Saturday, November 28, 2009

Will Jean-Pierre Bemba be granted an interim release?

"On 2 December, 2009, at 9:00 a.m. (local time in The Hague), the Appeals Chamber of the ICC will deliver in open court the judgment on the appeal levied by the Prosecutor on 14 August, 2009, against the decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber II, issued on the same day, on the interim release of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo."

Follow a live stream at 3:00 a.m. on December 2, 2009 or see the decision on our Twitter account.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Transcript of Rapp's remarks to ASP

Above, U.S. Ambassador to War Crimes Stephen Rapp addressing the ICC's Assembly of States Parties in The Hague, November 19th. Read the statement here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Opening of the ICC's 2nd trial Nov. 24: The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui

The ICC will begin its second trial this Tuesday, November 24, 2009 against Congolese warlords Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui. They are accused of 7 war crimes and 3 crimes against humanity, including murder, sexual slavery, and rape.

You can obtain a copy of the hearing schedule* and follow a live stream of the trial.

*Please note that the times shown are in Central European Time (CET), which translates into a 6 hour difference. As well, there is a 30 minute delay in the live stream.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Human Rights Watch Calls For a Stronger ICC

HRW's press release today calls for 110 member states of the ICC to use the ASP to strengthen the Court and international justice:

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."

More on U.S. participation in the ASP: State Department

Daily Press Briefing , November 16, 2009, with Ian Kelly, Department Spokesman:

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

Success! U.S. Participation in ASP comes after months of AMICC's Obama/ICC advocacy campaign

Today's announcement by U.S. ambassador-at-large to war crimes Stephen Rapp is a major victory for the U.S. movement for the International Criminal Court. At a press conference in Nairobi Rapp told journalists that he would lead the delegation to the ICC's annual meeting of the Assembly of States Parties. The U.S will participate as an observer.

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.

From AP:

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 Delegation to Attend Assembly of States Parties Meeting in The Hague

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.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Upcoming Event: Excerpts of "The Reckoning" and Panel Discussion

The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court (excerpts)
Panel Discussion on the ICC
Ruth Wedgwood
Kenneth Anderson
John B. Bellinger III
Gary D. Solis
Jane E. Stromseth

November 16, 2009, 4:30-6 PM
Johns Hopkins SAIS Rome Auditorium
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

Monday, November 09, 2009

Sudanese Leader Will Not Attend Islamic Meeting in Turkey

From Voice of America:

"Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has canceled a planned visit to Turkey to attend a summit of the Islamic conference in Istanbul. Turkey has faced mounting criticism from the international community for its invitation to the Sudanese leader, who has been indicted for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court.  

More here.