We work to strengthen the system of international criminal justice to hold accountable those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.
The Open Society Justice Initiative supports the mission of the International Criminal Court, as well as national and regional accountability mechanisms that seek justice for mass atrocity crimes.
To make the International Criminal Court more effective, we support civil society engagement with the court and the defense of Rome Statute principles. Our International Justice Monitor is a leading source for informed, balanced reporting on trials underway at the court and elsewhere.
At a national level, we work with local groups and prosecutors seeking to build effective institutions and cases concerning atrocity crimes. When political factors obstruct justice at home, we push for alternative ways to hold perpetrators to account.
Building Roads to Justice in Syria
The Open Society Justice Initiative is part of a broad movement of Syrian and international groups that are bringing some of those responsible for atrocity crimes in Syria before courts in Europe.
Raising the Bar: Improving the Nomination and Election of Judges to the International Criminal Court
There are currently significant flaws in the way that the member states of the International Criminal Court identify and elect judges to the court, leading to the election of less-qualified candidates, and a bench dominated by a handful of states.
Justice Initiative Settles ICC Executive Order Lawsuit with the Biden Administration
The Open Society Justice Initiative settled their lawsuit against the U.S. government an executive order that authorized sanctions against the International Criminal Court.
Open Society Justice Initiative et al. v. Donald J. Trump et al.
The Open Society Justice Initiative and four law professors have filed a complaint against the U.S. government over a Trump administration executive order authorizing draconian economic sanctions and severe civil and criminal penalties for those who support the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Federal Prosecutor's Office v. Anwar R.
Anwar R., a former Syrian colonel who led a unit of Syria's General Intelligence Directorate, has been accused of supervising the “systematic and brutal torture” of more than 4,000 prisoners in a detention center known as Al Khatib, or Branch 251, resulting in the deaths of at least 58 people.
German Criminal Investigation into Chemical Weapons Attacks in Syria
The Justice Initiative has joined with Syrian groups in filing the first criminal complaint against Syrian government officials for the 2013 and 2017 chemical weapons attacks in Ghouta and Khan Shaykhun. The complaint was filed before the Office of the German Federal Prosecutor.
European States’ Obligations to Repatriate the Children Detained in Camps in Northeast Syria
A legal briefing paper to assist practitioners in advocating and litigating for the repatriation of children who are detained in northeast Syria and whose parents are European nationals possibly affiliated with ISIS.
Justice Initiative Commends the Supreme Court for Declining to Immunize US Companies for International Law Violations Committed Abroad
The Supreme Court has ruled against enslaved children's bid to hold U.S. companies accountable for abusive labor practices, it also held that companies are not fully exempt—leaving open a route to greater corporate accountability.
Human Rights Organizations Thank ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda for Service
Human rights organizations sent their gratitude to the outgoing International Criminal Court’s Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, for her many years of service.
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