On 26 November 2009, the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (“the Assembly”) adopted resolutions on several issues, including the Review Conference of the Rome Statute, the establishment of an independent oversight mechanism, the establishment of a liaison office at the African Union Headquarters, the permanent premises of the Court and the programme budget for 2010.
The Assembly decided that the Review Conference would be held in Kampala, Uganda, from 31 May to 11 June 2010, for a period of 10 working days to consider:
a) The possible deletion of article 124 of the Statute, which allows a new State Party to opt for excluding from the Court’s jurisdiction war crimes allegedly committed by its nationals or on its territory for a period of seven years;
b) The definition of the crime of aggression, the conditions for the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court, as well as draft elements of the crime;
c) The inclusion of the employment of certain poisonous weapons and expanding bullets in the definition of war crimes in article 8 of the Statute.
Furthermore, the Review Conference would conduct a stocktaking of international criminal justice focusing on four topics: complementarity, cooperation, the impact of the Rome Statute system on victims and affected communities, and peace and justice.
The Assembly also decided to establish a working group for the purpose of considering the remaining proposals for amendments as from its ninth session in 2010.
The Assembly further decided to establish an independent oversight mechanism, pursuant to article 112, paragraph 4, of the Rome Statute, with an initial mandate to provide an investigative capacity for the Court to address alleged misconduct of elected officials and staff. Further elements of oversight envisaged in the Statute, including inspection and evaluation, are expected to be considered by the Assembly at its ninth session.
As regards the permanent premises of the Court, the Assembly adopted a resolution wherein it took note of the decision of the Oversight Committee that the architectural design contract should be awarded to Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, subject to satisfactory negotiations on the terms and conditions of the contract with the selected design team.
As regards family visits for indigent detainees, the Assembly decided that the Court may, on a temporary basis, partly or fully subsidize family visits for indigent detainees up to an amount to be determined by the Assembly in the context of the approval of the programme budget, pending the establishment of a voluntary system of funding family visits.
The Assembly decided to establish a liaison office at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa.
The Assembly also approved a budget of approximately € 103,600,000 for 2010 and a staffing level of 768. The threshold for the Contingency Fund was set at € 7 million; below that level, the Assembly would consider its replenishment.
The Assembly decided to hold a resumption of its eighth session between 22 and 25 March 2010 at United Nations Headquarters in New York for the purpose of preparing for the Review Conference, in particular on the issue of stocktaking, as well as to hold its ninth session in New York for a period of five working days as early as possible in December 2010.