On 21 November 2012, the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (“the Assembly”) concluded its eleventh session in The Hague.
The Assembly adopted eight resolutions: on complementarity, cooperation, independent oversight mechanism, permanent premises, victims and reparations, amendments to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, the “omnibus” resolution, and the 2013 budget. It also adopted the recommendation concerning the election of the Registrar.
In the resolution on complementarity, the Assembly, inter alia, resolved to strengthen effective domestic implementation of the Rome Statute and enhance the capacity of national jurisdictions to prosecute the most serious crimes of international concern. It also welcomed the international community’s engagement in strengthening the capacity of domestic jurisdictions to enable States to genuinely prosecute Rome Statute crimes.
The resolution on cooperation stressed the importance of timely and effective cooperation and assistance from States Parties and other States under an obligation or encouraged to cooperate with the Court, as well as of identification, tracing and freezing of assets.
In the resolution on the permanent premises, the Assembly welcomed the completion of the awards stage and the beginning of the construction stage of the project on 1 October 2012. The Assembly also decided to extend the deadline for States Parties to select the option of a one-time payment to cover the cost of their contribution to the permanent premises until 31 December 2014.
The resolution on the Independent Oversight Mechanism recognized the importance of a fully operational Independent Oversight Mechanism and decided to continue discussions on the issue.
In the resolution on victims and reparations, the Assembly expressed concern on the continued backlog on processing of the victims’ participation applications and requested the Court and the Bureau to address the issue in the course of the coming year. It also recalled the need for the Court to ensure that coherent principles relating to reparations continue to be established in accordance with the Rome Statute.
The Assembly also adopted the omnibus resolution, which, inter alia, contained the terms of reference that shall govern the work of the Working Group on Amendments, a subsidiary body of the Assembly mandated to consider amendments to the Rome Statute and to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
The amendment to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence added a new rule 132 bis, which provides for a Trial Chamber designating one or more of its members for the purposes of ensuring the preparation of the trial.
The Assembly approved, by consensus, appropriations totaling €115,620,300 with €115,120,300 for the budget and €500,000 to replenish the Contingency Fund. Furthermore, the Assembly approved a staffing level of 766.
The host State made a commitment to pay 50 per cent of the rent of the interim premises, an amount of up to €3 million per year from 2013 to 2015. For 2013, in addition to the contribution of the host State, Mexico made a contribution to the cost of the rent. The Court is expected to move to its permanent premises in December 2015.
The Assembly of States Parties will hold its twelfth session from 20 to 28 November 2013 in The Hague, The Netherlands.