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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Can Duterte eventually escape the judgment of the International Criminal Court (ICC)?

On March 7, Duterte said the ICC has no power over him. "You cannot acquire jurisdiction over me, not in a million years," he said.
“While it would be imprudent for me to say with certainty that President Duterte has already committed a crime against humanity, it would be a disservice to this entire nation if I did not warn him to be careful. Neither the Rome Statute nor general international law prescribes a minimum number of victims for an indictment. So long as the [International Criminal Court] believes that the war on drugs is ‘widespread’ and ‘systematic,’ [it is] likely to investigate.”
Harry Roque
"Victims bring a Dictator to Justice
See below for a short summary of the paper written by Reed Brody, a Commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists. The full text of the document can be found here. 
"On May 30, 2016, a special court in Senegal convicted the exiled former dictator of Chad Hissène Habré of crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture, including rape and sexual slavery. It was the first time ever that a head of state had been prosecuted in the courts of another country. The case was widely hailed as a milestone for justice in Africa. In July 2016, the court ordered Habré to pay approximately 90 million euros in victim compensation. The case is now on appeal.
Most importantly, the trial was the fruit of what the Toronto Globe and Mail called “one of the world’s most patient and tenacious campaigns for justice” (York 2013), waged over two decades by Habré’s victims and their supporters, who improbably succeeded in creating the political conditions to bring a former African president to justice in Africa, with the support of the African Union.
The uniqueness of the campaign was that it put the victims at the center, creating not just an irresistible political dynamic but a trial itself that both showcased the victims’ efforts and largely met their expectations. Even rape victims broke their 25-year silence to testify. As Thierry Cruvellier, a frequent critic of international courts, remarked glowingly in the New York Times, “[n]ever in a trial for mass crimes have the victims’ voices been so dominant” (Cruvellier 2016).
The launch of proceedings against Habré before the Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal also spurred justice efforts back in Chad, where a court in 2015 convicted 20 Habré-era agents and ordered the government to pay millions in victim compensation.
Like the 1998 London arrest of Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, which inspired the Chadian victims to pursue justice in Senegal, the Habré case has motivated many others, in Africa and elsewhere, to think about potential justice campaigns.
The Habré case shows that it is possible for a coalition of victims and NGOs, with tenacity and imagination, to create the conditions for a successful universal jurisdiction prosecution, even against a former head of state."
From Inquirer:
The possibility that the current EJKs will be considered by the International Criminal Court as amounting to a crime against humanity is a liability risk that our President is miscalculating.
Ruben Carranza, director of the New-York-based International Center for Transitional Justice, points out that “[w]hen over 500 civilians have been killed by both police and vigilantes with the clear goal of targeting them in a ‘war against drugs,’ with their impunity explicitly guaranteed by the president, then the elements of EJKs as a ‘crime against humanity of murder’ are already there—(a) widespread or systematic killings, (b) civilians are targeted, and (c) the perpetrators know or intended their conduct to be part of a widespread or systematic attack.”
On Aug. 11, Kabayan party-list Rep. Harry Roque delivered a privilege speech in which he said: “It is clear that the civilian population is being attacked—news reports all around us overwhelmingly establish that hundreds of Filipinos have been killed either directly by governmental forces or with their support or tolerance.”
Roque likewise said: “It is also clear that the President is aware that these acts are ongoing. Even without proof of a directive on his part, he has, in many instances, spoken about the use of violence against drug syndicates.”
Roque cited the decisions of international criminal tribunals which prosecuted political and military officials for crimes against humanity committed in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. These tribunals declared that “it is not necessary to show that [the crimes committed] were the result of the existence of a policy or plan” and that the plan “need not be declared expressly or even stated clearly and precisely. It may be surmised from the occurrence of a series of events.”
The party-list representative cautioned the President to be careful: “While it would be imprudent for me to say with certainty that President Duterte has already committed a crime against humanity, it would be a disservice to this entire nation if I did not warn him to be careful. Neither the Rome Statute nor general international law prescribes a minimum number of victims for an indictment. So long as the [International Criminal Court] believes that the war on drugs is ‘widespread’ and ‘systematic,’ [it is] likely to investigate.”
The President enjoys immunity under Philippine law, but he has no similar immunity for crimes under the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction. Carranza says “the presidents of Sudan and Kenya were charged” in the court even during their incumbency. And there is no expiration of liability for ICC crimes, so he can be charged even long after he leaves Malacañang.
The list of people who have been indicted in the International Criminal Court includes all individuals who have been indicted on any counts of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, or contempt of court in the International Criminal Court (ICC) pursuant to the Rome Statute. 
An individual is indicted when a Pre-Trial Chamber issues either an arrest warrant or a summons after it finds that "there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person has committed a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court". An arrest warrant is issued where it appears necessary "to ensure the person's appearance at trial, to ensure that the person does not obstruct or endanger the investigation or the court proceedings, or, where applicable, to prevent the person from continuing with the commission of that crime or a related crime which is within the jurisdiction of the Court and which arises out of the same circumstances". The Pre-Trial Chamber issues a summons if it is satisfied that a summons is sufficient to ensure the person's appearance. Individuals can only be charged with genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes.
List of indictees
2.1 Bahr Abu Garda
2.2 Mohammed Ali
2.3 Abdallah Banda
2.4 Omar al-Bashir
2.5 Jean-Pierre Bemba
2.6 Charles Blé Goudé
2.7 Muammar Gaddafi
2.8 Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
2.9 Laurent Gbagbo
2.10 Simone Gbagbo
2.11 Ahmed Haroun
2.12 Abdel Rahim Hussein
2.13 Saleh Jerbo
2.14 Germain Katanga
2.15 Uhuru Kenyatta
2.16 Tohami Khaled
2.17 Joseph Kony
2.18 Henry Kosgey
2.19 Ali Kushayb
2.20 Thomas Lubanga Dyilo
2.21 Raska Lukwiya
2.22 Ahmad al-Mahdi
2.23 Callixte Mbarushimana
2.24 Sylvestre Mudacumura
2.25 Francis Muthaura
2.26 Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui
2.27 Bosco Ntaganda
2.28 Okot Odhiambo
2.29 Dominic Ongwen
2.30 Vincent Otti
2.31 William Ruto
2.32 Joshua Sang
2.33 Abdullah Senussi
2.34 Mahmoud al-Werfalli
Source :Wikipedia
Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are deliberately committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population or an identifiable part of a population. The first prosecution for crimes against humanity took place at the Nuremberg Trials. Crimes against humanity have since been prosecuted by other international courts - such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Court, as well as in domestic prosecutions. The law of crimes against humanity has primarily developed through the evolution of customary international law. Crimes against humanity are not codified in an international convention, although there is currently an international effort to establish such a treaty, led by the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative.
Unlike war crimes, crimes against humanity can be committed during peace or war. They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government policy (although the perpetrators need not identify themselves with this policy) or of a wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a de facto authority. Murder, massacres, dehumanization, extermination, human experimentation, extrajudicial punishments, death squads, forced disappearances, military use of children, kidnappings, unjust imprisonment, slavery, cannibalism, torture, rape, and political or racial repression may reach the threshold of crimes against humanity if they are part of a widespread or systematic practice. From Wikipedia
"Violence is a crime against humanity, for it destroys the very fabric of society."
Pope John Paul II
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 14) — The Palace on Wednesday confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte has instructed Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to issue the International Criminal Court (ICC) a notice of withdrawal.
"I confirm that [President Duterte] has directed the [Executive Secretary] to give notice that we are withdrawing as a State Party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court," Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told CNN Philippines.
However, the country has yet to file a formal notice to withdraw from the international tribunal.
The Philippines signed the Rome Statute of the ICC in 2000 and ratified it in 2011, becoming its 117th State Party.