New cases added to the International Crimes Database

Published 26 September 2019

5 Dec 2011: Nuon Chea during the Trial Chamber hearing in Case 002.  ©Wikimedia

Check out five new case analyses that we added to the International Crimes Database, our extensive online collection of international crimes broadly defined, such as genocide, war crimes, terrorism and piracy.

The International Crimes Database website of the Asser Institute offers a range of information on international crime, not just for scholars and practitioners (such as judges, prosecutors and defense counsel), but also for students, journalists, families and communities of victims of crimes. Apart from case law on international crimes adjudicated by national and international courts, the International Crimes database incorporates general background information about international crimes, scholarly as well as news articles, working papers (ICD Briefs) and relevant links to other useful databases/websites on this topic. New case summaries are:

Prosecutor v Ayyash et al.
Two of the five new case summaries relate to the case of The Prosecutor v Ayyash et al. before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL). In its Interlocutory Decision of 16 February 2011 (available here), the Appeals Chamber of the Tribunal found whilst it was bound to apply Lebanese criminal law, international law could be used to aid in the interpretation of these domestic provisions. Significantly, the Chamber concluded that the crime of terrorism exists in customary international law. In the STL Trial Chamber Decision of 1 February 2012 (available here), the Tribunal found that the four accused may be tried in absentia, as all four of the accused had absconded or otherwise could not be found and all reasonable steps had been taken to secure their presence.

Prosecution of Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan
The other three summaries (herehere and here) relate to the trial of Nuon Chea, the former Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, and Khieu Samphan, the former Head of State of Democratic Kampuchea, before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). This string of cases culminated in the conviction and life sentence of Chea and Samphan for crimes against humanity relating to the forcible transfer of the population, as well as war crimes and crimes against humanity committed at security centres and worksites. Both were also found guilty of genocide of the Vietnamese people, whilst Chea was also guilty of genocide of the Cham people.

The Asser Institute received assistance from the Washington College of Law Internship Programme in the preparation of these case summaries. 

ICD Brief 26
A new ICD Brief entitled “Human Rights Remedies for Violations of the Law of Armed Conflict: Reflections on the Right to Reparation in Light of Recent Domestic Court Decisions in the Netherlands and Denmark”, was compiled by Vessela Terzieva.

Vessela Terzieva is an international criminal lawyer and an external PhD researcher at the University of Amsterdam. Her ICD Brief relates to recent decisions in the Netherlands and Denmark awarding compensation for damage at the hands of the military during armed conflict, including the July 2019 ruling of the Dutch Supreme Court in the 'Mothers of Srebrenica' case. It explores how these decisions contribute to the debate on the right to reparation for victims of international humanitarian law violations.

More information
The aim of the International Crimes Database is to become an indispensable resource for users in developing a better understanding of international crimes and international criminal law more generally. You are most welcome to contribute to the development of this platform, the website and the database.