Interview with Kimberley Prost


  • See other interviews, sessions and speeches from Dublin

    Timings and topics are given below.

  • The 1267 Committee – reference to the number of the resolution which created the committee in 1999.

    1.00  The reasons for, and the purpose of the 1267 Committee.
    2.50 'How do you get on the list and how doyou get off it?'
    The difficulty in being delisted what was precipitated the creation of her committee. She then explains how the committee does its work. How to get delisted, what factors might be considered getting people on and off.
    7.40 Numbers – how many have been listed, appealed, etc.
    10.40 'Do you wish you had more powers?'
    Everyone does – but it’s a developing and unprecedented process. Cannot compel the committee or the Security Council but the reverse consensus is a powerful tool. No subpoena power though.
    13.00 Some sanctions in the UK have been struck down due to perceived lack of due process and judicial remedy. Judicial review not necessarily the answer in her opinion - courts will tell us, ultimately. Difficult to export domestic models to an international institution.
    16.00 'Will the current set-up lead to ever more court cases?'
    Prost says that will resolve over time, depends how her office is viewed. For now, both the ECJ and UKSC dismissed her office before she’d started. Argued that that denied her judicial process. We need to look at how it operates before rushing to judgement.
    17.20 Response to critics – different approaches considered. Targeted sanctions don’t just exist in the context of terrorism – sat for four years in the Hague re. Srebrenica, thinks therefore court needs all the tools that are available. Then ensure the power is exercised in a very targeted way.
    19.10 Need for uniform standard, evidentiary standards for example.
    20.10 Sanctions trading. Any strange decisions?
    Prost underlines that she sticks strictly to her mandate as defined by the Security Council, and doesn’t develop opinions as it would jeopardise her independence. Some cases are more straightforward than others but some have very complicated context.
    22.20 A Saudi was recently removed and the US kept him on their list – was that frustrating?
    No, her role is limited to the UN and other countries have other factors, info, interests, and decisions to be made. As long as they comply with the UN decisions, that’s fine.
    23.20 'How do the US and EU approaches to their sanctions lists differ to the UN?'
    There’s judicial involvement. That’s what the UN was lacking, which led to the creation of her office. Though the UN has some things to teach them, there’s value in the process they use.
    25.00 Looking at the ICC – working as effectively/efficiently as originally hoped?
    She’s an unapologetic supporter of the ICC and is amazed at how much has been done. Lots of lessons to be learnt, but she considers it a resounding success. 15-0 referral in the Libyan situation, for example. Major step forward for international criminal justice.
    27.00 Expanding the remit of the ICC to other international crime?
    In the immediate future we won’t see that but there is an argument in the case of things like massive corruption. Concept in the long term is exportable. We might not see it. But certain crimes merit the international approach.
    28.30 Complementarity – is enough being done to focus on national capacity?
    No, not nearly enough. Building up fundamentals before a horrible situation arises is incredibly important and we should focus on that in developing countries, in developed countries even. Justice can’t be done otherwise. Must focus more on building up national capacity.
    30.20 Africa - there has been work done in Rwanda for example but we needn’t focus on any one particular place, should be a pan-global project.
    31.20 Do the Libyans have a right to assert their primacy re. trialling Saif Gaddafi?
    Every state has the right to say no, the hope is that the rules and processes as per the Rome Statute are abided by in making that decision.
    32.30 Lack of ratification on the part of Russia, China, US? Qualified justice?
    We won’t see it operating perfectly until we have universal membership. But I don’t see the issue of which states are involved as the most important one – we must aim for universal membership but the US for example, while not being a member, is very supportive of the ICC.
    34.00 Patricia O’Brien and Juan Mendez have talked about international criminal justice being in its infancy – what should the priorities be as we try to develop it?
    All begins in national systems, the more we do to build up things nationally, the more we will advance international law’s growth and development.