Friday, December 11, 2009

Portland, ME celebrates the ICC on International Human Rights Day

This week AMICC was at the Fifth Annual International Human Rights Day Celebration organized by Amnesty International USA-Portland.

Centered on the International Criminal Court, the evening began with a screening of the compelling documentary  The Reckoning. The evening was co-sponsored by the United Nations Association of Maine and the Maine Alliance for the International Criminal Court (MAICC)

After the film, there was an audience Q&A with Patrick Downey, the UNA-Maine liaison to MAICC and Assistant Attorney General of Maine and Hannah Dunphy, AMICC Outreach Coordinator.

In discussing the film with Ms. Dunphy and the audience, Mr. Downey first explained the inherent similarities between US domestic law and the Rome Statute, exemplifying the success and significant contributions of the US during the Rome negotiations. In exploring the issue of complementarity, he explained the protections for the US within the Rome Statute. He noted that significant public outreach  needed to be done to dispel myths about the Court, many of which were left over from former President Bush's administration. He urged Mainers to learn about the Court and support it however they could. Speaking as a member of the legal community, he offered the opinion that the ICC is seen as the "cutting edge" of criminal and  international law.

Ms. Dunphy gave a review of the current relationship between the Obama Administration and the Court, citing the recent participation of a US delegation at the Eighth Session of the Assembly of States Parties in The Hague. She encouraged the audience to stay engaged with AMICC's advocacy efforts in order to push for the best possible relations between the US government and the ICC, particularly to ensure that the forthcoming policy on the ICC is positive and constructive. Both speakers discussed the great work of the Maine Alliance for the International Criminal Court, and the many ways in which Mainers could becomes advocates for the ICC.

No comments: