Corte Penal Internacional

Demonstrators gathered outside the International Criminal Court in The Hague to call on the court and its chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to prosecute Israel's army for war crimes. (Peter Dejong/AP)

When the International Criminal Court was founded in 1998, it was hailed as a breakthrough in the global fight against impunity. And even as ICC’s membership has grown to 123 states, many of the world’s worst criminals continue to escape justice. It’s often easier to prosecute a murderer than a war criminal, or a genocidaire. Especially when they’re the ones in power. That is why the world needs a court of last resort, an institution to prosecute those who national justice systems are unwilling or unable to prosecute. With the ICC the world has such a court, but it should be doing better.…  Seguir leyendo »

Laurent Gbagbo looks on next to his lawyer Emmanuel Altit before the start of his trial at the ICC on 28 January 2016. Photo by Getty Images.

The 1998 treaty which established the International Criminal Court (ICC) was adopted at a time when the world (or most of it) was willing to reach multilateral agreements on a variety of topics and was encouraging the development of international criminal justice. The two tribunals, set up by the UN Security Council, for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda had been relatively successful. The time was ripe for states to agree together to set up a permanent international court with wider scope than the two tribunals.

So the ICC was created, with jurisdiction over the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes; its jurisdiction for the crime of aggression developed later.…  Seguir leyendo »

Over the past month, the Trump administration has ratcheted up tension with the world’s leading instrument for prosecuting war crimes and crimes against humanity. On March 15, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced visa restrictions for International Criminal Court officials involved in any investigation of U.S. citizens. Last week, the ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, confirmed that her visa to enter the United States has been revoked.

The administration may be tempted to argue that its toughness produced immediate results. On Friday, in a surprise development, a panel of judges at the ICC rejected the prosecutor’s bid to investigate alleged crimes in Afghanistan, including cases of torture by U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »

El último episodio que conduce a Estados Unidos al reino de las sombras tuvo lugar el pasado 15 de marzo de 2019 cuando Michael Pompeo, el secretario de Estado, anunció que se prohibirán los visados al personal de la Corte Penal Internacional (CPI) que participe en la posible investigación de ciudadanos estadounidenses en cualesquiera de los territorios a los que se extienda la jurisdicción de la CPI. Tal medida también se aplicaría en las investigaciones de la CPI contra ciudadanos de sus países aliados. EE UU es coherente porque amenaza con el mismo criterio en este caso que cuando impone sanciones económicas a cualquier extranjero, Estados o entidades que considere que incurren en comportamientos reprochables según su vara de medir y sin ningún otro control que su propia voluntad.…  Seguir leyendo »

On 15 January 2019, the Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) acquitted Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé by a majority, stating that the prosecution had not provided evidence of all the required elements of the crimes against the accused. All eyes focused on Gbagbo because of his status as former president of Côte d’Ivoire. An immediate question was the consequences of this acquittal for his place on the Ivorian political scene.

This questioning cannot fail to recall a recent precedent in Kenya, where two major ICC defendants, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, found in the proceedings against them a motivation for their political union, and made it a powerful electoral argument.…  Seguir leyendo »

En mayo de 2018, antes de las elecciones presidenciales en las que ganó Nicolás Maduro, se organizaron manifestaciones en contra del mandatario venezolano. Credit Marco Bello/Reuters

Hoy se espera que, durante un intermedio de la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas, cinco gobiernos latinoamericanos hagan historia: Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Perú y Paraguay solicitarán a la Corte Penal Internacional (CPI) que investigue la comisión de crímenes de lesa humanidad en Venezuela. Esta acción multinacional podría brindarle a Venezuela la oportunidad de frenar de manera diplomática la represión y persecución de la oposición del régimen de Nicolás Maduro.

Desde el establecimiento de la CPI, en 2002, nunca un Estado había pedido la intervención del tribunal internacional en otro país. Por este motivo, el plan de Argentina y la adhesión de cuatro gobiernos más es novedoso y representa un hito en el derecho internacional.…  Seguir leyendo »

John Bolton speaks to the Federalist Society on 10 September. Photo: Getty Images.

On 10 September, US National Security Advisor John Bolton used his first major speech since joining the White House to attack the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) potential investigation of American personnel in Afghanistan. The ‘American patriots’, as Bolton describes them, are being investigated for potential torture and ill-treatment of detainees, mostly in 2003 and 2004, during the United States-led invasion of the country.

Bolton has a long history of opposition to the ICC. Although the US signed the ICC Statute under president Bill Clinton, it was ‘unsigned’ by Bolton, then an under-secretary of state in the George W Bush administration.

And when the court first opened its doors in 2002, Bolton helped secure, in what he described on 10 September as one of his ‘proudest achievements’, around 100 bilateral agreements with other countries to prevent them from delivering US personnel to the ICC.…  Seguir leyendo »

Algunas de las atrocidades han sido captadas en video. Credit Matthew F. Smith, Taimoor Sobhan y Japhet Weeks

Este documental de opinión revela imágenes impactantes que han recopilado los refugiados rohinyá sobre el genocidio que se lleva a cabo en Birmania.

La única manera en la que la comunidad internacional hará lo correcto es si los responsables son procesados por estos delitos y es sabido que Birmania no es ni capaz ni está dispuesta a asegurar que se haya justicia a nivel doméstico. La situación es justamente una de las razones por las cuales existe la Corte Penal Internacional (CPI).

El Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU no debe perder más tiempo; debe aprobar una resolución que refiera la situación birmana a la CPI y, ya que eso suceda, los procuradores podrán empezar a armar el caso.…  Seguir leyendo »

El 17 de julio de 1998 se aprobó en la Conferencia Internacional de Roma el estatuto que por primera en la historia creaba un Tribunal Penal con sede en La Haya cuyos rasgos esenciales son su carácter internacional, permanente, independiente y su vocación universal. Se cumple este año el XX Aniversario del Tratado de Roma, un paso extraordinario y excepcional en la historia, más que del Derecho, de la humanidad, con el objetivo de que los más execrables crímenes internacionales puedan ser juzgados, y desaparezca la impunidad en este ámbito, algo que desgraciadamente ha sido una constante en la historia. Tras la ratificación del estatuto por sesenta estados, el 1 de julio de 2002 entró en vigor.…  Seguir leyendo »

World leaders gathered in Rome 20 years ago to draft a treaty to establish the first permanent International Criminal Court (ICC). On July 17, 1998, after difficult and uncertain negotiations, states approved the Rome Statute for signature and ratification.

Molded in the spirit of the Nuremberg trials and the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the ICC holds individuals criminally accountable for committing genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression.

But the ICC steered clear of administering “victor’s justice” — in which those who win a war administer justice in its aftermath — to try those most responsible on all sides of a conflict.…  Seguir leyendo »

People run through tear gas May 15 carrying an injured woman at the border fence with Israel in Gaza City, Gaza. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

As the United States moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Israeli government was ecstatic. In contrast, Palestinians were irate, organizing public demonstrations throughout the spring. When the embassy opened its doors May 14, Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition into large crowds of mostly unarmed demonstrators, some of whom were attempting to cross the border.

The result was at least 60 deaths — the deadliest day in Gaza since the 2014 Israeli-Gaza war.

What justice can be done for the victims of violence wrought by both Palestinian militants and Israeli forces on Palestinian civilians? One avenue would be the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has jurisdiction in the Palestinian territories.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un manifestante sostiene una bandera de Venezuela después de una confrontación con soldados durante una protesta en Caracas el 26 de julio de 2017. Credit Meridith Kohut para The New York Times

Fatou Bensouda, la fiscala de la Corte Penal Internacional (CPI), anunció el pasado 8 de febrero que se abrirá un examen preliminar sobre posibles violaciones a los derechos humanos y uso de fuerza excesiva por parte del gobierno de Nicolás Maduro.

Cuando las protestas llenaron las calles de Caracas de abril a julio del año pasado, 124 personas murieron, más de 10.000 resultaron heridas y aproximadamente 5000 personas fueron detenidas arbitrariamente, según el informe del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos.

¿Por qué importa el examen preliminar de la Corte Penal Internacional (CPI) a Venezuela? En un país que ya ha agotado todas las vías constitucionales para solucionar la actual crisis política y frenar el totalitarismo de Maduro, la decisión de la CPI es una buena noticia: no puede solucionar todos los problemas de Venezuela, pero sí podría ayudar a ejercer presión sobre el presidente venezolano y los funcionarios de su gobierno.…  Seguir leyendo »

As states gathered earlier this month to kick off the 16th Session of the Assembly of States Parties to the International Criminal Court, ICC watchers wondered what to expect from the United States at this difficult moment in its relationship with the court.

Indeed, it was hardly a foregone conclusion that the United States would show up at all. Not an ICC state party, the United States had during the Obama Administration developed the practice of attending Assembly meetings as an observer, but that was during a distinctly warmer period in U.S.-ICC relations. The chillier turn of late is attributable not just to a transition to an Administration with considerably less ICC-friendly instincts than its predecessor, but to the ICC Prosecutor’s recent announcement that she would seek permission to investigate allegations of CIA and DOD detainee abuse as part of her broader work on Afghanistan.…  Seguir leyendo »

Can the International Criminal Court Be Saved From Itself

Last month, the International Criminal Court opened two investigations, including a sensitive one in Afghanistan, and a call has been made to allow it to intervene in Myanmar. But such a flurry of announcements mainly testifies to the impasse at which the court finds itself.

On Nov. 20, after 11 desperately long years conducting a “preliminary examination,” Fatou Bensouda, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, formally requested authorization to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan thought to have been committed since 2003, after the United States-led invasion of the country.

It is a contentious move: Afghanistan recognizes the court’s jurisdiction, but the United States does not, and the I.C.C.…  Seguir leyendo »

What happens when a global criminal court takes on the world’s dominant military power? That was the question earlier this month when the International Criminal Court’s Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda took a decisive step toward direct confrontation with the U.S government.

The Prosecutor’s brief announcement that she would seek permission to launch a formal investigation into the situation in Afghanistan followed a series of annual reports making clear that this investigation will cover not just the Taliban and Afghan security forces, but also U.S. military and intelligence officers.  This is a scenario that both ICC critics and supporters in the U.S. government have fretted about ever since the formation of the court.  …  Seguir leyendo »

When the International Criminal Court (ICC) charged President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan with the commission of international crimes a fractious relationship developed between the African Union (AU) – who claim that the president should be accorded immunity as a head of state – and the Court. There have been threats by many African states to withdraw from the ICC, and some have taken steps to do so. A meeting of African ministers in New York on 21 September, and an AU Commission proposal presented there by South Africa’s legal adviser, highlight both the ongoing tensions but also, importantly, the possibilities for resolution.…  Seguir leyendo »

Depuis quelques semaines, un consortium de médias, l’European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) dont Mediapart fait partie, ont dévoilé certaines affaires embarrassantes pour la Cour pénale internationale (CPI). Celle-ci a ouvert une enquête interne, suspendu deux de ses collaborateurs, mais les feux se concentrèrent sur l’ancien procureur de la CPI, Luis Moreno Ocampo. Reste qu’au-delà des responsabilités individuelles mises en cause, l’enjeu essentiel que met en lumière ces révélations est la question de la gouvernance de la Cour pénale internationale. Comment, en effet, surveiller le shérif ?

Lorsque Luis Moreno Ocampo arrive à La Haye en 2003 portant l’espoir d’une justice internationale indépendante et ambitieuse.…  Seguir leyendo »

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Libyan militant Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf al-Werfalli. The court claims that Werfalli — who operates under the Libyan National Army (LNA) — committed the war crime of murder over a series of brutal executions. With so many deserving perpetrators around the world, why go after Werfalli and what might this mean for Libya and the ICC itself?

The ICC has sought to address atrocities in Libya since the U.N. Security Council referred the country to the court in 2011. That includes its ongoing and tumultuous struggle to prosecute Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam.…  Seguir leyendo »

La démission bruyante de Carla del Ponte de la Commission d’enquête sur la Syrie annoncée début août en témoigne, la justice pénale internationale est aujourd’hui en danger. Elle est l’objet de très sérieuses critiques, à la hauteur des espoirs qu’elle avait fait naître : des blocages politiques comme celui dénoncé par Carla del Ponte, des procès trop longs, trop coûteux, trop loin des populations.

Les victimes ne sont pas satisfaites, les Etats se plaignent avec raison du coût et du manque d’efficacité de cette justice. Quant aux accusés, beaucoup attendent pendant des années leur jugement, en violation des textes internationaux. La liste des reproches est longue.…  Seguir leyendo »

The prospects for justice for crimes against humanity and war crimes are more daunting today than at any time in the past two decades. The underlying political landscape is less favorable for accountability as compared with the 1990s, when the first international tribunals were established following the end of the Cold War and the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Rome Statute — the cornerstone of the international justice system — was completed in 1998. At the same time, there are important new opportunities to pursue justice through both national and international efforts.

One feature of the negative change is the ever-clearer division among the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.…  Seguir leyendo »