Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights


Leave a comment

Rethinking the International Criminal Justice Project in the Global South

By Michelle Burgis-Kasthala*

Centre for International Governance and Justice, RegNet, ANU

ICC in Ivory Coast in 2013. Image: BBC News

ICC in Ivory Coast in 2013. Image: BBC News

Concerns about the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) continuing relevance in Africa following exit announcements by Burundi, South Africa, and Gambia are widespread. But the picture across the continent is more complex. While some African states have clearly rejected the Court, the majority remain members. How can we explain the fracturing of the Court’s support in Africa? More fundamentally – what is the best way of studying international criminal justice and its effects in the Global South – whether in Africa or elsewhere?

Continue Reading →


Leave a comment

The Trials and Travails of Universal Jurisdiction: The FDLR Trial in Germany

By Christoph Sperfeldt, Centre for International Governance and Justice, RegNet, ANU

The Higher Regional Court in Stuttgart

On 28 September 2015, a four-year landmark universal jurisdiction trial came to an end: The Higher Regional Court in Stuttgart, Germany, convicted Ignace Murwanashyaka and Straton Musoni, the President and Vice-President of the Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), and sentenced them to 13 and 8 years in prison, respectively. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed the judgment as an excellent example of how national criminal courts and the United Nations can work together to end impunity for serious international crimes.

Continue Reading →


Leave a comment

De facto immunity for Kenyan President? Deadlock in the Kenyatta case at the International Criminal Court

Kenyan President Uhuhu Kenyatta at a status conference in the ICC, 8 October 2014 (Source: ICC Flickr)

Kenyan President Uhuhu Kenyatta at a status conference in the ICC, 8 October 2014 (Source: ICC Flickr)

By Rosemary Grey, University of New South Wales

Almost three years ago, pre-trial judges in the International Criminal Court (ICC) confirmed charges against Kenyan politicians Francis Muthaura and Uhuru Kenyatta, for crimes against humanity allegedly committed during Kenya’s 2007-2008 post election violence. Since then, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has faced major challenges in collecting the evidence she needs to prove the charges in Court.

Continue Reading →


Leave a comment

Beyond Rape – The evolving concept of ‘sexual violence’ under international criminal law

By Rosemary Grey

University of New South Wales

Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Image - ICC

Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Image – ICC

In the past two decades the international tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda have developed a rich jurisprudence on sexual violence crimes,[1]  and the younger international courts, the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Special Court for Sierra Leone in particular, are beginning to follow suit.  There has also been a move to codify sexual violence crimes under international law, the current high water mark being the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (the Rome Statute), which entered force in 2002. Continue Reading →


Leave a comment

The Long Way from Rome to Jakarta: Prospects of Ending Impunity for International Crimes in Southeast Asia

Main Courtroom of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). Source: Public Affairs Section / ECCC.

Main Courtroom of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).
Source: Public Affairs Section / ECCC.

By Christoph Sperfeldt

More than ten years after its entry into force, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is enjoying wide-spread global support. Despite this progress, states in Asia generally remain reluctant to join the Rome Statute. Nevertheless, the global dynamic of the past years has also left its mark on the attitudes among states in the region. In Southeast Asia in particular, the promotion of human rights norms and principles at the regional level is gaining momentum, most visibly manifested in the creation of an ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights and the adoption of an ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights. Although this development has not yet advanced the issue of accountability for breaches of norms of international human rights and humanitarian law, individual states have taken steps that indicate an increased recognition of the need to prosecute those responsible for mass atrocities. Continue Reading →