Assembly of States Parties: Looking back to move forward

ASP 13 reportWith the annual session of the Assembly of States Parties opening in The Hague in November, take a look back at last year’s meeting of ICC’s governing body in our new report.

Every year, global civil society joins ICC member states and other stakeholders for the ASP discuss a range of issues central to the ICC’s operations.

The discussions this year’s at Assembly will build on recommendations and mandates emerging from 13th session of the ASP, which took place in December 2014 at UN headquarters in New York.

Our just-published report gives a detailed account of ASP 13, providing valuable context when looking ahead to the upcoming 14th ASP session.

What happened at ASP 13?

ASP 13 was dominated by the election of six new ICC judges, which took 22 rounds of voting. Senegal’s minister of justice Sidiki Kaba, a longtime supporter of the ICC, was elected as ASP president for a three-year term. The ASP also elected two vice-presidents, eighteen new members of the ASP Bureau and seven members of the Committee on Budget and Finance.

During ASP 13, states also made recommendations to improve the ICC and its work and addressed issues of complementarity, ratification and activation of the Kampala amendments on the crime of aggression, cooperation with the Court and universality of the Rome Statute.

The discussions on cooperation culminated in a resolution adopted at the ASP that for the first time included a paragraph on avoiding non-essential contact with ICC fugitives. A lack of agreement on proposed amendments to the ICC’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence means this issue will continue to be considered this year at ASP 14.

States also approved a budget of 130.6 million euro for 2015, a decrease of 8 million on what the Court had initially requested. Discussions around the ICC’s budget request for 2016 are ongoing.

Civil society used the ASP 13 general debate and numerous side events to offer suggestions on how to improve the ICC system and delivery of justice to victims. They stressed the need for accountability in countries such as Mexico, Syria, Libya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.

We will shortly issue a background paper soon to outline the discussions in the ASP Bureau’s working groups in the lead up to this year’s 14th ASP session, taking place in The Hague from 18 to 26 November.

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