ASP 14 Day 7: States agree ICC budget for 2016


ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and Deputy Prosecutor James Stewart present their report on ICC preliminary examinations in 2015. Preliminary examinations are intended to determine whether a full ICC investigation is necessary. © Matias Bercovich / CICC

With the 14th session of the Assembly of States Parties concluding tomorrow, states were busy finalizing a number of outstanding issues. The ICC’s budget for 2016 was agreed but discussions continued around Kenya and South Africa requests for additions to the omnibus resolution. The last side events of the Assembly also took place, including on the ICC prosecutor’s 2015 report on preliminary examinations, grave crimes in Syria and sexual and gender based violence.

ICC registrar meets civil society

ICC Registrar Herman von Hebel spoke to civil society on a range of topics, including on the ongoing ReVision project to restructure the Court’s administrative arm. In particular, von Hebel stressed efforts to strengthen ICC field offices and reiterated his commitment to gender and geographical representation of staff in the ICC Registry.


Omnibus resolution – Kenya and South Africa requests

As with previous days, 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). Informal consultations continue.

ICC budget 2016

An agreement was reached on the ICC’s 2016 budget, with the Court set for a reported increase of 7.1%. The agreement still needs to be adopted at the closing session of the Assembly on Thursday. 

Side events 

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

Fatou Bensouda, ICC Prosecutor
James Stewart, ICC Deputy Prosecutor
Emeric Rogier, Head of situation analysis section, OTP

The prosecutor presented this years’ report on preliminary examinations which is the 5th of its nature to be produced by the OTP. She stressed the commitment of the office to complying with confidentiality rules that apply as well as principles of complementarity and Rome Statute. The different phases of preliminary examinations were explained using concrete examples to illustrate the particulars of the procedure. The collective efforts to increase transparency were also highlighted. The Deputy Prosecutor discussed preliminary examinations in more technical terms.

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

Judge Sanji Mmasenono Monageg, ICC
Marie-Pierre Oliver, Rule of Law Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
Dr. Rod Rastan, Legal Advisor, OTP, ICC
Kirsten Meersschaert, Director of Programs, Coalition for the ICC

Cyprus and Denmark co-hosted a side event dealing with the successes and challenges of contemporary universality of the Rome Statue. Many of the challenges dealt with politics – including the particulars of accepting ICC jurisdiction and ease of investigation for the Prosecutor as well as lack of executive immunity, finances – the lack of a state’s fiscal ability to implement changes necessary to compliment the Rome Statute requirements, and lack of access of information – both in quality and quantity. However panelists from both civil society and the Court highlighted successes such as the processes for non-states parties leading to ratification and that while though there is a slow down in the number ratifications this was to be statistically expected once 2/3 of the states parties ratified and more should be expected on a slower basis. Members of the panel agreed that while universality is an essential step in pursuing international peace and justice, it is also important to implement the Rome Statute.

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)

Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, Secretary General, No Peace Without Justice (Chair)
Hussein Sabbagh, Secretary General of Euro-Syrian Democratic Forum (Chair)
Raheb Alwany, Human Rights Defender
Rami Nakhla, NPWJ Syria Project Coordinator
Ayman Ghojal, Human Rights Defender
Stephen Rapp : former US ambassador for Global Justice, former SCSL Prosecutor
Elizabeth Evenson, Senior Counsel International Justice Programme, Human Rights Watch (Conclusions)

During this meeting different aspects on accountability in the Syrian conflict were discussed. Both civil society and state parties were represented in this meeting. There was an overall consensus that justice and accountability need be included in any political solution reached in the future. Also very striking was the absence of any Syrian party to the talks that have been taking place until now and it was concluded that the Syrian people should be incorporated. A number of other conclusions were reached, the reader is referred to the concluding section of these notes.

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 

Tomorrow at the ASP

The 14th session of the ASP will end tomorrow. Final discussions regarding the omnibus resolution will take place before the adoption of the final report.

News coverage

Enhancing the Court’s efficiency and effectiveness – a top priority.

Has the delegation of Jubilee MPs to the 14th Assembly of States Parties imploded?

Palestinians deliver new Israel ‘war crimes’ evidence to ICC. Read the Human Rights Watch letter to the ICC prosecutor on Palestine preliminary examination.

FIDH calls on the international community to act quickly before the situation in Burundi becomes irreparable.

The ICC is citing the Nigerian Army for two possible war crimes in the war against Boko Haram, reported the online news site Information Nigeria.

The failing is not of the ICC but of the international community.

International community neglects to act on Yazidi genocide.

Mali truth commission to hear victims in Timbuktu.

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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