International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Waiting for Judgment: Communities in Ituri Await the Katanga Verdict with Impatience

Dear readers – please find below a commentary written by Olivia Bueno at the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) in consultation with Congolese activists.  The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of IRRI or of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

The verdict in the case against Germain Katanga, the alleged commander of the Forces de Résistance Patriotique en Ituri (FRPI), for war crimes and crimes against humanity in relation to an attack on the village of Bogoro in Ituri, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is being awaited with impatience in Ituri. Having followed trials at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for years (the verdict against Katanga will be the third in cases relating … Continue Reading

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Prosecution appeals Trial Chamber II's judgement acquitting Ngudjolo

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The following commentary first ran in the third Special Issue of Legal Eye on the ICC, a regular eLetter produced by the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, an international women’s human rights organization that advocates for gender justice through the International Criminal Court (ICC) and works with women most affected by the conflict situations under investigation by the ICC. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Open Society Justice Initiative. To read the full version of the Special Issue of the Legal Eye eLetter, including an article on Ngudjolo’s release from Schipol immigration detention center on May 4, 2013, click here. To read the previous Special Issues, click here.  

On December 18, 2012, … Continue Reading

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The Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice Expert Paper: Modes of Liability: A review of the International Criminal Court’s current jurisprudence and practice

Dear Readers,

The following commentary first ran in the Legal Eye on the ICC, a regular eLetter produced by the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, an international women’s human rights organization that advocates for gender justice through the International Criminal Court (ICC) and works with women most affected by the conflict situations under investigation by the ICC. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Open Society Justice Initiative. To read the full version of the Legal Eye eLetter, click here. To read the previous Special Issues, click here.  

The Expert Paper on modes of liability, the first of a new series, was launched by the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice in The Hague at the … Continue Reading

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Trust Fund for Victims says DRC Programs Reach Thousands

The Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) has undertaken several programs in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In February 2002, armed militias attacked the village of Bogoro in Ituri, and the ICC accused Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed during that attack. Ngudjolo has been acquitted and awaits an appeals decision. Germain Katanga’s trial is still ongoing, pending possible changes to the charges he faces. The ICC has also convicted Thomas Lubanga Dyilo of using child soldiers during the conflict in Ituri. He also awaits an appeals decision on his conviction.

While the world’s attention is turned to these trials in The Hague, the TFV has been … Continue Reading

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Q & A with International Criminal Court Registrar Herman von Hebel: Part II

Herman von Hebel is the newly-elected Registrar of the International Criminal Court (ICC). He spoke with the Open Society Justice Initiative in June 2013 and answered questions about his experience at other international tribunals, the Registry’s role in outreach, and priorities going forward.

TS: You earlier mentioned the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL). How has this job compared so far to past positions as the Registrar for the SCSL and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon?

HvH: It is interesting because this is the third time I have had the privilege of being the Registrar for such institutions. The amazing thing is that every time it has proven to be a completely different job. Although the title is the same and the … Continue Reading

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Q & A with International Criminal Court Registrar Herman von Hebel: Part I

Herman von Hebel is the newly-elected Registrar of the International Criminal Court (ICC). He spoke with the Open Society Justice Initiative in June 2013 and answered questions about the work of the Registry and its role in providing administrative and judicial support to the ICC. 

Taegin Stevenson (TS): Could you describe how the registry helps to achieve the International Criminal Court’s mandate to end impunity for mass atrocities and how your role as the Registrar helps carry out this mandate?

Herman von Hebel (HvH): Registrar is a misleading title. I don’t think it covers the job very well. If you compare it with national legal systems either where the registrar is a non-existing concept or where it is an existing concept, but … Continue Reading

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A Closer Look at Regulation 55 at the ICC

On March 27, a majority of the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled that the Trial Chamber could change the charges against Germain Katanga. However, the Appeals Chamber noted, if the Trial Chamber does change the charges, it must ensure that Katanga’s trial remains fair.

This post will look deeper into the issue of Trial Chambers using Regulation 55 to change charges during ICC trials and why this has become such a contentious issue. It will also discuss the dissenting opinion of Appeals Chamber Judge Cuno Tarfusser in the Katanga trial, and how the ICC’s approach is different from other international criminal tribunals.

Regulation 55: A Controversial Issue at the ICC

Regulation 55 has been a major issue in many … Continue Reading

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Judge Van den Wyngaert's concurrence to the Ngudjolo trial judgement

Dear Readers,

The following commentary first ran in a Special Issue of the Legal Eye on the ICC, a regular eLetter produced by the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, an international women’s human rights organisation that advocates for gender justice through the International Criminal Court (ICC) and works with women most affected by the conflict situations under investigation by the ICC. This Special Issue is the second in a series of two Special Issues reporting on the second trial Judgment handed down by Trial Chamber II in the case against Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui (Ngudjolo) on December 18, 2012. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Open Society Justice Initiative. To read the … Continue Reading

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Ngudjolo's immediate release and request for protective measures and asylum

Dear Readers,

The following commentary first ran in a Special Issue of the Legal Eye on the ICC, a regular eLetter produced by the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice, an international women’s human rights organisation that advocates for gender justice through the International Criminal Court (ICC) and works with women most affected by the conflict situations under investigation by the ICC. This Special Issue is the second in a series of two Special Issues reporting on the second trial Judgment handed down by Trial Chamber II in the case against Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui (Ngudjolo) on December 18, 2012. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Open Society Justice Initiative. To read the … Continue Reading

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What next for Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui?

Dear readers – please find below a commentary written by Olivia Bueno at the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) in consultation with Congolese activists.  The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the International Refugee Rights Initiative or of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

Four months after being acquitted in the second trial verdict at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui is fighting to remain in Europe, having applied for asylum in the Netherlands. His claim is based on his contention that information he presented during his case in relation to the alleged role of the Congolese government in the attack on Bogoro will put him in danger if he is returned. Meanwhile, in the Democratic Republic … Continue Reading

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