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Article

Languages and Linguistic Issues before the International Criminal Court

Journal Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Issue 1 2019
Keywords linguistic issues, ICC, language of criminal procedure, local languages, use of own language
Authors Péter Kovács
AbstractAuthor's information

    The present article deals with some of the language issues present before the International Criminal Court (ICC). These issues do not simply result from the challenges of translation to/from English and French but also from the fact that the English and French used before the ICC are specialist legal languages with centuries-old practice behind their well-established notions (e.g. ‘no case to answer’). There are numerous other languages used by witnesses and victims with various backgrounds in the different cases and situations. They are mostly local, sometimes tribal languages often lacking the vocabulary necessary to describe complex legal issues, to deal with notions and phenomena of modern substantive or procedural law. It is equally important to note that there are always special local notions, which are impossible to translate with a single term, sometimes becoming a part of the English or French language of the procedure. Other languages, however, may bring with them their own special legal or historical-legal vocabulary, which must be reflected on in order to unpack its proper meaning. As such, language issues are omnipresent before the ICC, having also an impact on the budget of the Court. The efficient and accurate work of interpreters and translators is of outmost importance from the point of view of fair trial, rights of the accused but also from the perspective of access to information for victims, witnesses or local communities who are following the judicial procedure from home.


Péter Kovács
Professor of law, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest; judge at the International Criminal Court (2015-2024).
Article

Control in International Law

Journal African Journal of International Criminal Justice, Issue 1 2019
Keywords Effective / overall control, international human rights law, international criminal law, responsibility of states, statehood
Authors Joseph Rikhof and Silviana Cocan
AbstractAuthor's information

    The concept of control has permeated various disciplines of public international law, most notable international criminal law, international humanitarian law, international human rights law and the law of statehood as well as the law of responsibility for states and international organizations. Often this notion of control has been used to extend the regular parameters in these disciplines to capture more extraordinary situations and apply the same rules originally developed within areas of law, such as the application of the laws of war to occupation, the rules of human rights treaties to extraterritorial situations or state responsibility to non-state actors. This article will examine this notion of control in all its facets in international law while also addressing some of its controversies and disagreements in the jurisprudence of international institutions, which have utilized this concept. The article will then provide an overview of its uses in international law as well as its overlap from one discipline to another with a view of providing some overarching observations and conclusions.


Joseph Rikhof
Joseph Rikhof is an adjunct professor at the Common Law Faculty of the University of Ottawa.

Silviana Cocan
Silviana Cocan holds a double doctoral degree in international law from the Faculty of Law of Laval University and from the Faculty of Law and Political Science of the University of Bordeaux.
Article

Victims’ Right to Reparation in Light of Institutional and Financial Challenges

The International Criminal Court and the Reparation for the Victims of the Bogoro Massacre

Journal East European Yearbook on Human Rights, Issue 1 2018
Keywords Bogoro massacre (DRC), International Criminal Court, Katanga case, reparation, victims
Authors Péter Kovács
AbstractAuthor's information

    The aim of the article is the presentation of the recently issued documents – the ‘Order for reparation’ issued by the Trial Chamber II of the ICC and the document called ‘Notification’, recently adopted by the Trust Fund for Victims of the ICC – which are important first and foremost in the reparation procedure of the victims of the Bogoro massacre, subsequent to the case The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga. Second, these documents will also have a considerable impact on the reparation procedures to be carried out by the ICC in the future. The reader can also see the interactions between classic sources of public international law and those norms which are very difficult to be characterized legally but without a doubt play a very important role during the procedure.


Péter Kovács
Professor of international law at the Péter Pázmány Catholic University, Budapest, and judge of the International Criminal Court (2015-2024).
Article

Le jugement de Hissène Habré

Une justice réparatrice exemplaire?

Journal African Journal of International Criminal Justice, Issue 1-2 2017
Keywords Restorative justice / justice réparatrice, victim / victime, reparation / réparation, Trust Fund for Victims / Fonds au profit des victimes, compensation / indemnisation
Authors Etienne Kentsa
AbstractAuthor's information

    The ruling of the African Extraordinary Chamber of Appeal in the Habré case is a resounding precedent, particularly in the area of reparations for victims of serious violations of international law. This article focuses on the process of identifying victims or beneficiaries of reparations and the reasons that led judges to favor compensation as a form of reparation. Moreover, the modalities for the implementation of reparations awarded are of paramount importance since, in the absence of effective remedies, the interest of the procedure would be considerably diminished. The implementation of reparations will certainly be the ultimate battle of the victims. Funding for the Trust Fund for Victims (FPV) is still expected. The Fund is expected to play a key role in implementing reparations for victims, the final judgment in this case is already an important precedent. Not only does it contribute to the consolidation of some advances in international criminal law in the field of restorative justice, but it also symbolizes Africa’s ability to prosecute and try the most serious international crimes committed in the region.
    L’arrêt rendu par la Chambre africaine extraordinaire d’assises d’appel dans l’affaire Habré est un précédent retentissant notamment dans le domaine des réparations au profit des victimes de violations grave du droit international. En fait, la présente contribution s’attarde sur le processus d’identification des victimes ou bénéficiaires des réparations et les raisons ayant amené les juges à privilégier l’indemnisation comme forme de réparation. Par ailleurs, les modalités de mise en œuvre des réparations ordonnées sont d’une importance capitale dans la mesure où en l’absence d’effectivité des réparations allouées, l’intérêt de la procédure serait considérablement amoindri. La mise en œuvre des réparations constituera certainement l’ultime bataille des victimes. Le financement du Fonds au profit des victimes (FPV) est toujours attendu. Pourtant le Fonds est censé jouer un rôle déterminant dans la mise en œuvre des réparations allouées aux victimes. Au demeurant, l’arrêt définitif dans cette affaire constitue déjà un précédent important. Non seulement, il contribue à l’affermissement de certaines avancées du droit international pénal en matière de justice réparatrice, mais surtout symbolise la capacité de l’Afrique à poursuivre et juger les crimes internationaux les plus graves commis dans la région.


Etienne Kentsa
E. Kentsa est actuellement candidat au Doctorat en droit de l’Université de Douala, Cameroun, et assistant à l’Université de Buéa. Ses domaines de spécialité sont le droit international pénal, le droit international des droits de l’homme, le droit international humanitaire et les finances publiques.

    The Kenyan Situation pending before the International Criminal Court (ICC) is the first situation in which the prosecutor exercised his power to initiate cases “proprio motu” under Article 15 of the Rome Statute. In the wake of the comments from the former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, that there was political interference from foreign diplomats during the investigation stage of the cases, it is prudent to re-examine the standards provided under the Rome Statute regarding prosecutorial discretion and evaluate the prosecutorial power and how the Kenyan cases may shape this discretionary power in order to align it with the Preamble of the Rome Statute. The Preamble affirms that the most serious crimes of concern to the international community must not go unpunished. Further, that their effective prosecution must be ensured for the purposes of ending impunity for the perpetrators of international crimes and thus to contribute to the prevention of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression.


Simeon P. Sungi
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at the United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya. He is also an Advocate of the High Court of Tanzania and the High Court of Kenya. Dr. Sungi holds a PhD in Criminal Justice from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana; an MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana; and an LLM in International Human Rights Law from Indiana University School of Law (now Robert H. McKinney School of Law) in Indianapolis, Indiana, all in the United States of America. He also holds an LL.B. Hons degree from the Open University of Tanzania. He is a former United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda staff member. The views expressed herein are his own; ssungi@alumni.iu.edu.
Article

Accountability for Forced Displacement in Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda before the International Criminal Court

Journal African Journal of International Criminal Justice, Issue 2 2015
Keywords Forced displacement, International Criminal Court, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, reparations
Authors Luke Moffett
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article examines the challenges of investigating and prosecuting forced displacement in the Central African countries of Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, where higher loss of life was caused by forced displacement, than by any other. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, armed groups intentionally attacked civilian populations displacing them from their homes, to cut them off from food and medical supplies. In Northern Uganda, the government engaged in a forced displacement policy as part of its counter-insurgency against the Lord’s Resistance Army, driving the civilian population into “protected villages”, where at one point the weekly death toll was over 1,000 in these camps. This article critically evaluates how criminal responsibility can be established for forced displacement and alternative approaches to accountability through reparations.


Luke Moffett
Lecturer and Director of the Human Rights Centre, Queen’s University Belfast, l.moffett@qub.ac.uk.

William R. Slomanson
Professor of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law (USA); Visiting Professor, Pristina University (Kosovo).

    To ensure its continued viability, the International Criminal Court must find “practical” ways to appeal to its African (and global) audience, options that do not require substantial additional funding or revisions to the Rome Statute while remaining true to fundamental principles of international justice. Subject to such limitations, this article examines the “end product” of the ICC – the judgments authored by the Trial Chambers to date. Unfortunately, these opinions are simply incomprehensible to any but a few specially trained, highly interested stakeholders. They are extraordinarily complex and lengthy and fail to emphasize or address issues that are clearly important to the audiences in states where atrocities have occurred. The article reviews existing judgments and provides suggestions for future improvements, thereby increasing accessibility to African leadership, civil society organizations, and the public at large. Such efforts will contribute to increased legitimacy and, consequently, the long-term impact and relevancy of the Court.


Matthew C. Kane
Matthew C. Kane is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, teaching courses on criminal law, torts, and international and comparative criminal law. He also serves a director and shareholder of Ryan Whaley Coldiron Jantzen Peters & Webber PLLC, concentrating on criminal and complex civil law matters. Special thanks to The Hague University of Applied Sciences, which organized the conference “Africans and Hague Justice,” where this paper was originally presented.

Yvonne McDermott
LL.B. (National University of Ireland, Galway); LL.M. cum laude (Leiden University); Ph.D. Candidate, Irish Centre for Human Rights. The author would like to express her sincere thanks to Mr. David Leahy for comments on an earlier draft.




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