ICC & ICL Programme Reports

June 2020 | Seeing justice through: long-term issues in international justice

The latest IBA’s ICC and ICL Programme report calls for greater attention to be paid to the human rights of persons tried and convicted, or acquitted, by international courts and tribunals, and urges states to provide increased cooperation to such courts. It is a summation of an eponymous roundtable discussion of experts held in October 2019 at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands. It summarises the input of the event’s participants, including judges, senior officials and staff of international courts and tribunals, diplomats, civil society and academics, and provides recommendations and future considerations. 

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October 2019 | Provisional release, release at advanced stages of proceedings, and final release at international criminal courts and tribunals

This report takes a comparative perspective and examines selected cases at the ICTR, ICTY and ICC to explore the theory and practice of these courts in relation to release at various stages of proceedings. The paper seeks to provide the basis for a discussion on how these courts interpret and apply their existing legal frameworks while highlighting the external factors that influence decisions on release. Furthermore, it examines the central importance of state cooperation in matters of release, and the extent to which low levels of cooperation can affect the individual and statutory rights of those detained. The report includes future considerations for release, specifically at the ICC, to encourage reflection on these important issues and strengthening of current practices.

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December 2018 | Legal representation, fairness and access to justice at hybrid tribunals and specialised chambers

The IBA’s ICL Perspectives report, ‘Legal Representation, Fairness and Access to Justice at Hybrid Tribunals and Specialised Chambers’, focuses on the important role of defence and victims’ counsel in ensuring fair trials and access to justice for victims at these institutions. In the context of the renewed relevance of hybrid tribunals and specialised chambers for the adjudication of international crimes, this report examines the structures and practices that have developed to support effective defence legal representation and victim participation, and sets out some of the future considerations for legal representation at these institutions. The report draws on examples taken from hybrid tribunals and specialised chambers including the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, the Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal and Uganda’s International Crimes Division.

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August 2017 | Offences against the administration of justice and fair trial considerations before the International Criminal Court

Article 70 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC or the ‘Court’) ‘seeks to protect the integrity of the proceedings before the Court by penalising the behaviour of persons that impedes the discovery of the truth, the victims’ right to justice and, generally, the Court’s ability to fulfil its mandate’. Among other crimes, Article 70 aims to protect witnesses from interference in the form of intimidation, corruption and threats. The ICC’s jurisprudence has interpreted Article 70(1) (c) of the Rome Statute as proscribing ‘any conduct that may have (or is expected by the perpetrator to have) an impact or influence on the testimony to be given by a witness, inducing the witness to falsely testify or withhold information before the Court’.

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September 2016 | Experts' Roundtable on trials in absentia in International Criminal Justice

On 8 June 2016, the International Bar Association International Criminal Court and International Criminal Law Programme convened an ‘Experts’ Roundtable on trials in absentia in international criminal justice’ at The Hague Institute for Global Justice. The event brought together experts including judges, diplomats, counsel, academics and representatives of civil society, to discuss issues related to the theory and practice of trials in absentia. The Experts’ Roundtable consisted of a keynote address from Judge Ivana Hrdličková, President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), followed by two panels.

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August 2016 | Evidence matters in ICC trials

In this report, the International Bar Association (IBA) examines the maturing trial practice of the International Criminal Court (ICC), as it is situated within a lineage of institutions that deliver international criminal justice. The number of trials and legal issues before the Court ICC continue to increase. By considering evidence matters, the IBA builds on its previous report on ‘Witnesses before the International Criminal Court’, to focus on existing issues and future considerations for fair trials before the ICC. In ‘Evidence Matters in ICC Trials’, the IBA takes into account the existence and relevance of new types of evidence, and the development of the ICC procedural law for hearing and ruling on evidence.

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July 2013 | Witnesses before the ICC

This report presents the ICC’s accomplishments as well as the outstanding and pressing priority issues the IBA has identified and believes should be addressed in the area of witnesses before the ICC. Given the crucial importance of witnesses to the ICC, the IBA ICC Programme conducted comprehensive research and consultations with court officials and other key stakeholders to assess the achievements, challenges and needs of the ICC in this area. ​​​​​​​

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November 2012 | Counsel matters in the ICC: A review of key developments impacting lawyers practising before the ICC

This monitoring report explores the dynamic and evolutionary relationship between lawyers and the ICC. Tracing the role of legal professionals at the Court over the years, the report examines how the relationship has evolved to meet the demands of the Court. While generally positive, the report notes that on a number of levels there is need for systemic change to ensure that counsel at the ICC are able to effectively function. ​​​​​​​

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August 2011 | Fairness at the International Criminal Court

This International Bar Association (IBA) report monitors and critiques a range of jurisprudential, institutional and policy developments at the ICC between November 2010 and May 2011 through the lens of fairness. The decision to comment on all three areas reflects the IBA’s approach to fairness as a holistic concept that pervades all levels of the Court’s operation. Support for fairness must be structural as well as jurisprudential; to ensure that fairness is preserved in substance as well as in principle. ​​​​​​​

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June 2011 | ICC External Communications: delivering information and fairness

This IBA report looks at ICC external communications between January 2010 and April 2011. In March 2010, the Court’s Paper on Roles and Responsibilities of the Organs in Relation to External Communications advanced the discourse in this area, as did the first ICC Public Information Strategy published in November 2010. Both documents represent an important step towards greater transparency and efficiency. At the same time, they have left the issue of inter-organ coordination substantially unresolved and have failed to put in place effective coordination mechanisms to ensure that ICC communications are firmly founded on the one-court principle.

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January 2011 | Enhancing efficiency and effectiveness of ICC proceedings: a work in progress

In keeping with its mandate to monitor proceedings and developments at the ICC, this ninth IBA monitoring report will discuss measures that the Court has taken to enhance efficiency and maximise its effectiveness, and consider what challenges remain.

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May 2010 | The ICC trials: an examination of key judicial developments at the International Criminal Court between November 2009 and April 2010

This eighth monitoring report assesses key judicial developments at the ICC between November 2009 and 5 April 2010. The report examines the three cases currently at the trial phase of proceedings at the ICC. Five key issues are closely analysed: investigations by the Prosecutor; the situation in Kenya; the role of intermediaries; defence disclosure; and funding the defence. 

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November 2009 | Sustaining the International Criminal Court: issues for consideration at the 2010 Review Conference and beyond

The International Bar Association has identified five components critical to sustaining the Court and ensuring its long-term success: robust management and internal coordination; the cooperation of States Parties; effective and efficient judicial proceedings; a pragmatic approach to complementarity and a clearly articulated external relations vision and strategy. This seventh IBA monitoring report examines the current debate and recent developments concerning the first three of the five issues identified.​​​​​​​

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October 2009 | The Quest for a Public Face: The public debate on the ICC and its vision to develop a vision and coherent strategy on external communications

This fourth IBA outreach report looks into developments, activities, achievements and challenges experienced by the ICC in relation to its external communications mandate to ensure publicity of judicial proceedings between September 2008 and September 2009. In light of the current climate this IBA report also discusses the need and appropriateness of Court’s organs’ responses to unfounded criticism or misinformation in the media. In the past year the climate in which the International Criminal Court (ICC) operates has dramatically changed. With its first trial ​​​​​​​having started in February 2009 and its first indictment of a sitting head of state, the debate around the ICC is flourishing in the media. Access to and publicity of ICC proceedings is key to the credibility and effectiveness of the institution. 

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June 2009 | First Challenges: an examination of recent landmark developments at the International Criminal Court

As part of its efforts to consistently and constructively monitor the ICC, the IBA has to date produced five monitoring reports which closely examine and critique the procedural developments at the ICC. This sixth IBA report looks closely at landmark developments at the ICC. The opening chapter recalls that although these achievements are defining moments for the ICC, they follow in the footsteps of a rich history of international criminal proceedings that started at Nuremberg and Tokyo, and more recently at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL). In subsequent chapters, the IBA looks closely at important developments in the judicial proceedings of the first four cases at the ICC.

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November 2008 | The ICC under scrutiny: assessing recent developments

During the reporting of the work and the proceedings of the Court in the period of June to October 2008, this report focuses in particular on issues affecting the fair trial rights of the accused. Building on the May 2008 report below, this reporting period has again been characterised by challenges related to the balancing of rights, with the rights of defendants to disclosure of potentially exonerating material versus the rights of information providers to withhold their consent to such disclosure. This IBA report examines the Court’s efforts to balance those rights while safeguarding the fair trial rights of the accused.

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September 2008 | Beyond The Hague: Forging linkage between the ICC and key jurisdictions

From the inception of its outreach programme on the ICC and in keeping with its monitoring role, the International Bar Association (IBA) has been closely following the development of outreach as a key non-judicial function of the Court. Since the IBA last reported on the ICC’s outreach work, several notable improvements have been made and a number of tangible results have been achieved. As this IBA report notes, the increased allocation of resources to the Public Information and Documentation Section (PIDS) has resulted in more outreach activities and the employment of a wider variety of outreach tools. It also provides an overview of the issues discussed during outreach activities on the ICC organised by the IBA in key jurisdictions. In addition, the IBA report provides information on outreach activities organised for the wider IBA membership.

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May 2008 | Balancing rights: The International Criminal Court at the procedural crossroads

In the ICC & ICL Programme’s third monitoring report entitled ‘Balancing rights: the ICC at a procedural crossroads’, the IBA examines a number of challenges encountered by the Chambers in seeking to effectively balance the rights of victims and defendants. The issue of balancing rights is a major challenge for the ICC at this stage in its development. The interpretation of legal provisions governing the participation rights of victims vis-à-vis the fair trial rights of the defendant has posed tremendous difficulties for judges, parties and participants, and the issue remains unsettled.

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November 2007 | IBA Monitoring Report 2007: International Criminal Court

This third IBA monitoring report covers the period from November 2006 – October 2007. The report provides an overview of the significant developments in the situations and cases before the Court during the reporting period as a contextual reference point for a discussion of some of the salient issues. IBA monitoring reports set out details to provide the context in which developments should be followed and understood. The focus on challenges encountered by the defence in this report should not be interpreted as a disregard for other important issues such as victims’ participation. The aim is to direct attention to the significant impact of these challenges on the function of the Court and the rights of the defendant.

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May 2007 | ICC Monitoring and Outreach Programme: Second Outreach Report 2007

Since the IBA first reported on the outreach work of the ICC, outreach has been increasingly recognised as a central function of the Court. As such, the first part of this Report outlines and comments upon the ICC’s new Outreach Plan. The second part of the Report engages with current debates on peace and justice in the context of Uganda where it argues that argues that the focus on the ‘withdrawal’ of the arrest warrants detract from deeper discussions on the development of multiple strategies to deal with impunity and the experiences of conflict. Lastly, the Report provides feedback from a workshop in Lira in November 2006 on the role of traditional justice systems in addressing experiences of conflict.

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