Current Developments

The climax of the Al-Bashir saga

The ICC’s Jordan judgment

In the judgment of 6 May 2019, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) found that Jordan had failed to comply with its obligation to arrest and surrender the (at that time sitting) Sudanese President Al-Bashir during the summit of the Arab League in Jordan. This may be the legal climax of the frustrating Al-Bashir saga, the saga of the wanderlust of an allegedly criminal president of a …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Judge Ozaki’s Case

Moonlighting at the International Criminal Court?

On March 19, 2019, seventeen of the eighteen judges of International Criminal Court (hereinafter ‘the Court’) sat to decide on the fate of Judge Ozaki as a judge of the Court. Back in January this year, Judge Ozaki had requested the Presidency to change her status from a ‘full-time judge’ to a ‘non-full-time judge’ of the Court. The request was granted. Later, in February, Judge Ozaki informed the Court that …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Meilenstein für LGBTIQ*-Rechte

Das Gutachten OC-24/17 des IAGMR und seine Umsetzung in der Region

In den nächsten Wochen wird sich das ecuadorianische Verfassungsgericht zur Ehe für alle äußern müssen. Ein Gericht (Corte Provincial de Justicia de Pichincha) hatte dem Gerichtshof die Frage vorgelegt, ob sich aus einem Gutachten des Interamerikanischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte (IAGMR) aus dem Jahr 2017 (Opinión Consultiva OC-24/17) für Ecuador die Verpflichtung ergibt, das Institut der Ehe auch für gleichgeschlechtliche Paare zu öffnen. Vor wenigen Tagen fand eine mündliche Verhandlung statt, …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

The CLOUD Act

A new way for international tribunals to access digital evidence

From violent protests in Sudan to airstrikes in Syria, access to online open source material and digital information is becoming essential for the fight against impunity. Open Source Information is publicly available information that anyone can lawfully obtain by request, purchase, or observation. Today’s international criminal and human rights investigations increasingly rely on digital data, such as content posted on social media platforms, to support criminal proceedings and ultimately hold …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Judicial imperialism and the PCIJ’s interpretation of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne (Part II)

This is the second part of a two-part analysis of the PCIJ’s Advisory Opinion concerning the Interpretation of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. The first part reviewed the opinion’s background and the drafting history of article 3 of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne which the Advisory Opinion focussed on. Article 3 concerned the delimitation of the boundary between Turkey and Iraq following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The key …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Judicial imperialism and the PCIJ’s interpretation of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne (Part I)

It is commonly accepted that the contemporary instability in certain areas of the Middle East is attributable, at least in part, to the arbitrary manner in which many boundaries were drawn by the victorious powers after the end of the First World War. Less often discussed is the role that international law and, in particular, the Permanent Court of International Justice (the ‘PCIJ’) played in this context. By scrutinising the …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

Imperialism, International Law and the Chagos Islands

Reflections on Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago

The Chagos tragedy (the Advisory Opinion of the ICJ can be found here) represents a story that in one way or the other is fundamentally a story of international law and its complicity in subjugating, oppressing and dominating an ‘inferior’ people. It shows that the erstwhile colonial world order is neither really ‘past’ nor that modern international law, as it is often claimed, is necessarily a harbinger for emancipation and …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

The ICC’s ‘Evidence Problem’

The Future of International Criminal Investigations After the Gbagbo Acquittal

On 15 January, Trial Chamber I acquitted Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé of crimes against humanity. This is an important decision. Gbagbo is the first former head of state to be tried by the ICC, and his acquittal comes just months after the controversial acquittal of Jean-Pierre Bemba, a rebel-cum-vice-president of the DR Congo. Of course, as with Bemba (see here, here and here), international lawyers will disagree on …

READ MORE →

Current Developments

A power struggle or something more?

The current disqualification saga at the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals

The past six months at the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, the successor organisation of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda (in the following: the Mechanism), have witnessed an unprecedented series of disqualification motions in both the Mladić and Karadžić appeals trials. While the events have been largely claimed to be the result of an internal power struggle between two senior judges at …

READ MORE →

Current DevelopmentsResponse

Plausibility and the ICJ

A response to Somos and Sparks

Since the ICJ’s 2001 decision in LaGrand (Germany v US), the Court’s jurisprudence on provisional measures indicated under Article 41 of its Statute has expanded dramatically. This is for two reasons—both, in my mind, connected to LaGrand. In the first place, with the Court having declared its provisional measures binding, it was incumbent upon it to ensure their requirements were clear and predictable. In the second (and in view of …

READ MORE →