The President of the International Criminal Bar and the President of the Bar Association of Mali,

You are cordially invited to take part in the 1st congress of the International Criminal Bar in Africa from November 14 to 16, 2019 at the Hotel Sheraton in Bamako - Mali.

 

For Malian lawyers, please register at the secretariat of the Order or with Maître Maîmouna TOGOLA, President of the Finance Subcommittee of the Congress Organizing Committee.

 

 You can register now by clicking on the link below.

 

 
 
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Registration for the International Congress of the ICB Mali, 14-15 November 2019

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Iraq: the International Criminal Bar Association develops a project on  crimes against women committed by ISIS

An interview with Laura Guercio, lawyer and member of ICBA

BY VALENTINA TATTI TONNI

“Recently, the Executive Committee of the International Criminal Bar Association (ICBA) approved a project aimed at investigating, gathering evidence and reporting on crimes committed by members of the Islamic State (Daesh or Isis) against women and girls. Victims of violence such as rape, forced marriages, torture, all committed in order to enslave women and girls, but also to destroy and destabilize an entire community," explains the lawyer Laura Guercio, recently appointed as head of this project, and already in charge of other roles as Italian agent at the Management Board of the European Fundamental Rights Agency in Vienna; "women in conflict situations, are often the victims of sexual violence also for their role as mothers and, then, guarantors of the continuation of a community. By hitting women, the community itself is hit. This dramatic reality has been increasingly dealt with by the international community, trying not only to protect women as passive victims, but also, over time, to recognise and promote their role as active and essential agents for guaranteeing peace and security. To this end, I recall UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which marked a turning point in international sensitivity and attention to the role of women as active players in conflict and post-conflict situations”.

The ICBA is an international association of lawyers chaired by Prof. Dragos Chilea, which operates in various areas of international law with particular attention to the protection of fundamental rights. All professionals involved in this project will start working from September 2019. In the team of local experts there are University professors, judges, lawyers, psychologists and doctors who will be supported by as many international experts with the sole purpose of supporting the work on site.

"The project will be carried out in two phases: one of investigation activities, data collection of crimes committed by members of the Islamic State in Iraq and reporting to national and international authorities, another of study on the Iraqi judicial system, in particular on the Iraqi Criminal Code" Laura Guercio says, recalling that "the UN Security Council,  with its Resolution 2379, established a commission of investigation experts who must gather evidence of crimes committed by Isis. These crimes will then be tried before the iraqi national authorities because Iraq is not a signatory State to the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC)".

The second phase of the ICBA project precisely aims at analysing the adequacy of the Iraqi judicial system in relation to the crimes to be judged in order to consider a "possible reform of the current national criminal code, with specific reference to certain crimes such as crimes of sexual violence, on the basis of what are the international standards and the results of the international jurisprudence of the International Criminal Courts" Guercio intervenes quoting the Akayesu case, when in Rwanda in 1994 there was a first conviction for genocide.

By ascertaining the  serious stacks committed by the Islamic State,  is it possible to give hopes to the victims. In what way? "First of all, by investigating activities  which may lead to the discovery of serious crimes that must  be reported and historically remembered. Women are not always in a position to denounce. Secondly, through the reporting activity that will aim at making the crimes committed against women by the Isis  internationally known. Thirdly, by giving support to possible hypotheses of reform of the Iraqi penal system".

Muslim law based on the Koran is not always clear in its rules and must often be interpreted by attentive jurists who are aware of their role. It is widely used in non-democratic governments to reduce the rights of the accused in the trial, prosecute oppositions and dissidents with punishments that do not meet the common rules.

Amnesty International's Annual Report 2017/18 referring to Iraq confirms "The Isis has committed serious violations of international human rights standards and international humanitarian law constituting war crimes. It forcibly displaced thousands of civilians, pushing them into areas of open conflict and using them as human shields to cover its fighters. The Isis deliberately killed civilians trying to escape from the fighting, leaving their bodies hanging in public areas, as a warning against any other escapes. The Isis fighters carried out killings comparable to executions of people perceived as their opponents and recruited and deployed child soldiers in the field. According to data released by the United Nations in October, up to 1,563 yazidi, women and children were still prisoners of ISIS, trapped between Iraq and Syria and subjected to rape and other forms of torture, aggression and enslavement.

Crimes perpetrated against children and women, often referred to as weak subjects, are typical of a distorted rule of law devoted to violence. The perpetrator, in this case the Islamic State, condemns this weak subject and makes him an accomplice to his barbarity, even though in fact, when manipulated, he acted contrary to his own mental state only because it seemed to him that there was no alternative. This is how incitement to hatred inhibits the free choice to act and neutralises personal identity with extreme ease.

And there is much to reform in international criminal justice, starting with the culture of justice which while being a political issue must not make policy or respond to political needs, as also emphasized by Guercio. "Justice  is a political question in the broad sense because it also has a function of re-socialization of a community structure: this means compensating the victims, condemning the perpetrators, but it also means contributing to the reconstruction of a social structure", the lawyer  goes on to point out the importance of the timeliness of international justice and recalls, to this end, cases such as the Kosovo conflict in which the international legal system has yet to intervene operationally "Justice must be immediate, timeliness. It is not possible to have trials that begin twenty years after the end of a conflict". Then Guercio underlines a relevant question: “WHEREAS justice must always be given to the victims, when justice is not timely, can such a delay cause social damage? If international criminal justice begins after twenty years, it could affect a social structure which, in the meantime, is trying to find its own balance and civil coexistence: then what happens when trials are opened? Is there not a risk that new social conflicts may reopen? It is necessary, I would say essential, that justice be as prompt as possible, both to give immediate satisfaction to the victims and to avoid that delays  negatively affect the current social structures by reopening dramatic crisis and lacerations already existed in the past".

One should then take into account not only the social damage that is created by reopening painful wounds given by a past conflict, but also understand the point of view of the subject himself traumatized by the events that in order to evade the suffering caused by that conflict (re)will act in a defensive way (I refer for example to the serious consequences triggered in PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). The persistence of memory, without justice and without finding the sense of what happened in a short time, in the long run will annihilate the freedom of everyone to be and to be there.

The root of the banality of evil according to Hannah Arendt is the fact that she has no culture or memory, and that is why in totalitarian contexts it is so easy to subtract the individuality of others. If in the course of history there had been no illusion of confusing universal laws and fundamental rights with the unjust rights of a dictator and his armed group, no crime would have been committed against humanity.

 

 

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During the Conference in Constanta, meetings were organized between the president and vice-president of ICB, regarding preparations for the Congress of Bamako of 14-16 November. Another topic discussed was opening an ICB office in Bamako, for Africa. Participants to these meetings included lawyers members of the ICB: Prof. Vicenzo Carbone from Rome, Ramona Coman, president of the Pro Iure association of Targu-Mures, and Alina Elena Lungu from Constanta. 

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The delegation lead by the president of the ICB, Prof. Dr. Dragos Chilea, had official meetigs with the President, registrar and chief prosecutor of the ICC. The delegation was comprised of the general secretary of the ICB, Dr. Jaume Antich, and Dr. Laura Guercio. Were presented projects that the ICB has for Iraq and Mali as well as the Congress that will be organised in Bamako in the period 14-16 November 2019 and to which the ICC officials were cordially invited.

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Award Ceremony of the Luis del Castillo Prize in International Criminal Justice and Human Rights to Dr. Esteban Peralta Losillas.

Program

9.15-9.30 h Accreditation

9.30-9.45 am Opening

Núria Clèries Nerín, Director of the Center for Legal Studies and Specialized Training of the Department of Justice

Dragos Chilea, President of the International Criminal Bar (BPI-ICB-CAPI)

Ignasi Puig Ventalló, President of the Council of the Illustrious Bars of Catalonia(CICAC)

9.45-10.45 h Round table

The crime of favoring illegal immigration and its connection with the crime of hatred, as well as the treatment of connected expressions of xenophobia and anti-

discrimination

Pilar Izaguirre, Delegated Prosecutor of Foreign Affairs of Catalonia

Charo Alises Castillo, President of the Human Rights Commission, coordinator of the Legal Assistance Service for Victims of Hate Crimes of the Illustrious Bar Association

of Málaga

 

Present and moderate,

Silvia Soler Huete, lawyer, member of the CJPI-DDHH of the ICAB, member of the ICB

10.45-10.50 h Presentation

'Women victims of DAESH's crimes project giving them historical record and justice'

Laura Guercio, Italian lawyer, member of the ICB

10.50-11.15 a.m. Break

11.15-12.15 h Round table

Transnational crimes in the field of Foreigners (Borders) and organized bands

Leticia Matarranz Ortiz, Head of International and Institutional Relations at the Central Unit of Illegal Immigration and Documentary Falsehoods Networks (UCRIF-Central, National Police)

 

Antoni Rodríguez Herrera, Head of the Criminal Investigation Division of Mossos

d'Esquadra, Criminal Investigation Professor of the Police School of Catalonia and

Professor in the Degree in Security and the Master's in Strategic Security and Police.

Present and moderate,

Javier García Mallol, lawyer, member of the ICB, and member of the CJPI-DDHH of the ICAB

12.30-13.30 Round table

Trafficking of organs and crime of trafficking in persons

Linda Cottone, a member of the UN-Research Unit for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) - Libya

Narciso Ortega Oliva, former Superior Chief of the National Police of Catalonia and a pre-doctoral specialist in FRONTEX (External Borders of the EU)

Rosa María Cendón, Coordinator Area Institutional Relations and Incidence of the SICAR.cat-Adoratrius program

 

Present and moderate,

Antonia Rocha González, lawyer, Treasurer of the ICB, member of the CJPI-DDHH of the ICAB

13.45-14 h Closure

Jaume Antich Soler, Lawyer, General Secretary of the CAPI, Secretary of the CJPI-DDHH of the ICAB.

Erika Torregrossa Acuña, President of the CJPI-DDHH and Adjunct to the Dean of the ICAB, and member of the CAPI

David Querol Sánchez, Lawyer, President of the Immigration Commission of the Illustrious Bar Association of Mataró (ICAMAT), member of the CAPI and of the

CJPI-DDHH of the ICAB

Coordinators

Jaume Antich Soler, General Secretary of the CAPI, Secretary of the CJPI-DDHH of the ICAB.

David Querol Sánchez, President of the Immigration Commission of the Illustrious Bar Association of Mataró (ICAMAT), member of the CAPI and of the CJPI-DDHH of the ICAB

Today, 12 April 2019, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) rejected unanimously the request of the Prosecutor to proceed with an investigation for alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes, on the territory of in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The judges decided that an investigation into the situation in Afghanistan at this stage would not serve the interests of justice. The Chamber is composed of Judge Antoine Kesia-Mbe Mindua, who will be appending a concurring separate opinion, Judge Tomoko Akane and Judge Rosario Salvatore Aitala.

 

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The Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) reported today that it will release the verdict in the trial that followed against former Bosnian-Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide during the war of Bosnia (1992-1995).

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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.

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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.

STL Contempt Judge sets date for start of trial in the contempt case against Al Jadeed S.A.L. and Ms Karma Al Khayat (14-05)

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Coalition for the International Criminal Court

MASTER

The ICB wishes to inform you of the Official Announcement of the Master on International Criminal Justice created with the Rovira i Virgili University

4Th International Meeting Of Defence Offices

25 & 26 November 2016 London, United Kingdom

SUMMARY REPORT

 

Defence Office of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Dear Madam, Sir,

The Defence Office of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon thank you again for your participation in the Fourth International Meetings of Defence Offices which were held in London, on 25th and 26th of November 2016.

Please find attached the Summary report of the Meetings in French, English and Arabic. 

You will also find attached the questionnaire on Defence Investigations, which we thank you for completing in the language of your choice, and sending back to us, if you have not already done so. As Johann said during the Meetings,your answers will be very useful in that they will illustrate the Guide to Investigations with concrete examples from you experience.

Thank you again for your participation and we hope to see you again in Nuremberg for the Fifth Meetings in 2017.

Kind regards,