international criminal court
"Well, this one’s a layup."
The long-reigning dictator was toppled this week, but the consequences of his rule continue to be devastating.
His crackdown has killed more than 2,500 people.
Russia's exit comes at a precarious time for the ICC.
On September 27th when the International Criminal Court in The Hague handed down a sentence of nine years in prison for Ahmad al Faqi al Mahdi for the war crime of destroying cultural heritage in Timbuktu, civic and religious leaders in the famed city of 333 saints were relieved that justice -- for once--had been done.
In our own lifetimes, in conflicts unfolding even today, atrocities have been planned and executed, leaving behind victims of widespread or systematic crimes. Societies across the globe have been deeply scarred and divided by crimes such as attacks on civilians, murder, using child soldiers and rape as a tool of war. Violence in one place inevitably causes instability in others. For some, this may seem a distant if disturbing fact, but for hundreds of thousands of others, it is their only reality.
On June 14th, the House of Commons was the scene of a remarkable debate. The opposition had tabled a motion declaring atrocities by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) against Iraqi Christians, Yazidis, Shia, and other minorities as "genocide".
Third, and perhaps most important, the case sends a clear message to senior political and military leaders that if they fail
The fact that these cases were heard in the same week may be merely coincidental, but it nevertheless sends out a strong signal that commanders who commit or permit atrocities will ultimately be held responsible.
The U.S. House of Representatives' recent resolution urging for the creation of a temporary UN criminal tribunal for Syria is a worrisome departure from American leadership in the field. For a number of reasons, this resolution and underlying strategy is ill-advised and does little to increase the chance that justice will come to the victims of atrocities in Syria.
The following Op-Ed consists of excerpts from my speech at the 23rd annual Canadian International Law Students' Conference
Major General Ongwen was a notoriously brutal top commander who spent his entire adult life in the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) which terrorized communities in Northern Uganda, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.
Even more disturbingly, this resolution Clinton helped become law also authorizes the president of the United States "to