What is ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s legacy?


(Paris - The Hague) Today, in the margins of the 20th session of the ICC Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, FIDH launches the report "International Criminal Court, An Analysis of Prosecutor Bensouda’s Legacy". The report is a compilation of three FIDH papers published throughout 2021, providing a wide-ranging review of Prosecutor Bensouda’s term in office and her legacy.

On 15 June 2021, Fatou Bensouda stepped down after a nine-year mandate as the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), passing this great responsibility to Karim Khan. At a time when the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) faces a lack of State cooperation and limited financial and human resources, and with the Court embarking on a process of profound changes to bolster its performance, this transition represents a key opportunity to reflect on the OTP’s progress and setbacks over the past decade, and learn from the experiences of the past.

FIDH carried out a stocktaking exercise and looked at the OTP’s work during Prosecutor Bensouda’s term (2012-2021) on three key areas: accountability for sexual and gender-based crimes, in collaboration with WIGJ; preliminary examinations; and outreach to victims, affected communities, and civil society organisations, in collaboration with NPWJ. Each topic was covered independently in three different papers. The findings and recommendations offered to Prosecutor Khan build upon FIDH’s, WIGJ’s and NPWJ’s collective and individual long-standing expertise, continuous monitoring of and engagement with the ICC, and extensive consultations with nearly 70 FIDH national member and partner organisations working in and on ICC situation countries.

The report launched today is a compilation of the three papers and their respective recommendations and will be discussed during a virtual ASP side event at 14h00 CET. The event provides an opportunity to discuss some of the report’s findings and key recommendations on ways to enhance the work of the OTP with representatives from national NGOs working in situation countries, international NGOs, and the OTP. The event, moderated by Raquel Vazquez Llorente, FIDH’s Permanent Representative to the ICC, will benefit from the active participation of: James Stewart, ICC Deputy Prosecutor, Diane Brown, Legal expert on SGBV accountability, Calixto Ávila Rincón, Representative of PROVEA, Marika Antadze, Georgian Centre for Psycho-Social and Medical Rehabilitation of Torture Victims, and Alison Smith, NPWJ Director of International Criminal Justice Program.

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