Thursday, January 26, 2012

American Bar Association Center for Human Rights Announces Development of ICC Project

The American Bar Association, whose Section of International Law is an AMICC member, announced its intention to launch a project on the International Criminal Court which it is developing through its Center for Human Rights in close coordination and cooperation with AMICC:

CHR to Launch ICC Project

The American Bar Association has long supported the International Criminal Court (ICC) and its mission of ending impunity for the world’s worst crimes. ABA policy calls for U.S. accession to the Rome Statute, which established the Court; until then, the ABA has urged cooperative U.S. engagement with the Court.

To these ends, the Center for Human Rights has established a new ICC Project to enhance understanding and acceptance of the ICC’s vital role in securing a just rule of law for all people. At full strength, the project will:

Provide Practitioner Training by convening conferences and workshops for American and international criminal practitioners. The project also will train ICC staff and sponsor educational visits by federal, state, and local criminal litigators, investigators and administrators to the ICC to “shadow” their ICC counterparts and learn about ICC practices and procedures.

Foster Engagement among American and ICC officials by establishing venues for ongoing dialogue among ICC officials, policymakers, and stakeholders. One such forum, for example, will convene American proponents and opponents of the ICC to discuss U.S. policy toward the Court and ICC-related “current events”; another will compare and contrast features of American and international criminal prosecutions, such as pre-trial detention, examination of witnesses, and appellate procedures. The project also will facilitate meetings between ICC and U.S. officials on a regular basis, fostering high-level relationships and building of trust.

Advocate before the U.S. Legislative and Executive Branches by developing and implementing (with the ABA Governmental Affairs Office) advocacy strategies and opportunities, including an “ICC Lobby Day” and perhaps an “ICC Caucus” within Congress, and deploying ABA members and other elements of the legal profession to leverage their influence in the ICC’s behalf toward greater U.S. engagement with the Court.

The ICC Project will be guided by an advisory committee comprised of top-level ABA leaders and pre-eminent figures in international law and advocacy.

The project will be launched formally at an event in spring or summer 2012 that will convene major stakeholders in the U.S.-ICC relationship, including ICC officials, U.S. governmental leaders, foreign dignitaries, and representatives from relevant think tanks, academia and NGOs.

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