ASP 14 Day 5: Promoting global justice

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ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and Coalition Convenor William R. Pace mark the Coalition for the ICC’s 20th anniversary in the first event at the ICC permanent premises. View photos on our Flickr. © Matias Bercovich / CICC

On day five of the 14th session of the Assembly of States Parties in The Hague, states discussed cooperation the “omnibus resolution.” Side events touched upon grave crimes committed in Ukraine and Syria, the prosecution of sexual and gender based violence, enhancing the ICC’s local impact as well as advancing justice in the Americas.

Plenary session

Discussions on cooperation continued in formal and informal sessions included related to arrest strategies. Having failed to reach agreement, discussions will continue tomorrow.

NGO meeting with ICC President, Ms. Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi

ICC President, Ms. Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi met with civil society to discuss her vision for a more effective and efficient Court, means to improve the Court’s impact, victims’ participation, universality, and challenges ahead. Read an interview with the president in our Global Justice Monitor.

KENYA REQUESTS

At each of its sessions since 2003 the Assembly of States Parties has adopted an ‘omnibus resolution’, formally entitled, “Strengthening the International Criminal Court and the Assembly of States Parties.” The omnibus resolution addresses a wide range of substantive, practical and policy issues in relation to the Court, the ASP, and other stakeholders.

Discussions of Kenya’s requests to the Assembly also continued. Kenya has proposed that two paragraphs be included in the omnibus resolution (a catch all resolution on a range of issues aiming to strengthen the ICC and the ASP) related to the retroactive use of Rule 68 and the ICC Office of the Prosecutor’s use of witnesses. Governments are attempting to reach consensus on the proposed text in informal consultations.

Side events

Regional Meeting for Latin America and Caribbean States (co-hosted (co-hosted by the CICC and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH))

Speakers:
Michelle Reyes, Americas Regional Coordinator, CICC
Mariana Pena, Legal Officer, International Justice Program, Open Society Justice Initiative
David Donat Cattin, Secretary General, Parliamentarians for Global Action
Carrie Comer, Permanent Representative at the ICC for FIDH

The event discussed complementarity, implementation of the Rome Statute at national level and related positive developments in the region, as presented by the delegations of Guatemala, Chile, Costa Rica, Argentina and Mexico. Progress on the Kampala amendments and geographic representation and geographic balance at the ICC were also considered. Representatives from the Registry and the Presidency discussed relocation of witnesses, cooperation and geographic representation of Latin American and Caribbean states.

Documenting Serious Human Rights Violations: a Tool for Civil Society? (hosted by the Public International Law & Policy Group

Speakers:
Paul Williams, President, PILPG (Chair)
E. Ambassador Steven Rapp, former US Ambassador at Large for Global Criminal Justice
Colleen Rohan, President, Association of Defence Counsel, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)
Alison Cole, Legal Officer, International Justice, Open Society Justice Initiative
Federica D’Alessandra, UN Representative and Consultant, PILPG

The panel discussed the participation of civil society in collecting evidence in international crimes cases. This role has existed for some time but it has been enhanced by technology. The panel also considered issues regarding the admissibility of such evidence before international courts. PILPG developed guidelines for both NGOs and individuals for evidence collection, such as security of witnesses, the chain of custody, the transport and delivery of information.

Promoting accountability for violations of international humanitarian law and international crimes committed in the context of the conflict in South-eastern Ukraine (co-hosted by International Partnership for Human Rights and International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH))

Speakers:
Simon Papuashvili, IPHR Project Manager
Evgeniya Zakhrevskaya, Defense Attorney representing victims of war
Roman Martynovsky, Regional Center of Human Rights;
Svitlana Valko, Documentation Coordinator of IPHR’s Ukraine Office;
Roman Romanov, Director of Human Rights and Rule of Law Program of Renaissance Foundation;
Oleksandra Matviychuk. Center for Civil Liberties

The discussion focused on promoting accountability for international crimes relating to the Maidan events and in the context of the conflict in South-eastern Ukraine. The panelists representing victims in the Maiden events, monitor and document violations in the Eastern part of the country stressed the need for real accountability and the role of the international community in assisting with capacity building in the country. There is need to prioritize justice as amnesties could fuel further conflicts.

Can another Hague-based international court (the ICJ) contribute to accountability in Syria? (co-hosted by Open Society Justice Initiative, Germany and Switzerland)

This event offered an engaging discussion amongst key actors working for international accountability in the case of Syria. They raised the possibilities and risks entailed in a request by the General Assembly for an advisory opinion by the ICJ, including its scope and the risk of a further lack of trust in the international justice system for victims of the conflict. However, there was consensus among the speakers as to the importance of advocating for an involvement of the ICJ for advocacy reasons, in order to set a legal framework for national jurisdictions and to prepare the ground for a future ICC case on Syria.

 

Making Justice Count: Pushing Forward the ICC’s Local Impact (co-hosted by the UK, Denmark and Human Rights Watch)

Speakers:
Alison Smith, Director, International Justice Program, No Peace Without Justice (moderator)
Elizabeth Evenson, Senior Counsel, International Justice Program,Human Rights Watch,
Rod Rastan, Legal Advisor, Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC
Chris Ongom, Coordinator, Uganda Victims Foundation
Fiona Mckay, Chief of the Victims Participation and Reparations Section (VPRS), Registry of the ICC

The ICC’s central mandate is the delivery of justice through fair, criminal proceedings. But the benefits of justice for victims and affected communities – the court’s key stakeholders – are difficult to realize unless efforts are made to ensure proceedings are accessible and responsive to the concerns of these communities This discussion explored different aspects of the ICC’s central work to maximizing its local impact in these communities. Panelists reflected on the court’s practice to date in its situation countries and identified challenges and next steps in ensuring the court matters where it counts most – for victims and affected communities.

PSV – Prosecuting Conflict-Related Sexual Violence Network (co-hosted by Australia and Sweden)

Speakers:
Per Holmström, Ambassador of Sweden in The Hague (introduction)
Serge Brammertz, ICTY Legal Officer (facilitator)
Michelle Jarvis, Coordinator of the PSV
Janne Holst Hübner, Executive director of the IAP
Rea Abada Chiongson, gender and justice advisor/consultant
Holo Makwaia, former prosecutor, ICTR
Priscilla Israel, Assistant Director of Prosecution in Botswana

This panel discussed the difficulty in prosecuting sexual and gender-based crimes (SGBC). The International Prosecutors Association (IPA) launched the Prosecuting Conflict-Related Sexual Violence Network (PSV) in order to promote communication, exchange of information and support to prosecutors around the world dealing with SGBC. Lessons learned from the ICTY in prosecuting SGBC were shared. The African Prosecutors Association encouraged cooperation between prosecutors dealing with SGBC in different African countries.

Creation of an ICC Association of Counsel: enhancing the active role of lawyers before the Court (hosted by co-hosted by Guatemala, the Netherlands, and the Drafting Committee for the Constitution of the ICC Bar Association)

Speakers:
Michael Karnavas, Chair of the Drafting Committee for the Constitution of an ICC Bar Association
Thomas Henquet, Chief of the Legal Office of the Registry
Herman von Hebel, ICC Registrar

Michael Karnavas spoke to efforts during the drafting process (for the Constitution of the ICCBA) to ensure the draft constitution both meets the demands of list counsel while at the same time remaining within the ICC framework. Thomas Henquet built upon Mr. Karnavas’s remarks by referring to the Registrar’s mandates regarding defense and victims’ rights as the linchpin to the link between the ICC and the ICCBA. The ICC Registrar closed the side event by expressing the Registry’s support for the project and commenting on how the work of the Court and the work of the Bar Association can be complementary. He stressed the great need for a direct line of communication between the envisioned ICC Bar Association and the Assembly of States Parties.

Fair trial process in the Rome Statute system (hosted by Kenya)

“Tech4Truth: Guatemala forensic database & WITNESS video guide” (Hosted by Open Society Justice Initiative)

Africa and the ICC – Looking Back, Moving Forward (co-hosted by Botswana, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the Wayamo Foundation)

Reception for the launch of “The Politics of Gender Justice at the International Criminal Court” by Louise Chappell, in recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (hosted by Australia and the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice)

Tomorrow at the ASP

Why We Monitor: Engagement, Advocacy and Accountability (co-hosted by RNW Media and OSJI)

Towards the activation of the Kampala Amendments on the crime of aggression (hosted by Liechtenstein)

Complementarity: The situation relating to international crimes and sexual violence in Colombia (co-hosted by the Lawyers without Borders, the Working Group to monitor compliance with Order 092 of 2008 and Order 009 of 2015 of the Constitutional Court of Colombia & CICC)

Performance Indicators for the ICC (hosted by the United Kingdom and OSJI)

Cooperation (hosted by Kenya)

International Nuremberg Principles Academy

Visit to the permanent premises

Reading of excerpts of Hague Girls (co-hosted by Uganda and Africa Legal Aid (AFLA)) not included in the latest journal)

News coverage

How does Kenya view ASP14? Did the Kenyan delegation do more harm than good at ASP14? The Assembly of States Parties (ASP) bureau will on Tuesday submit a report on Kenya’s request on Rule 68 and audit of conduct of the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecution.

SA wants to ensure ICC lives up to its purpose.

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Chadian women described their experiences in the desert camp at Oudi-Doum, where nine women and girls were allegedly forced to serve the soldiers of Hissène Habré’s army.

Related documents

Civil society advocacy papers to the ASP are available on our website. Official ASP documents and journals can be found on the ICC-ASP website. Follow us on Twitter with the hashtag #ASP14 for live updates from the Assembly. View and download images on the Coalition for the ICC Flickr account.

 Sign up today to receive daily ASP updates directly in your inbox.

 

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