Background and Key Legal Issues
- With the resurgence of nationalism across Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, the 1980s and 1990s witnessed dramatic political and social change. In the early 1990s, hostilities in Slovenia was followed by conflicts in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1998-99 and 2001 the conflicts resumed in Kosovo and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
- Reports of rape and torture in detention camps, the massacre of thousands of civilians, and hundreds of thousands expelled from their home prompted the UN into action.
- Evidence of of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other violations of international humanitarian laws led the security council to to decide it would establish an international tribunal for persons responsible for these crimes.
- This was the first war crimes court established by the UN and the first international war crimes tribunal since the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals. It marked the end of immunity for war crimes in the former Yugoslavia.
- The UN had to establish a statute of the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia) that determined it’s jurisdiction and organizational structure. As well as the criminal procedure in general terms.
Slobodan Milosevic (2002-2005)
- Slobodan Milosevic was a Serbian and Yugoslav politician during the times of war. He was well known for being corrupt and abusing his power.
- Slobodan Milosevic was arrested on March 31st, 2001. His charges included genocide; complicity in genocide; deportation; murder; persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds; and extermination just to name a few.
- The prosecution took two years to present its case. During the prosecution, 295 witnesses were presented and over 5000 exhibits of evidence presented. A motion to dismiss the charges was denied, in accordance that the prosecution case contained evidence supporting all 66 charges.
- Milosevic decided to defend himself. But before he could finish his defense he was found dead in his cell from a heart attack. Supporters from both sides believed the heart attack had been cause or self induced.
- The Tipton Three was a collective name given to three British citizens from Tipton, England who were being held in Guantanamo Bay after being captured in Afghanistan.
- The Tipton Three, captured in Afghanistan in 2001, in relation to the 9/11 attacks in September of 2001. They were then transferred to United States Army custody and taken to Guantánamo Bay, where they were held as enemy combatants without trial.
- The law concerning Habeas Corpus of foreign nationals in the U.S. and how it has previously existed.
- Habeas Corpus: Is a order to the court that requests an inmate to be brought before the court to determine whether that person is imprisoned lawfully, and whether or not they should be released from custody.
- The law concerning Habeas Corpus of foreign nationals in the US has a precedent case, Johnson v Eisentrager (1950). This case set out that nonresident enemy aliens do not have the legal right to petition U.S. courts for writs of habeas corpus.
- The law concerning enemy combatants in the U.S. and in regards to Geneva convention.
- The Geneva Convention is treaty law, which sets out the treatment of prisoners of war (POWs), and soldiers incapable of fight. The U.S. is a party to this treaty
- Enemy Combatants: Are people who come with the intent of waging war by destruction of life or property. Enemy combatants are generally deemed not to be entitled to the status of a prisoner of war, but are subject to trial and punishment by military tribunals
- The term enemy combatant exists as unlawful combatants under the Geneva Convention. Unlawful combatants do not qualify as POWs but qualify for some protection under the Geneva Convention. However, under the Bush administration enemy combatants are not protected under the Geneva Convention.
- Enforcement and punishment for countries in violation of the Geneva Convention.
- The Geneva Convention is to be enforced by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The UNSC rarely uses its authority in administrating the Geneva Convention, typically issues are resolved between involved parties through regional treaties or national law, but if not the convention may go unenforced.
- Other times some countries act as protecting powers between two countries in conflict, they are responsible for implementing these conventions and overseeing treatment of POWs.
- Nations who are parties to this treaty are responsible for bringing those who have violated the convention to trial. The only times people have been placed on trial for violation of the treaty were those responsible for the Rwandan and Yugoslavian genocides.
Continue reading “Tipton Three”
- Conducted in:
- Location: Nuremberg, Germany
- Date: November 20th, 1945 to September 30th, 1946.
- Members in the court:
- Judge: Chief Judge Geoffrey Lawrence of Great Britain, seven associates
- Defense Lawyers: Otto Stahmer, Fritz Sauter, Alfred Seitel + others
- Prosecutors: Reps from US, Great Britain, Soviet Union, France
- Charges: Conspiracy, Crimes against Peace, War crimes, Crimes against Humanity
- Verdicts: 19/ 22 guilty on 1 or more counts Sentences: 12 death by hanging; the others, prison terms
- precedence created for Crimes against peace, War Crimes, Crimes against humanity
- est. International Military Tribunal (issued Aug 8th 1945)
- 3 categories of crimes defined: crimes against peace, war crimes, crimes against humanity
Continue reading “Nuremberg Trial”
- On August 8, 1945, directly following the end of World War II the Charter of The International Military Tribunal (IMT) also known as the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal, was signed at the London Conference
- Held for the purpose of bringing Nazi war criminals to justice and to document Nazi Germany’s crimes
- The proceedings established the principle that wartime leaders are accountable under international law for illegal and immoral actions
- Defendants = 22 leading Nazis including Nazi party officials, high ranking military officers, German industrialists, lawyers, and doctors
- Crimes charged: Conspiracy, crimes against peace, war crimes, crimes against humanity
- Chief Defense Lawyers: Otto Stahmer, Fritz Sauter, Alfred Seitel, others
- Chief Prosecutors: Representatives of the United States, Great Britain, The Soviet Union, France
- Judges: Chief Judge Geoffrey Lawrence of Great Britain (elected President of the International Military Tribunal), seven associates
- The United States, France, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union — provided one judge and one alternate for the court
- The Clerks had been preparing analysis of the defendant’s guilt prior to the start of the trail
- Verdicts: Nineteen of the 22 guilty on one or more counts
- Sentences: 12- death by hanging; the others – prison terms
- Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler, committed suicide and was never brought to trial
- The city of Nuremberg(aka Nurnberg) in the German state of Bavaria was selected as the location for the trials because its Palace of Justice was relatively undamaged by the war and included a large prison area
- Nuremberg had been the site of annual Nazi propaganda rallies and was considered to be the symbolic capital of Nazidom
- Holding the post war trials there marked the symbolic end of Hitler’s government, the Third Reich
- The Allies in concert dealt only with the leading conspirators; national courts would handle the thousands of lesser cases
- Other war crimes trials were conducted parallel to the Nuremberg trial
Continue reading “Nuremberg Trial”
- Tipton Three was the name given to three British citizens from Tipton, England
- Held in extrajudicial detention by U.S. government for two years in Guantanamo Bay detainment camp in Cuba
- Three key men of the nine detained were Ruhal Ahmed, Asif Iqbal, and Shafiq Rasul
- Captured in Afghanistan for being suspected terrorists
- Wrongly identified by the Americans as having been pictured in Afghanistan
- Suspected to be linked with Taliban
- Transferred to US Army Custody and transported to where they were detained
- After negotiations between governments and British assessment of their interrogations, men were repatriated to the UK
- FBI tried to persuade the men to sign a form admitting links with terrorism but none signed
- Released without charge the next day
- Filed a suit for abuse during detention
- Geneva Convention:
- Establishes the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of war
- Defines basic rights of wartime prisoners
- Established protection for wounded, sick, and civilians in and around war zone
- Defines the rights and protections for non-combatants
- Camp established in January 2002
- June 2006, detainees given minimal protection
- 2009 Obama attempted to suspend proceedings there but was rejected
- 2011 Obama signed to have detainees transferred, impeding the enclosure of the facility
- November 2015, Obama states he is prepared to unveil the plan to close the facility
Continue reading “Tipton Three”
- One of the most pivotal players; Adolf Eichmann, in the deportation of European Jews at the time of the holocaust, was born in Solingen, Germany March 19th, 1906
- Throughout his childhood he grew up with his family in Linz, Austria. There he began his studies in engineering, ultimately never achieving a final degree and working job to job
- Adolf Eichmann entered the Austrian National Socialist Party (NAZI) at the suggestion from his friend Ernst Kaltenbrunner in 1932
- Soon after, Eichmann became a member of the SS and in 1934 served as a corporal at Dachau concentration camp
- In September of that very same year; 1934, Eichmann was relieved of his duties on that assignment and assumed position in Heydrich’s SD, (the powerful SS Security Service). Soon after starting at his new position Eichmann was assigned to the Jewish section that was based on prying in the lives of prominent and threatening Jews. Accompanied with his new job, Adolf took great interest into all aspects of the Jewish Culture. He gradually became acknowledged as the ‘Jewish Specialist’, realizing this could have positive effects for his career in the SS
Continue reading “Eichmann Trial”
- Initial development of nuclear technology was military, during WWII (Hiroshima & Nagasaki atomic bomb). The question which frames this treaty is: To what extent and in what ways does nuclear power generation contribute to or alleviate the risk from nuclear weapons?
- Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) is an international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament. Every five years The Review Conference discusses about the issue and new concept of NPT.
- Open for signature in 1968, the Treaty entered into force in 1970. Currently there are 190 States parties including the five nuclear-weapon States that have signed NPT.
- Based on 3 principles:
- States without nuclear weapons in 1967, a year before the treaty opened for signature, agree not to acquire them
- The five states (United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France and China) known to have tested nuclear weapons agree to not assist other states in acquiring them and to move toward eventual disarmament
- Nothing Shall inhibit the non-nuclear weapons states’ access to civilian nuclear technology and energy development as long as they do not pursue nuclear weapons
Continue reading “Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty”
- In 1992, countries joined an international treaty: the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as a structure to combat climate change internationally by attempting to prevent average global temperature increases as a result of over 150 years of industrial activity.
- enters force in 1994- it is one of the first to recognize the problem of climate change, and strives to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations “at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (human induced) interference with the climate system.”
- The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement associated with the UNFCCC that unifies 37 industrialized countries and the European Community committed to reduce GHG emissions to an average of 5.2% against 1990 levels.
- The first commitment period started in 2005 and ended in 2012.
Continue reading “Kyoto Protocol”
Known as International military Tribunal for the Far East, was convened on April, 29th 1946, to try the leaders of the Empire of Japan for three types of war crimes. On September 11, a week after the surrender, General Douglas MacArthur ordered the arrest of 39 suspects—most of them members of General Hideki Tōjō’s war cabinet. Continue reading “Tokyo War Crimes”