2015 is set to be a busy year for the ICC. Two new trials will open, a new president will be elected and seven new judges will come on board. At year’s end, the Court will make the long-awaited move to a permanent new home in The Hague. Here are some key dates for your diary.
The trial of another Congolese militia leader, Bosco Ntaganda, opens 2 June, while that of former Côte D’Ivoire president Laurent Gbagbo begins on 7 July.
On 24 August, a “confirmation of charges” hearing opens for Lord’s Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen. Pre-trial judges must decide whether there is sufficient evidence to send the long-dormant case to trial. (A ruling is pending on a prosecution request to postpone this hearing).
The trial of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto and broadcaster Joshua Song is scheduled to continue throughout the year.
New judges, new president
On 10 March, six judges elected by ICC member states last December will be sworn-in at a ceremony at the seat of the Court in The Hague.
The following day, 11 March, the plenary of judges will elect, from their ranks, a new president of the Court. Current President Sang-Hyun Song will step down after 6 years at the helm.
ICC member states will then meet on 24/25 June to elect a seventh new judge to fill a vacancy left by Filipino judge Miriam Defensor Santiago who last year withdrew from the bench before taking office due to health concerns.
Palestine becomes newest ICC member
On 1 April, Palestine will become the 123rd state party to the Rome Statute, which enters into force 90 days after Palestine submitted ratification documents to the UN Secretary-General.
A new home for international justice
On 30 November, the ICC will begin its move to a new, permanent, premises in Scheveningen in The Hague. The new building “consists of approximately 56,000 square metres of gross floor area, 1,200 work spaces and three courtrooms (one on top of the other), a conference centre, a restaurant, an international criminal law library, waiting rooms for witnesses, a press centre and storage space….”
States parties assemble
On 24/25 June, the Assembly of States Parties – the ICC’s governing body – will meet for a “resumed session” at the Dutch Ministry for Foreign Affairs, during which a new judge will be elected, among other matters. The following ASP session will take place in The Hague from 18 to 26 November, also in The Hague.
Coalition celebrates 20 years of fighting for global justice
Finally, 2015 will mark the 20th anniversary of the Coalition for the ICC. In 1995, a small group of human rights organizations came together to push an idea dismissed by most: a permanent international criminal court. Twenty years later our network stretches across 150 countries with over 2500 member organizations.
Throughout the year, we will commemorate the hard-fought successes in the fight against impunity while continuing to work to ensure the existence of a fair, effective and independent ICC that serves the interests of victims the world over.
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