Friday, 20 July 2012

Senegal ordered to try Hissène Habré by International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice ruled this afternoon, by a crushing majority, in favour of Belgium in its application against Senegal concerning the Hissène Habré case. The vote was 14 to 2 for a violation of the Torture Convention, with the two negative votes being case by the Judge Xue of China and ad hoc Judge Sur of Senegal. The vote was unanimous that 'the Republic of Senegal must, without further delay, submit the case of Mr. Hissène Habré to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution, if it does not extradite him'.
Habré stands accused of torture (as well as other crimes) in Chad. Years ago he sought refuge in Senegal. Belgium insisted that Senegal live up to its obligations under the Conventions Against Torture.
Senegal is reported to be planning to begin the trial of Habré before the end of the year. It has a new government that is expected to be more respectful of its international obligations than the previous regime.
As is generally the case, today's judgment is accompanied by a raft of separate opinions as well as statements by the two dissenters. We are treated to yet another lengthy consideration of the broader issues by Judge Cançado Trindade.

1 comment:

Dov Jacobs said...

Do you have any thoughts on the reasoning of the Court, especially on the erga omnes question?

I posted some comments on my blog: