Clarifying the Scope of the International Crime of Terror
Aditya J. Menon
The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) recently provided a necessary clarification concerning the scope of the crime of terror. On November 12, 2009, the ICTY Appeals Chamber issued its judgment in the case against Dragomir Milošević, the former Commander of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps of the Army of Republika Srpska between August 1994 and November 1995. Milošević was convicted at trial of terror as a violation of the laws or customs of war, and murder and inhumane acts as crimes against humanity in relation to his role during the siege of Sarajevo. The prohibition and criminalization of terror against the civilian population during armed conflict is well settled in customary international law. The ICTY possesses jurisdiction over the crime of terror under Article 3 of its Statute which prohibits violations of the laws or customs of war.
Introducing the Crime Against Humanity of Forced Marriage
Beth Van Schaack
The cause of gender justice has been significantly advanced by a series of judgments issued by the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) recognizing the crime against humanity and war crime of forced marriage. The definition of crimes against humanity in the SCSL Statute contains an open-ended list of sexual crimes at Article 2(g), which includes “[r]ape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy and any other form of sexual violence.” In the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) case against defendants Alex Timba Brima, Brima Bazzy Kamara, and Santigie Borbor Kanu, the prosecution had charged a number of sexual violence crimes against the defendants as war crimes and crimes against humanity. Included in an amended indictment was the novel crime against humanity of forced marriage, charged under the residual clause Article 2(i) penalizing “other inhumane acts.”
Trial of Two Congolese Warlords Begins at the ICC
On November 24, 2009, the trial of Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui began in Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The two men have been charged with three crimes against humanity and seven war crimes, and both have pleaded not guilty on all counts. It is only the second trial to take place before the ICC – the first, which began in January 2008, was the trial against Thomas Lubanga, former leader of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC). This case is notable not only for the broad range of the charges set forth against Katanga and Ngudjolo, but also for the unprecedented number of victims; three hundred and forty-five applicants, ten of whom were child soldiers, have been classified by the Court as victims for the purposes of this trial.
Conference Review: A Critical Assessment of the Impact of the ICTY on the States of the Former Yugoslavia
Sixteen years after its inception, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) continues to try persons responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia from 1991 onwards. Having convicted more than 60 of the 161 persons indicted, the cases of more than 40 individuals remain pending before the Tribunal, including that of Radovan Karadžić. The UN Security Council, which established the Tribunal in 1993, has called on the ICTY to close its doors within the next few years. The strategy to complete the ICTY’s caseload includes transferring cases for national prosecution in the countries of the former Yugoslavia and supporting those prosecutions through cooperation, training, and other assistance. While the Tribunal has been credited with significantly developing international criminal law, its impact on these countries remains controversial.