ICC: Ahead of the 20th Assembly of States Parties, FIDH issues recommendations to strengthen the Court


The Hague, Paris, 18 November 2021 – The 20th Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will be held in The Hague from 6-11 December 2021. FIDH presents its six key recommendations to States Parties to strengthen the Court’s work in an increasingly challenging context.

Read FIDH’s position paper.

This ASP session takes place amidst the continuing global health crisis and will be hosted with similar COVID-19 measures as the 19th session. The format will allow for both in-person participation and a livestream attendance. FIDH will participate in-person and convey its recommendations to key stakeholders. Regrettably, civil society organisations will only be allocated 16 in-person seats in total, while States Parties and observers will be allowed four representatives each to attend in-person.

This year, the Court continues to face significant challenges in the fulfilment of its mandate, including limited financial resources and a lack of State cooperation, which greatly hinder the progress of cases, investigations, and preliminary examinations, as well as limits effective outreach to affected communities and endangers meaningful victim participation. FIDH calls on States Parties to provide the Court with the necessary support to ensure that the Court can effectively fulfil its mandate. In particular, FIDH recognises that more needs to be done with regards to the implementation of arrest warrants. To date 12 ICC suspects still remain at-large.

“States Parties must effectively cooperate with the Court at all stages of ICC proceedings and finally develop tangible ways to tackle flagrant instances of non-cooperation. Lack of active cooperation and support not only hinders the progress of cases but also slows the advancement of justice and meaningful reparation for the thousands of victims under the Court’s jurisdiction.”

Delphine Carlens, head of FIDH’s international justice desk

This year’s ASP session will see general debates on matters such as cooperation, the activities of the Court, the election of the Deputy Prosecutors and the members of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims, budgetary allocations, and amendments to the Rome Statute and the Rules of Procedure and Evidence

In our position paper, we make six key recommendations to States Parties :

1. States Parties must do better in regards to cooperation with the ICC.

2. The assessment and adoption of the budget by States Parties must follow a needs-based approach.

3. States must uphold the fundamental principles of the Rome Statute that guarantee victims’ role in ICC proceedings.

4. States Parties should encourage the ICC to address gender equality in recruitment processes.

5. Elections must be conducted with integrity.

6. The Independent Expert Review findings and recommendations must be carefully assessed and implemented in a timely manner.

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