Human Rights Watch has made accusations of rape as a weapon of war against the Sudanese government (here). According to today’s press release

Patterns of rape across Darfur in 2014 and 2015 show that various Sudanese units have deliberately committed rape and other sexual violence against large numbers of women in many attacks at various locations and times. No one is known to have been held accountable.

In its World Report 2016 Human Rights Watch refers to many incidents of rape, mostly in the Jebel Marra region and including the case of Tabit in North Darfur. Almost one year after Human Rights Watch released its report on “Mass Rape in Darfur” (read the report here and a blogpost here) the international community has lost interest in this case. During the Security Council’s last briefing on Darfur, the case was not mentioned (more here). Human Rights Watch attributes this lack of interest in part on the impossibility to investigate the incident. Especially UNAMID had been denied access by the central government, thus making an impartial official report impossible.

2015 marked the tenth anniversary of the Security Council`s resolution 1593 (2005), referring the situation in Darfur, Sudan, to the International Criminal Court (here). With the year that could have been a jubilee for the ICC coming to a close, the Prosecutor of the ICC recently delivered her semi-annual report to the UN Security Council. Den Rest des Artikels lesen >

Six months after her last devastating report on the Situation in Darfur, Sudan, (more herehere and here) the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court delivered her 21st report to the UN Security Council in June 2015, updating the Council’s member to new activities.

The report comes after a diplomatic brawl over an attempt to arrest Omar al-Bashir during an African Union summit in South Africa (more in analysis no. 15).

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A recent trip of Omar al-Bashir to an African Union summit in South Africa could have lead to the arrest of the alleged criminal. However, the South African government choose to ignore its obligations under international and national law. In turn, a domestic court bashes the government’s actions. Den Rest des Artikels lesen >

Very briefly: Whether or not Omar al-Bashi is still in South Africa is unknown. As soon as the South African Judgment becomes available, it will be analyzed here.

Appeals Chamber confirms warrant of arrest for Abdallah Banda

In preparation of the trial against Abdallah Banda, the Trial Chamber issued a warrant of arrest in September 2014. The accused appealed against this decision and in March 2015, the Appeals Chamber ruled on the appeal (here). The Chamber’s decision under review in this blogpost confirms the Trial Chamber’s judgment (for a review of the Trial Chamber’s decision cf. here).

At the outset, it is important to note that the Appeals Chamber sees its task not in reviewing the substantial decision of the Trial Chamber: Whether or not an arrest warrant or a summons to appear is beyond the decision here reviewed, as explicitly stated by the Appeals Chamber. Instead, the Chamber reviews whether the Trial Chamber should have provided the appellant with a further opportunity to present submissions on the choice between arrest warrant and summons to appear (para. 27).

This makes the decision somewhat less interesting, a purely procedural matter that is rather easy to agree with.

In the end, the Chamber does not find the approach taken by Banda convincing. Banda bases his appeal on the principle of audi alteram partem, which the Appeals Chamber defines as “[h]ear the other side; hear both sides. No man should be condemned unheard” ( (fn. 55).

The Appeals Chamber reiterates that it will review the Trial Chamber’s exercise of its discretion only

“where it is shown that that determination was vitiated by an error of law, an error of fact, or a procedural error, and then, only if the error materially affected the determination. This means in effect that the Appeals Chamber will interfere with a discretionary decision only under limited conditions. The jurisprudence of other international tribunals as well as that of domestic courts endorses this position. They identify the conditions justifying appellate interference to be: (i) where the exercise of discretion is based on an erroneous interpretation of the law; (ii) where it is exercised on patently incorrect conclusion of fact; or (iii) where the decision is so unfair and unreasonable as to constitute an abuse of discretion.” (para. 30).

For this, the appellant bears the burden to substantiate the material effect of an alleged procedural error (para. 29).

The Chamber notes that Banda failed to substantiate his claim. In addition to the rather general recourse to audi alteram partem he “does not put forth any legal argument in support of the contention that the procedural step of inviting further submissions was required as a matter of law“ (para. 31). This seems to be the decisive aspect of the case: Not that Banda was not heard at all – presumably amounting to a violation of audi alteram partem – but the chance to further submissions (the Appeals Chamber puts ‘further’ in italics throughout the decision).

In the end, the Appeals Chamber let’s the Trial Chamber’s arrest warrant stand. There is not word on the question of whether an arrest warrant was required or a summons to appear would have been enough to prepare the trial against Banda.

When the ICC-Prosecutor addressed the Security Council last December (here),  she commented on the alleged mass rape of more than 200 women in Tabit, Darfur. In her words, “The recent allegations of rape of approximately 200 women and girls in Tabit should shock this Council into action.” Despite her comment , several members of the Security Council denied these accusations.

Last week Human Rights Watch released “Mass Rape in Darfur“, a report which supports the accusations made by the Prosecutor. Nevertheless, the report does not solve anything.  Den Rest des Artikels lesen >

In der Datenbank und online ist eine neue Analyse vorhanden, diesmal in englischer Sprache. Inhaltlich geht es um den Haftbefehl gegen Abdallah Banda von 2014. Die Analyse kommentiert die Entscheidung der Kammer.

You may find the newest analysis in the database as well as online. It analyses the warrant of arrest against Abdullah Banda from September 2014.

In preparation of the trial against Abdallah Banda, the ICC’s Trail Chamber IV recently issued a warrant for arrest. This decision is flawed, as pointed out by the dissenting judge. The Chamber misinterprets art. 58 ICC-Statute. Den Rest des Artikels lesen >

When the Security Council referred the Situation in Darfur, Sudan, to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2005, it was widely applauded for a resolution that seemed highly unlikely just a few years before. During the last years, however, the sloppy treatment of Darfur by the Security Council has made the Office of the Prosecutor more and more desperate. In several reports to the Council, the OTP has complained about the lack of engagement by the Security Council (here, here, here and here). Ultimately, this behavior lead the OTP to put a halt to investigations in Darfur in December 2014 (here and here). Den Rest des Artikels lesen >