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Montaigne Centre Blog

The International Criminal Court at 18 years: Things to Watch in 2020

The International Criminal Court (ICC) turns 18 years old in 2020. As such, we can look back on the Court’s ‘childhood’ and forward to its first year as an adult.  Like all childhoods, there have been ups and downs, successes and lessons learned. There have been four final convictions against individuals for crimes against humanity…

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NGOs, National Human Rights Institutions: Crucial intermediaries in the execution of ECtHR judgments?

‘The lack of implementation of the D.H. judgment deeply concerns the three submitting organizations…’. This sentence is taken from a Rule 9 Communication submitted by three NGOs to the Committee of Ministers, the body that supervises the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (hereafter: ECtHR or Court). It is illustrative of…

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Being Realistic About Law

Legal philosophers are often criticised for being out of touch with legal practice. At best, their theories provide a highly abstract but dated understanding of what law is. In a recent prize-winning book entitled A Realistic Theory of Law legal philosopher Brian Tamanaha argues that this often heard critique is true. Many legal philosophers fail to adequately…

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Truth Commissions and Social Justice: Modesty is in Order

From Peru to Canada to East Timor, following periods of serious conflict or gross human rights violations, societies often look to address the past in order to bring about greater accountability (trials), reparation (victim compensation), and truth (truth commissions). To date, more than 40 truth commissions have been established around the world, with the South…

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Transformative Reparations for Victims under International Law: Changing the Game or More of the Same?

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Reparations are an old concept in both domestic and international law. Victims have long been repaired in some way for the harms they suffered themselves, to their families or property. Following World War II, victims received some type of reparation, usually paid by the State, for their profound losses, and just last year the Dutch…

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Artificial intelligence in courts: A (legal) introduction to the Robot Judge

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Stefan Philipsen & Erlis Themeli The exercise of government power is increasingly automated. Modern technology makes it possible to reduce the direct human involvement in a great variety of government domains. Human involvement in domains like tax and social security is already limited to the most complex cases. One of the questions this development raises is…

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