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Thursday, 17 July 2014

International Criminal Justice Day 2014 , July 17th

International Criminal Justice Day, 17 July.
 Международный день уголовного правосудия, 17 июля.
Día de la Justicia Penal Internacional, 17 de julio.
 Journée de la justice pénale internationale, 17 Juillet.
 يوم العدالة الجنائية الدولية، 17 يوليو



Day of International Criminal Justice - The UN and the ICC: Partners of Shared Values
17 Jul 2014 “Day of International Criminal Justice – The UN and the ICC: Partners of Shared Values” - Marking the Tenth Anniversary of the Relationship Agreement (2004-2014). Organized by the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations. 

 United Nations Secretary-General remarks on International Criminal Justice Day 2014

I thank the Permanent Mission of Italy for hosting this important event.
Today we are marking two milestones.  First, this is of course International Criminal Justice Day.
And second, we celebrate ten years of our Relationship Agreement with the International Criminal Court.
This is a day for all of us to underscore a crucial point: justice matters.
Accountability for serious crimes of international concern is central to our global commitment to peace, security human rights and fundamental freedoms.
So let me begin by once again calling for universal ratification of the Rome Statute.
I also encourage all Member States who are parties to the Rome Statute to do their part to strengthen the International Criminal Court.
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The drafters of the Rome Statute always envisaged a vital role for the United Nations in support of the Court and its work.

The Relationship Agreement between the United Nations and the Court is founded in a shared belief that the cause of peace can only be served if those responsible for the most serious crimes of international concern are prosecuted and brought to justice.
The world’s commitment to the success of this Court is reflected in the fact that that the Relationship Agreement was approved by the General Assembly without opposition.
The objectives of the Court and the United Nations are clearly aligned.
The Relationship Agreement established a solid foundation for mutual cooperation.
It has served as the basis for a host of supplementary agreements that cover the full range of our common efforts to bring perpetrators of international crimes to justice.
These include detailed arrangements on a number of issues – from the sharing of evidence to the use of modern information technology to facilitating interviews with our officials and experts.
Perhaps most notable are the cooperation agreements with our peacekeeping operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire and, soon, Mali.
These agreements allow for the Court to operate more efficiently, in part, because it can rely on the Organization for information and logistical support.
Indeed, one of our child protection officers, Ms. Kristine Peduto, was the first person to testify before the Court in its first trial, that of the warlord, Thomas Lubanga.
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Court is the centerpiece of our system of international criminal justice but it is a court of last resort.
We at the United Nations are proud to remain deeply involved in assisting Member States to better address impunity at the national level.
Allow me to commend the Court, and specifically its Prosecutor, for her invaluable work with the States Parties to the Rome Statute.
They have the primary responsibility to investigate and prosecute the serious crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
I am confident that the relationship between the United Nations and the International Criminal Court will continue to strengthen and grow – through the Office of Legal Affairs and my Legal Counsel, who serve as focal point for cooperation.
The Court will always find in the United Nations a committed partner, a staunch ally and a firm friend.
We look forward to our ongoing close cooperation in the years ahead.
Thank you.
Ban Ki Moon


The Hague, 17 July 2014
CS /1607e,

Together with International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) President Vagn Joensen, President Theodor Meron in his capacity as both ICTY and MICT President sent a letter to International Criminal Court (ICC) President Song today offering their congratulations on the Day of International Criminal Justice, a day that commemorates the adoption of the Rome Statute on 17 July 1998.
In their letter, President Meron and President Joensen said that today’s commemoration offers an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of international criminal justice in the last twenty years, including the establishment of the ICC, ad hoc international courts and the hybrid criminal courts.

“Together these courts—including those over which the two of us preside—have helped to transform the political and legal landscape. Calling senior political and military leaders to account for their acts before courts of law is increasingly the expectation, rather than the exception. This is a heartening development, and one to be both acknowledged and lauded,” the letter stated.

In concluding their letter, they noted that the Day of International Criminal Justice also serves as a reminder that there is still work to be done at both national and international levels “to bring an end to impunity and, more importantly, to prevent the commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in the first place.”

 International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia President.




 President Joensen and ICTY President Meron congratulate the ICC on the Day of International Criminal Justice, Jul 17, 2014         
    

Together with International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) President Theodor Meron, ICTR President Vagn Joensen sent a letter to International Criminal Court (ICC) President Song today offering their congratulations on the Day of International Criminal Justice, a day that commemorates the adoption of the Rome Statute on 17 July 1998.

In their letter, President Meron and President Joensen said that today’s commemoration offers an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of international criminal justice in the last twenty years, including the establishment of the ICC, ad hoc international courts and the hybrid criminal courts.

“Together these courts—including those over which the two of us preside—have helped to transform the political and legal landscape. Calling senior political and military leaders to account for their acts before courts of law is increasingly the expectation, rather than the exception. This is a heartening development, and one to be both acknowledged and lauded,” the letter stated.

In concluding their letter, they noted that the Day of International Criminal Justice also serves as a reminder that there is still work to be done at both national and international levels “to bring an end to impunity and, more importantly, to prevent the commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in the first place.”






International Criminal Court (ICC) Messages for the Day of International Criminal Justice Day 2014.

 

 Statement of the ICC President: 17 July, 2014 - A day to unite in building a more just world,


When representatives of 120 States adopted the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), on 17 July 1998, they did so to build a more just world. Conscious that all people are connected, and that mass atrocities committed anywhere threaten the delicate mosaic of modern societies as well as world peace and security, they set up a permanent, international justice system to address crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide by holding individuals accountable either at the national or international level. Through such action, the Rome Statute system aims to help prevent such crimes, to protect all peoples from them, and to uphold what is best, but also most fragile, within us: the shared sense of justice that is a common bond of all humanity. 
Years later, when States Parties to the Rome Statute decided to name the 17th of July as the Day of International Criminal Justice, they invited all of us to commemorate the tremendous efforts of the many international courts and tribunals created in the last two decades while looking forward to what remains to be done. Among these courts is the ICC, the first and only permanent international criminal court with jurisdiction granted by States through a multilateral treaty.
By commemorating 17 July, we recognize past efforts that have fostered reconciliation in societies across the world and have positively affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of victims. We also look to the future, and reaffirm the international community’s commitment to fight against impunity for the most serious crimes, and thereby to stop them from ever being repeated again. 
We are all exposed on a daily basis to news of massacres, crimes and war in multiple regions of the world. Where the ICC has jurisdiction, it endeavours to bring justice to the victims of these crimes. And where it is already involved, the Court’s intervention has galvanised more international attention to communities affected by crimes and the efforts essential to aiding the survivors. However, we are all conscious of the limits of the ICC’s current jurisdiction, which have to be remedied by continued progress towards universal ratification of the Rome Statute.
We recognize that the ICC is only one element in the wider Rome Statute system, the core of which is the responsibility of States themselves to investigate and prosecute the Rome Statute crimes whenever possible. The Statute is built on the principles of universality, complementarity and State cooperation, with the ICC itself as a court of last resort. Like many other parts of the emerging international system, it is still under construction. We continue our efforts and engagement  with the international community so that this new global system can be established with firm foundations, where the law is sovereign and respected, and where  justice for all is recognised as being crucial for peace, stability and development worldwide.
We cannot succeed on our own. All States, organisations and individuals have a role to play in the fight against impunity. Each of us can make a difference. Every year, on 17 July, we review and rededicate our efforts to build a more just world, because we are all connected, and because justice matters to us all.
Audio and video statement, ICC President Judge Sang-Hyun Song:



Each new State Party brings us closer to universal protection from atrocious crimes #17July #Justice Matters
Unite against these 4 atrocious crimes.



Judge Theodor Meron President, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia President, Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals.

Remarks for Celebration of the Day of International Criminal Justice 10 July 2014,
The Hague.

I am delighted to take part in today’s celebration of international criminal justice day.Today, of course, we commemorate the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute. I was honoured to serve as a member of the US delegation to the Rome Conference back in 1998 , and it is with profound pride that I have witnessed all that the International Criminal Court has achieved in the intervening years As we know from the experiences of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the early years of an international criminal court are fraught with challenges.

 The creation of effective and efficient internal policies and practices,the cultivation of cooperative relationships with affected States, and the development of a coherent body of substantive and procedural jurisprudence based on legal rules and provisions sometimes being applied for the first time—these are but a few of the challenges that can face an international criminal court as it strives to carry out its mandate during the early years of its existence. It is a tribute not just to the International Criminal Court but also to all of the ad hoc international and hybrid criminal courts that,today, calling political and military leaders to account for their acts before courts of law is increasingly the expectation, rather than the exception; that, today, we speak of ensuring accountability for violations of international law not just at a few courtrooms here in The Hague but in national courtrooms the world over; and that, today, we stand, in many ways, in a world transformed from that which existed just two decades ago. But if today is a day to reflect on all that has been achieved since 1998, it is also a day to renew our commitment to the work that remains to be done.

Today is a day to remember that international criminal courts are, and should be, courts of last resort and that it is imperative that States do all they can to ensure the implementation and application of international law in their domestic legal frameworks.

Today is a day to remember that respect for court orders and rulings, even where one may disagree with them, is essential to strengthening respect for the rule of law.

Today is a day for States to renew their commitment to cooperating with and supporting the work of international courts, and for individuals to pause and reflect on why fair and impartial justice is so vital to us all. And today is a day to recall that while international justice is tremendously important, court proceedings alone cannot bring about reconciliation, heal the rifts in a society , or offer closure to victims and survivors. Indeed, such aims, valuable though they may be, fall outside the core mandates entrusted to criminal courts, and where expectations are created to the contrary, it can often seem—erroneously—that international justice is failing. So, today, even as we celebrate all that has been achieved since 1998, we must remember the importance of ensuring a better understanding of international justice.

 We must remember that, without the full commitment of national jurisdictions to international law and to the principles and standards of international law observed by international criminal courts in their proceedings, we will never be able to truly bring an end to impunity and ensure accountability for international crimes. At the same time, we must remember that courts are just part of a panoply of transitional justice measures, including effort s focused on history, memory, community reconciliation, and caring for victims and survivors. And even as we salute international criminal justice today, we must also pay tribute to the many individuals and groups who work so hard every day to bring lasting peace , stability , and respect for the rule of law to their communities in other ways.

Thank you.





 Mr. James Stewart, Deputy Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Celebration of the Day of International Criminal Justice Brief Remarks.

Your Excellencies,
Honourable Judges,
President Song, Mr Registrar,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Prosecutor, I am delighted to make a few brief remarks on this important occasion, marking the 16th anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute and the strengthening international criminal justice. To begin, I would like to join with others to thank the organizers, and especially Ambassador Korac, for hosting this event, for this kind invitation, and for their dedication to the International Criminal Court and the cause of international criminal justice. Since its genesis, the ICC has indeed come a long way, from an innovative design on paper to a fully-functioning independent judicial institution.

The Court has faced many challenges along the way, and continues to face them, but the ICC has taken its place in the world as an indispensable legal institution promoting justice, giving a meaningful voice to victims, and helping to prevent mass crimes that threaten the peace, security and wellbeing of humanity. While the Court can point to solid achievements, much work lies ahead. As we improve our own capacity at the Court to do justice and to fulfil the mandate the international community has given us, consistent support of States Parties and the international community is needed to ensure the ICC reaches its full potential. States Parties must strengthen their will and national capacities to exercise their primacy of jurisdiction over mass crimes. Political will and diplomatic endeavour are necessary to ensure that crimes are addressed at the national level in accordance with the standards set by the Rome Statute.

When it becomes necessary for the Court to exercise its jurisdiction, however, the full and timely cooperation from States Parties remains necessary if the Court is to do justice effectively. As the Office charged with investigating and prosecuting the most heinous international crimes, we carry great responsibility, first and foremost toward the victims and communities affected by atrocities, but also to the international community as a whole. Cooperation is essential to enable us to discharge these responsibilities. Generally speaking, our requests for cooperation receive positive responses from both States Parties and States not party to the Rome Statute. There are exceptions and challenges, of course, but these are to be expected, since “push-back” in some quarters was inevitable as we implemented our mandate under the Rome Statute. The support and cooperation we receive, nonetheless, strengthens us and allows us to conduct our work in order to bring well prepared cases, built on solid foundations, before the Chambers.

The on-going implementation of the Office’s Strategic Plan is only reinforcing our ability to enhance the quality of our operations and to ensure success. The road to the achievement of justice in a complex, often violent, world is not without pitfalls. It can be a rocky road. But we relish the journey and do not fear the challenges we will meet along the way. Indeed, what other choice have we? The Court was created to advance the international rule of law and to deter the commission of mass crimes that shock the conscience of humanity and inflict great suffering. We must fulfil its promise.

The ICC represents the triumph of hope for a better, more just and peaceful world over a human history marred by mass atrocities and unchecked impunity. In its respect for due process, in its mandate to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of mass crimes, in its striving to give voice to victims and bring them a measure of justice, the ICC represents the best hope of the international community to realise the ideals of international criminal justice.

As we are gathered here to commemorate International Criminal Justice Day, may I conclude by borrowing from a very different context the words of the late Martin Luther King Jr. in a speech he delivered in 1968, only months before his assassination. He stated: "It may be true that the law cannot change the heart but it can restrain the heartless. It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can restrain him from lynching me; and I think that is pretty important also. And so while the law may not change the hearts of men, it does change the habits of men if vigorously enforced, and through changes in habits, pretty soon attitudinal changes will take place and even the heart may be changed in the process. […]

With this faith [in the power of the law] we will be able to transform the jangling discords of all the nations in the world, into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood and speed up the day when all over the world justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.” The ICC offers us the opportunity to advance the cause of justice the world over.

Together we can ensure that justice – will always – matter. Thank you for your attention.

"The most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole must not go unpunished." The Rome Statute

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