David Schwendiman, a seasoned US attorney and war crimes expert, is being forced to step down as the Specialist Prosecutor (SP) at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office. Before news of his imminent exit was made public, Schwendiman had spoken to journalists in The Hague about how exactly he planned to marshal facts to hold powerful individuals accountable for grave crimes committed in Kosovo between January 1998 and December 2000. As part of our #MyJustice series, here is Schwendiman, in his own words, explaining how he’s made “accountability” the watchword at the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (SPO)
What do perpetrators say to justify their role in genocides? Researcher and author Kjell Anderson has spent years researching the topic and he shares some illuminating insights in this piece.
In this interview, conducted as part of our popular #MyJustice series, Justice Hub talks to Paul McNally, the founding Director of Citizen Justice Network, a South African justice innovation which won the Innovating Justice Challenge 2017
At the thirtieth summit of the African Union (AU) last month, African states took a bold decision. They agreed to ask the United Nations General Assembly to seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the issue of head of state immunity. For years now, this has been an ongoing point of contention for many states in their relationship with the International Criminal Court (ICC). So what’s behind the AU’s decision and what does it tell us about the ICC and its relationship with African states?
Between early 2013 and June 2016, in the village of Kavumu, a few dozen kilometers from Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu province, as many as 40 young girls whose ages ranged from 18 months to 10 years old were abducted and raped before being returned to their families. On December 13, 2017 11 Congolese militia members and a provincial lawmaker Frederic Batumike were found guilty of murder and rape as crimes against humanity. This is the story of how the women of Kavumu finally got justice.
Expert: Rehabilitation of those convicted by international criminal tribunals is woefully inadequate
Much ink has been spilled on the oft-difficult and dicey process of bringing wanted perpetrators to justice. Less attention has been paid to what happens after people are convicted by international criminal tribunals and have to pay their debt to humanity behind bars. In an effort to remedy that, Barbora Hola, an Associate Professor at the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and a colleague, carried out an extensive research project to look into how such convicted persons are rehabilitated, if at all. “Poorly”, it turns out, is the answer.
Judge Koffi Kumelio A. Afande, who has served on both the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has given a damning appraisal of the outcome of the Kenyan cases at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the victims, particularly on reparations. It is rare to hear a judge of Afande’s stature speak so frankly of the shortcomings the international criminal justice system.
To start the year off right, Justice Hub is today publishing the first of a series of exclusive interviews with esteemed African judges. The interviews, which will run for the next few weeks, are part of our popular #MyJustice series that aims to shine a spotlight on sung and unsung heroes working to make the world a more peaceful, just and inclusive place.
Justice Dr James Alala Deng, a member of the South Sudan Supreme Court, tells us why, despite all the obvious challenges and setbacks, he believes that justice is still possible in Africa’s youngest democracy.
Uganda is one of the few countries that have set up local mechanisms for trying grave crimes like genocide and war crimes. Ugandan Judge Flavia Senoga Anglin recently spoke to a rapt Hague Talks audience about the tragic events that led her country to establish the International Crimes Division of Uganda.