Corte Penal Internacional

A painting by the artist Banksy, in 2015 in Gaza. Divorce between Israel and the International Criminal Court was consumed in Rome in 1998, when Tel Aviv refused to sign and ratify the Statute, following its recognition of the transfer of the civilian population as a war crime. © Mohammed Abed / AFP

To me, the subject of Israel and Palestine, the relations between the two entities and their peoples, as well as the role of third actors (international or not), including the International Criminal Court (ICC), has been of concern for many years. The so-called Palestine Situation before the ICC seems to put into perspective the meetings and dialogues I had more than twenty years ago. Professionally, I have devoted my energy for the past fifteen years to international criminal justice, both in teaching and research and in practice, where I have been able to work alongside the Prosecutor General of Israel, the defence and more recently, in the representation of victims of international crimes.…  Seguir leyendo »

In this piece, the author points out "the interminable circularity of ‘debate’ around declaratory and constitutive theories of international law – which is to say the whether a state exists exclusively by having satisfied some set of criteria, or whether a state exists when other states recognise it as such". © Mohammed Abed / AFP

In December 2019 the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) at the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it had concluded its preliminary examination into the Situation in Palestine, and was satisfied that it had competence to open a formal investigation. The announcement, however, came in the form of a Request to the Pre-Trial Chamber for confirmation that the OTP’s understanding of the scope of the Court’s jurisdiction over Palestine was correct.

Among the reasons the OTP gave for making the request was that “while the Prosecution wishes to obtain a ruling expeditiously, it would provide an opportunity for legal representatives of victims and the referring State to participate in the proceedings, if they wish.…  Seguir leyendo »

Existen cuatro crímenes execrables, repugnantes, que conmocionan las conciencias de la mayoría de los seres que habitan el planeta: el genocidio, los crímenes de guerra, la depuración étnica y los crímenes de lesa humanidad. Con esa u otras denominaciones se han cometido desde el inicio de los tiempos. Tras la Primera Guerra Mundial hubo reacciones ante los horrores vividos. Vividos nuevamente y aumentados tras la Segunda, la Carta de las Naciones Unidas incorporó en 1945 estas preocupaciones.

En 1998, impulsado por la ONU, nace el Tribunal Penal Internacional (TPI), hoy integrado por 124 Estados. Si bien algunos de los más poderosos (EE UU, Rusia, China) no forman parte de él (tampoco Israel) por temor a que algunos de sus nacionales puedan ser incriminados, es destacable que tantos Estados de culturas y acervos jurídicos dispares hayan concordado en un objetivo común.…  Seguir leyendo »

Rohingya walk through a paddy field after crossing into Bangladesh in 2017. (Bernat Armangue/AP)

On Thursday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a unanimous ruling that ordered Myanmar to “take all measures within its power” to protect its ethnic minority Rohingya population from genocide. The case — against which Myanmar’s civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, argued unsuccessfully — ended up in front of the ICJ because of a tiny African country thousands of miles away. Here’s what you need to know about this story.

How the case got started

The case before the ICJ started a few weeks ago, when Gambia accused Myanmar of violating the United Nations’ 1948 Convention on Genocide. Suu Kyi flew to The Hague to defend her country, arguing that her government’s actions were legitimate counterinsurgency efforts against rebels in Rakhine state.…  Seguir leyendo »

Como se sabe, la Fiscalía de la Corte Penal Internacional (CPI) ha decidido el pasado 20 de noviembre la apertura oficial de una investigación a Israel por presuntas violaciones de las normas que regulan los conflictos armados y otras relativas al régimen de los territorios palestinos, que para Israel son considerados en disputa, mientras que para las Naciones Unidas son territorios ocupados. Ni que decir tiene que este hecho ya ha sido considerado por Amnistía Internacional como un paso histórico, algo que no es extraño, dada la manía persecutoria que esta organización no gubernamental viene manteniendo contra viento y marea contra Israel.…  Seguir leyendo »

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 »