ASP Session kicks off with high-level statements and calls for support for the global mandate of the Court

21st session of the Assembly of States Parties 2022, The Hague, The Netherlands 

5 December 2022 

Consideration of the 2022 ICC Budget 

ICC Registrar Mr Peter Lewis presented the Budget proposal for 2022. The ICC requested €162,346,000 for 2022, which represents an increase of €14.3 million over the approved 2021 budget, or an increase of 9.5%. Lewis explained that the increased proposal was driven by a number of key factors, including an increase in judicial and prosecutorial workloads with a doubling of the number of trials predicted for 2022. While he expressed disappointment around the reductions recommended by the Committee on Budget and Finance (CBF), Lewis was pleased that the CBF supported certain increases linked to increased trial activities and reorganization of the OTP. 

The Chair of the CBF, Mr Werner Druml, presented the Committee’s recommendations.  He indicated a number of challenges, including arrears (unpaid due contributions), improving the efficiency of the Court and geographic representation and gender balance (GRGB), as well as cross cutting areas of financial impact including human resources, IT and travel costs.  

The Assembly also heard reports from the Chair of the Audit Committee, Ms Margaret Wambui Ngugi Shava, and the representative of the External Auditor, Mr Michel Camoin. 

Ms. Shava noted that the sessions of the Audit Committee focused on: governance structure of the Court, oversight of internal and external audit matters, follow-up on previous recommendations, risk management and values and ethics.  The Audit Committee was not engaged by the Independent Experts or the Review Mechanism, but expressed belief that it could contribute to discussions on certain recommendations, such as those related to governance.  

ACN Elections 

The election of members of the Advisory Committee on Nominations (ACN) was scheduled for Monday, but had been deferred to allow for additional consultations due to the lack of consensus in relation to one candidate. The ASP President underlined the key role of the ACN as an important component towards strengthening the Rome Statute system, which was further acknowledged by the Independent Experts in recommendation 380, which reads, “The Working Group on Nomination and Election of Judges should consider whether it is now appropriate to review the qualifications for membership of the ACN.” 

The ASP Bureau proposed to elect the candidates. Croatia expressed reservations about the independence of one candidate and requested that the record state their disassociation from this elections process.   

The Bureau agreed to recommend to the Assembly the election by acclamation of nine candidates that have been presented for the nine positions: Mr Dennis Dominic Adjei (Ghana);  Mr Julian Fernandez (France); Ms Lucy Muthoni  Kambuni (Kenya); Ms Milica Kolaković-Bojović (Serbia); Mr Erkki Kourula (Finland); Ms Sanji Mmasenono Monageng (Botswana);  Mr Mauro Politi (Italy); Mr Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzé (Bolivia) and Mr Sang-Hyun Song, (Republic of Korea).  

The ACN’s three year term starts on 9 December 2021.  

After the Working Group on the Budget held a closed meeting, the ASP20 Draft Resolutions were introduced. 

Adoption of ASP20 Resolutions 

The Assembly reconvened in the afternoon in order to adopt the resolutions presented in the morning session:  

  • Resolution on Cooperation 

  • Resolution on the proposed programme budget for 2022, the Working Capital Fund for 2022, the scale of assessment for the apportionment of expenses of the International Criminal Court, financing appropriations for 2022 and the Contingency Fund  

  • Resolution on the Review of the International Criminal Court and the Rome Statute system  

  • Review of the International Criminal Court and the Rome Statute System. Outcome of the work of the Study Group on Governance on recommendations of the Group of Independent Experts 

  • Resolution on Strengthening the International Criminal Court and the Assembly of States Parties (the ‘Omnibus resolution’) 

All resolutions were adopted by consensus and will soon be made available on the ASP website.  

States adopted the Program Budget for the ICC for 2022. States considered the Court’s proposed budget request for 2022 (€162,394,600) and the recommendation of the CBF to approve a budget of €155,564,900, finally settling on a budget of €154,855,000 – or a 4.4% decrease from the Court’s proposed budget. 

In the Resolution on the Review of the ICC and Rome Statute system, the ASP extends the mandate of the Review Mechanism and asked the various mandate holders to continue with the assessment and where appropriate implementation of recommendations in 2022. 

Belgium took the opportunity to explain their position on the resolution on review after its adoption, reiterating their ongoing support for the process, but expressed their dissatisfaction with the final preambular paragraph of the resolution, which states, “Acknowledging the importance of the Bureau’s decision of 31 May 2021 that welcomed the efforts of the Review Mechanism to be inclusive and transparent in the exercise of its mandate within this State Party driven process, as well as its reassurance that States Parties will be involved in the discussions on assessment and implementation of recommendations, regardless of whether they have been allocated to the Court or to the Assembly, with respect for existing mandates as well as judicial and prosecutorial independence; and decided to adopt the “Categorization of recommendations and remaining issues”, dated 30 April 2021, submitted by the Review Mechanism in accordance with paragraph 4 (a) of Assembly resolution ICC-ASP/19/Res.7”. 

In the ‘Omnibus Resolution’, States again addressed threats directed at the ICC, its officials and its supporters, updating language from last year’s resolution to read, “Reconfirms its unwavering support for the Court as an independent and impartial judicial institution, reiterates its commitment to uphold and defend the principles and values enshrined in the Rome Statute and to preserve its integrity undeterred by any threats or measures against the Court, its officials and those cooperating with it, and renews its resolve to stand united against impunity”.  

The ASP agreed to continue consultations with States Parties, the Court and civil society for the development of a vetting process for all elected ICC officials, with a view to adoption of a vetting process no later than the 22nd session of the ASP.  

The ASP will resume on Friday 10 December with the Election of two Deputy Prosecutors.  

The CICC has consistently called for the election of only the highest qualified candidates through fair, transparent and merit-based nomination and election processes. The Coalition as a whole and the CICC Elections Team do not endorse or oppose individual candidates, but rather advocate for the integrity of the nomination and election procedures. 

Side Events

Side events on the fourth day of ASP20 included:  

  • Justice Must Happen for Gambia, hosted by Africa Legal Aid (AFLA) and Uganda 

  • Justice for the Rohingya, hosted by No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ), delegations of Bangladesh and the Gambia to the ICC 

  • Fighting Against Impunity for Gender-Based Crimes: A Policy Paper on Gender Persecution, hosted by MADRE and the Embassy of Sweden in the Hague 

The full list of side events can be found here.   

Other Resources

Visit our webpage on the Assembly of States Parties 2021 to read previous ASP20 daily summaries, recommendations from civil society and other ASP20 resources. Check out the following links regularly for updates:   

Twitter @ngos4justice   

Coalition letter to ICC States Parties on ASP20   

Schedule of NGO side-events   

CICC Elections Team Paper on a Permanent Vetting Mechanism