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Governments Signal Continued Support for Court

The recent decisions by South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) are generating wide attention and speculation about a mass exodus from the court by African countries.  But think it’s clear where Africa stands on…
Stella Ndirangu of ICJ Kenya
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July 17, the Day of International Criminal Justice, is the anniversary of the Rome Statute, which paved the way for the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Anniversaries are often cause for celebration, but the ICC—the world’s…
The International Criminal Court premises in The Hague. © 2016 Human Rights Watch
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What are we to make of the fact that in its eleven-year history, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has prosecuted only Africans? Should the court be condemned for discrimination—for taking advantage of Africa’s weak global position—as some African…
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Recent weeks have shown how the political elite keep blocking the path to reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire. The leadership from both sides of the politico-ethnic divide appears unwilling to learn the vital lessons from a decade of civil conflict in which…
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Liberia's "big man" surely thought he'd enjoy a comfortable retirement when he left power back in 2003. But on April 26 the Special Court for Sierra Leone convicted Charles Taylor for war crimes and crimes against humanity, proving that even the most…
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Should Vladimir Putin be studying the conviction of Charles Taylor, the former Liberian president? What about Henry Kissinger?   In April a United Nations–backed special tribunal in The Hague convicted Taylor of “aiding and abetting” the…
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Charles Taylor's guilt puts violent leaders in Syria and Libya on notice

The verdict against former Liberian President Charles Taylor at the Sierra Leone Special Court has been eagerly anticipated by many in Sierra Leone. But, as is often the case with abusive leaders wielding power, bringing Taylor to justice was once…
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Joseph Kony, Thomas Lubanga and Charles Taylor are just the tip of the iceberg. The use of children as soldiers extends far beyond Africa. Last week in The Hague, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, found the Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga guilty…
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Former President Gbagbo Charged With Crimes Against Humanity

Late in the afternoon on November 29, former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo was removed from his prison cell in the dusty northern town of Korhogo and served with an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC). He was then put aboard a…
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As a newly minted investigator at the International Criminal Tribunal in Rwanda in 1995, I was not sure how people in Kigali, Rwanda's capital, would respond when I told them my line of work. In casual conversations at local restaurants I was surprised…
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On October 30, 2008, justice for victims of atrocities committed during the course of Liberia's long and brutal years of armed conflict took a major step forward in a very unlikely location: Miami, Florida. On that afternoon, an American jury issued its…
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Diplomats, judges, lawyers, human rights activists and members of nongovernmental organizations are currently marking the 10th anniversary of the completion of the treaty that established the International Criminal Court. The court's creation was an…
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On June 20, the special war crimes court for Sierra Leone handed down its first three convictions of members of a rebel group, the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council. In her sentencing statement, the judge noted that the three convicted were “responsible…
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To the Editor: Re ''International Justice on Trial'' (editorial, June 10): The challenges judges need to rise to in trying war-crimes cases fairly and efficiently were evident at the opening of the trial of Charles Taylor, the former president of…
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As the transfer of Liberia's former president to face trial in The Hague remains stalled, the EU ministerial meeting this week with the Economic Community of West African States could not be more timely. Six weeks earlier, many governments cheered as…
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Observations on justice

In the early hours of 29 March a Land-Rover with Nigerian diplomatic number plates arrived at a border post linking north-east Nigeria with Cameroon. It passed through immigration and was on its way through customs when officials realised that among the…
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Former Liberian President Charles Taylor was captured as he attempted to escape Nigeria on March 29, and he was transferred to the U.N.-backed war crimes court in Sierra Leone. Human Rights Watch played a leading role in pressing government and U.N.…