Working Paper – Critical Rulings on International Criminal Justice

September 7, 2018

By: David Scheffer, Nonresident Senior Fellow, International Law and Human Rights

In the coming months a number of important decisions are emerging from three atrocity crimes tribunals.  Each ruling will have enormous significance for both international law and global politics.  The International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague will be ruling on whether the ICC prosecutor can start an investigation of the US armed forces and the Central Intelligence Agency for war crimes of torture and cruel treatment at CIA “black sites” after 9/11.  Also before the ICC is an investigation of Israel and its 2014 military operation in Gaza and its settlement policies in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Additionally, the ICC decided on September 6 that the ICC has jurisdiction over the Rohingya situation and the actions of Myanmar that provoked a surge of refugees into Bangladesh.  Beyond the ICC, two important judgements are expected by the end of 2018, one from the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal and the second form the extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.  With respect to the Yugoslav tribunal, the issue to be decided is whether  Radovan Karadzic used genocide as a military tactic during the 1992 ethnic cleaning campaign by the Bosnian Serbs.  Finally, the Cambodian court is anticipated to deliver a judgement of the guilt or innocence of Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea for atrocity crimes allegedly committed against Cambodians during the Pol Pot regime.  This paper describes the central issues in each of these decisions and the implications for the evolution of international criminal justice. 

Working Paper – Critical Rulings on International Criminal Justice

About the Author