Appeal of international organizations in defense of the International Criminal Court

New York, 28 April 2020


Your Excellency,

 

We, the undersigned organizaoons, call on your State and all States Paroes to the Rome Statute to show support for the Rome Statute system and the Internaoonal Criminal Court (ICC), especially in the face of threats to its independence and mandate. Although threats to the pursuit of internaoonal jusoce, including in the context of the ICC, are not new, protect- ing the ICC is parocularly important today in the face of escalaong hosolity towards the Court.

 

The ICC’s crucial role in complemenfing the primary role of naoonal courts cannot be over- stated. We acknowledge that the ICC would benefit from changes to strengthen its perfor- mance, but ensuring a fair, effecove, and independent Court depends on support from States Paroes. We welcome the reaffirmaoon of ICC States Paroes to “uphold and defend the principles and values enshrined in the Rome Statute and to preserve its integrity unde- terred by any threats against the Court.” We urge States Paroes to uphold the Rome Statute system by making strong, concrete expressions of support and to defend it by unequivocally condemning threats. The challenges faced by the Court require nothing less.

 

As you know, on 20 January 2020, one month after the ICC Prosecutor announced that the situaoon in Palesone merits invesogaoon, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for “sancoons against the internaoonal court, its officials, its prosecutors, everyone.” On 17 March 2020, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo threatened to impose puniove mea- sures against two named senior ICC staffers, other ICC staffers, and their families. His re- marks came after the ICC authorized an invesogaoon into the situaoon in Afghanistan. These are among the latest in a series of a acks that undermine the Court itself and inomidate its staff in order to protect poliocal interests at the expense of internaoonal jusoce.

 

This combinaoon of threats and the U.S. visa ban policy seeks to undermine the Court’s abil- ity to deliver jusoce to vicoms whenever States are unwilling or unable to genuinely inveso- gate and prosecute crimes under the Rome Statute. The ICC must be free to carry out its mandate, without fear or favor, on the basis of the legal requirements delineated in the Rome Statute—not on the basis of poliocal consideraoons.

 

As a State Party to the Rome Statute, your country has clearly commi ed to ending impunity for crimes within the ICC’s jurisdicoon, regardless of the perpetrator’s naoonality. Defending the Court’s independence is key to fulfilling that pledge. We urge you to act with your fellow States Paroes to champion the Court’s mandate and independence and uphold the Rome Statute’s integrity by: 

     

  1. 1. Expressing your government’s strong and cononued commitment to the ICC and its prosecutorial and judicial independence in bilateral, mulolateral, and public forums at the domesoc, regional, and internaoonal levels; 
  2.  

  3. 2. Calling on the U.S. government to repeal its ICC visa ban policy and to refrain from a acking the Court, its staff, or their families in any way;
  4.  

  5. 3. Calling on the Israeli government to repudiate its call for sancoons against the Court and its staff;

 

  1. 4. Publicly expressing your government’s determinaoon to cooperate fully with the Court across its work;
  2.  

  3. 5. Calling on all relevant actors to cooperate with the invesogaoon into the situaoon in Afghanistan and any possible invesogaoon into the situaoon in Palesone;
  4.  

  5. 6. Raofying, if not previously done, the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunioes of the Internaoonal Criminal Court (APIC);
  6.  

  7. 7. Domesocaong, if not previously done, the Rome Statute; and
  8.  

  9. 8. Signing, if not previously done, all relevant cooperaoon agreements with the ICC (for example, on the protecoon of witnesses and vicoms; the release of persons, includ- ing interim release; and the enforcement of sentences).

 
 
Thank you for your commitment and support for the Rome Statute system and the ICC.

 

Sincerely, 

 

ACAT-Burundi
ACAT-Switzerland
Ac?on Humaine pour le Développement Intégré au Sénégal (AHDIS)
Africa Center for Interna?onal Law and Accountability
Africa Legal Aid (AFLA)
African Development and Peace Ini?a?ve
AL Ensan Center for think individual development
Al-Haq
Amman Center for Human Rights Studies
Anfal Storys Organiza?on
Arry Organiza?on for Human Rights
Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de España
Associa?on Française pour la promo?on de la Compétence Universelle (AFPCU)
Australian Centre for Interna?onal Jus?ce
Avocats Sans Fron?ères
Bema Organiza?on for Economic and Social Rights
Center for Civil Liber?es
Center for Cons?tu?onal Rights
Center for Jus?ce and Accountability

Civil Associa?on Democracia Global – Movimiento por la Unión Sudamericana y el Parlamen-
to Mundial

Civil Rights Defenders (CRD)
Coali?on Ivoirienne pour la CPI
Coali?on Malienne pour la CPI/CM-CPI
Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos
Comision por la Carta Democra?ca Interamericana
COMPPART Founda?on for Jus?ce and Peacebuilding – Nigeria
Congo Peace Ini?a?ve
Culture pour la Paix et la Jus?ce (CPJ)
Defence of Human Rights – Pakistan
Documenta – Center for Dealing with the Past

Dr. Denis Mukwege Founda?on
EuroMed Rights
Fédéra?on interna?onale pour les Droits Humains (FIDH)
Femmes et Droits Humains
Fundacion Federalista Dominicana
Fundacion Nacional para la Democracia
Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
Housing and Land Rights Network – Habitat Interna?onal Coali?on
Human Rights Center (HRIDC) – Georgia
Human Rights Center of Azerbaijan
Human Rights Center ZMINA
Human Rights Concern – Eritrea (HRCE)
Human Rights Defenders Solidarity Network Uganda
Human Rights Watch
Humanitarian Law Center – Belgrade
Interna?onal Commission of Jurists – Norway
Ini?a?ves for Peace and Human Rights (iPeace)
Ins?tute for Environmental Security, Green Transparency and Ecological Defence Integrity
Interna?onal Associa?on of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms
Interna?onal Coali?on Against Impunity-HOKOK
Interna?onal Coali?on for the Responsibility to Protect
Interna?onal Commission of Jurists – Kenya
Interna?onal Platorm of Jurists for East Timor (IPJET)
Iranian Center for Interna?onal Criminal Law (ICICL)
Jus?ce Interna?onal
Kenya Human Rights Commission
Kurdish Organiza?ons Network Coali?on for the Interna?onal Criminal Court (KON-CICC)
Kurdistan without Genocide
La Comisión de Derechos Humanos de El Salvador (CDHES)
La Ligue Burundaise des droits de l’homme Iteka
Lawyers for Jus?ce in Libya
Lawyers for Pales?nian Human Rights
Le Center Marocain de la Paix et la Loi
Le Club des amis du droit du Congo
Le Groupe LOTUS – RDC
MADRE
Mission for Establishment of Human Rights (MEHR)
MOM Organiza?on
Mouvement Panafricain de la Jeunesse Féminine pour la paix
Na?onal Centre for Human Rights and Development (NACFOHRD)
Norwegian Helsinki Commi_ee
Nuba Women Organiza?on for Development
Observatoire Centrafricain des Droits de l’Homme (OCDH)
Odhikar
Open Society Jus?ce Ini?a?ve
Organiza?on Against Weapons of Mass Destruc?on in Kurdistan

Organiza?on of the Jus?ce Campaign
Pales?nian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)
Parliamentarians for Global Ac?on
REDRESS
Regional Centre for Human Rights – Ukraine
Reporters sans fron?ères / Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
Réseau Equitas Côte d’Ivoire (REQCI)
Rights for Peace
Rights Interna?onal Spain (RIS)
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
SACCORD
Sahayta
Society for Threatened Peoples – Switzerland
SOS-Torture/Burundi
Southern Africa Li?ga?on Centre (SALC)
StoptheDrugWar.org
Students for Global Democracy – Uganda
Sudanese Women Human Rights Defenders Project
Sudanese Women Rights Ac?on
Swedish Founda?on for Human Rights
The Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and Legal Profession (ACIJLP)
Transi?onal Jus?ce Coordina?on Group
Transi?onal Jus?ce Working Group of Liberia
TRIAL Interna?onal
Tunisian Coali?on for the ICC
Union for Civil Liberty – Thailand
United Church of Christ, Jus?ce and Witness Ministries
United Na?ons Associa?on – Sweden
United Na?ons Associa?on of Greater Philadelphia
Voluntary Aid Associa?on – India
WITNESS
Women’s Ini?a?ves for Gender Jus?ce
World Ci?zens Associa?on of Australia
World Federalist Movement – Ins?tute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP)
World Renewers Organiza?on
World Without Genocide at Mitchell Hamline School of Law

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