Media Advisory: 16.05.2011


ICC President to sign enforcement of sentences agreement during his visit to Colombia

ICC-CPI-20110516-MA102

On 17 and 18 May, the President of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Sang-Hyun Song, is scheduled to visit Bogotá, Republic of Colombia, at the invitation of the President of Colombia, H.E. Mr. Juan Manuel Santos Calderón. On the first day of the visit, President Song and President Santos will sign an agreement on the enforcement of ICC sentences, Colombia being the first country from the Latin American and Caribbean region to do so.

The visit to Colombia is part of President Song’s efforts to raise global awareness about the ICC. He will travel to the Colombian capital from Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, where he will address a seminar on the Rome Statute of the ICC for countries of the Caribbean Community.

Once in Bogotá, the ICC President will meet with a wide variety of interlocutors. In addition to President Santos and other high-ranking government officials, he will meet with civil society organisations, with the Presidents of the Supreme Court and Constitutional Court of Colombia, as well as with and representatives of international organisations and diplomatic missions. At the Universidad de los Andes, he will give a lecture entitled International Criminal Justice – How to Move Forward.

President Song will use these opportunities to stress that the ICC is a court of last resort and that States, within their national jurisdiction, bear the primary responsibility to ensure accountability for serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole. He will also highlight ways in which States can strengthen the effective functioning of the Rome Statute system, including full cooperation with the ICC, national capacity building through the adoption of implementing legislation and other means, and various forms of voluntary support to the ICC.

The Office of the Prosecutor, an independent organ of the ICC, is conducting a preliminary examination in Colombia, assessing whether genuine national proceedings are being carried out. The ICC President has no part in these activities.

Note on the agreement on the enforcement of sentences:

The Rome Statute, founding treaty of the ICC, provides that sentences handed down by Judges “shall be served in a State designated by the Court from a list of States which have indicated to the Court their willingness to accept sentenced persons”. To date, the ICC has signed agreements on the enforcement of sentences with the governments of Austria, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Denmark, Finland and Serbia. These agreements provide the legal framework for the possible enforcement of an actual sentence in the future, but they do not entail any obligation on either party – the State or the ICC – for any person sentenced by the ICC to be transferred to the State in question.


For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Associate Legal Outreach Officer, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or by e-mail at: fadi.el-abdallah@icc-cpi.int.

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