Archive | David Akerson

Some Jurisdictions Take Witness Oaths More Seriously Than Others…

A friend at the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia shared with me this oath read to testifying witnesses. You’ve got to hand it to Cambodians.  They take perjury seriously: Introductory Statement May all the guardian angels, forest guardians, and powerful sacred spirits of Preah Ang Dang Kae, Preah Ang Krapum Chouk, Prcah Ang […]

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Why are War Crimes Sentences So Short?

Earlier this summer, a US District Court issued sentences in a international maritime piracy case that involved four US victims. The defendant was not an actual pirate but a ransom negotiator for the piracy financiers. A Somali man who acted as a ransom negotiator for pirates who seized a yacht last year and killed four […]

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ICC’s Sentence for Lubanga is a Shaky Conclusion to a Troubled Case

After ten years, the International Criminal Court issued its first verdict on March 14th, finding Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga guilty of three child soldier related war crimes offenses: conscripting, enlisting, and using child soldiers. The trial phase of the case concluded this summer when the ICC sentence Lubanga to 14 years in July. The paltry […]

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You want to shoot our drones down now, Iran?

Occasionally alarming drones stories cross my desk. Up until this morning, this one ranked as #1 most alarming: “‘Flesh-eating robot’ is actually a vegetarian, say inventors.” In an attempt to reassure the reader, the inventors add this gem of a quote: “The … Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot – known as Eatr for short – does […]

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The Comparative Cost of Justice at the ICC

On March 14th, the International Criminal Court (ICC) delivered it first judgment, finding Thomas Lubanga guilty of three child soldier war crimes offenses.  The verdict is a welcome victory in the fight against impunity and it is some measure of justice for the 60,000 persons killed in the Ituri province in Eastern Congo.  But the judgment highlighted […]

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More on the problematic sentencing at International Tribunals

Last Wednesday Judge Meron at the Rwanda International Criminal Tribunal lowered the sentence of the leader of Rwanda’s genocide. Here is a link to an article on the decision. Colonel Theoneste Bagosora was alleged to be the person who made the decision to commit genocide against the Tutsis and set about planning and preparing for […]

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Fatou Bensouda

What Really Matters in an ICC Prosecutor

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the midst of a process to select a successor to its first prosecutor, Luis Moreno O’Campo.  The governing body of the ICC, the Assembly of States Parties (ASP), is seeking to elect a candidate by consensus vote. The list of candidates has apparently been paired down to two candidates: […]

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The Nuremberg Tribunal

The False Equivalency of Balanced Prosecutions

One of the biggest criticisms of the WWII Nuremberg Tribunal was that it was victors justice: the statute only authorized prosecution of crimes committed by the Axis. In addition, both the prosecutors and judges were comprised of nationals from the victorious powers: American, British, French and Soviet. In subsequent tribunals, international justice has sought to […]

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The Taliban

Kudos to Amnesty Int’l for Holding Non-State Actors to Task

I was pleased to see an article in which Amnesty International calls for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate crimes by the Taliban in Afghanistan. I have long felt that non-state actor groups that wage military style campaigns that intentionally target civilians get more lenient treatment in international criminal law circles.   For example, many […]

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ICC: Consider yourself on notice.

Kudos to Senegal for ending female circumcision. Now, ICC, prosecute the remaining offenders…

Kudos to Senegal for ending the horrific practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) as reported by the New York Times last weekend.  Leadership on this issue needs to come from Africa and so it is very encouraging to see Senegal act so decisively. However, in places like Sudan and Somalia 90% of the girls are […]

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University of Denver Sturm College of Law

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