Thursday

23rd Nov 2017

France puts US under pressure to accept war crimes court

France has tabled a draft resolution at the UN that would refer crimes against humanity in Sudan’s western Darfur region to the International Criminal Court in The Hague (ICC).

The resolution places the US in the difficult dilemma of accepting the International Criminal Court or casting a politically damaging veto in the UN Security Council.

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According to the New York Times, the French will call for a vote today (24 March) in the UN Security Council, where France has been assured of at least 11 votes in favour. Only nine votes are needed to pass the resolution, provided no veto is cast.

Tanzania or The Hague

The ICC has long been a bone of contention between the EU, which champions the court, and the US, which has refused to sign up to it.

The ICC is the first permanent global criminal court to try individuals for genocide, war crimes and massive human rights abuses. But Washington has refused to sign up out of fears that its citizens could be subject to politically motivated prosecutions at the Court.

The United States earlier this week circulated three separate resolutions at the UN to pave the way for a 10,000-strong UN peacekeeping force to be sent to Sudan.

The US resolutions would separate the decision on the peacekeeping force from the decision on how to punish those responsible for atrocities.

The US had earlier proposed establishing a new court in Arusha, Tanzania for the prosecution of Darfur's war crimes. A five-member independent UN commission however earlier this year recommended the Darfur cases be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

Mladic found guilty for Bosnia genocide and war crimes

The former Bosnian Serb warlord was sentenced to life in prison for committing genocide and war crimes in Srebrenica and Sarajevo. Mladic is still regarded as a 'hero' among some Bosnian Serbs, in a country undergoing resurgent nationalism.

MEPs point finger at Malta

The European Parliament debated shady deals and rule of law in Malta after the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, while the Commission wanted to avoid a "political fight".

Austrian privacy case against Facebook hits legal snag

Austrian privacy campaigner Max Schrems may sue Facebook Ireland in an Austrian court but won't be able to pursue a class action suit in Austria, according to a non-binding opinion by a top EU court advisor.

EU Parliament 'cookie' restrictions worry online media

The European Parliament and groups representing newspapers and magazines are at odds over how new privacy rules will affect the media, especially restrictions on website cookies - but one MEP thinks it could spark new business models.

EU Commission to target fake news

Mariya Gabriel, the EU digital economy commissioner, announces expert panel and says fake news can be tackled if people are given credible and diverse information.

MEP switches vote on 'private expenses' transparency

A small group of MEPs are looking into how members of the European Parliament spend the monthly €4,300 'private expenses' funded by taxpayer money. Last month, MEPs voted on transparency amendments on the funds.

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