MONTHLY WRAP DECEMBER 2022
International Criminal Court
On 15 December 2022, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court upheld the ruling of the Chamber of First Instance IX in which Dominic Ongwen was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment. According to the House of First Instance, Dominc Ongwen was found guilty of 61 crimes between crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Northern Uganda between 1 July 2002 and 31 December 2005.
The 21st session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court took place from 5 to 9 December at the World Forum Convention Center in The Hague. The session was chaired by the President of the Assembly, SE Silvia Fernàndez de Gurmendi. The Assembly’s work can be summarised as follows: seven members of the Budget and Finance Committee have been elected; five resolutions and one recommendation have been adopted unanimously; the Court’s draft budget for 2023 has been adopted.
The International Criminal Court launched its first global strategy for gender equality and culture in the workplace (“GEWC Strategy “), on 8 December 2022, on the sidelines of the 21st session of the Assembly of States Parties. This strategy represents a milestone for the Court and focuses on three important topics: gender equality and equal opportunities; safe and inclusive workplace culture; and work-life balance.
On 7 December 2022, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and his office (OTP) presented the new Policy on the Crime of Gender Persecution, so that sexual and gender crimes do not go unpunished. The Policy aims to help understand the discrimination underlying gender-based violence by adopting a comprehensive approach to sexual and gender crimes that may constitute a crime against humanity of persecution on gender grounds. Moreover, it recognizes all the victims of this crime, namely women, girls, men, boys and LGBTQI+ people.
On 5 December 2022, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Karim Ahmad Khan and his Office presented its first annual report entitled “Towards a more just world: every day”.
The Report aims to increase the transparency of the work of the Prosecutor’s Office (OTP) and to share the progress and strategies used to achieve the objectives set.
The Secretary-General has extended the mandate of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon from 1 March 2023 to 31 December 2023 forto ensure the completion of the Tribunal’s non-judicial residual functions, including the preservation of the records and archives of the Special Tribunal, responding to requests for information, and ensuring the protection and support of victims and witnesses who cooperated with the Special Tribunal.
On 12 January is launched a call to action of the Global Action Plan on Child Wasting. More than 30 million under-five are suffering from acute malnutrition, brought on by climate shocks, conflict and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Global Action Plan aims to prevent and treat malnutrition among children in the countries worst affected, with a multi-sectoral approach based on five specific action.
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 5th of March as the International Day for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Awareness in accordance with the Treaty on the Non- Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which entered into force on 5 March 1970.
On the International Decade of Indigenous Languages, UNESCO highlights a ten-year plan of action (2022-2032) to preserve, revitalise and celebrate indigenous languages to avoid the risk of their total extinction.
Three years after its adoption, the Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications for Higher Education has accepted its 19th and 20th ratification (Iceland and Andorra). With a number of 20 ratifications, the Global Convention enters into force and becomes legally binding for its States Parties in early 2023, marking a decisive turning point towards more inclusive and equitable higher education.
UNESCO adopted, at the United Nations Conference on Biodiversity (COP15), new guidelines for the business sector, so that their operations do not pose a risk to the World Heritage, entitled “UNESCO Guidance for the World Heritage ‘No-Go’ Commitment: Global standards for corporate sustainability”.
Council of Europe
Has been held in Strasbourg a roundtable concerning the Human Rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and in the city of Sebastopol, with the participation of several parts, such as the Ukraine’s President Permanent Representative in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the Ukrainian Parliament’s Commissioner Office for the Human Rights, the Crimean Tatars and delegates of famous non-governmental organizations.
The Department for Executions of Judgments has released a new thematic factsheet on hate crime and hate speech. The factsheet provides various examples of general and individual measures reported by States in the context of the execution of the European Court’s judgments, concerning the combat against racially motivated hate crimes which may emanate from security forces, private individuals or groups.
European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights has published a new Case-Law guide about the terrorism, to inform legal practitioners about the fundamental judgments and decisions delivered by the Strasbourg Court. This particular Guide analyses and sums up the case-law under Article 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Case-Law has been selected between the leadings and the recent judgments.
European Public Prosecutor Office
The pre-trial judge at the Tribunal of Palermo issued 10 convictions concerning a tobacco smuggling investigation by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) in Palermo. This is the first verdict in an EPPO case in Italy in abbreviated proceedings. The condemned organised a smuggling scheme of counterfeit cigarettes from Tunisia to Sicily (Italy).
In accordance with the procedures laid down by Union law, the European Chief Prosecutor requested the withdrawal of immunity of Ms. Eva Kaili and Ms. Maria Spyraki members of the European Parliament. Based on an investigative report received from the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), there is a suspect of fraud detrimental to the EU budget, regarding the management of the parliamentary allowance and the remuneration of Parliamentary Assistants.
The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) reported what is believed to be the biggest VAT fraud ever investigated in the EU. With the help of Europol and the authorities, the EPPO was able to connect a company in Portugal and close to 9000 other legal entities and more than 600 persons located in different countries. The estimated damages investigated under Operation Admiral currently amount to €2.2 billion.