Burundi’s Withdrawal from the International Criminal Court: Can It Still Exercise Jurisdiction over Crimes Committed prior to Withdrawal? An Academic Discourse

Burundi’s Withdrawal from the International Criminal Court: Can It Still Exercise Jurisdiction over Crimes Committed prior to Withdrawal? An Academic Discourse

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The recent effectuation of Burundi’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC), the first such withdrawal from the ICC, has triggered an academic discourse about the Court’s authority to launch an investigation into alleged international crimes committed in Burundi before its withdrawal. This blog post surveys the different scholarly perspectives on ICC authority following state withdrawal from the court.

Are Myanmar’s Rohingya Facing Genocide?

Are Myanmar’s Rohingya Facing Genocide?

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The recent humanitarian catastrophe facing Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims has attracted international news media attention and global condemnation. During last month’s U.N. General Assembly in New York, foreign diplomats were concerned about the worsening human rights crises. Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s de facto leader and Nobel laureate, canceled her visit to the meeting of world leaders. Since August 25th of this year, more than half a million Rohingya fled their homeland seeking refuge in neighboring Bangladesh.  According to government sources, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a new insurgency group, attacked the police.  Myanmar’s security forces launched a “counterterrorism” offensive that included raping women, burning villages and murdering children, among other human rights violations.  Authorities also blocked humanitarian aid, like food, water and medicine, from reaching victimized civilians. The U.N. has long characterized the Rohingya, a religious and ethnic minority community, as the world’s most persecuted group; as argued elsewhere their oppression spans a number of decades. More recently, U.N. officials called Myanmar’s military atrocities “ethnic cleansing,” whereby one group removes another ethnic or religious community by violent means. Amid the humanitarian crises, however, a question has emerged: is this genocide? While some use “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” interchangeably the difference between them is legally significant.  International law does not recognize ethnic cleansing as an independent crime. But the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention) explicitly defines genocide as one.  Whereas the International Criminal Court can investigate and try people for committing genocide, the same is not true of ethnic cleansing. Genocide: What is it?  The term genocide dates back to the Second World War. In response...
Using the Conflict Clause in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations against Pakistan in the Kulbhusan Jadhav Case

Using the Conflict Clause in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations against Pakistan in the Kulbhusan Jadhav Case

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In the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Court may have to answer the question of whether or not the 2008 Bilateral Agreement between India and Pakistan can restrict the scope of the Vienna Convention on Consular Rights (VCCR). This Article suggests that India could use Article 73(2), VCCR as a conflict clause to argue in the negative. Alternatively, it could challenge the interpretation of the 2008 Agreement to fall within the ambit of the VCCR.

A Call for Open and Adversarial Charge Screening at the Hybrid International Criminal Tribunals

A Call for Open and Adversarial Charge Screening at the Hybrid International Criminal Tribunals

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This piece singles out the trend among hybrid tribunals to prefer secret and non-adversarial pre-trial charge screening hearings as a worrisome setback for trial fairness in war crimes prosecutions. Such proceedings should be shunned going forward. They amount to an abandonment of the common law notion of an open and adversarial preliminary hearing, and are antithetical to the Rome Statute.

Looking Beyond the 2017 UN General Assembly

Looking Beyond the 2017 UN General Assembly

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World leaders took the stage at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last month and set out their visions of multilateralism in the 21st century. While United States President Trump captured headlines with his fiery rhetoric, the future of the UN and other international organizations may lie in the speeches of other world leaders.