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Review Conference: Informal Daily Summary - 7 June 2010
07 June 2010
Dear All,

The Review Conference of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened on May 31st in Kampala, Uganda.

>From 31 May to 11 June, States Parties to the ICC Rome Statute - ICC's founding treaty - as well as observer states, international organizations and NGOs are meeting to discuss amendments to the Statute as well as its impact to date.

This message includes a short summary of developments at the Review conference on Monday 7 June 2010 (I); related documents and press releases (II); as well as latest news articles and opinions on the conference (III).

For more information on the Review Conference, please visit the CICC website at: http://www.coalitionfortheicc.org/?mod=review

Please note that official Review Conference documents can be found on the ICC website at: http://www.icc-cpi.int/

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you need further information.

Regards,
CICC Secretariat
www.coalitionfortheicc.org

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I. INFORMAL SUMMARY OF THE REVIEW CONFERENCE: 7 JUNE 2010

1. CRIME OF AGRESSION

On 7 June, States Parties and observer States met to discuss potential amendments to the Rome Statute regarding the Crime of Aggression as the Working Group on the Crime of Aggression. On the whole, the active dialogue centered around two central issues: the revised Conference Room Paper (CRP) distributed by the Chair, and the non-paper by Argentina, Brazil and Switzerland (ABS) on their proposal. Generally, States expressed support for the policy underlying the ABS proposal-- seeking a staggered entry into force of the Court's jurisdiction over the Crime of Aggression under various trigger mechanisms. However, there was uncertainty articulated by many States regarding the interaction of the various provisions concerning amendments to the Rome Statute that the proposal required. Some, however, were content with the explanation provided. Many states articulated support for the CRP, particularly, the streamlined alternatives contained in Article 15bis(4) alternative 2; they felt, however, many agreed that there may be a need for an enhanced Pre-Trial Chamber under this alternative. The majority of States spoke of the need for compromise and the desire to move forward toward consensus.

As well, States Parties and observer States met in an Informal session to approve the Chair's Report of the Working Group on the Crime of Aggression. Preliminary agreement was reached on the majority of the text; some concern remained outstanding regarding how best to reflect the views expressed by a minority of participants in the discussion, particularly those of the United States.

For more information and background, see: http://www.icc-cpi.int/Menus/ASP/ReviewConference/Crime+of+Aggression.htm and http://www.iccnow.org/?mod=review

2. SIDE EVENTS

Parliamentarians for global action (PGA) organised a roundtable discussion on the crime of aggression entitled ‘Respecting existing norms of Public International Law & Protecting the Integrity of the Rome Statute’, with states delegates, NGOs and International Organisations. The panel was chaired by David Donat Cattin, Director of PGA’s International Law and Human Rights Programme and included keynote speakers Professor of International Law and former Nuremberg Prosecutor Benjamin B. Ferencz, Jordan's Ambassador to the USA and Chair of the Working Group on the Crime of Aggression Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein and Samoa representative Professor Roger S. Clark. A number of NGO participants also took the floor to present their views. The discussion enabled an exchange of views and concerns on the current status of the Review Conference negotiations, particularly regarding the conditions for the exercise of the Court’s jurisdiction on the crime of aggression.
Read more on Parliamentarians for global action: www.pgaction.org/

The American NGO Coalition for the ICC (AMICC) held an informal meeting with NGOs attending the Review Conference on the United States’ position towards the ICC and the Rome Statute.
Read more on AMICC: http://www.amicc.org/

II. RELATED DOCUMENTS AND RELEASES

1. NGO DOCUMENTS AND STATEMENTS

i. “Advancing Gender Justice – A Call to Action,” Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice, 1 June 2010, http://www.iccnow.org/documents/Advancing_Gender_Justice_A_Call_to_Action_FINAL.pdf

ii. Women’s Court: Summary and quotes from speakers, Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice, 1 June 2010, http://www.iccnow.org/documents/Womens_Court_Summary_and_Quotes_Text_Only.pdf

iii. Press Statement at the Review Conference, Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice, 31 May Press Conference, http://www.iccnow.org/documents/Womens_Initiatives_Press_Statement_31_May.pdf

iv. Statement delivered to the Review Conference General Debate, Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice, 1 June 2010, http://www.iccnow.org/documents/Womens_Initiatives_Statement_GeneralDebate.pdf

v. “ICC Opponents Strike Out at ICC Review Conference and US Engagement with Court”, AMICC, 5 June 2010, http://amicc.blogspot.com/2010/06/icc-opponents-strike-out-at-icc-review.html

2. ICC PRESS RELEASES

i. “The Registrar of the ICC and delegates from States Parties to the Rome Statute face to face with the challenges of the Court in the ground”, ICC Pres Office, 7 June 2010, http://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/exeres/9A423C71-181D-40F1-B6EC-3D28356B05CA.htm

ii. “A delegation from the ICC Committee on Budget and Finance meets affected communities in Ituri (DRC)”, ICC Press Office, 4 June 2010, http://www.icc-cpi.int/menus/icc/press and media/
press releases/a delegation 
from the icc committee on 
budget and finance meets affected communities in ituri _drc_

3. AUDIOVISUAL MATERIALS

i. “The ICC Review Conference and International Criminal Justice”, Huffington Post, http://www.hausercenter.org/jhr

III. LATEST NEWS ARTICLES AND OPINIONS

i. “Compensate crime victims, ICC delegates urge”, Patrick Mathangani, 3 June 2010, http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/InsidePage.php?id=2000010786&cid=4

“Attention shifted to crime victims’ rights with delegates calling for urgent compensation to help them rebuild their lives. Delegates at the first Rome Statue Review Conference said the victims, including Kenya’s 350,000 displaced persons, must be helped to heal.

Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai said there was still no action towards psychological healing for the Kenyan victims. The delegates want member countries to increase financial contributions to the International Criminal Court’s trust fund for victims. They also called for effective measures to seize property of convicted suspects. Such property would then be sold and proceeds added to the victims’ kitty, they proposed. Prof Maathai said although there are efforts to counsel the victims, it was not enough as the Government lacked a specific project to address the issue.

…. It is important for states to have strength to trace assets of perpetrators. Then, the funds can be given to the Victims Trust Fund,’ she [Carta Ferstman of REDRESS] said.

Group Project for Holocaust Survivors Director Yael Danieli said victims need action to restore equality and self-esteem.

‘This can be achieved through restitution, rehabilitation and commemoration. There should also be efforts to relieve victimisation,’ she said….”

ii. "ICC must advance women's rights, say activists,” by David Rupiny (Radio Netherlands), 1 June 2010 , http://www.rnw.nl/international-justice/article/icc-must-advance-womens-rights-say-activists

“Under their umbrella body, Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice (WIGJ), the women are asking for an enhancement of institutional gender capacity in judicial systems around the world, including the ICC, the inter-American Court of Human Rights, the European Court of Human Rights and the African Court on Human and People’s Rights.

In a strongly-worded call for action, the group is calling for urgent domestic and sexual violence laws in the countries where the ICC is currently conducting investigations, including Uganda, Sudan and the Central African Republic.

The laws, they say, should comply with Rome Statute standards and include situation-specific forms of violence against women that are not explicitly articulated in the definition of crimes in the Statute. The Sexual Violence Act and the prosecution of crimes of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo must also be enforced, they say.

Gladys Oyat, a member of Greater North Women’s Voices for Peace, a part of the alliance, said women need assurance that the judicial system will effectively address issues of rape and other foms of gender-based violence.

… To involve more women, Oyat wants to see improved communication channels to increase awareness of the possibilities under the Rome Stature in regard to sexual violence.

Her organisation is also asking for a significant increase in national and international resources and funding to support women’s rights and legal advocacy, as well as medical and psycho-social services to respond to gender-based violence.

>From the ICC’s Trust Fund for Victims, the women are demanding a serious and significant increase in state and voluntary contributions to the fund and the development by the ICC judges of gender-inclusive, victim-centred guidelines on reparations for victims before the Court.

The women also want the investigation and prosecution of sex trafficking cases and prosecution of domestic labour and sexual slavery cases by the ICC.

Priority must be given, they say, for advancing gender justice through peace processes, such as the appointment by the UN of a woman as a chief mediator during 2011, the development of gender benchmarks and education and gender training for mediators, among others….”

iii. “Women Demand Answers and Action from ICC,” By Evelyn Matsamura Kiapi (IPS), 1 June 2010, http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=51665

“With the first Review Conference of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) under way in the Ugandan capital Kampala, women are crying out for justice for gender-based violence inflicted upon them during the civil conflict in the country’s north.

‘Women who were raped, those who were once abducted and have since come back with children, as well as those who have lost property during this conflict are all crying out for some form of justice,’ says Jane Adong, Legal Officer of the Hague-based Women’s Initiative for Gender Justice (WIGJ).

‘For instance, there is a group (of women) who are saying they don’t know where to go to seek justice for gender based crimes. So what role is the ICC playing, they ask? Is there a court in Uganda to try such crimes?
‘What about the fate of those children who were born in captivity? And the abducted ones? … Clear commitments; that’s what women want," says Odong. ….”

iv. “The International Criminal Court: Why Africa still needs it”, The Economist, 3 June 2010, http://www.economist.com/node/16274301

“This week an array of bigwigs met in a sumptuous resort on the shores of Lake Victoria just outside Kampala, Uganda’s capital, to review the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the first time since it started operating in 2002. Uganda offered to host the event to demonstrate that some African countries do support the ICC and its idea of international justice. The ICC, for its part, embraced Uganda in an effort to improve its twitchy relations with the leaders of the continent where it has done most of its work. For it is far from popular in Africa. Unless it can win more respect and prove more effective there, its chances of success elsewhere will dip. And if it fails in Africa, hopes for establishing a more universal jurisdiction may well founder.

….. In any event, the court is trying to sound a bit less haughty and holier-than-thou than it may have been in the past. Its people talk enthusiastically of building “coalitions” with pan-African institutions, as well as with national governments, to dispense justice better. The ICC concedes that its job is poorly understood on the continent. Many victims expect it to compensate them and return them to their homes after a conflict—and to arrest the bad guys. When that does not happen, hostility and disillusion set in.

So African human-rights campaigners and lawyers sympathetic to the ICC have been offering ideas to enable the court to ‘demystify itself in Africa’, in the words of Oby Nwankwo, head of a Nigerian legal think-tank. She says the ICC should send its judges even to those African countries where it is not investigating crimes, to explain itself. Last year she invited one to Nigeria and got her a lot of press exposure that ‘helped clear away some misconceptions’. ICC judges could be sent to work with national courts to try smaller fish as well as presidents and warlords, to make the ICC’s work more familiar. The court is close to opening a liaison office in Addis Ababa, the home of the African Union. Why not open a few other offices in Africa to advertise its work?...”

v. “It's time the AU decided to co-operate with the International Criminal Court”, Cape Times, 7 June 2010, http://w3.nexis.com/new/results/docview/docview.do?docLinkInd=true&risb=21_T9497684304&format=GNBFI
&sort=BOOLEAN&startDocNo=1&resultsUrlKey=29_T9497684308&cisb=22_T9497684307&treeMax=true&treeWidth=0&csi=312415&docNo=5

“It Is a Shocking reflection on the disrespect for the rule of law on this continent that the African Union (AU) still has an official position of non-co-operation with the International Criminal Court (ICC).

An AU summit resolution of last July that the AU's 53 member states should not help the court apprehend indicted Africans, most notably Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, still stands. The AU felt that the court was picking on Africa because all four (now five) of the situations it was investigating were in Africa and because prosecuting Al-Bashir was jeopardising peace efforts in Darfur.

The AU resolution put South Africa in an awkward spot as it is a state party to the Rome Statute which underpins the world court and thereby is obliged to arrest Al-Bashir. The government eventually confirmed that Al-Bashir would be arrested if he set foot on South African soil - including for the World Cup as President Zuma has just reconfirmed.

…. Nonetheless the perception that the Netherlands-based court is an alien Western body punishing Africans is damaging the court's pursuit of justice and so must be addressed, many jurists believe.

…Also speaking at the conference, Max du Plessis, KZN University law professor, suggested that the best way to avoid the African perception that foreign justice was being imposed upon the continent would be for African countries to implement the Rome Statute as domestic law.

This is what South Africa has done with the ICC Act which extends the arm of South African law even further than the ICC, enabling South Africa to prosecute not only individuals who commit ICC crimes in countries which are party to the Rome Statute or are nationals of such countries, but also anyone who commits such crimes and later sets foot on South African soil. ….”

vi. “Beshir snub 'proves ICC getting stronger in Africa'”, AFP, 6 June 2010, http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ji6J1ydEkL9x2GNw4f367T-euD2Q

“Uganda's decision to not invite Sudan's indicted leader Omar El-Beshir to a summit in Kampala proves the International Criminal Court is gaining strength in Africa, Human Rights Watch said Sunday.

‘This is a welcome statement from the president of Uganda,’ Richard Dicker, international justice director at the New York-based group, told AFP.

‘The trend is African state-parties standing up for accountability and ending impunity.’

On Saturday Uganda's presidency issued a statement saying the Sudanese leader was not invited to the African Union summit in July, a reversal of Uganda's previous conduct regarding Beshir.

…. Dicker further argued that the announcement from Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni shows the ICC's ongoing review conference is yielding results.

…. William Pace, who heads the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, an umbrella organisation of civil society justice groups, said he expects the court's force to continue to strengthen. ‘This is an example of how the Rome Statute continues to surround impunity for the worst crimes. Year by year, country by country, it shows the statute is working,’ he said.”

vii. “Kenya accused of shielding ICC suspects”, Bernard Namunane, Daily Nation, 5 June 2010, http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Kenya accused of shielding ICC 
suspects /-/1056/932610/-/ialrcn/-/

“Kenya is being accused of using the standoff between Sudan President Omar al-Bashir and the International Criminal Court to stall investigations into the 2008 post-election violence. The claims have sparked friction between the Party of National Unity and the Orange Democratic Movement, with the latter accusing its grand coalition partner of seeking ways to wriggle out of the ICC investigations launched last month.

The Kampala Review Conference of the Rome Statute, which established the ICC, brought out these differences with the two sides of the government squabbling in front of other delegates at the Munyonyo Resort.

On the one side is the government’s firm support of African Union resolutions not to cooperate with the ICC in arresting and surrendering President al-Bashir and establishing an African court that will try suspects of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, which are currently within the jurisdiction of the ICC.
… On the other hand is the decision by states party to the Rome Statute to set up an ICC liaison office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to sensitise African countries on the mandate of the ICC….”

viii. “ICC Must Be Successful: Fiji’s AG”, Ana Tudrau-Tamani AHN News, 4 June 2010, http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7018895560

“Nations have to ensure that the International Criminal Court is successful and that more countries ratify the Rome Statute, Fiji’s Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said Thursday.

Speaking at the ICC review conference in Kampala, Uganda, the attorney general said those countries that have signed the treaty must also ensure the crimes that fall within the domain of the Rome statute do not take place or are minimized.

‘After all, prevention is better than cure,’ Sayed-Khaiyum said.

The Fijian government, he said, believes that these acts are minimized by a change in attitude, by putting in place systems that give rise to justice or, conversely, remove injustices and create peace….”

ix. “No Agreement Yet On Crime of Aggression At ICC Review Conference”, VOA News, 5 June 2010, http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/africa/No-Agreement-Yet-On-Crime-of-Aggression-At-ICC-Review-Conference-95690079.html

“An official of an international human rights group has urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate both parties in the northern Uganda conflict.

‘We have always called on the ICC prosecutor to investigate both sides to the conflict in northern Uganda and to carry out investigations and decide whether or not to bring charges against Ugandan officials as well as LRA,’ said Elizabeth Evenson of Human Rights Watch international justice program from Kampala where she is attending the first ICC’s review conference.

….Most people, Evenson said, ‘think of the court as something that is just in the Hague and don’t understand that a lot of the real work of the court is where the crimes took place.’

It is also very important, she said, ‘having the conference in Uganda as a useful moment to remind the Ugandan authorities that they have an obligation to prosecute serious crimes, and that there hasn’t been enough accountability for human rights violations that they might have carried out themselves.’

The conference is also discussing the crime of aggression, its legal definition, and the ICC’s jurisdiction over the crime. Evenson said there are a lot of differences on the issue of the crime of aggression…”

x. “Defining 'aggression' for the International Criminal Court”, Op Ed by Robert A. Enholm (Executive vice president of the Washington-based Citizens for Global Solution) LA Times, 4 June 2010, http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-oew-enholm-20100604,0,7080260.story

“David Kaye warns in his June 1 Op-Ed article that bringing the crime of aggression within its ambit may erode support for the International Criminal Court. It is true that the ICC has done an admirable job in the years since its founding in holding trials for those accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Without the ICC, these individuals, accused of the most heinous mass crimes, might not ever face justice and punishment.

The ICC is an institution that our nation's founders would have recognized. The ICC springs from the same European Enlightenment principles that informed America's founding, including the idea that there are certain basic rights afforded to all people. Although the United States has not joined the ICC, the treaty that created the court relies on principles and ideas long promoted by American thinkers and lawyers. Adding the crime of aggression to the ICC's jurisdiction follows in the tradition of the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials after World War II. The U.S. actively participated in the formation and successful operation of the more recent special purpose international tribunals for Sierra Leone, Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

… Even though the United States is not party to the ICC, it is right and good policy that American diplomats will be attending the meetings in Uganda as observers without the privilege of voting. The discussions there are important, and U.S. participation is valuable for our country and for the world. The United States led in helping the world understand the meaning of ‘aggressive war’ in the Nuremberg and Tokyo war crimes trials. The U.S. should cooperate with the ICC and resolve over time the impediments to the U.S. formally joining the ICC, including addressing the concerns of the American defense community.

Diplomats, lawyers, humanitarians, generals and statesmen from around the globe have labored over the past eight years in the special working group on the crime of aggression to develop the consensus on the definition of "aggression" now being considered in Uganda. All should respect this definition. If the parties to the ICC cannot agree this month to expand the court's jurisdiction to include aggression, they ought at least accept the proposed definition of the crime, and the U.S. could accept this result as consistent with fundamental American principles.”

xi. ‘’ The ICC and an 'aggression' mandate’’, editorial, LA Times, 7 June 2010, http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jun/07/opinion/la-ed-icc-20100607

“ … If there were an international court with the power to prosecute crimes of aggression, we might be able to haul North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il before it to answer for his country's sinking of a South Korean warship in March. We could nail Russian leaders for their invasion of Georgia in 2008, and maybe even throw the book at the Argentines who sparked the Falklands War in 1982. World peace could be enforced with the tapping of a gavel rather than the pounding of artillery….’’

xii. “ICC nears deal to prosecute state aggression,” Reuters, 7 June 25010, http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6562UA20100607

“Delegates at a meeting of countries signed up to the International Criminal Court neared a deal Monday on allowing the tribunal to prosecute crimes involving countries that invade or attack another.

The compromise at the Kampala review conference of the ICC on crimes of aggression, as they are called, centres on the U.N. Security Council's role in determining whether an act of aggression took place.
A draft paper circulated by Argentina, Brazil and Switzerland gives primary, but not an exclusive, role to the Security Council in determining whether an act of aggression took place, and was largely welcomed by delegates as a viable compromise.

"I think we're cautiously optimistic we're going to have a result," said Jordan's Prince Zeid, who chaired a working group on the crime of aggression.

The draft gives a role to the ICC prosecutor and pre-trial judges in determining whether an investigation should be launched, eliminating earlier options of giving power to the International Court of Justice or the U.N. General Assembly.

But it makes this conditional on seven-eighths of ICC member states ratifying or accepting the agreement, which some delegates said could take five years or more.

… Until then, it will be for the U.N. Security Council, whose decisions are bound to be political rather than strictly judicial, to decide whether the ICC should open an investigation -- a so-called "external filter."

… A number of NGOs argue that this will undermine the independence of the ICC, which was only established in 2002.

"These efforts ... would give the Security Council effective control over the crime of aggression for the indefinite and long-term future," said Richard Dicker at Human Rights Watch.

Three permanent Council members -- China, Russia and the United States -- are not members of the ICC.
But Marcel Biato, head of Brazil's delegation, said that building in a time delay would allow the ICC to consolidate itself further, amid concerns that powers to prosecute state aggression will politicise it….’’

xiii. “US pushes for consensus on crime of aggression,” By David Rupiny (Radio Netherlands), 7 June 2010, International Justice http://www.rnw.nl/international-justice/article/us-pushes-consensus-crime-aggression

“… Of particular interest to the US delegation is the fact that there is so far no consensus on a number of contested issues such as the amendment rule and jurisdictional filters and triggers, disagreements over elements of the crime’s definition and understandings and conditions attached to the definition of crime of aggression.
These, the US State Department’s Legal Adviser Harold Hongju Koh says, cannot be resolved in the remaining days. He presented his country’s position during a plenary on the crime of aggression.

‘To be a success, the Review Conference must provide a principled, workable system of international criminal justice that is consistent with existing international law and institutions, and fair both to victims of abuse and to individuals who may eventually be prosecuted for the crime of aggression,’ Koh said.

‘We cannot credibly claim success if we produce an unworkable and divisive compromise that weakens the Court, diverts it from its core human rights mision, or undermines our multilateral system of peace and security.’…”

xiv. “New U.S. Cooperation for International Criminal Court”, Stephen Kaufman, 2 June 2010, http://www.america.gov/st/peacesec-english/2010/June/20100602160754esnamfuak0.7448694.html?CP.rss=true

“Although the United States is not a party to the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Obama administration is looking for ways to cooperate with the international body to increase its effectiveness while also encouraging increased capacities in local judicial systems to prosecute atrocities and human rights violations.

The State Department’s ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues, Stephen Rapp, and legal adviser Harold Hongju Koh are leading the U.S. observer delegation to the May 31-June 11 conference in Kampala, Uganda, reviewing the 1998 Rome Statute that established the ICC. They told reporters June 2 that the United States strongly supports accountability for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Koh said that after years of resistance to the ICC, the U.S. push to cooperate with the court under the Obama administration can be seen as part of President Obama’s broader agenda to increase its engagement with international institutions, also exemplified by U.S. participation in the December 2009 climate change conference in Copenhagen and its election to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

….. ‘Whether we can provide all of that in regard to the ICC is a matter of study under our law, but we’re going to work to try to find ways that we can … support these prosecutions to make sure that the people who are committing these mass atrocities are held to account,’ Rapp said.”

SEE ALSO:
xv. “The Kampala Review Conference: Which way forward for the International Criminal Court”, by Nelly Corbin, Hague Justice Portal, 3 June 2010, http://www.haguejusticeportal.net/eCache/DEF/11/739.html

xvi. “U.S. vs. ICC?”, by Rob Grace, Foreign Policy in Focus, 4 June 2010, http://www.fpif.org/articles/us_vs_icc

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CICC's policy on the referral and prosecution of situations before the ICC:
The Coalition for the ICC is not an organ of the court. The CICC is an independent NGO movement dedicated to the establishment of the International Criminal Court as a fair, effective, and independent international organization. The Coalition will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the ICC and to help coordinate global action to effectively implement the Rome Statute of the ICC. The Coalition will also endeavor to respond to basic queries and to raise awareness about the ICC's trigger mechanisms and procedures, as they develop. The Coalition as a whole, and its secretariat, do not endorse or promote specific investigations or prosecutions or take a position on situations before the ICC. However, individual CICC members may endorse referrals, provide legal and other support on investigations, or develop partnerships with local and other organizations in the course of their efforts.
Communications to the ICC can be sent to:
ICC
P.O. box 19519
2500 CM the Hague
The Netherlands