Featured Closing prisons in Prospect Magazine In her first article for the prestigious Prospect Magazine, Dr Felicity Gerry KC writes under the title “It is not radical to want to close prisons”. There are over 80,000 people in prisons and young offender institutions in England and Wales. A huge number are on remand, not convicted of any crime and supposedly presumed innocent. They are the prisoners most likely to commit suicide. Many of those waiting will be found not guilty or will be sentenced to less time than they have served. Thousands will be held in strict confinement for relatively minor offences, even where reasonable alternatives are known to be effective…. You can read the article here https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/politics/close-prisons-ministry-of-justice-backlog-police-jail-cell Prospect is Britain’s leading current affairs monthly magazine. It is politically independent, with no party-political affiliation or agenda. It is a not-for-profit organisation, founded in Britain in 1995. Prospect has established itself as a must-read title with key figures in government, journalism, policy making and business. People turn to Prospect for the ideas and trends behind the headlines and for a contrarian view of topics.
Libertas Chambers
Featured Ongwen Appeal at the International Criminal Court The decision in the Dominic Ongwen Appeal was handed down on Thursday 15 December 2022. All of his grounds of appeal were dismissed. However, one judge recognised the importance of the non-punishment principle for former child soldiers from the Amici brief observations submitted by Dr Felicity Gerry KC who attended the appeal hearing and led a group of practitioners and academics in submitting the brief. In paragraph 107 of the Partly Dissenting Opinion of Judge Luz del Carmen Ibáñez Carranza referred to the observations of Gerry et al as follows: 107. Gerry et al., drawing upon their expertise in modern slavery law and criminal responsibility, submitted that “‘non-punishment’ of victims of modern slavery/human trafficking includes the non-liability of former child soldiers who commit crimes when they continue to suffer the effects of their victimhood through compromised mental health”.They noted that the Trial Chamber “did not consider or express any legal principles for evaluating the effect of being a child soldier nor the mental health nexus” in the trial or sentencing phases.They discussed “the need to recognise the long-term effects of being a child soldier”.They stressed the importance of applying relevant legal principles to the question of Mr Ongwen’s criminal responsibility in light of the fact that he was “made into a child soldier by the means and purposes of others” and that he “suffered as a consequence”. Non punishment of victims of human trafficking / modern slavery is an emerging norm in criminal law and remains an important issue for prosecutors to consider when seeking to prosecute former child soldiers and other victim perpetrators. You can read the Amici observation here https://www.icc-cpi.int/court-record/icc-02/04-01/15-1929 You can read about the Ongwen appeal here https://www.icc-cpi.int/cases?f%5B0%5D=state_of_%3A132  
Libertas Chambers