US Federal District Court allows civil case against torture memo designers to go to trial: The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit against the two psychologists who designed and implemented the CIA torture program before a federal court in Washington State. ACLU acts on behalf of men who faced torture in a secret CIA prison. In a written opinion post hearing, the judge scheduled the case for a trial, meant to start 5 September 2016 for 2 to 3 weeks. It will be the first involving CIA torture. ACLU stated that it was “a historic day” for “accountability for torture”. So far, every lawsuit related to CIA torture program were dismissed before reaching the merits because of the state-secrets privilege. (ACLU)

Thomas Lubanga. Photo: via Bing (CC).
Thomas Lubanga. Photo: via Bing (CC).

ICC schedules submissions for second review of Lubanga sentence: The ICC Appeals Chamber (AC) invited all the parties in the Lubanga case, along with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Registrar, to submit written representations for the purpose of the second review concerning Lubanga’s reduction of sentence. The AC recalled that the 3 AC judge panel will limit its review on considering “whether there has been any significant change in circumstances since the date of the First Sentence Review Decision” and scheduled submissions : both the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Registrar shall file by 4 September 2017 while Mr Lubanga, the Prosecutor, Legal Representatives of Victims and the OPCV shall file by 11 September 2017. Responses shall be filed by 18 September 2017. The AC indicated that, if there has been significant changes since the First Sentence Review Decision, written representations shall address the criteria for review concerning reduction of sentence and the following factors: i) Lubanga’s early and continuing willingness to cooperate with the ICC and ii) his “voluntary assistance” to enable the enforcement of the ICC judgments and orders by “providing assistance in locating assets which may be used for the benefit of victims”. (ICC website)