Eleventh Session of the ICC Assembly of States Parties

The Hague, 14-22 November 2012

From 14 to 22 November 2012, the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will meet in The Hague for its eleventh annual session to discuss a range of issues relating to the non-judicial functioning of the ICC, including its budget.  The ASP will be attended by States Parties, observer States, international organisations and non‑governmental organisations, including a delegation from No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ).
NPWJ’s presence at the Eleventh Session of the Assembly of States Parties
NPWJ's delegation will be headed by its Secretary-General Niccolo' Figa-Talamanca, who will also address the Assembly during the General Debate on Thursday, 15 November 2012.

NPWJ will also convene several side-events on:

NPWJ’s Policy Priorities for the Eleventh Session of the Assembly of States Parties

NPWJ believes there are three areas of vital importance in strengthening the ICC’s relevance and impact, as well as its efficiency and effectiveness, and the role that the Assembly and individual States Parties have to play in that respect. Those areas are: outreach; ICC field presence; and an ICC situation Completion Strategy.
Outreach: Outreach is a critical element for the success of the ICC in fulfilling its mandate to bring justice for the worst crimes known to the world. International Criminal Court (ICC) outreach activities are of crucial importance and remain one of the most important ways to improve ICC work in situation countries. Outreach plays a vital role in enhancing the effectiveness of ICC proceedings because it promotes understanding of, and hence support for, the Court's mandate – which is not always obvious to affected communities. Boosting the peoples’ capacities means engaging the entire society, especially under-represented and vulnerable groups, including women, youth, children and people living in rural and marginalised areas, in order to have their voice and interests, which are often neglected, heard and built into the fabric of transitional justice.
As highlighted by a recent survey on the impact and legacy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone from the perspective of the people of Sierra Leone and Liberia, conducted by NPWJ at the request of the SCSL and in cooperation with partners from both countries, the outreach activities of the SCSL substantially contributed to the effectiveness and efficiency of the Special Court as a whole, from investigations to appeals. The ICC and its States Parties should apply the lessons learnt from the SCSL in three respects.
Outreach activities need to begin at the earliest possible opportunity, preferably from the time when the Court first begins a preliminary examination in a situation, to engage communities and engage their support for and cooperation with the ICC in all its aspects, from initial investigations to the conclusion of all appeal proceedings. Sufficient human and financial resources for outreach should be available through the regular budget. A registry-led outreach should be done in coordination with other organs of the court so that all the voices of all parts of the Court can be brought to the people and so the people’s voices can be heard by all organs of the court.
Field presence: ensuring an enhanced and strengthened ICC field presence is important for all of the Court’s functions, from outreach to investigations to trials. The ICC is an institution established precisely to deal with conflict and post-conflict situations and can and must find ways to work within those environments, as many other international agencies do. To do so, it needs to have the vision of itself as serving the people affected by conflict and by the crimes within its jurisdiction, a vision that ICC States Parties must share and must demonstrate to the Court through its policy guidance. States Parties to the ICC should continue to engage with the Court in discussions on the centrality of field offices in the implementation of the mandate of the Court and to support the Court in its ongoing efforts, both in the omnibus resolution and in its budget deliberations.
ICC completion strategy: the ICC is a permanent institution but from the perspective of each of its situations, the engagement of the ICC is transitory: it begins with a preliminary examination, then proceeds through investigation and prosecution, and ends with appeal. As such, for each situation, the ICC, just like the ad hoc tribunals and the Special Court for Sierra Leone, needs a Completion Strategy. A comprehensive completion strategy needs to be based on a clear vision of the effect the ICC could and should have in its situation countries, together with a clear vision of what it aims to achieve, and how the ICC system, including complementarity, can help each country in its transition from conflict to post-conflict, from dictatorship to democracy and from periods of political instability and violence to peace. As the ICC is concluding its first trials, States Parties should consider an ICC situation completion strategy as a critical element in enhancing the ICC’s efficiency, effectiveness and ability to fulfil its mandate. 

NPWJ and the ICC
No Peace Without Justice, which is a founding member of the NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) and which has been one of the organisations at the forefront of promoting the establishment and entry into force of the permanent International Criminal Court (ICC) and continues to work for its universal ratification, has participated in every session of the ASP since its first session in 2002, the year the ICC was established.

For further information, contact Alison Smith on asmith@npwj.org or +32-2-548-3912 or Nicola Giovannini on ngiovannini@npwj.org or +32-2-548-3915.