Justice has no Borders

International Criminal Bar

Written by ADV. Luis DEL CASTILLO

2nd October 2015

Dean Emeritus of the Il·lustre Col·legi d'Advocats de Barcelona and Honorary President of the International Criminal Bar

Today marks the day when the huge defense of non-violence was born Mr. Mahatma Gandhi. For this reason also the United Nations declared this date as the universal day of non-violence. Since the ICB we join  vehemently the celebration and proclaim our permanent opposition to any violence.

Written by ADV. Rosette BAR HAIM

September the 20TH of September 2015

She is an International Criminal Bar (ICB) Council Member, International criminal lawyer, practicing in Israel and Counsel authorized to plead before the International Criminal Court. Independent researcher in equity and international criminal at the ICC.


The recent Spanish law on Citizenship for Sephardic Jews in the Diaspora is unique in the modern political arena in crisis. 

I salute its drafters and the representatives of the modern Spain for their unanimous act of good will in actual international turmoil. We should view this law as an act of remembrance not only as an historical cruel event but as an instrument to prevent further ethnical cultural genocide.

El drama de los refugiados que escapan de la guerra de Siria es objeto permanente de declaraciones políticas y protagonista diario de los medios de comunicación que parecen, dicho sea de paso, haber dejado a un lado la deontología a la que les obliga su profesión, vulnerando los derechos a la intimidad y a la propia imagen. Como es habitual, la anécdota aunque sea del peor gusto, como la utilización de las fotos de un niño muerto y la instrumentalización de un drama humano como arma política,  han primado sobre las cuestiones de fondo y el rigor jurídico. 

Porque la raíz de este drama es un conflicto que se eterniza y en el que nadie parece interesado en intervenir con un mínimo de estrategia e inteligencia. Y por otra parte, es preciso encuadrar con rigor este drama humano en los  instrumentos jurídicos  y la jurisprudencia existentes sobre la cuestión del derecho de asilo y otros derechos humanos afectados .

La Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos recoge el derecho al asilo en su art. 14. : 

1. En caso de persecución, toda persona tiene derecho a buscar asilo, y a disfrutar de él, en cualquier país.

2.Este derecho no podrá ser invocado contra una acción judicial realmente originada por delitos comunes o por actos opuestos a los propósitos y principios de las Naciones Unidas.

En la revista Dones, la periodista Esther Escolán, entrevisto a nuestra compañera, Erika Torregrossa miembro del BPI-ICB CAPI, en su número especial “Dret i Poder judicial amb mirada de gènere”.

L’advocada, jurista i professora de Criminologia, Erika Torregrossa és, per sobre de tot, una persona compromesa socialment a qui les desigualtats, la vulneració dels drets humans i la manca real d’oportunitats l’indignen, i molt. S’ha fet un lloc propi a la Direcció General de Serveis Penitenciaris, on actualment només dues dones es troben al capdavant de la classificació dels interns, i cada cop apunta més alt a la vida social i política de la ciutat comtal.

La entrevista completa la podéis encontrar en la página 43 en este link:  


Today, 18 November 2015, the President and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "Court") presented the Court's annual report to the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute ("ASP" or "Assembly") during the Assembly's 14th session, held in The Hague, The Netherlands.


ICC President, Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, in her remarks at the opening session stated that the Court anticipates up to four concurrent trials in 2016 involving a total of 10 accused persons.  In terms of trial proceedings, this would make 2016 the Court's busiest year to date since the Court's inception. The Court also expects pre-trial proceedings to commence in early 2016 against two new suspects, recently transferred to custody of the Court.

The past 13 November 2015, a Panel of three Judges of the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC), specifically appointed by the Appeals Chamber, reviewed Germain Katanga's sentence and decided to reduce it. Accordingly, the date for the completion of his sentence is set to 18 January 2016.

On 23 October 2015, representatives of African Union Member States gathered in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) for a joint seminar co-hosted by the African Union (AU) and the International Criminal Court (ICC) to establish greater engagement and mutual understanding. This was the fourth joint AU/ICC seminar of a technical nature held at AU headquarters, the first one being held on 18 and 19 July 2011. 


Seminar participants included representatives of the Permanent Missions of the African Union Member States and the Regional Economic Communities as well as Officials of the African Union Commission and ICC. The event was held with the support of the International Organisation of La Francophonie and the European Union.


The meeting focused on complementarity and how to build the capacity of national institutions to deal with international crimes. The speakers also discussed the role of the ICC and the future African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples' Rights. 


The ICC is the first permanent, treaty-based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, namely war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Next week, 22 September, the ICC’s financial oversight body meets to discuss the Court’s 2016 budget request – a 17% increase from last year. So what exactly is the ICC asking for?

An international judge announced his resignation from the U.N.-backed war crimes trials in Cambodia on Tuesday, the fourth to quit so far and another blow for the troubled tribunal probing the atrocities of the 1970s Khmer Rouge regime.

Mark Harmon, from the United States, said in a statement his reasons for stepping down after three years in Phnom Penh were "strictly personal" and "with considerable regret". He did not elaborate.

Several of Harmon's predecessors at the hybrid United Nations-Cambodian court have alleged political interference and a lack of cooperation by Cambodia's government, which contains remnants of the Khmer Rouge regime.

Prime Minister Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge soldier, has warned more trials could cause anarchy and a return to civil war. He has promised to thwart new indictments and once said he would be happy if the U.N. packed up and left.

The decade-old tribunal has so far delivered verdicts involving three high-profile leaders from the 1975-1979 "killing fields" era. Attempts to pursue more cases have been met by strong government resistance.

Cambodian police have refused to act on an arrest warrant Harmon has issued for Meas Muth, a former navy chief alleged to have sent detainees to a torture center where some 14,000 people died.

Court spokesman Lars Olsen said Harmon's resignation was unrelated to any development in cases he was working on. Harmon would continue his role until his replacement was sworn in.

The Special Court for Sierra Leone was set up jointly by the Government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations. It is mandated to try those who bear the greatest responsibility for serious violations of international humanitarian law and Sierra Leonean law committed in the territory of Sierra Leone since 30 November 1996.

Thirteen indictments were issued by the Prosecutor in 2003. Two of those indictments were subsequently withdrawn in December 2003 due to the deaths of the accused.

The trials of three former leaders of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), of two members of the Civil Defence Forces (CDF) and of three former leaders of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) have been completed, including appeals. The trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor is in the Defence phase at The Hague.

The Appeals Chamber issued its Judgement in the Popović et al. case, concerning five senior Bosnian Serbian military officials for crimes perpetrated by Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995, following the takeover of the protected areas of Srebrenica and Žepa.

The final convictions for the five Appellants stand as follows.

The Tribunal’s Registrar John Hocking and the General Director of the Custodial Institutions Agency of The Netherlands, Peter Hennephof, today signed an extension of the Agreement on Detention Facilities and Services between the United Nations and the State of The Netherlands.

Through this Agreement, The Netherlands will continue to provide the Tribunal with the detention facilities and services necessary to house all persons detained on the authority of the Tribunal and The Hague branch of the Mechanism.

The Agreement is effective from 1 January to 31 December 2015 and allows for a further extension until the end of 2017. It covers important matters such as the provision of medical services to Tribunal detainees, the management and maintenance of the United Nations Detention Unit (UNDU) and the costs of detention. The Agreement is vital in allowing the Tribunal to fulfil its mandate as it ensures that the conditions in which the detainees are housed meet the highest international standards.

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