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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
News
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…
News
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…
News

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…
News
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…
News
On December 1, 1990, I walked out of prison and into the glaring sun of N'Djamena, Chad's capital. I was a free man but looked more like a skeleton after nearly three years in the jails of dictator Hissène Habré. I had seen hundreds of my fellow inmates…
News
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…
News

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…
News
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.…
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The transfer of former Liberian president and war crimes suspect Charles Taylor to the UN-backed Special Court on Sierra Leone is more evidence that the world has become a less hospitable place for people who are accused of committing atrocities. …
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Dakar, Senegal - A Belgian court last week charged Hissène Habré, the former dictator of Chad, with crimes against humanity and torture, paving the way for him to be extradited from his exile in Senegal. Ironically Belgium's "universal…
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Bringing to justice those who commit atrocities has obvious appeal. It provides redress for victims and their families, punishes perpetrators, and deters others from replicating their crimes. But is the price too high? Critics argue that the threat of…
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Africa is becoming less safe for dictators and warlords. Facing growing pressure to step aside, Charles Taylor, the warlord-cum- President of Liberia, finally left Monrovia for exile on August 11. Besieged by rebels, indicted by Sierra Leone’s Special…
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On January 22, the Justice Committee of the Belgian Senate passed two important proposals. The first aims at restoring the 1993 universal jurisdiction law to its original scope, while the second aims to adapt the same law to the new International Criminal…
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In July 1997, paramilitaries working with the Colombian Army killed more than thirty residents of Mapirip醤, Meta. Army general Jaime Usc醫egui was implicated in the massacre and sentenced by a military tribunal to serve only forty months in prison. In a…