Next week, civil society representatives from around the world will travel to The Hague for an annual roundtable meeting with the ICC. The discussions are a crucial opportunity for dialogue with various Court organs and officials on their work and the common goal of ending impunity through the Rome Statute system.
Since the ICC’s establishment, consultations with NGOs have taken place in many different fora. Taking place over four days at the Court’s headquarters, the roundtable meetings are particularly important and unique.
Addressing all aspects of the Court’s work relevant to NGOs, the informal discussions facilitate dialogue and information exchange, and allow for strategizing around common objectives where appropriate.
Working level staff from the Presidency, Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) and Registry, as well as the Trust Fund for Victims secretariat and the secretariat of the Assembly of States Parties all take part, with the organs heads participating periodically throughout.
They provide a general update on their activities, while NGOs comment and give input on past, current and future activities.
During the Registry session, participants will discuss issues such victims, outreach, and cooperation. The OTP meetings will touch upon complementarity, investigations and prosecution strategies, and the recently issued policy on sexual and gender based crimes.
The NGOs participating (30-40) are often those with a significant global presence, but the Coalition and the ICC try to ensure that NGOs from countries impacted by the Court’s work can also participate.
This institutional tool for dialogue is an important complement to more informal, ad hoc contact with the Court.
At the end of the week, taking advantage of the presence of so many NGOs in The Hague, we brief the diplomatic community on the week’s main outcomes and exchange on the most pressing issues on the ICC and Rome Statute system.
On Wednesday, 25 June, civil society representatives attending the roundtables meetings will discuss situations currently under preliminary examination by the ICC prosecutor, including Ukraine, Iraq/UK, Colombia and Honduras, during a public panel discussion entitled “Where next for the ICC.” The event is part of our long running Supranational Criminal Law lecture series with the Asser Institute and Grotius Centre of Leiden University.