Consistent calls for a strengthened Rome Statute system

Assembly of States Parties 2019 

4 December 2019

Plenary Meeting

The 18th session of ASP continued with discussions on the 2020 budget of the Court. The session included presentations by ICC Registrar, Peter Lewis, and the Chair of the Committee on Budget and Finance (CBF), Mr. Hitoshi Kozaki (Japan), followed by consideration of the audit reports and a statement by the External Auditor. Additional consultations among States Parties on the budget are taking place throughout the week.

The Coalition for the ICC does not take a position on the specific amount of resources allocated to the Court in any one year; however, the Coalition has called on States not to arbitrarily limit the Court’s budget, which would undermine the ability of the ICC to deliver fair, effective, and even efficient justice.

During the plenary session on the topic of the “Review of the Court”, the ICC President, Prosecutor and Registrar addressed the Assembly to welcome these discussions and took the opportunity to highlight their efforts in assessing the performance of their respective organs. 

Seventeen States took the floor to express their views on the “ICC Review” process to welcome the dedicated plenary discussion and underscored the importance of such “review” process. States also recognized their crucial responsibility, as the ASP and individual States Parties, to address certain challenges faced by the ICC and the Rome Statute system. 

States also welcomed the proposal to establish an Independent Expert Review (IER) that should take place expeditiously  2020.

Four civil society representatives also addressed the Assembly on the topic, urging that this process be transparent and inclusive, including in the work of the independent experts.  

Day three also saw a resumption of informal consultations on the annual omnibus resolution, “Strengthening the International Criminal Court and the Assembly of States Parties”. The consultations will continue on Day Four.

Side Events

Side events on Wednesday included a discussion on “The Politics of Peace: How the ICC Intervention Impacts Accountability in Countries that Fail to Provide Justice to Victims” organized by Norway, Justice International and the Transitional Justice Coordination Group - Afghanistan, and a conversation on the sustainability of ICC Trust Fund for Family Visits entitled “Rights of indigent detainees to family visits”, hosted by the ICC Registry. 

The Coalition for the ICC and Finland convened a discussion on “European States & Civil Society: Strengthening the ICC and Rome Statute system”. The European Union Special Representative (EUSR) for Human Rights, Eamon Gilmore, whose mandate now explicitly highlights his role in contributing to the implementation of the EU policy on international criminal justice and the ICC, participated in the meeting. Human Rights Defenders from across the European region spoke about the challenges they face in their work and made specific recommendations to States and the Court, including on the need for support in their work. 

The Netherlands, the Republic of Korea and Parliamentarians for Global Action hosted a side-event on "Pursuing Universality of the Rome Statute in an Evolving International Context: Persistent Challenges, New Dimensions, and Adaptive Strategies”.

Comisión Colombiana de Juristas, Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo, Sisma Mujer, Colombia Diversa, Corporación Humanas, Avocats Sans Frontieres - Canada, FIDH and the Coalition for the ICC organized a panel on “Colombia: the role of the ICC in the context of an unfinished transition”. 

A side-event on “Head of State Immunities” was organized by Germany and the International Nuremberg Principles Academy.

The Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims hosted a discussion on “The value of a harm-based, victim-centred approach to reparative justice”, while Chile and Italy organized an event on “The Protection and Participation of Victims in the ICC System”.

The War Crime of Starvation of Civilians as a Method of Warfare in Non-International Armed Conflicts” was the topic of a side-event hosted by Switzerland and Global Rights Compliance. 

Amnesty International and Legal Action Worldwide held a discussion on “Justice for survivors of South Sudan’s conflict”, and the Kurdish national Coalition for the ICC hosted an event entitled, “Genocide victims in Iraq and the Middle East testify”.

Guinea: A decade Later, victims of 2009 massacre are still denied justice” was the main subject of a panel organized by FIDH, Organisation guinéenne de défense des droits de l'Homme et du citoyen (OGDH), Même droits pour tous (MDT), and Association des victimes, parents et amis du 28 septembre 2009 (AVIPA). 

Missed something? Catch up on the action with all of our ASP18 Daily Summaries.

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