Born in France, I grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States, from age 8 to age 17. Being an expatriate and therefore having been confronted to a multicultural environment from an early age, I quickly became passionate about international affairs and travelling. After my Baccalauréat (the French high school diploma), I enrolled in law school at Université Jean Moulin in Lyon, France. After obtaining a Licence in Public Law and a Master 1 in International Law, as well as a series of certificates in Political Sciences, American Law and European Law, I decided to carry on with an LLM in Public International Law at University of Leicester, in the UK. I specialized during my LLM in Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law and Transitional Justice and International Criminal Law. I have also taken a course in Comparative Law, which I see as a sort of hobby, especially when coupled with issues relating to Freedom of Religion. I am particularly interested in a) legal responses to mass atrocities and b) international counter-terrorism, both themes that I am considering doing an eventual future PhD on. You can follow me on Twitter @xrauscher_. I also manage the blog’s Twitter account @intljurist.
Posted in Uncategorized on 10 February 2011
Just a quick post for those still subscribed to the feed for https://internationaljurist.wordpress.com.
You can subscribe to the feed for The International Jurist at its new location through RSS or email (http://www.theinternationaljurist.org) with the following link:
The Economist has published about two weeks ago a very interesting piece on the use of rape as a weapon of war, in the past and present. It’s worthwhile reading for anyone interested. Here’s an excerpt:
Rape in war is as old as war itself. After the sack of Rome 16 centuries ago Saint Augustine called rape in wartime an “ancient and customary evil”. For soldiers, it has long been considered one of the spoils of war. Antony Beevor, a historian who has written about rape during the Soviet conquest of Germany in 1945, says that rape has occurred in war since ancient times, often perpetrated by indisciplined soldiers. But he argues that there are also examples in history of rape being used strategically, to humiliate and to terrorise, such as the Moroccan regulares in Spain’s civil war.
As the reporting of rape has improved, the scale of the crime has become more horrifyingly apparent (see table). And with the Bosnian war of the 1990s came the widespread recognition that rape has been used systematically as a weapon of war and that it must be punished as an egregious crime.
H/T Laura Seay (Texas in Africa).
Posted in International Criminal Court on 26 January 2011
Callixte Mbarushimana, the FDLR leader wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes allegedly committed in the Kivus in 2009, was transferred by the French authorities to The Hague yesterday.
See the Jurist report here.
Callixte Mbarushimana is the fifth person to be arrested following the issuance of an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court.
His initial appearance before the Court should take place on Friday at 9.30 CET. See the ICC press release here.
Posted in Transitional Justice & International Criminal Law on 24 January 2011
A letter to the International Herald Tribune (published on the New York Times website) has caught my attention. The author writes:
History shows that one corrupt regime is usually followed by another. This is so because corrupt countries are often given no chance to build up bureaucracies that can contain corruption. Hence, revolutions tend to be power struggles in which competing elites seek advantage, even though their motives might have been pure at the start.
A country like Tunisia would greatly benefit if there were an international tool that could fight corruption from outside a country. The world needs an international tribunal, like the International Criminal Court, that could make significant corruption an international crime, subject to prosecution.
After considering amendments to add to the Rome Statute the Crime of Terrorism and the Crime of Drug Trafficking, shall we imagine a “Crime of Corruption”?
The idea is amusing, but even for a partisan of international justice such as myself, I have to admit that I am more than skeptical and reluctant. As much as corruption can indeed gangrene a country and cause immeasurable harm to the population, I have a hard time imagining an international tribunal dealing with this, unless corruption has reached such heights that it amounts to crimes against humanity.
The struggle against corruption is best left to inter-state cooperation through organizations such as Interpol.
Posted in Law of Armed Conflict on 23 January 2011
The Public Commission to Examine the Maritime Incident of 31 May 2010, also known as the Turkel Commission, has published Part I of its findings on the legality of the Israeli raid against the Mavi Marmara that caused the death of nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists and provoked an international outrage last year. The Commission has deemed the raid “in accordance” with international law.
From the New York Times article:
JERUSALEM — An Israeli commission that examined the deadly raid on a flotilla off Gaza last May concluded on Sunday that Israel had acted in accordance with international law when its military enforced its naval blockade by intercepting the ships in international waters.
The commission alluded to what it called “the regrettable consequences of the loss of human life and physical injuries,” — nine pro-Palestinian campaigners were killed and more than 50 were wounded during clashes on a Turkish vessel that was attempting to breach the blockade. But the commission found that Israeli soldiers had acted “professionally and in a measured manner in the face of extensive and unanticipated violence.”
Part I of the Report is available here. I will read it over the course of the next few days, and will probably publish some thoughts.
Posted in Transitional Justice & International Criminal Law on 22 January 2011
Should two former dictators, the Tunisian Ben Ali and the Haitian “Baby Doc” Duvalier, face trial in front of an international tribunal such as the International Criminal Court?
The idea has been discussed, albeit briefly, especially in the case of Ben Ali following his remarkable downfall caused by what is now known as the Jasmine Revolution. Isabelle Tallec, independent journalist who blogs at Esprit de Justice (in French – but with a Google Translate bar) about issues relating to international justice, reported a few days ago on the different calls for Ben Ali to be indicted in front of an international court.
Ms. Tallec writes:
Ce n’est encore qu’un mouvement embryonnaire, mais qui a trouvé ces derniers jours un prolongement judiciaire. Ben Ali tombé, des appels épars ont commencé à circuler sur Internet demandant à ce qu’il soit traduit en justice et réclamant une enquête sur les crimes allégués du régime déchu.
Certains émanent de groupes informels, déjà existants ou constitués pour l’occasion, d’autres, d’organisations plus structurées. Des pétitions parfois relayées par les médias français et qui pour la plupart sollicitent l’intervention de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI).
While in Tunisia a dictator flees his country, in Haiti, a former dictator, Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, returns to “help with [the] reconstruction” of his country, shattered by an ongoing humanitarian crisis since an earthquake devastated the country over a year ago. Whatever Baby Doc’s real reasons for returning to his broken home country are, he is now in turn in trouble with Haiti’s justice system, which has charged him with theft and corruption and is considering investigating alleged crimes against humanity committed during his tenure as the small nation’s despot.
Callixte Mbarushimana’s Lawyer Contests Validity of Arrest Warrant – Divulgation Issues With OTP Continue
Posted in International Criminal Court on 12 January 2011
After Callixte Mbarushimana’s failure to stop the French authorities from transferring him to The Hague, Nicholas Kaufmann, his lawyer, has a new trick up his sleeve to try to get his client released: contesting the validity of the arrest warrant that was issued on 28 September 2010. We are not yet even close to the trial stage of the proceedings, and already problems are appearing that are worth commenting upon.
The claim. Mr. Kaufman’s main argument is that the arrest warrant for Callixte Mbarushimana was “sought and issued at a time when the case against him was plainly inadmissible” because there was an ongoing investigation regarding these same crimes and his client in Germany. This, he argues, despite the Prosecution’s claims that there were no such investigations in any State when they applied for the arrest warrant, and in violation of the fundamental principle of complementarity the International Criminal Court functions on.
To put it in simple terms, the Defence’s filing argues in elaborate and lawyerly terms that the Prosecution lied on a fundamental condition of admissibility – that there is no ongoing investigation for the same crimes anywhere – to get the Pre-Trial Chamber to issue the arrest warrant.
For now, it is hard to assess the validity of Mr. Kaufman’s claims, and it is better to wait for the Prosecution’s rebuttal due on Monday to pass any form of judgment or comment on this. However, it doesn’t stop there. Read the rest of this entry »