The United Nations Association Chapter of Louisville, KY collaborated with the Kentucky Coalition for the ICC for a Human Rights Day screening of "The Reckoning: The Battle for the international Criminal Court." Read an interview with UNA Chapter President Matt Hanka in some local coverage here.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Nov. 25, Day 2: The first Court witness, the Head of the Office of he Prosecutor (OTP) Investigation Team, was called to testify. He presented information on the conditions under which the team conducted its investigations and the challenges they faced. As well, he explained the methods the team used to investigate, the selection process in obtaining evidence, and the review of potentially exonerating evidence. The Judges, the Prosecution, the Legal Representatives of Victims and the Defense teams asked questions.
Nov. 26, Day 3: The first witness from the OTP, a resident of Bogoro at the time of the attack, was called to testify. He provided information on the topography of Bogoro (ie: the ethnic groups present in the area, the number of residents, etc.) and on the Bogoro Institute itself which was occupied by soldiers from the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC).
Nov. 27, Day 4: In a closed session, the same witness shed light on incidents which happened to women and young girls. He further spoke of pillaging and the burning of houses, testifying that most houses were destroyed or raised to the grounds after the February 24, 2003 events.
Nov. 30, Day 5: The Defense teams started a cross-examination of the OTP’s witness. The witness testified there were about 200 civilian deaths. The Defense’s cross-examination was cut short as the hearing was adjourned early due to Judge Cotte having to attend a doctor’s appointment.
Dec. 1, Day 6: The Defense teams continued their cross-examination of the witness. The witness stated that soldiers and civilians in Bogoro had different weapons: only soldiers were allowed guns while civilians had bladed weapons such as machetes. He further testified on burials, languages spoken in the area, ethnic inheritance and the presence of women and children in the Institute.
Dec. 2, Day 7: The trial was suspended until January 26, 2010 given that Judge Christine Van den Wyngaert had a traffic accident the evening before.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
08 December 2009 - Senegal, the first country in the world to ratify the Rome Statute, today reiterated in Dakar that it was ready to “execute the warrants of this important Court, with the aim of eradicating impunity in the world.”
The Senegalese Minister for Justice, Mr Moustapha Sourang, before the representatives of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and eight countries from French-speaking West Africa - Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Conakry, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo - opened the first regional seminar on international criminal justice.
The seminar was organised by the ICC, in partnership with the Centre de Formation Judiciaire du Sénégal [Senegal Judicial Training Centre] and the International Organisation for the French-speaking World (the International Organisation of La Francophonie, OIF).
Read the whole article here.
Friday, December 04, 2009
The Defense recognized that this was the opening of the OTP case and kept their remarks short as they wait for the opening of the Defense's case. Mr. Kilenda highlighted some flaws in the Prosecution’s presentation, and further underlined that the OTP had not interviewed the highest authorities of Uganda and the DRC to establish the full truth.
The Legal Representatives of Victims, Mr. Gilissen representing 7 child soldiers and Mr. Luvengika on behalf of 338 victims, expressed the victims’ hope that they would seek recognition for the atrocities inflicted upon them.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
The following issues are among those that have been and will be discussed by the working group in their meetings as well as in their open events and dialogues:
- moral, ethical and theological imperatives and the importance of the ICC as a powerful representation of these values;
- moral, political and ethical dimensions of impunity;
- reconciliation and long term peace building;
- individual and collective healing in society;
- redressive justice;
- relationships between confession, repentance, compensation and forgiveness;
- issues of psychological and spiritual rehabilitation;
We welcome the participation of all faith and ethics-based organizations. For information about attending meetings or joining the US FENICC, please contact chair Bruce Knotts. For more information, please visit AMICC's website.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
December 1: 5:00 pm
White Plains, NY
Perspectives on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and US Membership.
Featuring AMICC Convener John Washburn and Northwestern University School of Law Professor Jide Nzelibe. Moderated by Prof. Alexander Greenawalt, Pace University Law School. Presented by United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) Westchester Chapter and co-sponsored by Pace Law School, Citizens for Global Solutions and the Unitarian-Universalist UN Office. Pace University Law School, Preston Hall - Tudor Room, 52 North Broadway. Click here for directions. Refreshments will be served following the program. Information: email@example.com or (914) 472-5490.
December 10: 7:00 pm
Human Rights Day Screening and Discussion of the film The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court.
Post-film discussion about the ICC with Patrick Downey, Maine Assistant Attorney General and AMCC Outreach Coordinator Hannah Dunphy. Organized by Portland Amnesty International and co-sponsored by UNA-Maine and the Maine Alliance for the International Criminal Court (MAICC). University Events Room, 7th floor of Glickman Family Library at University of Southern Maine Portland, 314 Forest Avenue. For more information, contact Leo Barrington at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Screening of "The Reckoning"
The Louisville chapter of UNA and the KY Coalition of the ICC will host a screening of The Reckoning on International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10th. More information TBA.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
The ICC has made mistakes that need to be tackled," said Elizabeth Evenson, counsel in the International Justice Program at Human Rights Watch. "But the ICC's 110 member countries should step up their efforts to uphold its critical role as a court of last resort and to respond vigorously to the court's unprincipled opponents."
QUESTION: All right. And my last thing is today in Nairobi, Stephen Rapp, your Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes, said that you would be sending someone to the ICC as an observer. A, is that correct? B, aren’t you treading extremely close to violating the Services Protection Act doing something like this?
MR. KELLY: Yes. Mr. Rapp is correct. We will participate in these meetings as an observer and there will be an interagency delegation comprising of State Department and Defense Department officials, which will allow us to advance, use and engage all the delegations in various matters of interest to the U.S., specifically, our concerns about the definition of a crime of aggression, which is one of the main topics for discussion at this conference. This in no way suggests that we have – we don’t – we no longer have concerns about the ICC. We do have concerns about it. We have specific concerns about assertion of jurisdiction over nationals of a nonparty state and the ability to exercise that jurisdiction without authorizations by the Security Council.
Regarding possible reference to the American Service-Members’ Protection Act, there is a law that restricts our support to the ICC. But we believe and the interagency group that looked at this believes, after carefully examining it, that attending this meeting as an observer would not violate that or any other applicable law.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Two weeks ago, AMICC issued an Action Alert to asking our supporters to tell Obama to make sure the U.S. was present at the ASP meeting, and more than a thousand of our members and supporters took action. Today's announcement is a directly result of the pressure from the American public on the administration, and evidence of the power of advocacy. AMICC welcomes this decision as a positive step forward in U.S./ICC relations.
As a reminder, AMICC's Convener John Washburn and Deputy Convener Matthew Heaphy will be at the ASP meeting, so follow us here or on AMICC's website.
William R. Pace, an official of a global network of organizations that tracks the work of the court, said his group welcomed the change in the U.S. position.
"With virtually all the international tribunals in closing-down mode; in a few years the ICC will be the only game in town," said Pace, the convener of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court. "It is thus very important that the Obama Administration returns to participate in the development of the court and the new system of international criminal justice." Read the whole article here.
US Ambassador-at-large for War Crimes Mr. Stephen Rapp confirmed that the US delegation will attend as an observer for the first time at an Assembly of States Parties in The Hague:
"Our government has now made the decision that Americans will return to engagement at the ICC," Rapp told a news conference in Nairobi, adding that this was consistent with a shift toward greater engagement that started in 2005."
The Eight Session of the Assembly of States Parties which will take place in The Hague from 18-26 November 2009 will provide a monumental positive step in US-ICC relations. Although any debate about the US joining the ICC could be years away, Washington is "looking to engage with the ICC to ensure that in places where there are no other avenues for accountability that it will be an effective instrument for ensuring that individuals are brought to justice," Rapp said.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
November 16, 2009, 4:30-6 PM
1619 Massachusetts Ave NW
Screening excerpt of the film from 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m, followed by panel discussion from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Please RSVP. To find out more, email MatthewJOwens@gmail.com
Monday, November 09, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
States Parties to the Rome Statute highlighted the importance of complementarity, cooperation, and universality for the ICC’s efficient functioning. They urged States Parties and UN member states to fulfill their obligations under international law (namely the UN Charter) and fully cooperate with the Security Council. (Read: arrest and surrender Omar Al-Bashir!)
Sudan's Ambassador to the UN brought some fire to the room criticizing states for hiding behind diplomatic phrases. He stated that the ICC poses a threat to the peace and security of societies, especially in Africa, and does not achieve justice. He characterized the upcoming Review Conference* as a tool to settle political accounts in the name of justice. He also criticized Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, calling him an unprofessional political activist who chases fame and popularity. The delegate called for a stop to the politicization of justice which in his view expresses a new form of legal apartheid where the ICC’s selectivity and double standards in targeting only African leaders encroaches upon the sovereignty of these targeted states.
*The Assembly of States Parties will hold a Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda in May 2010.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
"We were shown photos of the destruction of the AU base in Haskanita, with Abu Garda sitting there listening intently, and told how looted AU cars were seen in his possession the day after the attack."
Read Jan Coebergh's full impressions of the proceedings here.
Update on the Prosecution (as of 10/27/09):
The Prosecution, headed by Ms. Fatou Bensouda, described the attack on Peacekeeprs at MGS Haskanita which took place on September 29, 2007 as a deliberate, intentional, and planned attack that resulted in the death of 12 AMIS personnel. Eight were injured as a result of the attack.
Witnesses for the Prosecution
The Court also received the first out of three Prosecution witnesses, Witness 416. He testified it was impossible to mistake the AMIS camp for anything else due to the difference in uniforms between AMIS personnel, rebels, and civilians. Witness 416 further attested to the pillaging that took place at the sight in the aftermath of the attacks, as well as to the theft of automobiles, personal goods, food and ammunition.
On Thursday, October 22, 2009 a second Prosecution witness appeared in Court. Witness 466 expressed that the AMIS mission (as he understood it) revolved around ensuring the Darfur Peace agreement was held up, as well as monitoring or safeguarding the delivery of humanitarian supplies in Darfur. While he testified the attack on MGS Haskanita took place on September 29, 2007, much of his testimony was held in a private session.
Update on the Defense (as of 10/27/09):
-Abu Garda did not plan, aid, assist, or partake in the attacks
-Mr. Abu Garda was in Libya, not Sudan, and was traveling throughout Africa as part of JEM political meetings prior to the attack. He did not threaten to or plan an attack against MGS Haskanita.
-The evidence of the OTP is unreliable, incomplete and deficient.
For more information about the hearings for Abu Garda and the investigationsin Darfur, check out AMICC's website.
A Confirmation of Charges Hearing is not a trial in itself and does not erode the presumption of innocence of the defendant; rather, it allows the ICC to hear the Prosecution, Defense, and Victims’ perspectives of the crime in order to then judge whether or not the case merits going to trial at the ICC
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The Obama administration is now determining its ICC policy, in close consultation with the Departments of State and Defense. If it waits too long to engage, it will be too late to ensure meaningful U.S. participation in the Review Conference. Tell President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of Defense Bill Gates that you think the U.S. should participate in this important ICC meeting next month in The Hague.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
"On 19-30 October 2009, ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I will hold a public hearing to examine the available evidence of war crimes against Darfur rebel leader Bahr Idriss Abu Garda for alleged attacks against African Union peacekeepers at the Haskanita military base in Darfur, Sudan in September 2007. Pre-Trial Chamber I will then have 60 days to decide whether or not there is sufficient evidence to move the case forward to trial."
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Monday, October 05, 2009
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
The partners of the Great Lakes Policy Forum cordially invite you to attend the
148th GREAT LAKES POLICY FORUM
Thursday, October 1, 2009 from 9am - 11am "
The ICC in Africa: Impartial Judge or Neo-Colonial Project?"
Suliman Baldo, Africa Director International Center for Transitional Justice
Charles Villa-Vicencio, Ph.D., Former Executive Director Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, Cape Town
Ruth Wedgwood, Director, International Law & Organizations Program Johns Hopkins University
The forum will be moderated by: Steve Utterwulghe, Vice President, International Development Search for Common Ground
Location Johns Hopkins University Kenney Auditorium (SAIS) 1740 Massachusetts Ave., NW Washington, D.C.
Contact Singto Saro-Wiwa at Search for Common Ground: 202-265-4300.
Kindly RSVP to email@example.com by September 30 at the latest.
Friday, September 25, 2009
"The International Criminal Court on Friday ruled that Germain Katanga, a former militia leader in the Democratic Republic of Congo, should be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
"On June 1, the defence team had argued that Katanga should not be tried by the ICC because he also faced trial in DR Congo on similar charges.
"Katanga, 31, and a fellow defendant, Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, 38, face trial for murders, rapes and other atrocities committed in February 2003 when their forces jointly attacked the village of Bogoro in Ituri, a mineral-rich region in northeastern DR Congo. Katanga is also accused of enlisting child soldiers and using women as sex slaves." (Full article here)
AMICC BACKGROUND on KATANGA
On October 17, 2007, Germain Katanga, alleged commander of the Force de résistance patriotique en Ituri (FPRI), was arrested and transferred by DRC authorities to the ICC. Pre-Trial Chamber I issued a sealed warrant of arrest for Mr. Katanga, also known as Simba, on July 2, 2007 based on allegations of six war crimes and three crimes against humanity including murder, sexual slavery and intentionally directing attacks at civilians.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
"While the United States is still eligible to take part in the Review Conference and its preparations, it is not certain whether it will. President Obama has declared that he plans to work closer with the ICC. However, he is waiting for the completion of a U.S. review on its policy towards the Court before deciding whether to send a representative to the Conference or its preparations. This review is not expected to be completed for another 4 to 6 months. This means that the President may not make his decision until after the last preparatory meeting for the Review Conference has concluded. Not attending the preparatory meetings would cause the United States to walk into a Conference where the agenda has already been set and where American concerns may not have been addressed beforehand, leaving the U.S. at a disadvantage to influence the proceedings." Read the whole report here.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Watch it here.
Monday, August 17, 2009
John Bellinger's Aug. 10 op-ed ["A Global Court Quandary for the President"] exaggerated the vulnerability of the U.S. military to the International Criminal Court and overestimated the expectations of ICC supporters that the United States will join the court soon.
The court's Rome Statute in Article 98, misused by the Bush administration to try to get immunity for all American citizens, provides the American armed forces the same protection from the ICC through status-of-forces agreements that they enjoy from any other foreign jurisdiction. Most governments and other supporters understand that the inherent difficulties of U.S. treaty ratification mean that full U.S. participation in the court is a long way off. Instead, they work for the extensive U.S. support for and commitment to the court short of ratification, which Mr. Bellinger recommended.
The government's current review of policy on the ICC appears to be focused first on the degree and management of that support. Mr. Bellinger is right that at the same time the United States must defend and explain its interests by joining in the preparatory negotiations underway for the court's 2010 Review Conference.
The writer is the convener of the American NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court, a program of the United Nations Association of the USA.
See the letter here
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
On Tuesday, August 4th, AMICC teamed up with Culture Project and filmakers Paco de Onis and Pamela Yates for a screening of "The Reckoning" documentary.
Over one hundred members of the community joined engaged with panel members for a post-film discussion with Christine Chung, former Senior Trial Attorney for the ICC (far right) Gabor Rona, International Legal Director, Human Rights First (second from right), Pamela Yates, Director of "The Reckoning," and Paul Van Zyl, Executive Vice-President, International Center for Transitional Justice (far left).
AMICC Outreach Coordinator Hannah Dunphy communicated the current priorities for the U.S. campaign for ratification of the Rome Statute, particularly the need for the Obama administration to engage positively with the upcoming Review Conference of the Assembly of State Parties.
Audience members generated letters to the administration, and left inspired with ideas on how to engage their respective organizations and communities towards U.S. ratification of the ICC.
TAKE ACTION FOR THE ICC
Weren't there to send a letter to Obama? Don't worry! Send one electronically and tell Obama why the U.S. needs to support the ICC now! -Click here-
The International Criminal Court is moving! The construction of the court's permanent home will soon be underway. Above is one of the potential designs for the building, which must serve as courtroom, legal offices, high level security detention facility and community space for survivors and other participants in the court's proceedings.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
More work remains to ensure justice for war crimes victims, says head of ICC
On Jul 18th, the Albuquerque Alliance for the ICC and Chapter of the United Nations Association-USA held a community panel discussion led by New Mexicans who have lived and worked in Afghanistan, Pakistan, or other regions of Central Asia. The discussion focused on current conflicts, policies and potential solutions for justice, including the International Criminal Court.
Mr. Ed Rau USAF retired. military attache in Afghanistan and consultant for US policy in Afghan-Soviet war
Professor Tahseen A Cheema, MD, Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery, UNM and visiting professor National Orthopaedic Hospital, Bahawapur. Pakistan.
Lt. Colonel Frank Oliveira, NM Army National Guard. Member Counterinsurgency Training Team, Afghanistan 2007-2008
To get involved with AMICC in Albuquerque, NM, email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South
Presented by Culture Project + American NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court
A talkback with filmmaker Pamela Yates, Christine Chung (former ICC Senior Trial Attorney), Paul Van Zyl (co founder of the International Center for Transitional Justice) and others will follow.
Wednesday, August 5th @ 6:30PM
The Tribeca Grand Hotel
2 Avenue of the Americas
presented by United Nations Association-New York
(Click here for details)
As the Obama Administration completes its policy review, AMICC is urging its members and supporters to take action during this critical time. Tell Obama and members of Congress that the time is NOW for the U.S. to engage with the ICC as the Assembly of State Parties prepares for the 2010 Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda.
Protect justice: send your letter today!