I am pleased to introduce this year’s IntLawGrrls symposium on the International Criminal Court (ICC) Assembly of States Parties (ASP). The 17th session of the Assembly runs from December 5-12 in The Hague, Netherlands. [credit: Marie-Laure Tapp, CPIJ]
The Assembly will discuss and adopt resolutions on a number of issues considered annually, such as the ICC’s budget. It will hold a plenary discussion on cooperation – as one of the key challenges facing the Court – on Friday, December 7. Additionally, this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute of the ICC. The Assembly will hold a plenary session on Friday, December 7, to celebrate and assess this anniversary. It will also hold a plenary discussion on the topic of “achievements and challenges regarding victims’ participation and legal representation after 20 years of the adoption of the Rome Statute” on Tuesday, December 11. Additionally, there are numerous side events considering the 20th anniversary. This IntLawGrrls symposium will cover all of these topics – and more!
Today, at the opening of the Assembly, states began with a moment of silence in honour of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and to remember victims of mass atrocities. Assembly President O-Gon Kwon of South Korea spoke, urging states in arrears to pay their outstanding contributions. The Prosecutor of the ICC indicated that she will launch her office’s report on preliminary examinations during a side-event on Monday, December 10. She also urged states to execute the ICC’s arrest warrants, and pressed states to provide the ICC with the financial resources it needs. The Netherlands, as host state, announced that it would make a voluntary contribution of one million Euros to the ICC’s Trust Fund for Victims, earmarked for victims and affected communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic. A number of states also made pledges during the General Debate to contribute to the Trust Fund for Victims (Germany, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia), or to conclude a cooperation agreement with the ICC (Costa Rica).
The first two posts in this symposium are by Ariel Wheway, on the crime of aggression; and Marilynn Rubayika, on the Bemba case. Both are attending the Assembly as members of the Canadian Partnership for International Justice.
Ariel is an IntLawGrrls contributor based in Ottawa. Welcome back to the IntLawGrrls, Ariel!
Marilynn Rubayika earned a Juris Doctor and a Licence in Civil Law from the University of Ottawa in 2017. She is the 2018-2019 Public Interest Articling Fellow at the Canadian Centre for International Justice. Her main interests are the victims’ participation regime at the International Criminal Court and questions related to sexual and gender-based violence. She has recently worked directly with victims ofinternational crimes. Previously, Marilynn completed legal internships at the International Humanitarian Law department of the Canadian Red Cross and at the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Section of the Canadian Department of Justice. She also volunteered for the Philippe Kirsch Institute and completed a volunteer legal advisor mandate with Lawyers Without Borders Canada in Ivory Coast. A heartfelt welcome to Marilynn to this IntLawGrrls symposium!