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Ratification - Implementation News: Uganda, El Salvador,Philippines, Guatemala, Cote d Ivoire, France, Mexico
11 Mar 2010
Please find below information about recent developments around the world regarding the ratification and implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) as well as the Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Court (APIC) in (I) the Americas, (II) Africa, (III) Europe,(IV) Asia and excerpts of an interview with former ICC President Philippe Kirsch.
The following digest includes articles we have received from diverse sources including international news agencies, local newspapers, and other sources.Please note that it is not exhaustive and does not represent views from all parties concerned. We will continue to provide the most inclusive information as it becomes available. Note that all translations have been informally provided by the CICC Secretariat.
For more information on these developments, please contact Brigitte Suhr, Director of Regional Programs at the CICC ([email protected]).
A. EL SALVADOR
1. " Funes assures that the Security Plan will emphasize the repression of the crime ," Diario Colatino, 4 February 2010
"The President of the Republic Mauricio Funes said today that he has not made any comment on the ratification of the Rome Statute, as he is 'more interested in other issues".
2. " El Salvador is free to accede to the international court that tries genocides," La Página, 5 February 2010
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador said that there is no pressure for them to accede to the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the ICC...."
3. " The ratification of the Rome Statute is pending ," Diario Colatino, 9 February 2010
"The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) urged the Salvadorian government to accede to the Rome Statute and to join the ICC.
Last week, civil society groups belonging to the CICC made a similar call. This time, the CICC- a network of over 2,500 NGO from all around the world, requested that the accession should happen 'without any delays.'..."
4. " El Salvador will accede to the International Convention against Torture," Diario Colatino, 10 February 2010
5. " El Salvador announces it has acceded to the UN Protocol against torture ," Sendero del Peje, 10 February 2010
6. " El Salvador will launch consultations on its accession to the International Criminal Court ," EFE (via Google News) 10 February 2010
7. " El Salvador plans to organize consultations about its possible accession to the International Criminal Court ," Telesur, 10 February 2010
8. " The Government will consider joining the International Criminal Court," El Mundo, 10 February 2010
1. "International Crimimnal Court," Op Ed by El Periódico, 12 Februaryr 2010, http://www.elperiodico.com.gt/es/20100212/opinion/137525
"The International Criminal Court (ICC) is a permanent tribunal with the capacity to prosecute those who commit international crimes such as genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
....The government of Alvador Arzu did not sign it, despite the favorable opinion rendered by the Constitutional Court in March 2002..."
1. « Senate boosts up the cooperation between Mexico and the ICC, » Jornada, Dec. 15, 2009
"With the backing of all political forces, the Senate yesterday approved the creation of the law regulating the eighth paragraph of Article 21 of the Constitution, which outlines the terms and conditions for cooperation of the Mexican state with the International Criminal Court in investigating and Prosecution of unlawful under its jurisdiction: genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity...."
A. BURKINA FASO
On 31 December 2009, the ICC implementation bill, providing for complementarity and cooperation in Burkina Faso was promulgated by the President.
B. CAPE VERDE
On 5 February 2010, Cape Verde's National Assembly adopted a text on constitutional amendments. The text includes two ICC provisions stating that Cape Verde may accept ICC jurisdiction and that restrictions to extradition from Cape Verde do not prevent the exercise of the ICC jurisdiction, subject to Rome Statute provisions governing complementarity.
1. "MPs pass ICC Bill," New Vision, 10 March 2010, http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/13/712528
"PARLIAMENT yesterday passed the International Criminal Court Bill, 2006, three years after it was tabled. The Bill makes provision in Uganda's law for the punishment of the international crimes of genocide, crime against humanity and war crimes.
The suspects tried and convicted for the crimes will not be sentenced to death. They will instead be liable to life imprisonment, under the provisions of the Bill.
Although there is already a war crimes court in Uganda, it has not commenced work because of the delay to pass the Bill...."
D. COTE D'IVOIRE
i. "The ICICC raises public awareness", Le Jour Plus, 4 February 2010 (link not available)
"Yesterday, the outreach campaign for human rights and against violence at school was launched by the Ivorian Coalition for the International Criminal Court at the Lycée moderne de Treichville. The President of the ICICC, Ali Ouattara, gave more details about said project. [...] He said that this program, which will take place in Abidjan, Gagnoa and Daloa, from Wednesday 3 to Saturday 13 February will enable the ICICC to inform the population, especially pupils and students on the ICC."
ii. "Human rights: the ICICC in 20 schools to fight against violence", Franck A. Zagbayou, Fraternité matin, 4 February 2010, (link not available)
"On Wednesday, the Ivorian Coalition for human rights, financially supported by the Canadian embassy, officially launched its outreach campaign on human rights and non-violence in schools at the Lycée moderne de Treichville. [...]
In his opening speech, the President of the ICICC explained the modalities of this project: 'The Ivorian Coalition for the International Criminal Court (ICICC), will seize this opportunity to inform the population, especially pupils and students on the International Criminal Court (ICC): its functioning and its jurisdiction. The campaign, which will take the shape of conferences and debates in 20 schools, will be supported by the video of the play "Dame CPI", banners, T-shirts, flyers and inserts'.
He explained the goals of this outreach campaign: 'The Ivory Coast has to fight against impunity at all levels. This impunity, cause of violence, conflicts, and serious violations of human rights can be ended through the adoption of the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the ICC [...]."
iii. "Violence in schools: the State is getting involved", L'Expression Quotidien, 4 February 2010, (link not available)
"Violence has become more frequent in schools since 1990 when multipartyism was instituted. This is what the Ivorian Coalition for the International Criminal Court (ICICC) noted. This is why it decided to get involved in the fight against violence by launching outreach campaigns in 32 schools in the Ivory Coast. Yesterday, the opening ceremony took place, in the Lycée moderne de Treichville, with the theme: "human rights and active non violence in schools." Ali Ouattara, the President of the ICICC, recalled that this initiative is aimed at informing the population, especially pupils and students on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and its jurisdiction. (...) "Violence has become more frequent and has caused many deaths both in the population and in schools and university. However, those crimes remain unpunished. To prevent such crimes from being committed again, especially in high schools, the ICICC launched this training and outreach campaign on the detrimental effects of impunity, the respect of human rights and non violence in schools," he said.
i. "Amnesty International France launches the countdown against impunity: 100 days for France to stop providing a safe haven for criminals against humanity", Press Release, Amnesty International, 3 March 2010, http://www.amnesty.fr/cpi
"With less than 100 days to go before the conference in Kampala, Uganda which will review the first years of operation of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Amnesty International France is launching a national campaign to urge France to adapt its legislation to the ICC Statute without delay.
This measure is already 10 years overdue. In June 2000, the French government was due to put a bill through Parliament for the adaptation of France's domestic legislation to the Rome Statute - an essential measure for the Statute's full implementation. Belatedly tabled in July 2006, and voted by the Senate in June 2008 in terms that effectively voided it of its content, the bill has yet to be included on the National Assembly agenda.
'Without this law, France remains a safe haven for criminals against humanity' says Geneviève Garrigos, President of Amnesty International France. 'The majority of European countries have already harmonized their legislation. The French authorities must fulfil their commitments and debate the bill in the National Assembly before the Kampala conference.'
When the UN created the two international courts for former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, France passed laws that made it possible to prosecute perpetrators of odious crimes committed in these countries if they were found to be present in France. But since the founding of the International Criminal Court, France has still not passed the law that would allow a similar mechanism to be set up for criminals coming from other parts of the world.
Amnesty International France will therefore be lobbying members of parliament over the next 100 days to ensure that the bill is finally included on the agenda. The Rome Statute stipulates that 7 years after its implementation, the States Parties will meet for a first review of the Court's activities. They will discuss the various ways in which States cooperate with international law and fulfil their obligations in this respect. France has never applied the Statute provision that affirms 'it is the duty of every State to exercise its criminal jurisdiction over those responsible for international crimes'.
Geneviève Garrigos sums it up thus: 'The French State must show the rest of the world that speeches are not enough and that it demonstrates its support for international justice in its actions'.
The National Assembly's Foreign Affairs Committee, the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights and the French Coalition for the ICC have all declared themselves in favour of changes being made to the text adopted by the Senate in 2008 to enable the prosecution of presumed perpetrators of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The bill adopted by the Senate in 2008 makes prosecution of such criminals practically impossible by virtue of 4 specific constraints:
- Only suspects 'habitually resident' in France can be prosecuted, which effectively excludes criminals staying temporarily in our country, in total impunity;
- Prosecution is only possible if the crime is punishable by law in the country where it was committed. Yet one must not renounce prosecution of a genocide criminal on the grounds that genocide is not punished by the law in his country;
- It deprives victims of the right to initiate criminal proceedings through the mechanism of
'constitution de partie civile' that is open to them for any other crimes;
- It attempts to pass French responsibilities on to the ICC: prosecution on French soil is only possible after urging the ICC to undertake this itself, or if the ICC declares it has no competence to do so, which goes counter to the principle of complementarity organised by the Rome Statute."
For more information on the campaign and to sign the petition please visit the Amnesty website at: http://www.amnesty.fr/cpi
ii. "Those accused of international crimes must be tried in France at last," Recommendations concerning new article 689-11 of the Criminal Procedure Code adopted by the Senate, French Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CF-CPI), February 2010, http://www.cfcpi.fr/IMG/pdf_Those_accused_of_international_crimes_must_be_tried_in_France_at_last.pdf
"Amendments proposed by the French Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CFCPI):
The CFCPI recommends rewriting paragraph 1 of the text adopted by the Senate as follows:
'To implement the Statute of the International Criminal Court, signed in Rome on 17 July 1998, regarding the prosecution and trial, under the conditions provided for in article 689-1, of all individuals guilty of one of the following offences:
1° Crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide d efined in articles 211-1, 211-2, 212-1 to 212-4 of the Criminal Code;
2° War crimes defined in articles 461-1 to 461-31 o f the same Code;
3° Serious breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and Protocol Additional I of 8 June 1977".
The CFCPI recommends the deletion of paragraph 2 of the text adopted by the Senate.
The Senate has added article 689-11 to the Criminal Procedure Code. This article expands the territorial jurisdiction of the French courts in order to permit the prosecution and trial of those accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed abroad.
The CFCPI is delighted that, by introducing this measure, the legislative recognises the need and duty that our country has in bringing to justice those who commit the most serious crimes. It deplores however the fact that this mechanism of exercising overseas jurisdiction, fundamental in the struggle against impunity, has had its effectiveness severely weakened by the cumulative effect of the introduction of four excessively restrictive clauses. These four clauses impose so many restrictions that they make the implementation of this measure practically impossible:
1. Requirement that the person accused of the crime is usually resident on French territory;
2. Double incrimination;
3. Monopoly on prosecutions accorded to the public prosecutor;
4. Overturning of the complementarity rule.
No other legal system in Europe has placed so many obstacles in the way of prosecution of international criminals. The presence of the suspect on national territory is the only condition that is often required, in order to avoid proceedings in absentia. France would regrettably make itself conspicuous amongst European States by not modifying the text adopted by the Senate.
The CFCPI asks that these clauses be removed in order that crimes under the Rome Statute are subjected to the same procedural regime as other crimes for which French courts already have extraterritorial jurisdiction, i.e. the simple presence of the accused individual on French territory (article 689-1 of the Criminal Procedure Code)...."
To read the full recommendations see: http://www.cfcpi.fr/IMG/pdf_Those_accused_of_international_crimes_must_be_tried_in_France_at_last.pdf
On 11 December 2009, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo enacted Republic Act 9851, which defines and penalizes crimes against international humanitarian law, genocide, and crimes against humanity.
"Interview with former ICC President Philippe Kirsch," Global Brief, 19 February 2010
http://globalbrief.ca/blog/2010/02/19/sur-la-primaute-du-droit-et-la-realpolitik/auté du droit et la realpolitik
"...GB What do you think of the principle of universal jurisdiction? Is the world we will live in in 10 or 15 years a world where everyone agrees on universality?
PK ... What is clear to me is that if the ICC Rome Statute was universally ratified, there would be no need for the universal jurisdiction principle to be applied. The question would probably be solved by itself.
GB What message would you pass on to the states that have still not ratified the Rome Statute?
PK ... Generally speaking, non-States Parties should keep on thinking about the importance of this institution, not only for humanitarian reasons but also for reasons that have to do with peace, security, the well-being of the world, regional security and their own potential role."
**End of message**
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