IBA releases first report on outreach and the ICC

The International Bar Association’s (IBA) Human Rights Institute released its first report on outreach and the International Criminal Court (ICC) today.

The report draws on the experience of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda as well as seminal developments in international law on impunity and the right to reparation to argue that outreach is not simply an ancillary, ‘public relations’ exercise. Rather, outreach is integral to the successful functioning of the Court and the effective realisation of the innovations under international law contained in the Rome Statute, particularly on victim participation and reparation and gender-based violations.

As the ICC has a wide range of constituents from the 100 states parties to stakeholders and interested parties in ‘situation’ countries to the general public, the report emphasises the necessity to tailor outreach programmes to particular contexts. The importance of a contextual approach to outreach is highlighted by the feedback from consultative workshops the IBA held in Uganda in partnership with the Uganda Law Society and in Delhi with the Bar Association of India, the Criminal Justice Society of India and India Society of International Law.

‘Outreach cannot be treated lightly. The ICTY and ICTR did not establish outreach programmes from the outset and they paid the price – propaganda was mounted and those most affected by the atrocities often saw the tribunal as remote and unrelated to their needs and interests,’ Justice Richard Goldstone, Co-Chair of the Human Rights Institute, said today. ‘Outreach must be seen as a central aspect of the Court’s work. As the ICC currently has insufficient funds for outreach activities, strengthening its resources and capacity must be a key priority at the next meeting of the Assembly of States Parties.’

For further information, please contact:

Lorna McGregor
Programme Lawyer
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: lorna.mcgregor@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


Notes

Background to the ICC Monitoring and Outreach Programme

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

The outreach component to the programme aims to deepen understanding of the place of the ICC both within the broader landscape of international justice and within particular contexts. The IBA has a lawyer based in London who works in partnership with bar associations, lawyers and civil society organisations in key countries, including India, Sudan and Uganda; works with bar associations on the role of lawyers in advancing ratification and implementation of the Rome Statute; and holds sessions on the ICC at regional and international IBA conferences. Reports on outreach, complementarily and ratification/ implementation of the Rome Statute and feedback from the IBA's outreach activities will be made available.

The IBA has a full time representative in The Hague who monitors 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.