First in the World! – Eleven Darfurian Applicants Recognized and Granted Victim Status by the International Criminal Court

For Immediate Release
Contact (Ciatta Z. Baysah) 973-623-6834

On December 6, 2007 The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, formally recognized as victims 11 Darfurians represented by New Jersey attorneys Raymond M. Brown and Wanda M. Akin. The historic ruling by the Court in The Netherlands was the result of two years of work by Brown, Akin and the Darfur Rehabilitation Project, Inc. (DRP), a non-governmental organization formed by Darfurians and headquartered in Newark.

The decision on the applications of these victims comes 33 months after the United Nations Security Council referred the Darfur Situation to the ICC and seven months after the May Indictment of two Sudanese charged with Crimes Against Humanity committed in the Darfur region of Sudan.

From Nuremburg to Victims at the ICC

The ICC is the legal successor to the Nuremburg tribunal, which judged the Nazis after World War II. The provision concerning victims in the Rome Statute, which created the ICC, is a groundbreaking development in international criminal law, in that it provides victims an opportunity to make their case to participate in the Court’s proceedings.

Because this Court is establishing new international law, it took the New Jersey lawyers, their clients, the DRP and student interns and volunteers from Seton Hall University’s John C. Whitehead School if Diplomacy and International Relations as well as the Seton Hall Law School, 20 months to convince the Court to accept their status as victims. Together, Brown and Akin teach International Criminal Law at the Whitehead School, and separately, they teach classes at the law school.

Brown and Akin are trial lawyers and two of only 34 American attorneys admitted to practice before the ICC. Akin maintains a private law practice in Newark, New Jersey. Brown is a partner in the Litigation Department at Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith and Davis LLP and Chair of the White Collar Defense and Corporate Compliance Practice Group.

For more information on Wanda M. Akin and Raymond M. Brown, refer to www.BrownAkin.com. For more information on the Darfur Rehabilitation Project, refer to www.darfurrehab.org.

Seeking justice for victims of mass atrocities

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