The Value of the Charles Taylor Judgment, by Fiona O’Regan

On Thursday 26 April 2012, Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia was convicted of aiding and abetting eleven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity by the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL).  Among the crimes Taylor was convicted of were murder, rape, recruitment and use of child soldiers, pillage, enslavement and acts of terrorism (judgment summary available here).The Taylor judgment is historic because it marks the first occasion since Nuremberg that a sitting or former head of state was convicted by an international criminal court. 

The Taylor conviction is the latest in a series of significant achievements for the SCSL.  The Court has in the past drawn praise for being the first international court to convict individuals of recruitment and use of child soldiers as well as, in the same case (the AFRC case), recognise the crime of forced marriage.  In addition, the SCSL has been relatively efficient and managed admirably with its far more limited resources in contrast to the heavily financially supported ad-hoc tribunals who have attracted consistent criticism for their perceived wastefulness.  The Court has also developed a comprehensive outreach programme and engaged in effective capacity building, through employing a significant number of native Sierra Leoneans in its activities.  Furthermore, the conclusion of the Taylor case will mark the final chapter in the work of the SCSL, so that it shall become the first of the major international criminal tribunals of the modern era to complete its mandate.

However, the Taylor judgment is problematic in certain respects.  Firstly, Taylor has only been convicted of crimes committed in connection to the Sierra Leone conflict and thus, the myriad of crimes he is linked to in his native Liberia look likely to remain unpunished.  In addition, Taylor has been convicted of aiding and abetting the crimes by the SCSL, a less serious mode of liability than the Prosecutor would have hoped of securing the convictions under.  Finally, many of those directly responsible for the crimes Taylor was convicted of are unlikely to be brought to justice, which for many of the victims of these crimes is unacceptable and mars the significance of the Taylor judgment. Each of these factors contributes to an image of what J. Peter Pham, in a New York Times Op-ed, calls “incomplete justice” in the Taylor case and “demonstrates the severe limitations of an international criminal justice system that is insufficient to deter future atrocities”.  Thus, whilst Charles Taylor has been found guilty by an international criminal court, the limited scope of this accountability and the impunity gaps it exposes, detracts from the impact such a judgment could have had had the case been more all-encompassing.

Nevertheless, the value of the Taylor verdict should not be dismissed.  International criminal justice by its nature will always be limited and imperfect, considering the amount of potential defendants, the restricted resources and the complex political difficulties that surround the task of bringing individuals to justice.   However, these challenges do not mean that constructive results cannot emerge from this flawed system.  In particular, international criminal trials possess a considerable expressivist potential, whereby the message sending ability of the system can help increase respect for the rule of law as well as facilitate the creation of a historical record of the relevant atrocities.  As Drumbl posits, “International trials have a better chance of becoming the kinds of “popular trials” that define a debate, remind us of the content and value of law, or serve as intergenerational “signposts” in history”.  The classic example of this powerful function is of course the Nuremberg trials, which for all their flaws, still serve as a source of inspiration to those engaged in international justice today.

The Taylor judgment may also carry some of this expressivist potential.  Although the case may not have been ideal, it still represents an exceptional occurrence: a once very powerful figure being held to account by the international community for very serious crimes. According to the Prosecutor in the case, Brenda J. Hollis, the judgment “reinforces the new reality, that Heads of State will be held to account for war crimes and other international crimes,” and “affirms that with leadership comes not just power and authority, but also responsibility and accountability. No person, no matter how powerful, is above the law.” Thus, this conviction ought to send a powerful message to other errant heads of state engaged in similar crimes that impunity is no longer guaranteed.  The limitations of the case may reduce the potency of this message, but they are unlikely to diminish it completely and thus, the Taylor judgment could yet become a beacon of hope to victims of similar leaders that one day these individuals (such as Laurent Gbagbo and Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir) may yet be brought to justice.

International Criminal Court Delivers First Ever Verdict in Lubanga Case by Anna Marie Brennan

The International Criminal Court delivered its first ever verdict in The Hague this morning in the case of Thomas Lubanga.

Lubanga, who became the political leader of the Union of Congolese Patriots in 2002, had been charged with recruiting and using child soldiers in armed hostilities in the north-eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He pleaded not guilty to the charges and contended during trial that he did not take any part in the hostilities. Lubanga also argued that he was only the political leader of the UCP and was not the commander of the party’s armed wing. However, the Prosecution accused Lubanga of using boys and girls under the age of 15 as bodyguards, sex slaves and soldiers.

During the proceedings video footage was admitted into evidence which appeared to depict Lubanga inciting child soldiers to actively participate in tribal warfare in the north-eastern region of the DRC. In a unanimous decision, the three trial judges held that the evidence proved that as the leader of the UCP and its armed faction, Lubanga was responsible for the recruitment of child soldiers who took part in inter-tribal warfare in the region. 

This is landmark decision for a number of reasons. First of all, it is the first verdict to be handed down by the International Criminal Court after it was established more than ten years ago. It is also the first ever trial to focus specifically on the use of child soldiers in an armed conflict situation and therefore could set a precedent for individuals such as Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Northern Uganda, who still remains at large.

At the same time, the trial of Thomas Lubanga was not without controversy. In June 2008, the proceedings were halted after the court ruled that the refusal by the Prosecutor to disclose exculpatory evidence, from sources such as the United Nations, had infringed the accused’s right to a fair trial. Even though the Prosecutor had acquired the evidence on the condition of confidentiality the trial chamber held that the Prosecutor had wrongly applied the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. As a consequence, the International Criminal Court ordered the release of Lubanga on the grounds that a fair trial of the accused was not possible because there was no longer any justification for his continued detention. However an Appeal Chamber agreed to keep Lubanga in custody while the Prosecutor appealed the trial chamber’s decision. In November 2008, the Prosecutor agreed to make all confidential information available to the trial chamber. As a result, the trial chamber overturned its ruling and ordered the resumption of the trial. Although the Prosecutor was widely criticised for his conduct the International Criminal Court was commended for its efforts to ensure the fair trial of Lubanga. 

Nevertheless, the International Criminal Court can be criticised for a number of reasons. States such as China, Russia and the United States who are permanent veto-holding members of the UN Security Council have not signed the Rome treaty establishing the Court. This in turn has arguably undermined the authority and influence of the court in the international arena. The Court is also impeded in carrying out its functions by not having its own police force to execute arrest warrants and as a consequence relies on the goodwill and support of the international community to capture and detain suspects. However, the most contentious issue is that despite the fact that the International Criminal Court has nearly 700 employees and had a budget of nearly 900 million dollars during the first decade of its existence it still took almost seven years to initiate the trial of Thomas Lubanga. 

International legal experts, such as Professor Schabas at Middlesex University, have also criticised the outgoing Prosecutor of the ICC, Moreno Ocampo, for only investigating and initiating proceedings against the losing parties in armed conflict situations. In particular, Professor Schabas has argued that the prosecutor has “avoided situations where he would be likely to step on the toes of the permanent members of the Security Council, from Afghanistan to Gaza, to Iraq, to Columbia.” In conclusion, a persuasive argument can be made that the International Criminal Court may not be fulfilling the actual purpose for which it was established; to bring individuals suspected of committing international crimes to justice.

LAUNCH OF CITIZENSHIP REPORT: Living in Limbo

The Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights, in association with NASC and the Immigrant Council of Ireland, are pleased to announce the following event:

Launch of Citizenship Report: Living in Limbo

at a Lunchtime Seminar

The event will take place on Tuesday 13th March from 12.30 – 2 pm in the  Lewis Glucksman Gallery, UCC

Chair: Justice Catherine McGuinness

Speakers:

  • Catherine Cosgrave (Senior Solicitor, Immigrant Council of Ireland)
  • Michael Lynn B.L.
  • Fiona Finn, CEO, NASC, the Irish Immigrant Support Centre
  • Prof Siobhán Mullally (UCC, Faculty of Law)

See: http://www.nascireland.org/#/naturalisation/4556551099

 Please RSVP to info@nascireland.org

Tel. 021 4317 411

ALL Welcome

CPD Points: 1.5 available

There is no registration fee for this event. Light refreshments will be available.

For further information can be obtained by contacting Claire McCarthy, Policy and Communications officer: clairemccarthy@nascireland.org

Migration and Regularisation in Poland by Alan Desmond

CCJHR blog is pleased to be able to cross post this blog by Alan Desmond with Human Rights in Ireland.  Alan is writing a PhD here at UCC, under the supervision of Professor Siobhán Mullally, on the regularisation of undocumented migrants in international and European Human Rights Law. Alan is a Government of Ireland Research Scholar in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

The immigration to Poland from the east which followed the collapse of communism in 1989 and the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, coupled with EU accession negotiations in the 1990s, forced Poland to try to put in place a framework to deal with immigration. One of the methods employed in the field of irregular immigration was to implement regularisation or legalisation programmes, a process whereby unlawfully present non-EU citizens can apply for a legal status.

 Despite the dim view of regularisation taken by the Council of the European Union and the European Commission which emphasise instead enhancing border control and returning irregular immigrants to their countries of origin or transit, most EU Member States have implemented regularisation measures of one sort or another. Poland’s third regularisation programme, underway since 1 January, looks set to succeed where the country’s first two attempts at regularisation failed.

The 2003 and 2007 Regularisations

Poland’s first attempt at regularisation was carried out in 2003 in anticipation of its accession to the EU in May 2004, with the second regularisation programme coming in 2007 ahead of Polish membership of the Schengen zone.

Both attempts were abjectly ineffective. This was due to overly-restrictive eligibility criteria, failure to publicise the programmes amongst the target group and the understandable reluctance of immigrants without a legal status to present themselves to the authorities.

In order to successfully apply for regularisation in 2003 the Polish authorities had to be satisfied that applicants did not pose a threat to national security or public order, with irregular immigrants having to submit proof of, amongst other things, almost 7 years’ continuous residence in Poland; medical coverage and sufficient resources to support themselves without recourse to social welfare; a promise of work; and legal title to residential accommodation. The 2007 regularisation programme was even more restrictive.

While the 2003 programme facilitated regularisation of about 2000 immigrants, the 2007 programme yielded less than 1000 successful applications.

Those who acquired a legal status under both programmes were given a one-year residence permit and were drawn primarily from the most well-organised immigrant groups in Poland, namely the Armenian and Vietnamese communities. While Ukrainians constitute the largest irregular immigrant community in Poland, they ranked third in terms of successful applications.

Given that Poland’s irregular population is estimated by the government to be between 40, 000 and 100, 000, with NGOs putting the figure at 100, 000 – 500, 000, Poland’s first two attempts at regularisation were wholly unsuccessful.

The 2012 Regularisation

It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that a third regularisation programme was deemed necessary. Providing a legal status to immigrants allows them to emerge from the shadows of illegality where exploitation is rife. Freed from the fear of deportation which blights the lives of irregular immigrants the world over, regularisation empowers them to demand respect for their rights. Indeed States will sometimes be required to provide a legal status to irregular immigrants so as to comply with their human rights obligations. The right to respect for private and family life recognised in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights is one example of a human right which has been found to oblige a State to regularise the status of an irregular immigrant.

While agitation by civil society and immigrants themselves played an important part in the introduction of a third regularisation programme in Poland, politicians seem to have proposed the relevant legislation not so much out of an awareness of human rights obligations as out of a realisation that the country’s dynamic economy, coupled with large-scale emigration of Polish citizens, has produced a demand for labour.

Thus from 1 January until 2 July an application for regularisation may be lodged by unlawfully present immigrants who have been continuously resident in Poland since 20 December 2007 and by asylum-seekers whose application for refugee status was refused prior to 1 January 2010.

Successful applicants will be granted a two-year residence permit which will also entitle them to work without a work permit, though the legislation provides that these two years may not be counted as part of the period of continuous legal residence which is required before an immigrant can apply for EU long-term residence status.

In contrast to the stringent requirements of the first two regularisation programmes, the current programme precludes regularisation only where applicants are found to be a threat to national security or public order; to have submitted false documents or information as part of their applications; to have been entered into the Schengen Information System by another Schengen country for the purposes of refusing entry.

The current regularisation programme is thus far more applicant-friendly than the earlier ones and its less restrictive eligibility criteria mean that it is open to a far wider pool of Poland’s irregular immigrant population than was the case in 2003 and 2007.

Little surprise, then, that the first eight weeks of the programme have seen 3377 applications submitted to the regional authorities in each of Poland’s 16 administrative regions, more than half of the combined total of applications submitted during the 2003 and 2007 botched attempts at regularisation. A negative decision at the regional level may be appealed to the Office for Foreigners.

The scale of the response no doubt reflects the government information campaign and media coverage, but with just 303 positive decisions issued so far it remains to be seen whether increased awareness and more favourable eligibility criteria will in fact translate into an appreciably larger number of regularised immigrants than Poland’s previous efforts to provide legal status for unlawfully present non-EU citizens.

Furthermore, despite the comparative generosity of the current regularisation programme, it fails to deal with irregular immigrants who arrived in Poland after the magic date of 20 December 2007. Are they to await the country’s fourth regularisation programme four years from now? Would the implementation of such a regularisation programme be contingent on propitious economic circumstances? To avoid uncertainty and unfairness it might be wise to follow the advice of people such as Joseph Carens who has argued that rather than having recourse to one-off amnesties, liberal democratic States should institutionalise an automatic transition to legal status for irregular immigrants who have been settled for a specified minimum length of time. Just how much time should have to pass before an irregular immigrant gains legal status is of course fertile ground for disagreement and, as Carens admits, a question whose answer inevitably involves an element of arbitrariness.

Detailed, regularly updated information on Poland’s third regularisation programme is provided in a number of languages at http://abolicja.gov.pl

Protest is not “self-indulgent” by Fiona Donson

The cost of policing protests at the Corrib pipeline at the Shell refinery in Mayo was highlighted earlier this week in written answer to a Parliamentary question tabled by Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibin. Minister for Justice Alan Shatter reported that over €14.5 million were spent on policing operations between 2006 and 2011. The breakdown of costs includes overtime and allowances, travel and subsistence, employers PRSI, and other expenses incurred by the Gardaí. The costs do not include basic pay of members of the Gardaí.

The costs prompted Minister Shatter to comment on legitimacy of protest in today’s current economic climate. Having set out the costs he went on to state that

“at a time when many people are under severe financial pressure because of our very difficult economic circumstances, it is scandalous that some protesters behave in a self indulgent way that has no regard for the rights of others. “

The idea of protest being “self-indulgent” is attractive to politicians. The engagement of ordinary people in sustained campaigns of direct action and other forms protest offers a challenge to the established political system. Whilst they publicly accept that protest can be a legitimate form of political engagement it is also something to be limited and controlled, confined to the margins. Thus whilst we have a “right to protest” as citizens by engaging in free speech and free assembly (Article 40.6.1̊) this is restricted in a number of ways, not least by the limits set out in the constitution of public order. Firstly the law sets limits on protest including how, when and where you can protest. This is part of a balancing process between the right to protest and issues of public order, crime prevention and public safety.

In addition, private citizens and businesses who are the subject of protest can use the law to counter the harm done by such actions– actions for defamation, interference with trade, injunctions to prevent protest camps etc are common legal procedures used to control the troublesome public speech of protesters.

Beyond the legal restraints placed on protest there is also a public dialogue that engages in a consistent undermining of the legitimacy of such actions, a reframing of the legitimate as illegitimate. This is done by diminishing the credibility of those involved in protests, something which can clearly be seen in Alan Shatters comments when he claimed that many of those involved in the protests are engaging in “protest tourism” (the dreaded professional protester).

This attack on protest is further developed by suggesting that involvement in political activism of this sort is contrary to the national interest because it requires the spending of taxpayers money to police it.

“[Protest] requires the expenditure of a substantial amount of taxpayers’ money which could be devoted to far better purposes …. In addition, this type of behaviour runs completely contrary to the public and national interest and furthermore will act as a disincentive to inward investment and the development of our national resources.”

Both the Minister for Justice and the Taoiseach are on record upholding the right of the individual to engage in peaceful and legitimate protest. However, that right involves limitations based on assessments as to the peaceful nature and the legitimacy of action. Such assessments are not based on set criteria. The question is how far they leave space in our democratic state for dissent outside the regular orderly political engagement mechanisms of voting and writing letters (or blogs).

We can talk about respecting the right to protest but without some substance to that respect and a shift in perspective that leave space for political activism it is ultimately meaningless.

Upcoming Children’s Rights Lecture – Professor Kirsten Sandberg

Professor Kirsten Sandberg of the University of Oslo and member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is giving a lecture at the Faculty of Law on Thursday January 5th at 5.30 pm. The lecture – on Child Protection and Children’s Rights – will be chaired by Emily Logan, Ombudsman for Children.

The event is organised by the Child Law Clinic at UCC and supported by the College of Business and Law Research Support Initiative.

Antonio Cassese 1937 – 2011: Obituary

Anna Marie Brennan

Antonio Cassese, a prominent lawyer and academic, who has often been described as the “father of international criminal justice” passed away on Saturday at his home in Florence, Italy after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Judge Cassese developed a branch of public international law that had remained quiescent in the aftermath of the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials. He established the Journal of International Criminal Justice and the European Journal of International Law and also served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Companion to International Criminal Justice. He was Professor of International Law at the University of Florence from 1975 until 2008 and was also Professor of Law at the European University Institute in Italy from 1987 until 1993.

Until just a couple of weeks ago, Antonio Cassese had been the President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) and had previously been the first ever President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) which was established in the aftermath of atrocities in the Balkans in the early 1990s. He has been succeeded at the STL by David Baragwanath who has stated that “the tragedy of Nino’s (Cassese) departure is beyond words” and that Cassese’s “towering ability as a jurist and a statesman was equalled by the immense personal warmth and humanity which made him our dear friend.”

Cassese became President of the ICTY in 1993 and led the way in developing rules that would guide the tribunal which have since served as a model for the foundation of other international tribunals such as the International Criminal Court and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. In particular, the Appeals Chamber over which he presided delivered a pivotal decision in the Tadic Jurisdictional Decision in 1995 which completely changed the basic principles of international criminal law by providing that war crimes could be punished where committed during a non-international armed conflict. The judgment also provided that crimes against humanity could be perpetrated during peacetime. Despite being contentious at the time, both principles were later accepted when the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court was adopted in 1998.

Cassese also led the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Darfur which eventually led to the UN Security Council requesting the International Criminal Court to initiate an investigation into alleged atrocities committed in the area. This investigation ultimately led the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for several government officials in Sudan most notably the president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir. He also served as an independent expert to review judicial efficacy at the Special Court for Sierra Leone. The current Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, released a press statement at the weekend describing Cassese as a “giant of international law” as well as “an exceptionally charming and warm human being who courageously stood up for justice, for human rights and for humanity.”

Antonio Cassese is survived by his wife Sylvia, their son and daughter and two grandchildren.

May he rest in peace.

Dale Farm Evictions: policing protest and public order

The legal battles finally ended for the Dale Farm residents earlier this week when their application for an appeal against the High Court decision that Basildon Council could clear the site was rejected. The eviction was then only a matter of time, and residents accurately predicted that it would start today, 19th October.

However, whilst the residents expected the eviction, it is unlikely the expected the level of violence that is being reported from the site this morning. The reports and images coming from Dale Farm are, however, sadly predictable and reminiscent of brutal policing operations seen at anti-road protests and even “the Battle of Beanfield” in 1985.

Reports in the guardian describe the scene as “carnage” with violence being inflicted on residents and supporters. However, the reports also include particularly disturbing images and reports in of police using tasers on protesters.

The use of tasers in this context is entirely inappropriate, and has been stated as so by senior figures in the UK police and government. At the end of 2010 Christian Papaleontiou of the Home Office’s policing directorate told the Commons home affairs select committee that tasers should not be used “as a crowd control measure”. This has in recent times also been stressed in the ACPO guidance on taser use. In fact, there has been a “self-imposed ban” on the use of tasers in public protest situations. This was noted and supported by the Government in a response to the report on policing the G20 protests by the Home Affairs Select Committee which stated:

We recommend that the police continue their self-imposed ban on the use of Taser in public protest situations. More generally we urge the police to reject the use of “distance weapons” in policing demonstrations. Instead of investment in expensive equipment to give the police “distance” while policing large scale protests, we suggest that the money could be better spent on training for front-line officers and in the planning of operations, removing the need for such “distance weapons”. (Paragraph 75)   

Four days ago this rejection of taser use was again restated by Sir Hugh Orde, President of the Association of Chief Police Officers in the United Kingdom in an interview with the BBC when he said “[Tyasers are not used in public order situations in this country. They’re entirely inappropriate.” He went on to say that whilst taser’s “are present in policing in this country. We use them with a heavy heart quite frankly…. You need static crowds and extreme violence….”

Whilst the protesters at Dale Farm might well be static, it would be hard to describe them as “a crowd” given reports are in the tens rather than the hundreds and whilst the police may have been anticipating violence, the images of the use of tasers clearly show that they were being used as “distance weapons” to subdue protesters, and not in response to actual extreme violence.

The use of violence and tasers by the police in the UK is a sign that lessons from previous policing (G20, Battle of Orgreave, Battle of the Beanfield, and May Day protests) disasters have not been learned. Or perhaps it is that some groups are not entitled to receive the “Human Rights approach to policing protest” (the subtitle and focus of the Human Rights Joint Committee seventh report published in 2009 following the G20 protests).

Yet more crisis at the ECCC as investigating judge resigns

The Khmer Rouge Tribunal (ECCC) is once again being described in the media and by observers as “in crisis”. The latest problem is the resignation of Siegfried Blunk, the controversial German investigating judge at the tribunal. Blunk, along with his Khmer counterpart Mr. You Bunleng, has been the focus of significant levels of criticism over the last few months. In April they closed the investigation into Case 003 without having interviewed the suspects, and only talking to a small number of witnesses. This prompted the criticism that the investigation office were acting in accordance with the will of the government. In August Blunk and You Bunleng stated that in relation to Case 004 “[t]here are serious doubts whether the (three) suspects are ‘most responsible’.” Observers of the court were shocked at this statement.

More concerns arose when the judges rejected a civil party applicant in Case 003 on the basis that the psychological harm she had experienced as a result of her husband’s forced labour and execution was considered by them to be “highly unlikely to be true”.

The combination of these decisions had led Human Rights Watch to last week call on Blunk and You Bunleng to resign from the tribunal on the basis that they had “egregiously violated their legal and judicial duties”.

Controversy is not new to the office of investigating judges. Blunk replaced French judge Marcel Lemonde after he resigned from his role as international investigator amid what was thought to be a poor working relationship with his Cambodian counterpart. Their disagreement also stemmed from the controversy over cases 003 and 004.

Cases 003 and 004 involve 5 suspects and observers understand that the cases include Meas Muth, a former Khmer Rouge navy commander, who is accused of the kidnap and murder of foreign tourists, air force commander Sou Met, and three regional officials, Aom An, Yim Tith, and Im Chem.

The difficulty for the court is that the Cambodian government has consistently stated that it does not want these cases to be heard. Prime Minister Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge cadre, has repeatedly stated that the cases could “damage the fabric of Cambodia”. At a meeting with the UN head Ban Ki-Moon in 2010 Hun Sen clearly set out the government’s position saying that case 002 would be the last one the ECCC hears.

In his resignation statement, Blunk stated that he had expected Hun Sen’s statement to Mr Ban “did not reflect general government policy”. However, he also cites government interference as a reason for his resignation. At the very least, the statement suggests he was naive given Hun Sen’s dominance of Cambodian government. However, the statement is an nod to the fact that some very poor decisions were taken by the investigating office of the ECCC as the behest of the government. Brad Adams of Human Rights Watch stated:

“His resignation statement blamed the Cambodian government, which is correct because they have from the beginning interfered in the work of the court by saying that the cases should not go forward and by giving instructions to the Cambodian judges and prosecutors, who have followed those instructions.”

Although observers have widely welcomed the resignation they also fear that Blunk’s resignation will allow the UN to dig itself out of the 003case /004 hole by shifting attention away from the calls for investigation and prosecution in these cases. It is a difficult situation for the UN which has had its independence and credibility called into question in relation to the tribunal.  

Ou Virak, head of the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights stated yesterday that “The charade must end. The time is nigh for the UN to re-examine its seemingly compliant relationship with the (government).” He concluded that if the tribunal door closed “without a full and frank investigation into Cases 003 and 004, the UN will have failed the victims of the Khmer Rouge.”

UCC Job Vacancy: Post Doctoral Fellowship

UCC is currently advertising a post doctoral fellowship in the Faculty of Law. The post is funded by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Science. The fellowship is available from November 1st 2011 and candidates should have a completed a PhD and have research interests and demonstrated expertise in a relevant field such as: Human Rights, Migration, EU Migration Law.

Further information can be found here.

Deadline for applications is Friday, October 14 2011.