Derecho Penal

Llegó la hora de evaluar la efectividad del sistema penal acusatorio: Minjusticia

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IMG_0893El ministro de Justicia, Alfonso Gómez Méndez, aseguró que llegó el momento de hacer una revisión del sistema penal acusatorio, con respecto a sus dos principales metas: agilizar el procedimiento penal y hacer efectivo el principio de libertad como una norma y no como una excepción.

El funcionario invitó a los colombianos a “despenalizar la mente”, no solo de cara a los diálogos de paz, sino también para entender que no todas las tensiones sociales se deben resolver con cárcel. En su opinión, la política criminal colombiana está concebida como una política represiva, cuando debería estar enfocada a la prevención. Leer el resto de esta entrada »

International Criminals: Extradite or Prosecute?

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Briefing Paper
Miša Zgonec-Rožej and Joanne Foakes, July 2013

Download paper here

  • International courts do not have the resources or the powers to prosecute all perpetrators of international crimes.
  • Various treaties impose obligations on states to extradite or prosecute a person found in their territory who is suspected of certain specific offences. This obligation is known as aut dedere aut judicare.
  • For the ‘core crimes’ of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, there is a treaty-based obligation aut dedere aut judicare only for grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol I. For the other core crimes it is questionable whether customary international law imposes such an obligation.
  • The obligation aut dedere aut judicare is distinct from the principle of universal jurisdiction, which provides a basis for prosecution but does not, in itself, imply any obligation to extradite or prosecute.
  •  Immunity of state officials, which acts as an obstacle to the exercise by a state of its jurisdiction, could, in practice, preclude the effective application of the obligation to extradite or prosecute.
  •  For the core crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity a treaty imposing an international obligation on states to extradite or prosecute would help to bring perpetrators to justice.


Source: Chatham House

Rules, Politics, and the International Criminal Court

Posted on Actualizado enn

Why did states decide to create the International Criminal Court (ICC) and design it with a uniquely strong enforcement mechanism that can punish noncompliant behavior?  After all, by joining the ICC, states agree that the court may investigate, arrest, prosecute, and punish state nationals for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes should the ICC conclude the state is unwilling or unable to do so domestically.

One may not be surprised that more than 100 states have joined one of the many international human rights treaties with weak enforcement mechanisms that require the state to only self-report compliance. But, why would states–particularly states with poor human rights practices–join the ICC and risk having their citizens tried in The Hague?  On the other hand, if states that most need to improve their protections against human rights  abuses do not join the court, is there any hope that the threat of punishment by the ICC can help improve state practices and deter individuals from committing mass atrocities? Leer el resto de esta entrada »

Write On! Cassese Initiative Prize for Papers on New Perspectives in International Criminal Law

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The Antonio Cassese Initiative for Justice, Peace and Humanity was founded to continue Antonio Cassese’s legacy and to promote global education, training, and research in the areas of human rights, peace, international justice, transitional justice, and development. To further its mission, the Cassese Initiative has issued a call for papers on new perspectives in international criminal law.

Abstracts, limited to 400 words, are due July 1st, 2013.  Note that papers will be accepted only from students and young professionals under the age of 30.

Five abstracts will be selected and the authors will be invited to elaborate upon their ideas in a paper of around 8000 words.  From these papers, one will be awarded the Cassese Initiative Prize and the author will receive a collection of books from Oxford University Press and her paper will be submitted for publication in the Journal of International Criminal Justice.

For more information on the Cassese Initiative, click here.
For more information on the Call for Papers, click here.

Source: IntLawGrrls

BOOK: From the Judge’s Arbitrium to the Legality Principle: Legislation as a Source of Law in Criminal Trials

Posted on Actualizado enn

Duncker & Humblot published a volume edited by Georges Martyn (UGent), Anthony Musson (Exeter) and Heikki Pihlajamäki (Helsinki) in the Comparative Studies in Continental and Anglo-American Legal History Series. The book (407 p., € 89,90) covers the legality principle in criminal affairs.


The legality principle characterizes all western legal systems, and it has become an integral part of the Western rule of law and the international human rights law. The principle dates back to enlightened jurists such as Cesare Beccaria and to social contract thinkers such as Charles de Secondat de Montesquieu, according to whom judges were to act only as the mouthpiece of the statutory law. Leer el resto de esta entrada »

Ashgate Companion Symposium: Drumbl on “The Future of International Criminal Law and Transitional Justice”

Posted on Actualizado enn

Only I never saw another butterfly.
That one was the last one.
Butterflies don’t live here,
In the ghetto.[1]

A teenager, Pavel Friedmann, penned these poignant words while captive in the Terezin ghetto near Prague. Friedmann later perished in a Nazi concentration camp, along with 15,000 other Jewish children from Terezin. Friedmann knew he was being grievously wronged: his poetry makes that clear. But never would he have expected that his tormentors would come to face legal sanction. Moral condemnation, certainly, but courts of morality are for the afterlife. They are not courts of law for the worldly. Leer el resto de esta entrada »

The Domestication of International Criminal Law: A Feminist Perspective

Posted on Actualizado enn

Many feminists have questioned the extent to which the law can ever effectively deter violence against women given the ways in which the law and criminal justice systems often act to reinforce deeply sexist assumptions about women, their sexual and social identities and their relation to the social (male) world. In recent work, published with the University of Minnesota’s Legal Research Paper Series on SSRN entitled Gendered Harms and their Interface with International Criminal Law: Norms, Challenges and Domestication I explore the extent and consequences of state ratification of the International Criminal Court statute for the legal regulation of sex-based harms at the domestic level.  The article provides a comprehensive review of all subsequent domestic legislation addressing violence against women in all ratifying member states.

Statistically we learn some interesting things from the survey.  At time of writing, of the 122 states studied for my analysis only 27 have not introduced any subsequent domestic legislation that address violence against women.  The vast majority of states reviewed have produced multiple pieces of national legislation addressing a range of harms including violence against women, domestic violence, marital rape, sexual harassment, trafficking, stalking, female genital mutilation, early marriage, and trafficking.  Many have produced multiple and sequential changes to their laws addressing violence against women, in what appears to be a progressively expanding practice of regulatory enthusiasm. Leer el resto de esta entrada »