April 25, 2017

The ICC and Africa


The ICC’s docket points to a serious problem – but not the one that African leaders are complaining about. This weekend, officials from 34 African nations are convening in Addis Ababa to discuss whether or not to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC). The problem with the Hague-based court, according to African Union (AU) Chairperson Hailemariam [...]

The Kiobel case

For more than three decades survivors of human rights abuses in foreign countries have turned to U.S. federal courts to seek justice. On Monday the U.S. Supreme Court hears a case that could make that impossible. The case pits a Nigerian widow against a multinational oil company. Esther Kiobel and others say Royal Dutch Petroleum [...]

The wonks who sold Washington on South Sudan


(July 11, 2012) – In the mid-1980s, a small band of policy wonks began convening for lunch in the back corner of a dimly lit Italian bistro in the U.S. capital. After ordering beers, they would get down to business: how to win independence for southern Sudan, a war-torn place most American politicians had never [...]

Last Words


Until I hit play on an old-school Walkman last month, I had forgotten that it was possible for my full name to be said with so much love. “This is for Rebecca Jane Hamilton.” My Dad’s words crawled above the whirring of the cassette. It was the first time I’d heard his voice in nearly [...]

Member countries fight over international court’s budget

NEW YORK, Dec 20 (Reuters) – The five countries that contribute the most funding to the International Criminal Court are seeking to cap the court’s budget for the third year in a row, according to diplomats involved in the negotiations. The budget negotiations are taking place in New York this week as part of the [...]

Litigation Overview: Status of same-sex marriage cases


Nov 17 (Reuters) – California’s Supreme Court on Thursday said that the original sponsors of Proposition 8, a ballot initiative prohibiting same-sex marriage in California, can defend the initiative in court. The state court was responding to a request from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which had asked whether state law authorizes the sponsors [...]

Inside Colin Powell’s Decision to Declare Genocide in Darfur


In September 2004, then-U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, became the first member of any U.S. administration to apply the label “genocide” to an ongoing conflict. Interviews I conducted for Fighting for Darfur: Public Action and the Struggle to Stop Genocide revealed that despite a thorough investigation into the atrocities in Sudan’s western region of [...]

U.S government cannot confirm mass graves in Sudan


[With MARY BETH SHERIDAN] U.S. officials say satellite imagery provides no clear evidence of mass graves in an area of Sudan that has recently erupted in war, contradicting claims by a humanitarian group. The Satellite Sentinel Project, co-founded by actor George Clooney, said last week that it had detected what appeared to be three mass [...]

South Sudan secedes amid tensions


With MARY BETH SHERIDAN – The map of Africa will be redrawn Saturday, as South Sudan becomes an independent nation through a peace process championed by successive U.S. presidents but still beset by lingering tensions from years of war. President George W. Bush put Sudan at the center of his foreign policy in Africa, helping [...]

Crisis in the Nuba Mountains


Audio-visual for the Washington Post; a 101 backgrounder on the crisis in Southern Kordofan.