International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

ICC Trust Fund for Victims’ Delegation Visits Gulu; Pledges More Support for Rehabilitation Programs

Last month, the government of Ireland in partnership with the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) at the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) led a delegation of States Parties representatives to northern Uganda and interacted with conflict survivors and conflict affected communities. This is significant because as Dominic Ongwen’s trial continues at the ICC, a key factor that continues to generate debate is the mental, physical, and psychosocial rehabilitation of conflict survivors.

According to a press release [pdf] by the TFV, the visit was initiated by the government of Ireland and was aimed at monitoring and “reviewing implementation of TFV projects in northern Uganda, meeting with victims and survivors and affected communities who have been receiving support from the TFV.” The visit was … Continue Reading

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Nominating Commission for Attorney General Narrows Applicant List, Withstands Challenges to Its Work

Guatemala is in the process of selecting its next attorney general to serve a four-year term: May 2018-May 2022. Because the process and result could have tremendous implications for grave crimes trials and the rule of law in Guatemala, the International Justice Monitor is providing regular situation reports.

Field Narrowed

The Nominating Commission (Comisión de Postulación) to recommend finalists for the post of Guatemalan attorney general has rejected 14 of the 39 applications it received, leaving 25 applications remaining. The Commission met last Monday through Wednesday to make its determinations. It rejected the applicants for failing to meet requirements established by law and the call for applications. The Commission threw out applications for such reasons as failure to submit required documentation, failing to have … Continue Reading

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Reactions from the Population of Bunia to the Possibility of Holding Closing Statements in Situ

This article was prepared by our partner Radio Canal Révélation, a radio station based in Bunia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as part of an interactive radio project on justice and peace which encourages a debate on issues related to justice in the DRC. The views conveyed in this article belong to the people interviewed and do not necessarily represent the views of all the community members, or those of the victims.

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Most inhabitants of Bunia are in favor of holding closing statements in their city in the case against Bosco Ntaganda, but some are still skeptical because of ongoing bloody conflicts.

Almost 60 people out of 100 included in the project among the population of affected communities welcome the … Continue Reading

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Réactions de la population de Bunia à la possibilité de tenir les déclarations de clôture sur place

Cet article a été préparé par notre partenaire Radio Canal Révélation, une station radio basée à Bunia, en République démocratique du Congo (RDC), dans le cadre d’un projet de radio interactive pour la justice et la paix qui favorise la mise en débat des questions touchant à la justice en RDC. Les vues de la population relayées dans cet article sont celles des personnes interviewées et ne représentent pas forcément les vues de tous les membres de la communauté ni celles des victimes.

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La plupart des habitants de Bunia sont favorables à la tenue à Bunia des déclarations de clôture dans l’affaire contre Bosco Ntaganda, mais certains restent sceptiques vu les conflits sanglants en cours.

Près de 60 personnes sur 100 que … Continue Reading

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Nominating Commission for Attorney General Receives 39 Applications, but Faces Criticism and Legal Challenges

Guatemala is in the process of selecting its next attorney general to serve a four-year term: May 2018-May 2022. Because the process and result could have tremendous implications for grave crimes trials and the rule of law in Guatemala, the International Justice Monitor will be providing regular situation reports.

The Nominating Commission (Comisión de Postulación) to recommend finalists for the post of Guatemalan attorney general has received 39 applications. However, it has faced significant criticism from civil society organizations over what they say are deficiencies in its procedures that leave openings for political manipulation. Even as the Commission meets this week to determine which applications meet minimum requirements, various individuals have filed four constitutional challenges (amparos) to its work. Three seek amendment of its … Continue Reading

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Bensouda Ready to Requalify Charges Against Gbagbo According to Mediapart

Several weeks after the suspension of the trial of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is reportedly ready to requalify the charges against the former Ivorian president.

Detained at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for nearly seven years, former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo, who is being prosecuted on four counts of crimes against humanity, could see the horizon look brighter.

The generally well-informed French website Mediapart wrote in an article posted online on February 15, 2018 that Fatou Bensouda, the ICC prosecutor, might support a requalification of charges in this case.

“The trial of the former Ivorian president and his former minister Charles Blé Goudé before the International Criminal Court is entering a decisive … Continue Reading

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Civil Society in Uganda Outraged by Controversial Newspaper Article Clearing Ugandan Army of Committing War Crimes

As the trial of Dominic Ongwen continues at the International Criminal Court (ICC), civil society practitioners and community members in Uganda were left infuriated by a newspaper article purporting that the ICC had cleared the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) of war crimes in northern Uganda. The article appeared in the New Vision newspaper on January 4, 2018, titled: “ICC Clears UPDF of War Crimes,” and immediately resulted in strong reactions on Facebook and questions on Twitter, as well as on other social media platforms. As it turned out, however, the headline and portions of the accompanying article were taken out of context.

The authors of the article based their headline on remarks by Dahirou Sant-Anna, the international cooperation adivisor in … Continue Reading

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How Guatemala is Choosing Its Next Attorney General

Guatemala is in the process of selecting its next attorney general to serve a four-year term: May 2018-May 2022. Because the process and result could have tremendous implications for grave crimes trials and the rule of law in Guatemala, the International Justice Monitor will be providing regular situation reports. Today, we provide an explanation of the process itself.

Legal Framework

Guatemala’s constitution established Nominating Commissions (Comisiónes de Postulación) in order to guard against the politicization of judicial appointments to the Supreme Court of Justice, Courts of Appeal, and other collegiate tribunals. The commissions are also intended to protect against politicization of the appointment of the attorney general or any other public positions relevant to the consolidation of the rule of law … Continue Reading

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International Justice Monitor to Follow the Selection Process for Guatemala’s Next Attorney General

Yesterday in Guatemala, a Nominating Commission (Comisión de Postulación) met for the first time to select the shortlist of candidates from which President Jimmy Morales will choose the country’s next attorney general. The selection process strongly affects how or whether domestic trials of grave crimes continue in Guatemala. For this reason, from today until the culmination of the process in mid-May, the International Justice Monitor will be providing regular situation reports on a complex process that in the past has been prone to political manipulation.

What’s at Stake

Over nearly eight years, the Attorney General’s Office has been the main engine for rule of law reform, collaborating closely with the UN-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). Attorneys General Claudia Paz … Continue Reading

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A Year Down the Road: Community Member’s Perspectives of Ongwen’s Trial Since December 2016

The trial of Dominic Ongwen, a former commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), began on December 6, 2016 before the International Criminal Court (ICC). Over the past year, more than 50 prosecution witnesses have testified, marking significant progress in the trial. However, the trial has drawn mixed reactions from the public in Uganda, with some in favor of the process and others against it.

Ongwen is charged with 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the former internally displaced persons (IDP) camps of Lukodi, Abok, Pajule, and Odek. He is also charged with sexual and gender based crimes and with the conscription and use of child soldiers.

The trial resumed on January 15, after a six-week … Continue Reading

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