Proof in International Criminal Trials

From 27-28 June 2014, Bangor Law School and the Bangor Centre for International Law will host a conference on proof in international criminal trials. It promises to be of great interest to academics and practitioners alike.


Here is the conference abstract:

“There is now an impressive body of literature on the precise scope, context and application of evidentiary rules in international criminal trials. However, the issues surrounding proof and reasoning on evidence in international criminal law have remained relatively under-examined to date. By bringing together judges, practitioners and leading scholars on evidence, international criminal procedure and analytical methods, this conference will comprehensively address issues related to proof in international criminal proceedings. These issues include, inter alia, the means by which inferences are drawn, how reasoning on findings of fact is articulated in judgments, and how witness credibility is assessed. Participants will analyse some of the challenges of fact-finding in the complex context of international criminal trials, which often involve large masses of evidence and hundreds of witnesses.”

Conference speakers include:

• Professor Terence Anderson, University of Miami;
• Professor Nancy Combs, College of William and Mary School of Law;
• Judge Teresa Doherty, Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone;
• Professor John Jackson, University of Nottingham;
• Dr Mark Klamberg, University of Uppsala;
• Dr Yassin M’Boge, Leicester University;
• Dr Yvonne McDermott, Bangor University;
• Professor Paul Roberts, University of Nottingham;
• Professor William Twining, University College London.

The programme for the conference is available here. To register, please follow this link.

Le Procureur de la Cour pénale internationale procède à un nouvel examen préliminaire de la situation en Irak

Le 13 mai 2014, le Procureur de la Cour pénale internationale, Madame Fatou Bensouda, a annoncé l’ouverture d’un nouvel examen préliminaire de la situation en Irak.

L’article 15§1 du Statut de Rome (le Statut) permet en effet au Procureur d’ouvrir un examen préliminaire de sa propre initiative, en l’absence de renvoi par un ou plusieurs États parties. Cet examen est la procédure par laquelle le Procureur détermine si une situation répond aux critères juridiques fixés par le Statut lui permettant de demander à la Cour d’ouvrir une enquête.

L’examen préliminaire comporte trois phases successives, qui correspondent à trois critères cumulatifs éclairant la décision du Procureur relative à l’opportunité de solliciter auprès de la chambre préliminaire l’ouverture d’une enquête :

– La compétence de la Cour : les éléments reçus par le Procureur doivent fournir une base raisonnable pour croire qu’un crime relevant de la compétence de la cour a été ou est en voie d’être commis (art. 53§1-a du Statut).

– La recevabilité de l’affaire : l’affaire doit être recevable, notamment au regard des exigences relatives à la gravité des faits et à la complémentarité avec les procédures nationales (art. 53§1-b du Statut).

– Les intérêts de la justice : l’ouverture d’une enquête doit « servir les intérêts de la justice » (art. 53§1-c du Statut).

En marge, il convient de relever la nature quasi-juridictionnelle des analyses du Bureau du Procureur, visant pourtant à solliciter auprès de la chambre préliminaire l’ouverture d’une enquête.

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Administering Justice at the ICC: New Developments in Court’s first Article 70 case (Bemba 2)

by Danya Chaikel

*Updated 11 May

Danya Chaikel is a Canadian lawyer based in The Hague currently working for the International Association of Prosecutors, coordinating their Forum for International Criminal Justice. As a trial lawyer she previously practiced family, criminal defence and human rights law domestically for two years. She has also worked as an advocate for various human rights issues including international criminal justice, combatting trafficking in women and girls, and women refugee rights in organisations such as the International Criminal Court, the International Bar Association, the UN Refugee Agency and the Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women. The views expressed here are her own. [danyachaikel AT | @danyachaikel]


Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, International Criminal Court

New Defence request for disqualification of Judge Cuno Tarfusser relating to his novel appointment of ‘independent counsel’ & a Decision clarifying the relationship between the Pre-Trial and Trial Chambers

Mr Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo is the only International Criminal Court defendant in two cases before the Court. In the first main case (“Main Case”) he is alleged to be the former President and Commander-in-chief of the Mouvement de libération du Congo, and faces charges before Trial Chamber III (“TC III”) of war crimes (murder, rape and pillaging) and crimes against humanity (murder and rape) allegedly committed in the Central African Republic in 2002/2003. In the second case(“Bemba 2”) he is suspected before Pre-Trial Chamber II (“PTC II”) with four other individuals, including members of his former defence team, of bribing witnesses and coaching them to provide false testimony in the Main Case.

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