ASP 14 Day 6: Debating efficiency and effectiveness


ASP 14 Day 6: Debating efficiency and effectiveness © Matias Bercovich/CICC

The efficiency and effectiveness of the ICC were at the center of discussions on the sixth day of the 14th session of the Assembly of States Parties in The Hague. States also agreed to delete article 124 from the Rome Statute. Side events were held on sexual and gender based crimes in Colombia, ICC performance indicators, the crime of aggression, and monitoring international crimes trials. Discussions are continuing on the ICC’s 2016 budget and on requests for additions to the omnibus resolution by Kenya and South Africa.

Omnibus resolution – Kenya and South Africa requests

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 still trying reach consensus on the proposed text in informal consultations.

South Africa has also proposed language to be included in the onmibus resolution to reflect discussions on its agenda item related to the application and implementation of article 97 and article 98 of the Rome Statute (on immunities and related cooperation). Governments are also attempting to reach consensus on the proposed text in informal consultations.

ICC budget 2016

No agreement has been reached on the ASP Committee on Budget and Finance’s recommendation for an 8% budget increase for the ICC for 2016. Several states are pushing for a lower percentage. the budget facilitator has indicated that discussions will continue tomorrow at the working group on the budget, during which civil society organizations will take the floor.


Cooperation and permanent premises

The adoption on draft resolutions on both cooperation and permanent premises are still outstanding, with discussions resuming tomorrow.

Deletion of article 124 from the Rome Statute

ASP coordinators reported on the progress of discussions and negotiations on outstanding issues before the ASP, with the coordinator on amendments setting out the process on amending article 124 of the Rome Statute. States agreed to delete this provision from the Statute.

According to article 124, a state, on becoming a state party to the Rome Statute, may declare that for a period of seven years after ratification, it does not accept the Court’s jurisdiction with regard to war crimes allegedly committed by that state’s nationals or on its territory. Several Coalition member had been calling for the deletion of article 124 for many years.

Colombia and France are two countries are the only two countries to have used this transitional provision when they ratified the Rome Statute.

Colombia stated that deletion of article 124 is an advance in international justice.

Efficiency and effectiveness of the ICC

The afternoon session was dedicated to a debate the efficiency and effectiveness of ICC. Panelists included ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, ICC President Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, Richard Dicker of Human Rights Watch, Professor Carsten Stahn. Discussions were led by the co-chairs of the working group on governance.

Coalition Convenor William Pace, Africa Legal Aid Executive Director Evelyn Ankumah and Open Society Justice Initiative Legal Officer Mariana Pena also took the floor along with a number of states.

Many emphasized the correlation between efficiency and state cooperation.

Side events

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

Lino Ogora Owor, Foundation for Justice and Development Initiatives
Jennifer Easterday, Executive Director of the Open Society Justice Initiative
Janet Anderson, RNW Media
Alioune Seck, TrustAfrica
Alpha Sesay, Open Society Justice Initiatives
Franck Petit, African Extraordinary Chambers
Rosemary Tollo, Program Manager of web portal “Journalists for Justice” (ICJ Kenya)

This side event posed the question “Why do we monitor” at the centre for a discussion between a diverse set of actors involved in trial monitoring in the field. Jennifer Easterday underlined the importance of remaining neutral but also raised the difficulty of the endeavour due to the inherently politicised context in which trials often take place. Rosemary Tollo, Program Manager of web portal “Journalists for Justice” (ICJ Kenya), countered this perspective by noting that trial monitoring offers advocacy and outreach tools that can be used to reverse existing power relations in local communities. The speakers agreed that the strategies of trial monitoring depend on the aims of the organisation, the targeted audience and the context and needs on the ground. All speakers pointed out the need for developing creative outreach strategies in order to reach local communities.

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

Romina Morello, Legal Advisor, Officer-in-Charge, The Hague International Law and Human Rights Programme, Parliamentarians for Global Action
Christian Wenaweser, Permanent Representative of Liechtenstein to the UN
Donald Ferencz, Convenor, Global Institute for the Prevention of Aggression

The panelists presented in part on the historical background of the crime of aggression. They referred to its legal origins in the Nuremberg trials and to the fact that Rome Statute Article 5 authorized the Kampala Review Conference to define the modalities and conditions for the Court’s exercise of jurisdiction over the crime of aggression. The panelists further presented on the applicability of the Court’s jurisdiction. They argued that absent a UN Security Council referral, non-ICC states as well as states parties that exercise the amendment’s opt-out clause will not be subject to the Court’s jurisdiction unless they commit the crime of aggression on a states party’s territory.

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

James A. Goldston, Executive Director, OSJI
Kathryn Fahnestock, OSJI
Shehzad Charania, Legal Advisor, Head of the International Team, UK embassy in The Hague
James Stewart, ICC Deputy Prosecutor
Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, ICC President
Herman von Hebel, ICC Registrar

The ICC recognize the need to develop its own performance indicators, both from a quantitative and qualitative perspective. It has already started this process with identifying 4 keys goals for measuring the performance of the Court and then indicators to assess those goals. The OTP also identified 14 performance indicator to measure its own work. ICC officials insisted they were committed to this process but reminded the audience that we are only at the beginning of a long and difficult work for the ICC as a whole.

Ecocide law: timely and necessary (hosted by Greenpeace Switzerland)

International Nuremberg Principles Academy (hosted by Germany)

Ambasador of Germany to the ICC (Chair)
Navi Pillay – former UN High commissioner for human rights
Judge Sang-Hyun Song – former president of the ICC
Thomas Blumenthal: former judge at the ICJ, president of the advisory board and of the Academy
Athalia Molokomme: Attorney General of Botswana
Serge Brammertz: Under Secretary General and prosecutor at ICTY

This meeting was called to announce the start of the International Nuremberg Principles Academy. The panel presented it to the public, with the presence of some of the most prominent members of the Academy’s advisory board.

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)

Cooperation (hosted by Kenya)

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

Tomorrow at the ASP

Side-event on OTP preliminary examinations report (co-hosted by Australia, Finland, Japan, Norway, Peru, Switzerland, Tunisia, and the OTP)

Operationalization of Independent Oversight Mechanism in the Rome Statute System (hosted by Kenya)

Dispelling misconceptions and confronting challenges: Moving towards universality and full implementation of the Rome Statute (co-hosted by Cyprus & Denmark)

Accountability and the Prospect of a Political Solution to Conflict in Syria (hosted by Belgium, France, Italy, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, the UK, and No Peace Without Justice)

Prosecuting Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: conversations with the OTP (hosted by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation)

The Vital Role of Professional Associations of Lawyers. 25th Anniversary of the Adoption of the Basic Principles of the Role of Lawyers (Hosted by International Criminal Bar)

Book Launch: Steiner/Brant, Tribunal Penal Internacional – Comentários ao Estatuto de Roma (International Criminal Court- Commentary to the Rome Statute). Ed. Del Rey –Konrad Adenauer Foundation-Cedin, 2015, 1st edition

Book Launch: Triffterer/Ambos, Rome Statute of the Criminal Court – A Commentary: launch of the 3rd edition, published November 2015 (co-hosted by Germany, C.H. Beck Publisher (Munich), Hart Publishing (Oxford) and Nomos Publishing (Baden-Baden))
Hague Talks: Ecocide: the fifth International Crime against Peace

News coverage

Kenya has failed to get its wish that the ICC amends Rule 68 which allows the use of recanted evidence.

The ASP bureau is expected to submit a report on Kenya’s two requests surrounding Rule 68 as well as on an audit of the ICC prosecution witness recruitment process.

The ICC is not a kangaroo court, says Kenya’s top diplomat Amina Mohamed.

Namibia may withdraw from ICC.

Establishing ICC Performance Indicators.

ASP 14 statements by the Georgian Yound Lawyers Association, Parliamentarians for Global Action, and the Benin Coalition for the ICC.

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.

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