Glossary 

 

#GlobalJustice - This is a written roundup of ICC related news and latest blog posts—and daily summaries from the Assembly of States Parties each year.

#GlobalJustice Weekly - The blog for the CICC that aims to provide experts and non-experts alike with the latest news and civil society views on the ICC and Rome Statute system of international justice.

It hosts regular updates on all ICC cases and situations as well as developments in the fight against impunity for grave crimes around the world, acting as a platform for CICC member organizations, particularly those operating at the local or national level.

Advisory Committee on Nominations of Judges - Set up by the ASP to facilitate the nomination and election of the highest-qualified officials to be Judges of the Court. It provide objective assessments of the nominated candidates, guided by the applicable provisions of Article 36 of the Rome Statute

African Union (AU) - The African Union (AU) replaced the earlier Organization of African Unity (OAU) as an international organization aimed at accelerating the process of integration in Africa and to promote the empowerment of African States in the global economy. The AU currently consists of 54 African States.

Aggression - Article 8 adopted in Kampala defines the crime of Aggression as the planning, preparation, initiation or execution of, by a person in a leadership position, an act of aggression. Additionally the provision necessitates a manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations. 

Agreement on Privileges and Immunities - The Agreement on Privileges and Immunities is an instrument that accords ICC officials and staff certain privileges and immunities necessary for them to perform their duties in an independent and unconditional manner.

Agreements - These are treaties signed between states, international organisations like the European Union and the ICC to enable it function. These are also treaties signed between two or more states on various issues.

Ammendments - There have been two amendments to the Rome Statute. The amendment to Article 8 defining the crime of Aggression adopted at Kampala and the amendment deleting Article 124 at the Hague, which has not yet been adopted by any State Party to the Statute. 

Appeals phase - This is the stage of the case after the Court has delivered the judgment and sentencing decisions.

Arrests - The ICC does not have its own police force and therefore depends on State cooperation for arrests and surrender of suspects. Only the Pre- Trial Chamber can issue a warrant of arrest, after which the Registrar transmits requests for seeking cooperation for the arrest and surrender of the suspect to the relevant State or States.

Article 12.3 declaration - Article 12 of the Rome Statute states the preconditions for the exercise of jurisdiction by the ICC. Non-State parties can accept the jurisdiction of the ICC on an ad-hoc basis by lodging a declaration to that effect with the Registrar, the procedure for which is specified under Article 12.3. For example, Ivory Coast.

ASP governance - The Study Group on Governance (the “Study Group”) was established via a resolution of the ASP in December 2010. This was set up to conduct a structured dialogue between States Parties and the Court with a view to strengthening the institutional framework of the Rome Statute system. It was to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Court while fully preserving its judicial independence. It was also set up to facilitate  dialogue with a view to identifying issues where further action is required, in consultation with the Court, and formulating recommendations to the Assembly through the Bureau.

Assembly of States Parties (ASP) - The Assembly of State Parties, established by the Rome Statute, acts as the legislative and management supervision body of the ICC. Each State Party has one representative accompanied by alternatives and advisors. Each party has one vote. The Assembly also has a bureau consisting of a president, two vice presidents and 18 members selected by the Assembly for three year terms. Decisions on matters of substance must be approved by a two-thirds majority. Find more information here.

Budget and finance - Evaluated revenue and expenses over a specified period of time for the ICC as approved by the Assembly of States Parties.

Case - The combination of proceedings linked to one or more accused persons. A case arises from a formal investigation and typically revolves around a narrow set of alleged facts and crimes in relation to the broader situation under investigation.

Campaign for Global Justice - While retaining Rome Statute ratification as a central component, the Coalition’s new Campaign for Global Justice also encompasses complementarity (national implementing legislation) and cooperation with States.

Campaign on ICC/ASP elections - The CICC organizes election campaigns for upcoming ICC elections. This is to promote the election of highly qualified individuals for various posts through fair, transparent and merit-based processes in line with the principles of the Rome Statute.

Committee on Budget and Finance - This committee meets twice a year and is responsible for the technical examination of any document submitted to the Assembly of States Parties that contains financial or budgetary implications. It is comprised of 12 members, who are normally experts from States Parties of recognized standing and experience in financial matters at the international level.

Communications - This refers to information on crimes within the jurisdiction of the court submitted by individuals or organisations to the Office of the Prosecutor. It is also sometimes referred to as “complaints to the international Criminal Court.”

Complementarity - As a Court of last resort, the ICC does not supplant national courts and can only exercise jurisdiction in the absence of genuine national proceedings. The Court’s jurisdiction is only invoked when states are either genuinely unable or unwilling to investigate or prosecute Rome Statute offences.

Cooperation - Since the Court does not have its own police force it requires State cooperation for implementation. For example, warrants of arrest and surrender are executed through State cooperation.

ElectionsThis refers to the election of ICC and ASP officials, including the judges, the prosecutor, and the deputy prosecutors. ASP officials are elected by the Assembly of States Parties to work at the Court.

European Union - The European Union (EU) is a union of 28 European States, created in the aftermath of the second world war in order to facilitate economic and political cooperation.

Gender justice - The protection and promotion of civil, political, economic and social rights on the basis of gender equality. In this regard, the Rome Statute is the first international treaty to identify crimes against women as crimes against humanity, war crimes, and in some instances, genocide.

ICC judges - As per the provisions of the Rome Statute there are 18 Judges at the International Criminal Court unless the Assembly of State Parties accepts a proposal by the Presidency stating otherwise.

ICC president - The head of the Presidency, elected for a three year renewable term along with a First and Second Vice-President. They are elected by an absolute majority of the Judges of the Court.

ICC prosecutor - The head of the Office of the Prosecutor who, like the Judges of the Court, is elected to a non-renewable nine-year term by the ASP. This also applies to a Deputy Prosecutor.

ICC registrar - The head of the Registry, a neutral organ tasked with easing the function of all others. The registrar serves as the principal administrative officer of the Court and are elected by the Judges of the Court.

Immunity - While immunity for sitting heads of state has been a challenge encountered in some domestic jurisdictions, it has never been available before international or regional criminal courts dealing with grave crimes. No immunity is a cornerstone of the Rome Statute system of international justice.

Implementation - In line with the principle of complementarity, after ratification of the Rome Statute, States must incorporate and implement the provisions of the Rome Statute into domestic legislature.

International Justice Day - International Criminal Justice day, celebrated on 17th July each year, marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute by 120 States on 17th July 1998. The Rome Statute established the first Permanent International Criminal Court, which holds individuals accountable for War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide.

International organizations - The International Law Commission has defined international organizations as organizations that are governed by international law and have an international legal identity. Usually the members of such organizations are States.

Investigation - The Office of the Prosecutor can only open a formal investigation if there is a reasonable and jurisdictional basis to do so: who conducts this assessment depends on the type of referral. After an investigation opens, the OTP typically sends investigators into the field to collect evidence.

Judicial election - The Assembly of State Parties elects six new judges every three years, for a non-renewable term of nine years.

Legal representation - Since the Rome Statute does not have a specific provision for legal representation of victims or defendants, independent offices have been set up to organize legal representations for both victims and defendants. The idea for such offices arose in large part because of the intervention of the NGO members of the Coalition.

National prosecutions - Since the ICC is not to be mistaken for a substitute for National prosecution, the principle of complementarity promotes national prosecution of international crime.

Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) - An independent organ of the Court, responsible for examining situations where crimes under the Court’s jurisdiction appear to have been committed. It is further responsible for carrying out investigations and prosecutions against those who are allegedly most responsible for those crimes.

The OTP has the power to begin a preliminary examination into a country to determine whether there is a reasonable basis for an investigation. If a subsequent investigation finds sufficient evidence that an individual is responsible for a crime in the Court’s jurisdiction, the Office will request the Judges to issue a warrant of arrest or a summons to appear.

Finally, it is the OTP’s responsibility to bring charges against defendants and, if the Judges confirm these charges, to present a case that proves that the accused person is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

Outreach - The Court has created an outreach programme to ensure that affected communities in situations subject to investigation or proceedings can understand and follow the work of the Court through the different phases of its activities.

Preliminary examination - This is the process by which the Prosecutor analyses the seriousness of communications it has received on alleged crimes. After this analysis the Prosecutor decides whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation.

Presidency - The Presidency is one of the four organs of the court, responsible for the proper administration of the court with the exception of the Office of the Prosecutor. It is also has responsibilities in external relations and is tasked with promoting public awareness and understanding of the Court whilst maintaining relations with States and other entities.  

Pre-Trial phase - This is the phase before the confirmation of charges by the Pre Trial Chamber. During this phase the Pre trial Chamber can issue warrants of arrests or summons to appear, and can also decide whether or not to confirm the charges against the suspected of perpetrating a crime.

Proprio motu In the absence of a state or UN Security Council referral, the Prosecutor independently makes a request to judges for authorization to conduct a formal investigation. The request follows a confidential preliminary examination by the Office of the Prosecutor.

Prosecution - Refers to the party responsible for advancing the criminal case against an accused. Also refers to the process of trying to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an accused is guilty of a crime.

Ratification/accession - Ratification or accession indicates the intention of the State to be legally bound by the provisions of the Treaty/ Convention. While the procedure for ratification and accession differ, the two processes have the same effect.

Referral - An invitation to the Prosecutor to initiate a formal investigation into crimes under its jurisdiction within the context of a specific situation. ICC member states can make referrals concerning any country that has accepted the Court’s jurisdiction. The UN Security Council can make a referral if it determines a threat to international peace and security.

Registry - A neutral organ of the Court that provides services to all other organs to ensure fair and effective ICC functionality. It is chiefly responsible for judicial support (including court management, counsel support and victim and defendant matters), external affairs (public outreach and victims/witness support) and management (security, finance and general services).

Reparations phase - This is part of the Trial phase where the judge can make a ruling concerning the reparation to be awarded to the victims, if any.

Regional organizations - These are organisations formed between member states to foster economic and political cooperation.

Reparations - Reparation for victims is awarded by the Court and includes monetary compensation, the return of property or even symbolic measures such as apologies.

Self-referral - An invitation by a country to the Prosecutor to initiate a formal investigation into crimes under its jurisdiction committed either on that country’s territory or by its nationals. 

Rome Statute - The Rome Statute, which was adopted at a conference of 160 States in Rome, sets out the jurisdiction of the Court and various procedures and mechanisms to facilitate State cooperation.

Sexual and gender-based crimesGender based crimes are those crimes committed against persons, whether male or female, because of their sex and/or socially constructed gender roles.  Gender-based crimes are not always manifested as a form of sexual violence. They may include non-sexual attacks on women and girls, and men and boys, because of their gender.

Sexual crimes are crimes that fall under the subject-matter jurisdiction of the ICC as listed under articles 7(1)(g), 8(2)(b)(xxii), and 8(2)(e)(vi) of the Statute.

These crimes include rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity.

State support - With no police force, the ICC depends on State support and cooperation. For example, the implementation of warrants of arrest depends purely on the cooperation of States concerned.

The major powers - The five permanent members of the UN Security Council that is, China, France, Russia, The United Kingdom and The United States.

Trial phase - The Trial phase is subsequent to the Pre- Trial phase and commences after the confirmation of charges by the Pre Trial Chamber. During this phase the Trial Chamber also makes a ruling on the participation of victims.

Trust Fund for victimsA Trust Fund was established under Article 79 of the Rome Statute, which is managed by the Assembly of State Parties, for the benefit of victims of crimes under the jurisdiction of the Court and their families. The Court may order the transfer of property or money collected through fines or forfeiture, to the Trust Fund.

UN Human Rights Council - The UN Human Rights Council is an inter governmental organization within the United Nations system, responsible for the promotion of human rights across the globe, addressing human rights violations, and making recommendations on them.

UN Security Council - The Security Council is one of six major organs established by the UN, which is responsible for maintaining international peace and security.

Victims - Victims are individuals who have suffered harm due to the commission of crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of the ICC.

Visible justice - The Coalition for the International Criminal Court has long urged the Court to raise its public profile. The Court will only be effective if the communities affected by the crimes under its jurisdiction are aware of and understand its justice.

Witness protection - The ICC has several protective measures that can be granted to witnesses who are at risk on account of the testimony given by them. These measures are mostly based on the principle of concealing the witnesses’ interaction with the Court from their community and the general public. These include operational measures, procedural measures and other special measures of protection.