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Oosterveld

CPIJ organizes a panel on the Rohingya at the 47th CCIL Conference

By | News, Press Releases

31 October 2018 – The Canadian Partnership for International Justice (CPIJ) hosts a panel at the 47th Annual Conference of the Canadian Council of International Law (CCIL). Titled “The Role of International Criminal Law and the ICC in Responding to the Alleged Crimes Perpetrated against the Rohingya”, this panel organized and financed by CPIJ will allow to discuss the different options available within the field of international criminal law to fight against impunity for crimes allegedly perpetrated against the Rohingya in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

The panel will be moderated by CPIJ Co-Director Fannie Lafontaine and will bring together Co-Researchers Payam Akhavam, professor at McGill University’s Faculty of Law, and Valerie Oosterveld, associate Dean and professor at the University of Western Ontario’s Faculty of Law, as well as Kyle Matthews, Executive Director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) at Concordia University. Prof. Akhavan will discuss the ICC Jurisdiction and the Rohingya Atrocities; Prof. Oosterveld the accountability for sexual and gender-based violence against the Rohingya; and Mr. Matthews will address the use of social media to dehumanize the Rohingya. The conference will take place at 4:00 pm on Thursday, November 1st.

Few other members of CPIJ will also present at the 47th CCIL Conference. Rob Currie and Joanna Harrington will be part of the panel “Extradition after Diab” at 9:05 am on Friday, November 2nd. They will analyze Canada’s place in the international landscape of extradition, as well as the nature and scope of the legal obligations involved and the need of reform notably in the light of the Diab case. Further, prof. Harrington will moderate the panel “Highlights of 2018 from the Canadian Yearbook of International Law”, which will take place at 8:00 am the same day.

The full program of the 47thCCIL Conference can be accessed online here.

Members of the Partnership will intervene as Amici Curiae before the International Criminal Court concerning the Rohingya situation

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May 31, 2018– Members of the Canadian Partnership for International Justice (CPIJ) were granted leave by Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to submit observations as Amici Curiae on important legal issues with respect to the situation of the Rohingyas in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Context

On 9 April 2018, the ICC Prosecutor submitted a request for a ruling under Article 19(3) on whether the Court may exercise jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh. The complexity of the jurisdictional issues arise from the fact that the Rohingya are being deported from the territory of a State which is not a party to the ICC Statute (Myanmar) directly into the territory of a State which is a party to the Statute (Bangladesh). Given that it is the first time that the Prosecutor submits such a request based on Article 19(3), Pre-Trial Chamber I will be considering a number of novel and important legal issues.

Members of CPIJ submitted a request for leave to intervene as Amici Curiae on 25 May 2018. The Chamber granted leave on 29 May 2018 pursuant to Rule 103 of the ICC Rules of Procedure and Evidence. In the decision, the Chamber recognised CPIJ and its members’ extensive experience in the field of international criminal law, human rights law, refugee law, migration and humanitarian law, as well as in intervening as Amici Curiae before both domestic and international courts. It took the view that the proposed submissions are “desirable for the proper determination of the Prosecutor’s Request”.

Issues at stake

The Partnership’s members acting as Amici Curiae will support the Prosecution’s position with complementary legal observations and will assist the Chamber in the determination of issues that have never been fully litigated before the ICC. In particular, the members of CPIJ will address the three following issues:

  1. Whether Article 19(3) of the Rome Statute allows the Office of the Prosecutor to request a ruling on jurisdiction;
  2. The scope of territorial jurisdiction under Article 12(2); and
  3. The nature and definition of the crime of deportation under Article 7(1)(d).

The Amici Curiae observations will be submitted before 18 June 2018 by 17 members of the Partnership, namely: Jennifer Bond, Robert J. Currie, Amanda Ghahremani, Julia Grignon, Mark Kersten, Fannie Lafontaine, François Larocque, Frédéric Mégret, Valerie Oosterveld, Frederick John Packer, Pascal Paradis, Darryl Robinson, Penelope Simons, Érick Sullivan, Alain-Guy Tachou Sipowo, Mirja Trilsch and Jo-Anne Wemmers.

Members of the Partnership will intervene as Amici Curiæ before the International Criminal Court in the Al Bashir case

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May 21, 2018 – A group of experts including members of the Canadian Partnership for International Justice were granted leave to submit observations on complicated and controversial questions about the immunity of a head of state.

The group of experts, composed of Darryl Robinson (Queen’s University), Fannie Lafontaine (Laval University), Valerie Oosterveld (Western University), Margaret M. deGuzman (Temple University), Robert Cryer (Birmingham Law School), and Carsten Stahn (Leiden University), have been invited to submit an Amici Curiae to the Court before June 18, 2018. Mark Kersten (Munk School of Global Affairs) and Sergey Vasiliev (Leiden University) were also consulted in the preparation of the request.

The issues arise in a case against President Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan, accused of genocide and other crimes committed in Darfur. The UN Security Council referred the situation to the International Criminal Court, and ordered Sudan to ‘cooperate fully’ with the Court.  Some states, including Jordan, have failed to arrest Omar Al-Bashir.  The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan appealled against the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber II on non-compliance with the Court’s request for arrest and surrender of Omar Al-Bashir.  The case concerns the power of the UN Security Council to set aside immunities in the pursuit of justice.

The request for leave and the decision on its acceptance are available online.