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12th Assembly of States Parties – November 2013
From 20-28 November 2013, civil society from across the world joined states and other stakeholders in The Hague for the 12th annual Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Throughout the year, NGO experts monitor the work of the ICC and ASP through our Issue Teams and issued recommendations ahead of ASP 12. Each year, the ASP is pivotal event for the Coalition, with NGOs contributing to discussions through side events, advocacy meetings and press conferences.
At the bottom of this page, you will find various statements, papers and reports issued by the Coalition and individual NGO members around ASP 12.
What happened at ASP 12?
As the ICC’s governing body, the states parties that make up the Assembly discussed and made decisions on a number of issues central to the Court's operations.
ASP 12 was dominated by discussions on changing the Court’s rules on the presence at trial of senior government officials while in office.
Following days of intensive negotiations, the Assembly adopted changes to the Court’s rules on the presence at trial of senior government officials while in office.
States agreed to allow those mandated to fulfill "extraordinary public duties at the highest national level" to request excusal from presence at trial and to be represented by their legal counsel. However, it would be for ICC trial judges to decide on any request taking into account a number of factors, including the interests of justice and the nature of the hearing in question. The rule would only apply for persons under summons to appear. The possibility of allowing the accused to appear via video in the courtroom was also part of this rule change.
Other rule changes adopted at the Assembly concerned allowing the use of recorded testimony in proceedings, and giving trial judges the power to decide on holding hearings outside The Hague.
At the conclusion of the Assembly, the Coalition called for the defense of the ICC from political interference.
The Assembly’s first ever debate on victims was deemed successful by most, helping to maintain a focus on the Court’s key beneficiaries in this highly politicized ASP.
The Assembly also came to agreement on the ICC’s budget for next year. It will get €121.55 million, an increase of €6.4 million recommended by the ASP’s budget experts – the Committee on Budget and Finance (CBF).
Donations to the Trust Fund for Victims were announced by a number of states, including The Netherlands (€1 million), Germany (€ 900,000), the United Kingdom (£300,000) and Sweden (€ 3 million over four years - the largest donation to date).
Cooperation with the Court was also discussed extensively culminating in a resolution adopted at the Assembly.
Meanwhile, during a debate requested by the African Union on the indictment of sitting heads of state and its consequences on peace, stability and reconciliation, civil society made forceful interventions on protecting the Rome Statute provisions excluding immunity, among other issues.
The Assembly also adopted a resolution that will bring into existence the “Independent Oversight Mechanism,” which will allow for independent investigations into the conduct on ICC officials and staff.
States elected Justice Geoffrey Henderson of Trinidad & Tobago to the ICC judges’ bench. Six members of the CBF were also elected.
For more information
Read our daily summaries developments at the ASP, with a compilation of related documents and news coverage: Day 1 ,
Day 2 , Day 3 , Day 4 , Day 5 , Day 6 , Day 7 , Day 8 .
Check out our Flickr and Instagram for images from the Assembly.
Official ASP documents and journals can be found on the ICC-ASP website.