IBA Releases First Report on International Criminal Court

The International Bar Association’s (IBA) Human Rights Institute today released its first report on the work and proceedings of the International Criminal Court (ICC) based in The Hague.

The IBA has received funding from the MacArthur Foundation for a two-year programme to monitor the work and proceedings of the ICC and to conduct training activities on the Court.

The IBA has a full-time representative in The Hague who will monitor the work and the 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. Input is received from legal experts and other interested parties in assessing the work and proceedings of the Court. Analysis and summaries of significant issues before the Court will be disseminated to IBA members, the legal community and the general public.

The report covers the period from 17 October 2005 (when the project started) to 31 March 2006. It also summarises Pre-Trial Chamber activity from 2004 when proceedings began. All proceedings during this period had been closed to the public, but on 20 March 2006 that changed, with the appearance of the first accused, Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, from the Democratic Republic of Congo. This was a milestone in the history of the Court.

In preparing the report, the IBA sought views from many sources, including academic institutions, non-governmental organisations, diplomatic missions, defence counsel, and staff of the ICC, as well as other international criminal courts and ad hoc tribunals.

The IBA also received input from a number of judges and lawyers with experience in international criminal, humanitarian and human rights law.

Among issues considered by the IBA were:

  • Differing views as to the roles of the organs of the Court during pre-trial activity and the marriage of elements of the civil and common law systems;
  • The need for adequate time and facilities for the preparation of the defence with regard to ensuring equality of arms; and
  • The need for transparency of proceedings.

The IBA will continue to follow and regularly report on these and other issues, paying particular attention to the fair trial rights of the accused in the context of relevant international standards.

For further information, please contact:

Fiona Paterson
Director
Human Rights Institute
International Bar Association
10th Floor
1 Stephen Street
London W1T 1AT
United Kingdom

Tel: + 44 (0)20 7691 6868
Fax: + 44 (0)20 7691 6544
E-mail: fiona.paterson@int-bar.org
Website: www.ibanet.org


Romana St Matthew - Daniel
Press Office
International Bar Association
10th Floor
1 Stephen Street
London W1T 1AT
United Kingdom

Tel: + 44 (0)20 7691 6868
Fax: + 44 (0)20 7691 6544
E-mail: romana.daniel@int-bar.org
Website: www.ibanet.org

About the IBA’s ICC Evaluation/ Educational Programme:

The Human Rights Institute has received a major two-year grant from the MacArthur Foundation for an International Criminal Court (ICC) Evaluation/Educational Programme.

The project is designed to monitor and report on the work of the ICC and provides in-depth, objective analyses to the ICC, the public and the media. The project is run by a team of two legal experts; one based in The Hague and the other working from the IBA office in London.

The IBA’s representative in The Hague will monitor the work and the 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. Input is received from legal experts and other interested parties in assessing the work and proceedings of the Court. Analysis and summaries of significant issues before the Court will be disseminated to IBA members, the legal community and the general public.

The IBA’s representative in London is coordinating and implementing the outreach component of the programme, aimed at deepening the understanding of the ICC’s role within the broader landscape of international justice. This will involve working in key countries, including Uganda and Sudan. The IBA will be able to draw on the wider IBA membership to promote discussion and disseminate information on the ICC.

As a two-way process aimed at participation and ownership, the results of discussions from all outreach programmes will be fed back to court and the key stakeholders involved. Reports will also be published on our website.