Monthly Archives: March 2015

Upcoming events on Palestine and the ICC (London) and the Lubanga Reparations Judgment (The Hague)

For those readers based in London and The Hague, I will be participating in two events in the next week which could be of interest to you.

Tomorrow evening, I will have the pleasure of participating in a roundtable at LSE kindly organised by Kirsten Ainley on Palestine and the ICC. It promises to be a very interesting discussing, with a really nice line-up: Kevin Jon Heller, Mark Kersten, Michael Kearney, Chantal Meloni and Leslie Vinjamuri. More information can be found here.

Moreover, next week, the Grotius Centre is organising, in collaboration with REDRESS a roundtable in The Hague on the Lubanga Reparations Judgment. Again, a nice line-up is expected, with Pieter de Baan (Executive Director, Trust Fund for Victims), Paolina Massidda (Principal Counsel for the Office of Public Counsel for Victims), Luc Walleyn (Legal Representative for Victims in the case against Thomas Lubanga), Gaelle Carayon (ICC Legal Officer, Redress Trust), Luke Moffett (Lecturer, School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast) and myself.

I hope to see you there!


A brief comment on the Chui Appeals Judgment at the ICC

Recent weeks have been quite busy and I’ve had no time to blog, despite some important decisions coming out, such as the Appeals Judgment in the Chui case or the Appeal Judgment on reparations in Lubanga.

In what promises to be my shortest post ever, I still wanted to put out there a couple of thoughts on the Chui Judgment.

It confirms the acquittal, but Judges Tarfusser and Trendafilova provide an interesting dissent with their take on the application of the standard of proof and the issue of the supposed violations of the fair trial rights of the Prosecution. They raise important issues which continue to spark debate in the practice of the Court.

On the question of the assessment of evidence, it is the classical question of what it means to assess the evidence “as a whole”, the Trial Chamber being criticised by the dissenters for having excluded some evidence in isolation of other evidence. It’s a difficult question, but personally I’ve always been skeptical of the “overall assessment” approach, which is a possible way for judges to avoid discussing the credibility of individual pieces of evidence and put forward a general impressionist understanding of the case, which is then difficult to challenges.

On the question of the fair trial rights of the Prosecution, I continue to think that the concept makes no sense. The Prosecution represents the institution and cannot technically have rights. Rights are there for the accused, not for the prosecuting authority. Ultimately, this might of course just be a question of semantics, in the sense that there exist procedural guarantees in-built in the trial process which can benefit both Prosecution and Defense. But I do think that conceptually, it is important to be very precise on the langage used.