The ratification and implementation of the Statute of the International Criminal Court in Yemen

While the issue of the ratification of the ICC Statute has been referred to the Yemeni Parliament by the Yemeni Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee - submitting its report on the ratification of the Rome Statute to the Parliament on 1 July 2006 - FIDH and its affiliated organisation in Yemen, Sisters’ Arab Forum for Human Rights (SAF), are releasing a report.

SAF and FIDH, in collaboration with the International Coalition for the ICC (CICC), and under the patronage of the Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights, organized a two-day Round Table on the International Criminal Court on 7-8 January 2004 in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a.

This round table in Yemen was the first roundtable organized by the FIDH international justice programme as well as the first national event for civil society representatives on the ICC in the country, after the creation of the Yemeni coalition for the ICC on 23 October 2003.

The two-day round table gathered more than 60 participants, representatives from Yemeni civil society (NGOs, lawyers, university professors, judges) as well as members of parliament, representatives of political parties and the media. The round table benefited from a large press coverage in the local and national media.

FIDH decided then to organize a follow-up mission to the round table on 11-21 August 2005, with the aim to analyze the implementation of the recommendations adopted during the first conference. Numerous initiatives for training on the ICC and the principle of complementarity were organized since the round table of January 2004 and the Yemeni Coalition for the ICC has become an active and important network.

The discussions of the round table and findings of the follow-up mission are the subject of this report.

Since the follow-up mission, important events in favor of the ratification of the ICC Statute by Yemen have taken place. Indeed, the Yemeni Parliament announced that the ratification of the Statute of the ICC is on the agenda of the 2006 session.

To support this process, FIDH and SAF, two years after launching their ratification campaign and the creation of the Yemeni Coalition for the ICC, urged the Yemeni Members of Parliament in an open letter sent on 16 January 2006 to vote for the ratification of the Statute of the ICC during the 2006 session.

On 1 July 2006, the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee submitted its report on the ratification of the Rome Statute to the Parliament for discussion.

However, FIDH and SAF do not expect the ratification of the ICC Statute to be on the agenda of the Parliament before December 2006.

The Arabic version of this report is available on the FIDH website.

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