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Important Problems Remain

UK troops who commit war crimes and crimes against humanity overseas, can still be prosecuted in UK courts. In May the UK government reversed course on a plan that would have effectively immunized from prosecution UK forces who allegedly committed…
The International Criminal Court, or ICC, is seen in The Hague, Netherlands, November 7, 2019. 
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UK nationals committed abuses in Iraq after 2003 on a significant scale. The International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) Final Report on the UK and Iraq on December 9 is the latest official report to find that members of UK…
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Over the last nine months some 700,000 ethnic Rohingya in Burma have been driven from their homes across the border into Bangladesh by the Burmese military. The attacks have been described by the UN as “a textbook case of ethnic…
Rohingya refugees cross the Naf River with an improvised raft to reach to Bangladesh in Teknaf, Bangladesh, November 12, 2017. Picture taken November 12, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain TO FIND ALL PICTURES SEARCH REUTERS PULITZER
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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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The British government is still fighting case after case concerning allegations of abuses by its forces during the 2003 Iraq conflict. This month it had a rare victory. The European Court of Human Rights found no human rights violations by the United…
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The British military justice system has shown itself unfit for purpose in handling war crimes committed outside the country

Ten years after the UK joined in the invasion of Iraq, the repercussions continue to hit at the heart of the establishment. This week a law firm and a leading international justice organization jointly sent a 250-page submission to the International…
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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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Strasbourg has ruled that Britain failed to investigate civilian killings in Iraq. This must never happen again. Britain's participation in the invasion and occupation of Iraq continues to make history, in somewhat unexpected ways. Today the European…
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By increasing business with Sudan, the UK would be rewarding a country whose head of state is still wanted for war crimes

The new UK government has made it clear that an important priority of its foreign policy will be to promote British trade and investment abroad. But recent remarks in Sudan by the Africa minister, Henry Bellingham, raise concerns that, by blindly pursuing…
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The British government's unfortunate intervention over Tzipi Livni's arrest warrant

The British government claims to defend basic principles of justice for grave international crimes. So its reaction to arrest warrants issued by independent courts, acting on evidence showing an arguable case, should be straightforward: respect the…
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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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On October 16, 1998, London police arrested General Pinochet on a warrant from a Spanish judge for human rights crimes.     In the ten years since, the world has become a smaller place for brutal despots. Indeed, today a former dictator accused of…
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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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Without international pressure the victims of Darfur will never see justice and they face even more abuses

Shortly after taking office, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown stood before the United Nations General Assembly and declared the situation in Darfur to be the "greatest humanitarian disaster" facing the world today. He sent a message to Darfur that "it is…