On 19 and 20 October, the International Nuremberg Principles Academy held its annual international conference “Nuremberg Forum” on "The 20th Anniversary of the Rome Statute: Law, Justice and Politics" at the historic Courtroom 600 in the Nuremberg Palace of Justice. Leading practitioners and academics in the fields of international criminal law and international human rights were amongst the around 150 participants who came together at the historic Courtroom 600 in the Nuremberg Palace of Justice. German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda delivered the keynote addresses.
German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas asserted in his keynote address the impacts of a worldwide crisis of multilateralism, which also affect the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC needed every support in order to ensure that perpetrators are consistently held to account. “When some people now declare this institution, of all institutions, to be dead in the water, then we must not allow that to go unchallenged. On the contrary,” Heiko Maas emphasized “we should take it as an incentive to continue doing all we can to promote acceptance of the International Criminal Court and its jurisprudence around the globe.“ To perpetrators and victims he sent the clear message that “justice will prevail”.
The Prosecutor of the ICC Fatou Bensouda welcomed the timely explicit vocal support for the ICC from numerous states during the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly. She underlined the necessity of tangible and timely cooperation, including with respect to the arrest and surrender of ICC suspects, in order to effectively advance the important goals of the Rome Statute. In reiterating her call for robust support for the ICC, she added that “[a]ttacks on the Court aimed at undermining its important work, must continue to be met with the determined and unequivocal voices of support from principled States Parties and civil society, who stand by international criminal justice without reserve or distinction.”
In a series of seven panels, the experts, including policymakers whose work and efforts led to the creation of the court, discussed, inter alia, the making of the Rome Statute, criteria relating to case selection and length of proceedings, role of victims participation and reparation in the proceedings of the court, the engagement of states with the court and the potential future trail of the ICC in the next 20 years.
A number of needs were identified from the wealth of experience of the experts gathered in Nuremberg, including strengthening of the cooperation between the ICC and regional and national mechanisms; the development of a constructive approach to complementarity; and the enhancement of the role of the Assembly of State Parties (ASP) for better engagement of the states with the court. It would be welcomed if the ICC applied better selection criteria for the election of nominated officials and found solutions for the problems, which the court faces from the Rome Statute itself. Regarding the Security Council they expressed the wish of more vigilance and more effective agreement within the UN would help the court in carrying out its mission.
Please find more information and the program here.