The Creation of an International Criminal Tribunal for the Democratic Republic of the Congo

pc3a9tition

(La version en langue française de la présente note est ci-après)

(Note: the translated portions of the original French letter below are not an official translation)

The summer of 2013 witnessed the launch of a petition, initiated by “52 prominent women” including the Congolese lawyer Ms. Hamuly Rély, calling for the creation of an International Criminal Tribunal for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).  The petition, which is still open for signature, was addressed to the French President François Hollande, the American President Barack Obama, the Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki Moon, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, Chaiperson of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Secretary General of the Organisation for Francophonie Abdou Diouf, President of the European Union Herman Van Rompuy, and the Presidency of the UN Security Council.

Before giving some personal thoughts (III) and addressing the potential judicial consequences of the establishment of such a Tribunal (II), this note focus on the content of the petition (I).

I. The Content of the Petition

1. Regarding the arguments and motivations:  Continue reading

Legal Representative’s report on “withdrawal” of 93 victims from Ruto case

[Updated September 16, 2013]

On June 5th, the Kenyan “Amani Peace Building and Welfare Association” sent a letter to the ICC claiming that 93 victims it had earlier helped to apply for participation at the pre-trial stage in Kenya 1 now wished to withdraw from the case. Last week, the Common Legal Representative, Wilfred Nderitu, filed his report on the withdrawal as requested by Trial Chamber V. The public redacted version is available here. It’s an interesting read and highlights some of the core challenges of making participation a reality on the ground: in particular, (1) the challenge of knowing what participating victims really think and want and (2) the challenge of knowing how to interpret the difficulties of international criminal legal work in the field. The Open Society Justice Initiative’s (OSJI) ICC Kenya Monitor also just wrote about this issue.

Nderitu

Common Legal Representative Wilfred Nderitu. Source: Reporting Kenya

Nderitu clarified that out of the 93 signatories, only 60 are within the scope of the case, including 13 whose status is “uncertain” (the other 33 being victims of the situation). He in-turn tried to consult with these 60 participants, all of whom come from Kenya’s Turbo region, to understand why they signed the letter.

Some apparently said that the letter had been brought to them to sign by some person or group (this is redacted), although the Chairman of the Amani organization claimed it was an initiative by and for the participating victims. Continue reading