IBA report concludes publicity is important for justice and recommends the ICC place more information in the public domain

In a report issued today the International Bar Association (IBA) referred to the need for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to develop a coherent strategy on external communications. The new IBA/ICC Monitoring and Outreach Programme report The Quest for a Public Face looks into the challenges of fulfilling the ICC’s external communications mandate and discusses the link between publicity in international criminal proceedings and the work of the ICC.

Mark Ellis, IBA Executive Director, stated: ‘Following the approach of other international tribunals, the Rome Statute calls for the Court’s proceedings to be widely published. Publicity – and transparency – are important not only to ensure that the public is informed of the Court’s work but also to enhance the credibility of the ICC as an institution. The IBA welcomes efforts made to date in this area, and encourages the Court to move forward and develop a more coherent strategy on external communications’.

Ensuring that international proceedings are accessible to the global public inevitably involves many challenges. However, recent prominent cases have raised the public profile of the ICC, forcing it to engage proactively with the global community. More specifically, the need to enhance the dialogue with the media and other actors across the globe demands the development of a strategic framework for public information that can better catalyse and coordinate the efforts of different organs of the Court.

The IBA report The Quest for a Public Face also recognises the crucial role that States Parties to the ICC can play in external communications. The IBA urges the Assembly of States Parties to collectively reaffirm the importance of disseminating information and publicising ICC proceedings, as well as publically supporting the Court.

To increase effectiveness of the external communications function of Court the IBA includes the following recommendations in the report:

  • The development of a court-wide vision and practice on external communications where different organs of the ICC coordinate their approach, share information and learn from each other.
  • The development of a specific strategic framework for public information with the aim to revise tools in a creative manner - including upgrading the ICC website to make it more user-friendly.
  • The integration of public information and outreach – with an increased investment in partnership with local stakeholders- to keep affected communities in a given country as well as the general public abreast of the latest in trials.
  • An earlier start of outreach in situations under analysis through the development of specific strategy in this regard.
  • The recognition by the Assembly of States Parties of the importance of communication activities and consequent allocation by the Assembly of adequate resources for public information in the budget of the Registry and the Presidency.

Click here to download the report The Quest for a Public Face from the IBA website:


For further information please contact:

Liliana De Marco Coenen

IBA Head, Outreach Programme (ICC)
IBA/ICC Monitoring and Outreach Programme
Carnegieplein 2
2517 KJ The Hague
The Netherlands
Tel: +31(0)70 302 2827
E-mail: liliana.demarco-coenen@int-bar.org
Website: www.ibanet.org

Romana St Matthew-Daniel
Press Office

International Bar Association
10th Floor
1 Stephen Street
London W1T 1AT
Mobile: +44 (0)7940 731915
Direct Line: +44 (0)20 7691 6837
Main Office: +44 (0)20 7691 6868
Fax:+44 (0)20 7691 6544
E-mail: romana.daniel@int-bar.org
Website: www.ibanet.org

Notes to the Editor

The Assembly of States Parties is the management oversight and legislative body of the International Criminal Court (ICC). It is established by the Rome Statute and composed of representatives of the States – currently 110 – that have ratified and acceded to the Rome Statute. Each State Party has one vote. States which have signed the Rome Statute may attend the meetings of the Assembly as observers.

The Assembly of States Parties decides by consensus or by vote. Issues before the Assembly of States Parties include the adoption of ICC normative texts and of the budget, as well as the election of the judges and of the Prosecutor and the Deputy Prosecutor. The Assembly has no competence to settle any disputes concerning the Court's judicial functions which are to be resolved by a decision of the Court itself.

Background to the IBA’s ICC Monitoring and Outreach Programme

In October 2005, the IBA started its ICC Monitoring and Outreach Programme funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

The monitoring component follows and reports on the work and proceedings of the ICC, focusing in particular on issues affecting the fair trial rights of the accused; the implementation of the 1998 Rome Statute, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, and related ICC documents, in the context of relevant international standards.

The outreach component of the programme works in partnership with bar associations, lawyers and civil society organisations disseminating information and promoting debate on the ICC in different jurisdictions across the globe. The IBA facilitates a proactive role for bar associations and lawyers in the implementation of the Rome Statute in key countries.

The programme produces an e-Magazine for lawyers as well as periodic reports detailing the key findings and recommendations which are made available to the Court, IBA members, civil society and the public at large. The IBA has a dedicated section on its website which contains full information on the ICC Monitoring and Outreach Programme, including programme descriptions, agendas and reports. Further information can be found at: