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Official Opening – Training Course on “Investigating Cases of Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) as International Crimes”

15/12/2014

 

Held in collaboration with UN Women, The Hague, Netherlands – 15 December 2014

 

The fifth training course on “Investigating Cases of Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) as International Crimes” was officially opened in The Hague, Netherlands, on 15 December 2014.

 

The training course was officially opened by H.E. Marja Lehto, Chair of JRR’s Executive Board; Judge Theodor Meron, President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY); Ms. Anne-Marie Esper Larsen, UN Women Country Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina; and Ms. Kate Mackintosh, Deputy Registrar at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Participants were welcomed by Ms. Carole Frampton-de Tscharner, Director of Operations of Justice Rapid Response (JRR) and Mr. Gabriel Oosthuizen, Programme Director of the Institute for International Criminal Investigations (IICI). H.E. James Lambert, Ambassador of Canada to the Netherlands; Ms. Erica Lucero, Second Secretary at the Embassy of Argentina to the Netherlands; Ms. Sandra Karlsson, Desk Office for Multilateral Affairs at the Embassy of Sweden to the Netherlands and Ms. Elke Koning, Policy Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, were also in attendance.  

 

The training is being held from 15 – 19 December 2014 at the IICI in The Hague, at the kind invitation of ICTY, thanks to the contributions of ICTY and UN Women, as well as in-kind contributions from IICI and JRR. The course is a collaborative project between JRR, UN Women, and IICI, with the goal of increasing the pool of experts that can be rapidly deployed to lead and participate in investigations into conflict-related gender-based crimes. The week-long intensive training is led by some of the best trainers in the field. The experts that undergo the training are identified through a rigorous selection process. 27 highly qualified experts, including 18 ICTY staff and 9 external candidates invited by JRR and UN Women from all regions of the world, are participating in the training course in The Hague.

 

This SGBV training course is the fifth of its kind. Previous training courses have been held all over the world, including in The Hague, Netherlands (September 2012); Pretoria South Africa (January 2013); Doha, Qatar (September 2013); and most recently Bogota, Colombia (January 2014). Over 100 experts have been certified to the JRR-UN Women SGBV Justice Experts roster within the JRR Roster. Several of these experts have already been deployed as gender advisors and SGBV investigators to assist the UN Commissions of Inquiry on Côte d’Ivoire, Libya, Syria, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Central African Republic, as well as to the AU Commission of Inquiry for South Sudan, to the International Criminal Court, and to support national investigations in Colombia and Guatemala.  

 

Further information about JRR, UN Women, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the Institute for International Criminal Investigations may be found on the following websites:

 

JRR – www.justicerapidresponse.org; UN Women – www.unwomen.org; ICTY – www.icty.org; IICI – www.iici.info.

Justice Rapid Response congratulates H.E. Mr. Sidiki Kaba, for his election as President of the Assembly of State Parties.

8/12/2014

 

 

Geneva, 8 December 2014

 

 

Today, H.E. Mr. Sidiki Kaba, Minister of Justice of Senegal, was elected by the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the position of President of the ASP of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the next triennium. Justice Rapid Response (JRR) congratulates Minister Kaba on his election and looks forward to working with him and the ASP and contributing through its activities to the four priorities set by the incoming President of the Assembly, in particular in relation to complementarity.

 

 

JRR would also like to express its appreciation to H.E. Ambassador Tiina Intelmann for her work and commitment in the past three years in her capacity as President of the ASP.

Official Opening – Justice Rapid Response Workshop 12 October 2014– Seoul, Korea

29/10/2014

 

 

The Justice Rapid Response (JRR) workshop for forensic experts was officially opened in Seoul on 12th October 2014. The workshop was held from 12 – 14 October 2014 in Seoul at the kind invitation of the International Association of Forensic Sciences (IAFS), as well as the Asia-Pacific Medico-Legal Association (APMLA), on the margins of the 2014 World Forensic Festival.

 

The JRR workshop was officially opened by Dr. Heesun Chung, IAFS President,and Dr. Nak-Eun Chung, Chair of APMLA. Participants were welcomed by Andras Vamos-Goldman, Executive Director of Justice Rapid Response and John Ralston, Executive Director of the Institute for International Criminal Investigations (IICI).

 

The course is a collaborative project between JRR and IICI with the goal of increasing the pool of forensic experts that can be rapidly deployed to lead and participate in investigations into international crimes, particularly from the Asia-Pacific region. Previous training courses have been held all over the world, including in Germany, Argentina, Indonesia, Qatar, Colombia, South Africa and Botswana. Upon successful completion of the training, participants may apply to be certified on the JRR roster. If certified, they will thereafter be available for rapid deployment upon request by States, as well as the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, regional organizations, and other international institutions with the jurisdiction to carry out such investigations. To date, there have already been forty-two successful rapid deployments of experts to, for example, the UN Commissions of Inquiry for Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Libya, Syria, North Korea and the Central African Republic. There have also been deployments to the International Criminal Court (ICC), the MONUSCO Prosecution Support Cells in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as national investigations in Mali, Colombia and Guatemala.

 

The JRR Executive Director, Mr. Andras Vamos-Goldman, also held a presentation on rapidly providing forensic expertise in response to man-made mass disasters  during the World Forensic Festival.

 

Further information about JRR, the World Forensic Festival and the Institute for International Criminal Investigations may be found on the following websites:

JRR – www.justicerapidresponse.org; WFF – http://wff2014korea.org/; IICI – www.iici.info.

 

Press Release

JRR deployment to the Commission of Inquiry for the Occupied Palestinian Territory at the request of UN Women

22/10/2014

At the request of UN Women, a sexual and gender-based violence investigations expert was deployed to OHCHR to join the Independent, International Commission of Inquiry for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

 
Please note that the nature of the work carried out by experts on the JRR Roster when deployed to assist States and organizations requires the information on this website on deployments to be of a general nature.

JRR deployment to the Commission of Inquiry on the Central African Republic at the request of UN Women

9/10/2014

At the request of UN Women, a sexual and gender-based violence investigations expert was deployed to OHCHR to join the International Commission of Inquiry on the Central African Republic.

 
Please note that the nature of the work carried out by experts on the JRR Roster when deployed to assist States and organizations requires the information on this website on deployments to be of a general nature.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister announces support to JRR as part of measures to counter ISIL’s brutal acts of sexual violence

7/10/2014

October 6, 2014 – Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced in the House of Commons today that Canada will undertake renewed action, in coordination with our allies and partners, to respond to the heinous acts of sexual violence and other human rights abuses being committed by ISIL, the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, against women and children.

 

“ISIL, a self-proclaimed terrorist caliphate, poses a major threat not only to the region, but also to us here in Canada,” said Baird. “Canada will not stand by as ISIL commits unspeakable atrocities and crimes against humanity, including the kidnapping, torture and rape of women and children. The systematic use of sexual violence as a weapon of war demands an effective and timely response, which is why we are announcing today a number of additional measures that Canada will take to support the innocent victims of ISIL’s brutality and depravity.”

 

The measures announced today include:

  • A contribution of up to $5 million to Justice Rapid Response and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to help respond to and investigate sexual violence and other serious human rights abuses.
  • A $5-million contribution for the prevention of and response to sexual violence and related abuses, including increased access to services and treatment for Syrian and Iraqi refugees and displaced persons who have been victims of violence in ISIL-affected areas.
  • Participation in a joint Canada-U.K. assessment mission in Iraq to identify initiatives that will help assist victims of ISIL’s crimes.
  • Canada will support the deployment of a specialized expert on sexual violence to the Human Rights Council’s Fact-Finding Mission on Iraq.

 

Canada will also continue to provide leadership on the issue of sexual violence as a weapon of war by ensuring that the plight of victims and survivors of ISIL’s sexual violence, including crimes against religious minorities, remains at the top of the global agenda.

 

To view the full press release, click on the following link: http://www.international.gc.ca/media/aff/news-communiques/2014/10/06a.aspx

Article on JRR in Perreault Magazine

3/10/2014

“It is unacceptable that while we demand prompt, professional investigations of crimes in our neighbourhoods, we have to accept a much lower standard for the worst crimes known to humanity.  Justice Rapid Response exists because the investigation of crimes like genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity have to be done right in order to get justice for victims and deter future offenders.”

 

JRR’s Executive Director, Andras Vamos-Goldman, is Perreault Magazine’s “Man with a Cause” for their October issue.

 

Please go to: https://www.perreault-mag.com/  to access the article – subscription is free.

 

 

PERREAULT Article October 2014

 

 

Official Opening – International Criminal Investigations Training Course -15 September 2014 – Washington, D.C.

1/10/2014

The 26th Justice Rapid Response (JRR) training course on international criminal investigations was officially opened on 15 September 2014. The training is being held at the United States Department of State in Washington, D.C. until 19 September 2014. The course is taking place in collaboration with JRR’s long-standing exclusive training partner, the Institute for International Criminal Investigations (IICI), at the invitation and with the support of the State Department’s Office of Global Criminal Justice.   

 

The training course was officially opened by the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues and Head of the State Department’s Office of Global Criminal Justice, H.E. Stephen Rapp, a long-time supporter of the work of JRR in the pursuit of accountability for mass atrocities through swift, impartial and well conducted investigations. Participants were welcomed by Andras Vamos-Goldman, JRR’s Executive Director, and Gabriel Oosthuizen, IICI Programme Director.    

 

The course is a collaborative project between JRR, the Department of State and IICI. It provides an opportunity to showcase the potential JRR has for increasing the effectiveness of addressing mass atrocities through genuine investigations. It also ensures that the JRR roster increases the pool of experts who can be made available to participate in investigations into international crimes. This training course in Washington, D.C. is the first of its kind to be held in North America. Previous training courses have been held throughout the world, including in Germany, Belgium, Argentina, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Qatar, Colombia, South Africa and Botswana. Upon successful completion of the training, participants may apply to be certified on the JRR roster. If certified, they will thereafter be available for rapid deployment upon request by States, as well as the United Nations, regional organizations, and other international institutions with the jurisdiction to carry out investigations. To date, there have already been forty successful rapid deployment missions, for example to the UN Commissions of Inquiry for Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Libya, Syria, North Korea and the Central African Republic. There have also been missions to support the International Criminal Court (ICC), MONUSCO Prosecution Support Cells in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as national investigations in Mali, Colombia and Guatemala.

 

Further information about JRR, the Department of State and the Institute for International Criminal Investigations may be found on the following websites:

JRR – www.justicerapidresponse.org; Department of State – www.state.gov; IICI – www.iici.info.

JRR deployment to support MONUSCO Prosecution Support Cells

17/09/2014

A Prosecutions Advisor was deployed to the Prosecution Support Cells of the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) for a period of six months.

 

Please note that the nature of the work carried out by experts on the JRR Roster when deployed to assist States and organizations requires the information on this website on deployments to be of a general nature.

Finland takes over Chair of JRR’s Executive Board

5/09/2014

JRR welcomes the new Chair of its Executive Board, Finland, in the person of Ambassador Marjah Lehto. Ambassador Lehto has behind her nearly twenty years of diplomatic activity related to international peace and security as well as international law issues, mostly in a multilateral context (UN, EU, Council of Europe), and including negotiations on the establishment of the International Criminal Court. She has also had a few bilateral postings, most recently as Finland’s Ambassador to Luxembourg from 2009 to 2014. She has now returned to Helsinki as a special Ambassador in the Legal Service.

 

On the first week of her new appointment, Ambassador Lehto spent a very productive day at the JRR Offices in Geneva. The Secretariat very much looks forward to working with Ambassador Lehto in delivering on JRR’s mandate and fulfilling its vision of having the investigation of international crimes be as quick and professional as those of any crime in a domestic jurisdiction.

 

Executive Board members have all expressed their gratitude to their out-going Chair, Uganda, in the person of Ambassador Mirjam Blaak Sow, who greatly contributed to the growth and success of JRR. As Ambassador Blaak will continue to represent Uganda on the Executive Board, JRR will continue to benefit from her wisdom and energy.