Today the Group of Independent Experts issued its final Report in accordance with the 30 September 2020 timeline set out in Assembly resolution ICC-ASP/18/Res.7. On 6 December 2019, the Assembly appointed nine Experts to carry out an Independent Expert Review of the International Criminal Court and the Rome Statute System. The Experts were mandated to make recommendations to the Assembly of States Parties and the Court on specific complex technical issues under the clusters Governance, Judiciary, and Investigations and prosecutions. The Assembly underlined that, for this process to be successful, it must involve all States Parties, the Court and other relevant stakeholders.
The Assembly appointed the following experts to the respective clusters: Cluster 1, Governance: Mr. Nicolas Guillou (France), Ms. Mónica Pinto (Argentina), Mr. Mike Smith (Australia); Cluster 2, Judiciary: Ms. Anna Bednarek (Poland), Mr. Iain Bonomy (United Kingdom), Mr. Mohamed Chande Othman (Tanzania); Cluster 3, Prosecution and investigation: Mr. Richard Goldstone (South Africa), Mr. Hassan Jallow (The Gambia), and Ms. Cristina Schwansee Romano (Brazil).
I commend the Chair of the IER Experts, Mr. Richard Goldstone, for leading and guiding the work of the IER review over the past nine months. I also commend the Group of Independent Experts for their commitment to continuing to carry out their mandate, despite the serious constraints imposed across the globe due to the COVID-19 pandemic shortly after they began their work. The Experts met with representatives of States Parties, Court officials and members of civil society via in-person meetings and virtual meetings during the past months and, through the Chair, briefed States Parties in the Bureau and the working groups of the Bureau on the progress of their work. They carried out their mandate fully respecting judicial and prosecutorial independence. Three Research Assistants, Ms. Gabriele Chlevickaite, Ms. Maria Manolescu and Ms. Kritika Sharma, whom I also thank, provided substantive support to the Experts.
The report contains recommendations to the Court and to the Assembly in the respective areas of study commissioned by the Assembly. The Experts emphasized that the findings in the report are focused on areas in need of improvement, rather than an exhaustive overview of all the positive aspects within the Court or of the Rome Statute system. Nothing stated in the report should in any way call into question the necessity and value of the Court.
The Assembly will now carefully consider the IER Experts' recommendations, some of which are related to issues currently being discussed by States Parties, and will take decisions on the steps to be taken moving forward.
On 7 October at 15:00 (Central European Time) the Experts will hold a Q&A session to respond to any queries submitted to them by the States Parties, the Court, and the civil society organisations.
It is the common goal of States Parties, the Court and civil society to ensure good governance, accountability and the effectiveness of the Court in the global fight against impunity, as well as to strengthen the Court in its mandate to end impunity for perpetrators of the most heinous crimes and bring justice to the victims. This process of review of the Court and the Rome Statue system is the most far-reaching exercise the Assembly has ever commissioned since the Court began its operations in 2002. I encourage all stakeholders to accord the report of the IER Experts the critical importance which is due to it, and to take all necessary measures to implement these concrete, achievable and actionable recommendations of the IER Experts.
Together we can achieve our common goal of strengthening the Court and the Rome Statute system.
- IER Final Report (English): https://asp.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/asp_docs/ASP19/IER-Final-Report-ENG.pdf
- IER Final Report - Introduction (French): https://asp.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/asp_docs/ASP19/IER-Final-Report-Intro-FRA.pdf
- IER Final Report - Annex I: Summary of recommendations advised to be prioritized (French): https://asp.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/asp_docs/ASP19/IER-Final-Report-Annex1-FRA.pdf
- Message of the Chair of the IER on the issuance of the Final Report: https://asp.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/asp_docs/ASP19/IER-Final-Report-Chair-Message-ENG.pdf
- Message on the modalities of submitting questions for the 7 October meeting: https://asp.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/asp_docs/ASP19/IER%20final%20report-dates.18Sep20.1125.pdf