Saturday, December 12, 2009

Human Rights Day event in Louisville, Kentucky

The United Nations Association Chapter of Louisville, KY collaborated with the Kentucky Coalition for the ICC for a Human Rights Day screening of "The Reckoning: The Battle for the international Criminal Court." Read an interview with UNA Chapter President Matt Hanka in some local coverage  here.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Prosecutor vs. Germain Katanga & Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui - Brief Notes on the Trial

Nov. 25, Day 2: The first Court witness, the Head of the Office of he Prosecutor (OTP) Investigation Team, was called to testify. He presented information on the conditions under which the team conducted its investigations and the challenges they faced. As well, he explained the methods the team used to investigate, the selection process in obtaining evidence, and the review of potentially exonerating evidence. The Judges, the Prosecution, the Legal Representatives of Victims and the Defense teams asked questions.

Nov. 26, Day 3: The first witness from the OTP, a resident of Bogoro at the time of the attack, was called to testify. He provided information on the topography of Bogoro (ie: the ethnic groups present in the area, the number of residents, etc.) and on the Bogoro Institute itself which was occupied by soldiers from the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC).

Nov. 27, Day 4: In a closed session, the same witness shed light on incidents which happened to women and young girls. He further spoke of pillaging and the burning of houses, testifying that most houses were destroyed or raised to the grounds after the February 24, 2003 events.

Nov. 30, Day 5: The Defense teams started a cross-examination of the OTP’s witness. The witness testified there were about 200 civilian deaths. The Defense’s cross-examination was cut short as the hearing was adjourned early due to Judge Cotte having to attend a doctor’s appointment.

Dec. 1, Day 6: The Defense teams continued their cross-examination of the witness. The witness stated that soldiers and civilians in Bogoro had different weapons: only soldiers were allowed guns while civilians had bladed weapons such as machetes. He further testified on burials, languages spoken in the area, ethnic inheritance and the presence of women and children in the Institute.

Dec. 2, Day 7: The trial was suspended until January 26, 2010 given that Judge Christine Van den Wyngaert had a traffic accident the evening before.

Portland, ME celebrates the ICC on International Human Rights Day

This week AMICC was at the Fifth Annual International Human Rights Day Celebration organized by Amnesty International USA-Portland.

Centered on the International Criminal Court, the evening began with a screening of the compelling documentary  The Reckoning. The evening was co-sponsored by the United Nations Association of Maine and the Maine Alliance for the International Criminal Court (MAICC)

After the film, there was an audience Q&A with Patrick Downey, the UNA-Maine liaison to MAICC and Assistant Attorney General of Maine and Hannah Dunphy, AMICC Outreach Coordinator.

In discussing the film with Ms. Dunphy and the audience, Mr. Downey first explained the inherent similarities between US domestic law and the Rome Statute, exemplifying the success and significant contributions of the US during the Rome negotiations. In exploring the issue of complementarity, he explained the protections for the US within the Rome Statute. He noted that significant public outreach  needed to be done to dispel myths about the Court, many of which were left over from former President Bush's administration. He urged Mainers to learn about the Court and support it however they could. Speaking as a member of the legal community, he offered the opinion that the ICC is seen as the "cutting edge" of criminal and  international law.

Ms. Dunphy gave a review of the current relationship between the Obama Administration and the Court, citing the recent participation of a US delegation at the Eighth Session of the Assembly of States Parties in The Hague. She encouraged the audience to stay engaged with AMICC's advocacy efforts in order to push for the best possible relations between the US government and the ICC, particularly to ensure that the forthcoming policy on the ICC is positive and constructive. Both speakers discussed the great work of the Maine Alliance for the International Criminal Court, and the many ways in which Mainers could becomes advocates for the ICC.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

ICC: Senegal Ready to Execute Warrants

08 December 2009 - Senegal, the first country in the world to ratify the Rome Statute, today reiterated in Dakar that it was ready to “execute the warrants of this important Court, with the aim of eradicating impunity in the world.”

The Senegalese Minister for Justice, Mr Moustapha Sourang, before the representatives of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and eight countries from French-speaking West Africa - Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Conakry, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo - opened the first regional seminar on international criminal justice.

The seminar was organised by the ICC, in partnership with the Centre de Formation Judiciaire du Sénégal [Senegal Judicial Training Centre] and the International Organisation for the French-speaking World (the International Organisation of La Francophonie, OIF).

Read the whole article here.

Friday, December 04, 2009

War crimes in the DRC: Opening day of The Prosecutor vs. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui

Defendants Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui were present on the first day of their joint trial, November 24, 2009. Both individually pleaded not guilty to 7 counts of war crimes and 3 counts of crimes against humanity, which were confirmed on September 26, 2008. For background information about this case, please click here.

The Prosecution alleges that the attacks by the Defendants against the village of Bogoro, DRC, on February 24, 2003, were part of a prepared common plan perpetrated by the accused with the objective to wipe out the entire village of Bogoro without making distinctions between soldiers and civilians. Mrs. Bensouda underlined that Katanga was the supreme commander of FNPI, and Chui of FNI; these two groups collaborated to defeat their common enemy: the Union des Patriotes Congolais (UPC) which had a military camp in Bogoro. Accordingly, Katanga and Chui hold individual criminal responsibility.

The Defense recognized that this was the opening of the OTP case and kept their remarks short as they wait for the opening of the Defense's case. Mr. Kilenda highlighted some flaws in the Prosecution’s presentation, and further underlined that the OTP had not interviewed the highest authorities of Uganda and the DRC to establish the full truth.

The Legal Representatives of Victims, Mr. Gilissen representing 7 child soldiers and Mr. Luvengika on behalf of 338 victims, expressed the victims’ hope that they would seek recognition for the atrocities inflicted upon them.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Faith and Ethics Network for the International Criminal Court

The United States Faith and Ethics Network for the International Criminal Court (US FENICC) is a coalition of religious and interfaith NGOs that examine the moral, ethical and religious considerations surrounding the Court. Religious organizations have a special role to play in raising awareness at the grassroots level and helping to shape the ICC. The Network promotes the ICC by disseminating information about the Court to respective religious, ecumenical, and ethical communities.

The following issues are among those that have been and will be discussed by the working group in their meetings as well as in their open events and dialogues:
  • moral, ethical and theological imperatives and the importance of the ICC as a powerful representation of these values;
  • moral, political and ethical dimensions of impunity;
  • reconciliation and long term peace building;
  • individual and collective healing in society;
  • redressive justice;
  • relationships between confession, repentance, compensation and forgiveness;
  • issues of psychological and spiritual rehabilitation;

We welcome the participation of all faith and ethics-based organizations. For information about attending meetings or joining the US FENICC, please contact chair Bruce Knotts. For more information, please visit AMICC's website.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Local event round-up for the end of 2009

Here's a list of upcoming events for December:

December 1: 5:00 pm
White Plains, NY
Perspectives on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and US Membership.
Featuring AMICC Convener John Washburn and Northwestern University School of Law Professor Jide Nzelibe. Moderated by Prof. Alexander Greenawalt, Pace University Law School. Presented by United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) Westchester Chapter and co-sponsored by Pace Law School, Citizens for Global Solutions and the Unitarian-Universalist UN Office. Pace University Law School, Preston Hall - Tudor Room, 52 North Broadway. Click here for directions. Refreshments will be served following the program. Information: or (914) 472-5490.

December 10: 7:00 pm
Portland, ME
Human Rights Day Screening and Discussion of the film The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court.
Post-film discussion about the ICC with Patrick Downey, Maine Assistant Attorney General and AMCC Outreach Coordinator Hannah Dunphy. Organized by Portland Amnesty International and co-sponsored by UNA-Maine and the Maine Alliance for the International Criminal Court (MAICC). University Events Room, 7th floor of Glickman Family Library at University of Southern Maine Portland, 314 Forest Avenue. For more information, contact Leo Barrington at

December 10:
Louisville, Kentucky
Screening of "The Reckoning"
The Louisville chapter of UNA and the KY Coalition of the ICC will host a screening of The Reckoning on International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10th. More information TBA.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Will Jean-Pierre Bemba be granted an interim release?

"On 2 December, 2009, at 9:00 a.m. (local time in The Hague), the Appeals Chamber of the ICC will deliver in open court the judgment on the appeal levied by the Prosecutor on 14 August, 2009, against the decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber II, issued on the same day, on the interim release of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo."

Follow a live stream at 3:00 a.m. on December 2, 2009 or see the decision on our Twitter account.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Transcript of Rapp's remarks to ASP

Above, U.S. Ambassador to War Crimes Stephen Rapp addressing the ICC's Assembly of States Parties in The Hague, November 19th. Read the statement here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Opening of the ICC's 2nd trial Nov. 24: The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui

The ICC will begin its second trial this Tuesday, November 24, 2009 against Congolese warlords Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui. They are accused of 7 war crimes and 3 crimes against humanity, including murder, sexual slavery, and rape.

You can obtain a copy of the hearing schedule* and follow a live stream of the trial.

*Please note that the times shown are in Central European Time (CET), which translates into a 6 hour difference. As well, there is a 30 minute delay in the live stream.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Human Rights Watch Calls For a Stronger ICC

HRW's press release today calls for 110 member states of the ICC to use the ASP to strengthen the Court and international justice:

The ICC has made mistakes that need to be tackled," said Elizabeth Evenson, counsel in the International Justice Program at Human Rights Watch. "But the ICC's 110 member countries should step up their efforts to uphold its critical role as a court of last resort and to respond vigorously to the court's unprincipled opponents."

More on U.S. participation in the ASP: State Department

Daily Press Briefing , November 16, 2009, with Ian Kelly, Department Spokesman:

QUESTION: All right. And my last thing is today in Nairobi, Stephen Rapp, your Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes, said that you would be sending someone to the ICC as an observer. A, is that correct? B, aren’t you treading extremely close to violating the Services Protection Act doing something like this?

MR. KELLY: Yes. Mr. Rapp is correct. We will participate in these meetings as an observer and there will be an interagency delegation comprising of State Department and Defense Department officials, which will allow us to advance, use and engage all the delegations in various matters of interest to the U.S., specifically, our concerns about the definition of a crime of aggression, which is one of the main topics for discussion at this conference. This in no way suggests that we have – we don’t – we no longer have concerns about the ICC. We do have concerns about it. We have specific concerns about assertion of jurisdiction over nationals of a nonparty state and the ability to exercise that jurisdiction without authorizations by the Security Council.
Regarding possible reference to the American Service-Members’ Protection Act, there is a law that restricts our support to the ICC. But we believe and the interagency group that looked at this believes, after carefully examining it, that attending this meeting as an observer would not violate that or any other applicable law.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Success! U.S. Participation in ASP comes after months of AMICC's Obama/ICC advocacy campaign

Today's announcement by U.S. ambassador-at-large to war crimes Stephen Rapp is a major victory for the U.S. movement for the International Criminal Court. At a press conference in Nairobi Rapp told journalists that he would lead the delegation to the ICC's annual meeting of the Assembly of States Parties. The U.S will participate as an observer.

Two weeks ago, AMICC issued an Action Alert to asking our supporters to tell Obama to make sure the U.S. was present at the ASP meeting, and more than a thousand of our members and supporters took action. Today's announcement is a directly result of the pressure from the American public on the administration, and evidence of the power of advocacy. AMICC welcomes this decision as a positive step forward in U.S./ICC relations.

As a reminder, AMICC's Convener John Washburn and Deputy Convener Matthew Heaphy will be at the ASP meeting, so follow us here or on AMICC's website.

From AP:

William R. Pace, an official of a global network of organizations that tracks the work of the court, said his group welcomed the change in the U.S. position.

"With virtually all the international tribunals in closing-down mode; in a few years the ICC will be the only game in town," said Pace, the convener of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court. "It is thus very important that the Obama Administration returns to participate in the development of the court and the new system of international criminal justice." Read the whole article here.

US Delegation to Attend Assembly of States Parties Meeting in The Hague

US Ambassador-at-large for War Crimes Mr. Stephen Rapp confirmed that the US delegation will attend as an observer for the first time at an Assembly of States Parties in The Hague:

"Our government has now made the decision that Americans will return to engagement at the ICC," Rapp told a news conference in Nairobi, adding that this was consistent with a shift toward greater engagement that started in 2005."

The Eight Session of the Assembly of States Parties which will take place in The Hague from 18-26 November 2009 will provide a monumental positive step in US-ICC relations. Although any debate about the US joining the ICC could be years away, Washington is "looking to engage with the ICC to ensure that in places where there are no other avenues for accountability that it will be an effective instrument for ensuring that individuals are brought to justice," Rapp said.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Upcoming Event: Excerpts of "The Reckoning" and Panel Discussion

The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court (excerpts)
Panel Discussion on the ICC
Ruth Wedgwood
Kenneth Anderson
John B. Bellinger III
Gary D. Solis
Jane E. Stromseth

November 16, 2009, 4:30-6 PM
Johns Hopkins SAIS Rome Auditorium
1619 Massachusetts Ave NW

Screening excerpt of the film from 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m, followed by panel discussion from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Please RSVP. To find out more, email

Monday, November 09, 2009

Sudanese Leader Will Not Attend Islamic Meeting in Turkey

From Voice of America:

"Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has canceled a planned visit to Turkey to attend a summit of the Islamic conference in Istanbul. Turkey has faced mounting criticism from the international community for its invitation to the Sudanese leader, who has been indicted for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court.  

More here.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Obama needs to hear from you NOW: Take Action to Support U.S. Participation in the ICC

The United States must attend International Criminal Court (ICC) preparations in The Hague next month for a Review Conference in 2010 which will make vital decisions on the ICC's future. There is a real danger that the U.S. will not go to the preparations. If not, the U.S. is likely to be frustrated and alienated by its experience at the conference. Before time runs out, tell President Obama and key cabinet leaders that the U.S. needs to go to the preparations.
Since 2003, the ICC has been investigating atrocities and holding individuals to account for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Unlike the Bush administration, the Obama administration has spoken favorably about the ICC and is open to cooperating with it. However, the administration is self-defeatingly refusing to participate in ICC meetings until it completes its full policy review on the ICC.
The ICC will hold a review conference in May and June 2010 to evaluate its performance and to shape its future. Many of the preparations for it will be finalized at the next regular session of the Court's governing body, the Assembly of States Parties (ASP), November 18-26 in The Hague. Given the slow pace of the policy review, it will be fortunate if the policy timely authorizes the U.S. to go to the Review Conference. If it does, it will find that the agenda and many of its decisions were predetermined in the preparatory meetings. These decisions may make it harder for the U.S. to achieve its eventual policy goals and a closer relationship with the ICC.

Friday, October 30, 2009

UNGA responds to the ICC report

States Parties to the Rome Statute highlighted the importance of complementarity, cooperation, and universality for the ICC’s efficient functioning. They urged States Parties and UN member states to fulfill their obligations under international law (namely the UN Charter) and fully cooperate with the Security Council. (Read: arrest and surrender Omar Al-Bashir!)

Omar Al Bashir

Sudan's Ambassador to the UN brought some fire to the room criticizing states for hiding behind diplomatic phrases. He stated that the ICC poses a threat to the peace and security of societies, especially in Africa, and does not achieve justice. He characterized the upcoming Review Conference* as a tool to settle political accounts in the name of justice. He also criticized Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, calling him an unprofessional political activist who chases fame and popularity. The delegate called for a stop to the politicization of justice which in his view expresses a new form of legal apartheid where the ICC’s selectivity and double standards in targeting only African leaders encroaches upon the sovereignty of these targeted states.

Egypt also called for the Security Council to refer cases to the ICC without discrimination. (Read: refer the case of Palestine/Israel following the Goldstone Report!)

*The Assembly of States Parties will hold a Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda in May 2010.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

From IJ Central/Africa News: ICC Prosector on the ICC

Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo:

"We are living in a global world. We need agreement between many states and we need rules. This rule is so basic that no one is against it. The rule is don’t commit massive crimes. That’s it. And every-one has to agree on this. If not, we cannot live together. It’s very simple. It is not idealistic, it’s realistic. " Read the full article at IJ Central here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Abu Garda in The Hague: A Day At The Court" by Jan Coebergh

"One could be forgiven for not knowing a Sudanese is in the dock at the International Criminal Court for crimes committed in Darfur. The confirmation of charges hearing against Abu Garda is going on at the moment in the Hague and on Tuesday 21 October, there were about 20 people in the public gallery to watch it in the industrial estate suburb of the Hague where the ICC is based.

"We were shown photos of the destruction of the AU base in Haskanita, with Abu Garda sitting there listening intently, and told how looted AU cars were seen in his possession the day after the attack."

Read Jan Coebergh's full impressions of the proceedings here.

More on Abu Garda

Video update and background on Abu Garda hearings

Confirmation of Charges Hearings continue in The Prosecutor vs. Bahr Idriss Abu Garda

Update on the Prosecution (as of 10/27/09):
The Prosecution, headed by Ms. Fatou Bensouda, described the attack on Peacekeeprs at MGS Haskanita which took place on September 29, 2007 as a deliberate, intentional, and planned attack that resulted in the death of 12 AMIS personnel. Eight were injured as a result of the attack.

Witnesses for the Prosecution

The Court also received the first out of three Prosecution witnesses, Witness 416. He testified it was impossible to mistake the AMIS camp for anything else due to the difference in uniforms between AMIS personnel, rebels, and civilians. Witness 416 further attested to the pillaging that took place at the sight in the aftermath of the attacks, as well as to the theft of automobiles, personal goods, food and ammunition.

On Thursday, October 22, 2009 a second Prosecution witness appeared in Court. Witness 466 expressed that the AMIS mission (as he understood it) revolved around ensuring the Darfur Peace agreement was held up, as well as monitoring or safeguarding the delivery of humanitarian supplies in Darfur. While he testified the attack on MGS Haskanita took place on September 29, 2007, much of his testimony was held in a private session.

Update on the Defense (as of 10/27/09):
-Abu Garda did not plan, aid, assist, or partake in the attacks
-Mr. Abu Garda was in Libya, not Sudan, and was traveling throughout Africa as part of JEM political meetings prior to the attack. He did not threaten to or plan an attack against MGS Haskanita.
-The evidence of the OTP is unreliable, incomplete and deficient.

For more information about the hearings for Abu Garda and the investigationsin Darfur, check out AMICC's website.

A Confirmation of Charges Hearing is not a trial in itself and does not erode the presumption of innocence of the defendant; rather, it allows the ICC to hear the Prosecution, Defense, and Victims’ perspectives of the crime in order to then judge whether or not the case merits going to trial at the ICC

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tell the Obama Administration to Support the International Criminal Court's Future

The United States must attend International Criminal Court (ICC) preparations in The Hague next month for a Review Conference in 2010 which will make vital decisions on the ICC's future. There is a real danger that the U.S. will not go to the preparations. If not, the U.S. is likely to be frustrated and alienated by its experience at the conference. Before time runs out, tell President Obama and key cabinet leaders that the U.S. needs to go to the preparations.

The ICC will hold a review conference in May and June 2010 to evaluate its performance and to shape its future. Many of the preparations for it will be finalized at the next regular session of the Court's governing body, the Assembly of States Parties (ASP), November 18-26 in The Hague. Given the slow pace of the policy review, it will be fortunate if the policy timely authorizes the U.S. to go to the Review Conference. If it does, it will find that the agenda and many of its decisions were predetermined in the preparatory meetings. These decisions may make it harder for the U.S. to achieve its eventual policy goals and a closer relationship with the ICC.

The Obama administration is now determining its ICC policy, in close consultation with the Departments of State and Defense. If it waits too long to engage, it will be too late to ensure meaningful U.S. participation in the Review Conference. Tell President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of Defense Bill Gates that you think the U.S. should participate in this important ICC meeting next month in The Hague.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Watch Abu Garda press conference and hearings LIVE

From our friends at the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC):

"On 19-30 October 2009, ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I will hold a public hearing to examine the available evidence of war crimes against Darfur rebel leader Bahr Idriss Abu Garda for alleged attacks against African Union peacekeepers at the Haskanita military base in Darfur, Sudan in September 2007. Pre-Trial Chamber I will then have 60 days to decide whether or not there is sufficient evidence to move the case forward to trial."

  • The confirmation hearing will be broadcasted with a 30-minute delay here.
  • A detailed agenda for the hearing is available here.
  • In addition, a press conference will be held in advance of the hearing tomorrow, 16 October 2009 at 12:00 (CET time) and will be broadcasted live.

Abu Garda- first person to voluntarily appear before the ICC

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Upcoming Event at Harvard Law School

Challenges of Investigating and Prosecuting War Crimes
Featuring Serge Brammertz, the Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)
Monday, October 5th7:00-8:30 PMPound Hall 335Harvard Law School
Hors d'oeuvres will be provided.
Co-sponsored by OPIA, the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School,
and the War Crimes Clinic.
For more information, contact:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Washington D.C. event: "The ICC in Africa"

The partners of the Great Lakes Policy Forum cordially invite you to attend the
Thursday, October 1, 2009 from 9am - 11am "
The ICC in Africa: Impartial Judge or Neo-Colonial Project?"

Suliman Baldo, Africa Director International Center for Transitional Justice
Charles Villa-Vicencio, Ph.D., Former Executive Director Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, Cape Town
Ruth Wedgwood, Director, International Law & Organizations Program Johns Hopkins University

The forum will be moderated by: Steve Utterwulghe, Vice President, International Development Search for Common Ground

Location Johns Hopkins University Kenney Auditorium (SAIS) 1740 Massachusetts Ave., NW Washington, D.C.

Contact Singto Saro-Wiwa at Search for Common Ground: 202-265-4300.
Kindly RSVP to by September 30 at the latest.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Local charges for DRC militia leader dropped; ICC to proceed with war crimes trial

"The International Criminal Court on Friday ruled that Germain Katanga, a former militia leader in the Democratic Republic of Congo, should be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

"On June 1, the defence team had argued that Katanga should not be tried by the ICC because he also faced trial in DR Congo on similar charges.

"Katanga, 31, and a fellow defendant, Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, 38, face trial for murders, rapes and other atrocities committed in February 2003 when their forces jointly attacked the village of Bogoro in Ituri, a mineral-rich region in northeastern DR Congo. Katanga is also accused of enlisting child soldiers and using women as sex slaves." (Full article here)


On October 17, 2007, Germain Katanga, alleged commander of the Force de résistance patriotique en Ituri (FPRI), was arrested and transferred by DRC authorities to the ICC. Pre-Trial Chamber I issued a sealed warrant of arrest for Mr. Katanga, also known as Simba, on July 2, 2007 based on allegations of six war crimes and three crimes against humanity including murder, sexual slavery and intentionally directing attacks at civilians.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How much do you know about the upcoming Review Conference?

Become an expert!
In June, 2010, the Assembly of State Parties of the ICC will gather in Kampala, Uganda to make critical decisions about the ICC, Check out this guide to the 2010 Review Conference from Citzens for Global Solutions, an AMICC partner in the campaign for U.S. ratification of the ICC.


"While the United States is still eligible to take part in the Review Conference and its preparations, it is not certain whether it will. President Obama has declared that he plans to work closer with the ICC. However, he is waiting for the completion of a U.S. review on its policy towards the Court before deciding whether to send a representative to the Conference or its preparations. This review is not expected to be completed for another 4 to 6 months. This means that the President may not make his decision until after the last preparatory meeting for the Review Conference has concluded. Not attending the preparatory meetings would cause the United States to walk into a Conference where the agenda has already been set and where American concerns may not have been addressed beforehand, leaving the U.S. at a disadvantage to influence the proceedings." Read the whole report here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Congress has the power to support U.S.-ICC ratification

Brooklyn-based board member of UNA-USA’s Southern New York State Division and AMICC supporter Gabriel Levitt voices his support for the ICC. Read his op-ed here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Capitol Hill panel addresses the question of the ICC

The Washington Working Group on the ICC (WICC) and AMICC participated in a recent panel entitled "A Seven Year Assessment of the International Criminal Court: Accomplishments, Next Steps, and U.S. Priorities"

Watch it here.

An expert panel highlighted the Court's accomplishments, its future, efforts to bring the "crime of aggression" under the Court's jurisdiction at its 2010 Review Conference, and how the U.S. can engage the ICC and play a constructive role in bringing war criminals to justice. This briefing was sponsored by Citizens for Global Solutions and Senator Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT). AMICC Convener and Washington Working Group on the ICC (WICC) co-chair John Washburn, an organizer of the event, was in attendance.

Washburn Letter to the Editor, Washington Post

The International Court

Monday, August 17, 2009

John Bellinger's Aug. 10 op-ed ["A Global Court Quandary for the President"] exaggerated the vulnerability of the U.S. military to the International Criminal Court and overestimated the expectations of ICC supporters that the United States will join the court soon.

The court's Rome Statute in Article 98, misused by the Bush administration to try to get immunity for all American citizens, provides the American armed forces the same protection from the ICC through status-of-forces agreements that they enjoy from any other foreign jurisdiction. Most governments and other supporters understand that the inherent difficulties of U.S. treaty ratification mean that full U.S. participation in the court is a long way off. Instead, they work for the extensive U.S. support for and commitment to the court short of ratification, which Mr. Bellinger recommended.

The government's current review of policy on the ICC appears to be focused first on the degree and management of that support. Mr. Bellinger is right that at the same time the United States must defend and explain its interests by joining in the preparatory negotiations underway for the court's 2010 Review Conference.


New York

The writer is the convener of the American NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court, a program of the United Nations Association of the USA.

See the letter here

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New York City "Reckoning" screening with Culture Project

On Tuesday, August 4th, AMICC teamed up with Culture Project and filmakers Paco de Onis and Pamela Yates for a screening of "The Reckoning" documentary.

Over one hundred members of the community joined engaged with panel members for a post-film discussion with Christine Chung, former Senior Trial Attorney for the ICC (far right) Gabor Rona, International Legal Director, Human Rights First (second from right), Pamela Yates, Director of "The Reckoning," and Paul Van Zyl, Executive Vice-President, International Center for Transitional Justice (far left).

AMICC Outreach Coordinator Hannah Dunphy communicated the current priorities for the U.S. campaign for ratification of the Rome Statute, particularly the need for the Obama administration to engage positively with the upcoming Review Conference of the Assembly of State Parties.

Audience members generated letters to the administration, and left inspired with ideas on how to engage their respective organizations and communities towards U.S. ratification of the ICC.

Weren't there to send a letter to Obama? Don't worry! Send one electronically and tell Obama why the U.S. needs to support the ICC now! -Click here-

ICC to determine design for new home

The International Criminal Court is moving! The construction of the court's permanent home will soon be underway. Above is one of the potential designs for the building, which must serve as courtroom, legal offices, high level security detention facility and community space for survivors and other participants in the court's proceedings.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

More work remains to ensure justice

More work remains to ensure justice for war crimes victims, says head of ICC
“Adherence to and respect for the rule of law must become the norm and not the exception. The ideal of a world governed through law is what motivated the establishment of the ICC, it is what we celebrate today, and it is our aim for the future.”  More here.

International Justice Day Celebration Spotlight: Albuquerque

"Real Life in Afghanistan and Pakistan"

On Jul 18th, the Albuquerque Alliance for the ICC and Chapter of the United Nations Association-USA held a community panel discussion led by New Mexicans who have lived and worked in Afghanistan, Pakistan, or other regions of Central Asia. The discussion focused on current conflicts, policies and potential solutions for justice, including the International Criminal Court.


Mr. Craig Barnes, Santa Fe, NM, International negotiator in Central Asia

Mr. Ed Rau USAF retired. military attache in Afghanistan and consultant for US policy in Afghan-Soviet war

Professor Tahseen A Cheema, MD, Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery, UNM and visiting professor National Orthopaedic Hospital, Bahawapur. Pakistan.

Lt. Colonel Frank Oliveira, NM Army National Guard. Member Counterinsurgency Training Team, Afghanistan 2007-2008

Congratulations to Bill Pratt and all who put on this fantastic event.

To get involved with AMICC in Albuquerque, NM, email Bill at

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Join us on Facebook

Become a fan of the American NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court! Find events in your area, inform your friends and follow ICC developments. Click here to join us.

Two Screenings of The Reckoning in NYC

Tuesday, August 4th @ 7PM
Judson Memorial Church

55 Washington Square South

Presented by Culture Project + American NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court

A talkback with filmmaker Pamela Yates, Christine Chung (former ICC Senior Trial Attorney), Paul Van Zyl (co founder of the International Center for Transitional Justice) and others will follow.

(Click here for details)


Wednesday, August 5th @ 6:30PM
The Tribeca Grand Hotel
2 Avenue of the Americas

presented by United Nations Association-New York

(Click here for details)

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