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Part I, 3 Prosecuting Atrocity Crimes with Open Source Evidence: Lessons from the International Criminal Court

Lindsay Freeman

From: Digital Witness: Using Open Source Information for Human Rights Investigation, Documentation, and Accountability

Edited By: Sam Dubberley, Alexa Koenig, Daragh Murray

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 04 March 2024

Crimes against humanity — Genocide — War crimes — Evidence — Judicial review

This chapter focuses on the use of open source information in international criminal investigations and prosecutions with a particular emphasis on cases before the International Criminal Court (ICC). By analysing case law which contemplates the admissibility, reliability, and probative value of evidence derived from open sources, the chapter highlights the primary opportunities and challenges that arise when using open source information for legal accountability purposes. The examination of specific ICC cases and judicial decisions over time illustrates the changing nature of the open source information available in war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide cases — from analogue newspapers, radio broadcasts, and government reports to social media postings and other digital content from the Internet. Thus, the chapter explores how the attitude of international judges has shifted and evolved with the changing nature of the information environment in the twenty-first century.

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