zarco trial will begin on February 1, 2016, earlier than previously scheduled.  The case against two defendants relates to enforced disappearances, mass sexual violence, and sexual slavery committed at the former Sepur Zarco military base during Guatemala’s 36-year conflict.  The case will be the first in which a Guatemalan court considers a case of sexual violence as an international crime, and the first time anywhere that a domestic court has weighed charges of sexual slavery.

The trial had previously been scheduled to start on April 11, 2016 but has now been moved up, although no reason has been given for the earlier start date. High-risk court A … Continue Reading

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Ntaganda’s Lawyers Seek Impeachment of Witness Who Says Militia Commanders Raped Her

Defense lawyers are trying to impeach a prosecution witness in the trial of Bosco Ntaganda at the International Criminal Court (ICC). For five days, the witness has testified about having served as a child soldier in the militia Ntaganda allegedly commanded. She also testified about Ntaganda’s role in committing atrocities, and the rape of child soldiers—including herself—by militia commanders.

Defense lawyer Stéphane Bourgon has cast doubt on the credibility of Witness P-010 and sought to tender into evidence several documents to support her impeachment. The prosecution did not oppose admission of the documentary evidence.

At the start of the hearing on November 16, Bourgon suggested to the witness that a short soldier seen in a video loading guns onto a pickup truck … Continue Reading

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ASP to Begin in The Hague

This week, the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will begin its annual meeting at the World Forum in The Hague. As in previous years, the ASP is set to discuss several important issues that will determine how the court will operate in the coming year.

The ASP is a legislative body made up of the states that have signed the Rome Statute that established the court. Each year, the ASP meets in either New York or The Hague. The ASP has several responsibilities and functions, including approving the budget of the ICC, electing the ICC judges, managing the oversight of the court, and adopting any amendments to the Rome Statute.

ICC Budget

One of the most urgent … Continue Reading

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L’avocat de M. Ntaganda déclare que le témoignage de la fille soldat est motivé par un profit personnel

Stéphane Bourgon, l’avocat principal de la défense de Bosco Ntaganda, a affirmé que le témoin de l’accusation qui a apporté un témoignage sur le rôle joué par M. Ntaganda dans la commission d’atrocités lors d’un conflit armé est motivé par un avantage matériel. Il a indiqué que ce témoin avait fait de nouvelles demandes afin de retrouver dans le procès Ntaganda le statut de victime perdu dans le procès de Thomas Lubanga.

Selon Me Bourgon, ce que le témoin a déclaré dans sa demande de participation au procès Ntaganda était « à des années lumière de ce qu’elle avait déclaré auparavant » lors de sa première demande et de son témoignage devant les juges de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) en mars 2009, lorsqu’il avait … Continue Reading

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M. Ntaganda a donné l’ordre de ne pas épargner les ennemis

Selon le témoignage d’une ancienne fille soldat, l’accusé de crimes de guerre congolais Bosco Ntaganda a ordonné à ses combattants de ne pas épargner les membres des groupes rivaux.

Témoignant pour la deuxième journée au procès Ntaganda qui se tient devant la Cour pénale internationale (CPI), l’ancienne fille soldat des Forces patriotiques pour la libération du Congo (FPLC), a raconté les ordres de M. Ntaganda donné la veille d’une attaque sur la ville de Mongbwalu.

« L’ordre a été donné que, si vous rencontriez des ennemis, vous deviez les frapper. C’est le seul ordre qui nous a été donné », a déclaré l’ancienne combattante qui apporte son témoignage sous le pseudonyme de témoin P-010.

Interrogé par le substitut du procureur Nicole Samson pour savoir qui était … Continue Reading

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