Day 8 of the International Criminal Court Assembly of States Parties (ASP) featured a number of important discussions. The morning plenary began with an interactive session on the 20th anniversary of the ICC, including an address by the President of the
ICC, Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, who asked the audience to recall the original goals of the ICC and consider how they are still applicable today. In his remarks, William R. Pace, Convenor of the Coalition for the ICC, called upon all supporters of the ICC to recommit to the Court and its mandate. He urged a wide variety of actors – states, NGOs, the ICC, the United Nations, Italy as the host country of the Rome negotiations, academia, etc. – to organize events at the domestic, regional and international levels to seriously take stock of the last two decades, to educate, and look forward to the Court’s next 20 years. The CICC will launch commemorations on 15 February 2018 with a forum and reception in The Hague. A number of states made comments on their hopes for the 20th anniversary, including Estonia on behalf of the European Union, Norway, Philippines, Slovenia, Finland, Andorra, Mexico, New Zealand (calling for more technical assistance to States Parties and those hoping to join), Japan, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Senegal, Peru, Uruguay and Korea.
Other sessions of the day were closed and focused on the Court’s 2018 budget, the overarching ‘omnibus’ resolution, the proposed war crimes amendment, and intense negotiations on the activation of the crime of aggression. Day 9 is the final day of the ASP. We will see adoption of ASP resolutions on cooperation, the 2018 Court budget and the omnibus resolution, as well as recommendations to the ICC’s judges on the qualifications to take into account in electing the ICC’s Registrar in March 2018. We may also see a resolution on amendments to the Rome Statute. Of course, all eyes will be on the outcome of the discussions on activation of the crime of aggression.
On Day 8, I was very pleased to organize and speak at a side-event on “Prosecuting Sexual and Gender-based Violence at the Special Court for Sierra Leone”, which will be the subject of a separate post.
Sophie Gagné joins the IntLawGrrls ICC ASP Symposium today with a blog post in French on judge-elect Kimberly Prost. Sophie graduated in 2016 from an Integrated Bachelor in Public Affairs and International Relations (hon.) at Université Laval. She is currently both a full-time LL.M. and part-time LL.B. candidate at Université Laval. Her LL.M. research project, which she is completing under the supervision of Prof. Fannie Lafontaine and Julia Grignon, is about qualification of the end of armed conflicts by international criminal judges. She participates in the work of the Canada Research Chair on International Criminal Justice and Human Rights, as well as of the Interdisciplinary Centre on Africa and Middle East. Since 2015, she has been working closely with the Clinique de droit international pénal et humanitaire, as well as with the Canadian Partnership for International Justice since its creation in 2016.
Heartfelt welcome, Sophie, to the IntLawGrrls Symposium!