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IJHRL 2010-2011 Now Available!

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The 2010-2011 issue of IJHRL is now available online.

The Interdisciplinary Journal of Human Rights Law (IJHRL) is a peer-reviewed, scholarly journal designed to address international human rights issues more broadly. The IJHRL has been ranked among the top international law journals on ExpressO rankings. The journal explores political, philosophical, and legal questions related to international human rights from diverse perspectives. It strives to create a more thoughtful polity better able to make informed choices about ethical foreign policymaking.

International Court Expects Libyan Prosecution

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CAIRO — The International Criminal Court’s prosecutor said Thursday he is “100 percent” certain that his investigation into attacks on Libyan protesters will lead to crimes against humanity charges against the regime of Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi.

Gadhafi’s crackdown on anti-regime protests that broke out last month has been the most violent against any of the anti-government uprisings across the Middle East.

Since the Libyan uprising broke out last month, Gadhafi’s regime has faced international sanctions and a United Nations-authorized no-fly zone and bombing campaign against his forces. Libyan rebels still hold much of the country’s western coastal strip, including their de facto capital in Benghazi. But they have so far failed to make new gains.

The court’s investigation makes it likely that Gadhafi’s regime will face additional censure, even if it retains power.

Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told The Associated Press on Thursday during a one-day visit to Cairo that he is “100 percent” certain his investigation will lead to charges of crimes against humanity against members of the Gadhafi regime.

To read more, visit

CASIN Elects New Board Chair

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The CASIN Board of Directors elected Sarah Repucci as the new
Board Chair. Sarah has been involved with CASIN since 2010. She holds an MA from New York University and a B.A. from Williams College.

Elected every six months, the Board Chair is responsible for leading monthly meetings and determining the overall direction of the organization.

For any questions about the workings of the Board, or to welcome her to her new position, please e-mail

CASIN receives ECOSOC Accredidation Status, one of six!

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Keep your eyes out for increased delegation opportunities!

PRESS RELEASE: Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations Recommends Six Entities for Status with Economic and Social Council, Defers Consideration of 25 Applications

Divergent Views Emerge as Members Discuss Permissible Level of Participation of Observers in Reviewing Applications

The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations today recommended six entities for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council and postponed consideration of 25 applications in the penultimate day of its 2011 regular session, which heard extensive debate over the appropriate rights and procedures required to pose questions to groups seeking standing in the 19-member body.

General, special or roster status is granted in accordance with such criteria as the applicant’s mandate, governance and financial regime. Organizations enjoying general and special status can attend meetings of the United Nations Economic and Social Council and circulate statements, while those with general status can, in addition, address meetings and propose agenda items. Roster-status NGOs can only attend meetings. Organizations with general and special status must also submit a report every four years.

The Committee reviewed the applications of a range of organizations for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, considering new applications, new requests for reclassification and requests for reclassification that had been deferred from previous sessions.

The Committee today recommended special consultative status for the following organizations:

Council for American Students in International Negotiations, a national organization in the United States that generates discussion and instils knowledge about international issues at universities across the country, and works to create a core group of young leaders to engage communities in global affairs.

Other groups to receive this status include:

International Human Rights Observer Pakistan, a national organization working to educate and create awareness on fundamental freedoms and rights enshrined within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to advocate for the effective implementation of the international human rights already signed by Governments;

Vivekananda Sevakendra-O-Sishu Uddyan, a national organization working out of West Bengal, India, to support the holistic development of the Indian community in a self-sustainable manner, in particular through microfinance projects and various community development programmes;

Afromedianet, a France-based international network of leading journalists and independent experts specializing in human rights, development issues and humanitarian affairs in Africa;

Athletes United for Peace, an international NGO in the United States promoting peace, education and friendship through sport programmes and events for young people;

5th Pillar, a United States-based international NGO working to set up Right to Information Act (2005) service centres for raising awareness among Indian citizens about eliminating corruption at all levels of society.

Book Review, Time for the United States to Cooperate with the ICC

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Lee Feinstein and Tod Lindberg argue that the United States should move to a policy of cooperation with the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a means of reaching the established U.S. goal of seeing gross violators of human rights and perpetrators of mass atrocities held accountable for their actions. U.S. cooperation also would please allies and be morally right. The authors move discussion of the ICC away from the well-worn theoretical debates on the merits of global governance and proper limitations on sovereignty to, first, the broader issue of how the United States works for international justice and, second, the practical question of whether cooperation with the ICC advances U.S. interests. Such intellectual moves force U.S. critics of the ICC into the difficult position of either questioning the merits of the U.S. goal of international justice or showing that this goal could be better achieved through other policies.

Feinstein and Lindberg also later add a third shift in the debate by suggesting that the issue should not be defined only as a choice of either U.S. opposition to the ICC or ratification of the Rome Statute, but should include a middle option of U.S. cooperation with the court without ratification, at least at this point. Cooperation would give the United States many of the benefits of joining the ICC without subjecting itself to the court’s jurisdiction or requiring Senate approval.

Find the rest of the review at:

Civil Society Statement on Kenya and the International Criminal Court

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On December 15, 2010, International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo requested summonses to appear against six Kenyan citizens for crimes against humanity alleged to have been committed during the post-election violence in Kenya in 2007-08. The request is currently under consideration by a pre-trial chamber of the ICC; no summonses have been issued to date.

Although the prosecutor’s application for summonses was widely welcomed by both local and international civil society, the Kenyan parliament passed a motion on December 22, 2010, urging the government to withdraw from the Rome Statute, the ICC’s founding treaty. While this motion is not binding on the Kenyan government, it has been reported that a group of Kenyan parliamentarians are preparing to table a bill which, if enacted, would effectively require the Kenyan government to withdraw from the Rome Statute.

Media reports also indicate that some Kenyan government officials are engaging in a diplomatic campaign to enlist the support of other African governments at the upcoming African Union (AU) summit for a United Nations (UN) Security Council deferral of the Kenyan cases under article 16 of the Rome Statute. These efforts are reportedly linked to government plans to establish a domestic judicial mechanism to try suspects of the post-election violence. It has also been reported that an earlier objective of this campaign may have been to call for a motion to be tabled at the AU summit to prompt the withdrawal of African states from the Rome Statute. Although Kenya’s Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka has since been quoted in the Kenyan media as dismissing the withdrawal of other African states from the Rome Statute as an aim of the campaign, he has also been quoted as affirming that he was under instructions to unequivocally move any prosecutions of crimes arising from the 2007-8 post-election violence from the international arena to Kenya.

However, despite committing to the creation of a special tribunal for the post-election violence in December 2008, to date, the Kenyan government has taken no real action on national trials and the special tribunal has not been created. Credible national trials for those responsible for the post-election violence would be welcome. Indeed, to bring full accountability for the violence, national trials are necessary to complement the work of the ICC. But domestic trials should not be used to derail or defeat the ICC process.

(See rest of the release at the ICTJ’s Website)


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Coalition for the ICC


25 January 2011

Rwandan Leader Callixte Mbarushimana Transferred to The Hague for Alleged
Crimes in the Kivu Provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

WHAT: On 25 January 2011, Callixte Mbarushimana was transferred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague (Netherlands) for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He
was arrested on 11 October 2010 by French authorities pursuant to an ICC arrest warrant issued under seal on 28 September 2010.

WHO: Callixte Mbarushimana is a Rwandan citizen and the Executive Secretary of the Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda – Forces Combattantes Abacunguzi (FDLR-FCA). Callixte Mbarushimana is suspected of crimes against
humanity (murder, torture, rape, persecution and inhumane acts) and war crimes (attacks against the civilian population, destruction of property, murder, torture, rape and inhuman treatment).

HOW: Following the issuance of the a sealed ICC arrest warrant on 28 September 2010, a request for assistance in the arrest and surrender of the suspect was sent to the French authorities by the ICC Registrar on 30 September 2010. An Appeals
Court in Paris approved the surrender of the suspect to the ICC in early November 2010, a decision that was approved on 4 January 2011 by the “Cour de Cassation”, the highest court in the French judiciary.

NEXT STEPS: Callixte Mbarushimana will soon make an initial appearance before ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I. According to article 60 of the Rome Statute, upon the surrender of a suspect, he or she must appear in a hearing before the Court, in which
the Pre- Trial Chamber must ensure that the person has been informed of the crimes which he or she is alleged to have committed, and of his or her rights under the Statute, including the right to apply to the Pre-Trial Chamber for interim release
pending trial. Callixte Mbarushimana will then choose a permanent counsel to represent him before the Court and begin preparations for the confirmation of charges hearing.

COMMENTS: Several NGO members of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court —a civil society network in 150 countries advocating for a fair, effective and independent ICC and improved access to justice for victims of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity — have long been calling on the ICC Prosecutor to accelerate his investigation in the Kivus.
Convenor of the Coalition William R. Pace commended the French authorities for their role in the arrest and transfer of Callixte Mbarushimana, adding that “governments cooperation on arrests are indispensable and of vital importance to the work of the ICC in bringing perpetrators of grave crimes to justice.”

“The same level of cooperation should be ensured by the DRC and the United Nations in the case of former rebel commander and war crimes suspect Bosco Ntaganda who is enjoying complete liberty in the Kivus, the same region where ICC
suspect Callixte Mbarushimana is alleged to have committed crimes,” Mr. Pace added.

“The Coalition urges the Court to strengthen outreach activities in the Kivus,” Mr. Pace emphasized. “It is essential that victims be informed of the arrest and of the Court’s mandate and procedures so that they can make an informed decision about
their right to participate and can follow the Court’s progress if they so choose,” he concluded.

BACKGROUND: On 4 November 2008, ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo issued a public statement to remind the actors of the conflict in the DRC that the ICC had jurisdiction over the crimes committed against the civilian population in North and South Kivu after 1 July 2002, and that his office was closely monitoring the situation.

Kivu is a region in the northeast area of the DRC that borders Lake Kivu. North and South Kivu has long been a site of conflict involving a number of actors, including the Forces Democratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), the Armed Forces of
the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC), the Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP) and the MONUSCO.

The DRC is one of five situations under investigations by the ICC. It was formally referred to the Court by the DRC government on 19 April 2004, and the prosecutor
officially opened an investigation on 23 June 2004. Five arrest warrants have been issued in the DRC situation, and two trials are ongoing for Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, Germain Katanga and Matthieu Ngudjolo Chui.

The ICC is the world’s first permanent international court to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. There are currently 114 states that are party to the Rome
Statute, the governing legislation of the ICC. Central to the ICC’s mandate is the principle of complementarity, which holds that the Court will only intervene if national legal systems are
unable or unwilling to investigate and prosecute. To date, the ICC has opened investigations in five situations: the Central African Republic; Darfur, Sudan; Uganda; Democratic Republic
of Congo and Kenya. It has publicly issued twelve arrest warrants and three summonses to appear. Three trials are ongoing. The ICC Office of the Prosecutor has made public that it is examining at least ten situations on four continents, including Afghanistan, Chad, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Georgia, Guinea, Honduras, South Korea, Nigeria and Palestine.
The Coalition for the International Criminal Court is a global network of civil society organizations in 150 countries advocating for a fair, effective and independent ICC and
improved access to justice for victims of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Coalition NGO experts are available for interviews and background. List available upon request to For additional information, please visit the Coalition’s website at:

Call for Papers, Eyes on the ICC

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Call for Papers 2011-2012:

Eyes on the ICC is the first peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal dedicated exclusively to the work of the International Criminal Court and international criminal law.

The journal, published annually by the Council for American Students in International Negotiations, invites quality submissions for its seventh volume from practitioners, scholars, jurists, and professionals in fields related to international criminal law and policy. Occasionally, exceptional student work will be accepted. Manuscripts are accepted on a rolling basis until August 15, 2011.

Manuscripts must be computer-generated and submitted electronically via e-mail to, or via Berkeley Electronic Press’s ExpressO submission service, at

Each submission should contain an abstract, the author’s CV, appropriate contact information, and a cover letter. Articles and Notes may range in length from 25 to 80 pages, double-spaced. Book reviews range from 1,000 to 2,500 words. Submissions should adhere closely to the Chicago Manual of Style and cite sources in legal format according to the Harvard Blue Book.

Authors are encouraged to seek comments on their manuscripts from colleagues within their discipline. The journal invites commentary on the quality of its submissions, whether by private correspondence or published letter.

Correspondence not directly related to the submission process should be addressed to the Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Bernhard Kuschnik, at

For International Criminal Court, Frustration and Missteps in Its First Trial

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For International Criminal Court, Frustration and Missteps in Its First Trial

THE HAGUE — The International Criminal Court has all the trappings of a weighty institution: 18 judges, a large corps of prosecutors, a multimillion-dollar budget and its own prison cells. But the court is facing mounting criticism over the handling of its first case, which may be coming apart after more than four years.

Even longtime supporters of the court, established in The Hague to deal with large-scale atrocities, say they are frustrated by what many call the unacceptably slow pace and numerous missteps that have dragged out the trial, in which Thomas Lubanga, a Congolese militia leader, faces charges of committing war crimes by conscripting children.

Judges have twice ended proceedings and ordered Mr. Lubanga’s release, because, they said, the prosecution erred in dealing with evidence and refused to carry out their “unequivocal orders,” making a fair trial impossible.

Both times, appeals judges ordered the trial resumed and errors redressed. But tensions over a range of issues between the prosecution and the judges continue.

Now, deep into the trial, the defense has produced new evidence that may undermine the entire case, namely claims by several witnesses that Congolese researchers for the prosecution enlisted some witnesses to fabricate evidence.

“The whole trial has been a nightmare since the disputes between judges and the prosecutor began in 2008,” said William A. Schabas, who teaches human rights law at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and follows the court. Relations between the bench and the prosecution have become “ugly and unhealthy,” he said. “There appears almost a breakdown between the two sides.”

Now Accepting Applications- CASIN DELEGATIONS

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Calling All Student Delegates:

CASIN is Now Accepting Applications to Attend the 9th Session of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court!

Where: United Nations Headquarters New York, NY

When: December 6th 2010- December 10th 2010

The Council for American Students in International Negotiations (CASIN) strives to deepen the commitment of American students to multilateral institutions through scholarship, discourse, and engagement in international policy. One of our key initiatives is to expose students to international diplomacy in action on a number of topics. At this conference, students will have the opportunity to observe proceedings of the Assembly of States Parties, the governing body of the International Criminal Court.

Interested in attending? Please contact Anna Sandor at for further information and for the conference application. The application is due November 1st!