National Prosecutions

10/29/2018

A UN rights expert said that Sierra Leone’s decision to de facto remove all three members of its Human Rights Commission was an attack on the rule of law and must be reversed. In April 2017, three human rights commissioners were appointed to the commission for a five-year term. However, in June 2018, the President of Sierra Leone ordered the commission’s dissolution, without citing a reason. “The Government’s decision to de facto dissolve the Commission’s current membership undermines the rule of law in Sierra Leone and distracts from efforts to promote and protect human rights.

10/26/2018

The Nepali Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs is holding consultations with the political leadership before finalizing a controversial bill to amend the Transitional Justice Act. The government in June made public the zero draft of the bill, which was widely criticized for proposing reduced penalties for convicted perpetrators of crimes during the civil war.

10/26/2018

During a policy forum discussing the Kosovo Specialist Chambers held in Prishtina, politicians and academics condemned the lengthy indictment process that the Kosovo public and political figures have sat through since the court began investigations.

10/15/2018

The government of South Sudan is under pressure to allow the formation of a hybrid court and to release political detainees as a sign of goodwill in the implementation of the September 12 peace agreement between rebels and the government. The two issues are emerging as the most crucial in the implementation process of the agreement, with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir coming under pressure from the US, UK, and Norway to act on them.

10/15/2018

In a tense and packed courtroom, Guatemalan High Risk Court “B” delivered its verdict in the retrial of former Guatemalan Director of Military Intelligence José Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez. The court unanimously found that the State of Guatemala, and more specifically the Guatemalan army, committed genocide and crimes against humanity against the Maya Ixil population during the de facto government of Efraín Ríos Montt (1982-1983).

10/11/2018

The cause to establish a war crimes court in Liberia received another boost from the international community when the United States House of Representatives’ committee on Foreign Affairs passed a resolution to support the establishment of a war crimes court in the West African state. US Representative Daniel Donovon, main sponsor of the resolution, remarked on Twitter that “stopping war crimes before they happen is just as important as ensuring that justice prevails afterwards.

10/11/2018

Peru's former authoritarian president Alberto Fujimori was transported by ambulance to a local clinic after a judge annulled a pardon granted to him last year and ordered his immediate return to prison. The ruling by Supreme Court Judge Hugo Nunez on Wednesday marked the latest reversal in fortunes for Fujimori, an agricultural engineer who rose to the presidency on a populist platform in 1990 and a decade later resigned by fax from his parents' homeland of Japan.

9/28/2018

The prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, has opened a preliminary probe into Myanmar’s military crackdown on Rohingya Muslims that led to the deaths of tens of thousands of people and to some 700,000 more to flee into neighboring Bangladesh. Almost three weeks ago, judges at the ICC ruled that the body had jurisdiction over the crimes against the Rohingya despite Myanmar not having signed the Rome Statue because Bangladesh, where most of the refugees are, has.

9/28/2018

The Ugandan state has lined up 120 witnesses to testify against former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) commander Thomas Kwoyelo. Kwoyelo was arrested in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2009 and brought back to Uganda where he was subsequently charged with 93 counts of rape, kidnap, murder, enslavement, and torture that are alleged to have been committed between 1993 and 2005. The long-delayed trial is now estimated to last two years.

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9/28/2018

Officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced this week that they can still prosecute Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte even if the country withdraws from the international court because the proceedings were commenced before the withdrawal. The ICC has received two petitions accusing Duterte of murder and crimes against humanity. Duterte unilaterally withdrew from the ICC in March, but opposition lawmakers say the withdrawal was illegal because it was done without senate approval.

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