On Monday the International Criminal Court Review Conference will begin in Kampala, Uganda. The conference, which will last until 11th June, is a meeting of a large number of delegates from around the world (see our earlier report here). In Kampala, States parties will discuss the following amendment proposals to the Rome Statute: (1) The revision of Article 124 of the Rome Statute; (2) the crime of aggression; and (3) the inclusion of the use of certain weapons as war crimes in the context of an armed conflict not of an international character. Participation is open inter alia to representatives of states parties to the Rome Statute, observer states, officials and staff of the ICC, officials and staff of the United Nations, non-governmental organizations invited to the Rome Conference and other persons accredited or invited to attend the Conference (including representatives of press, radio, film, television or other information media).
Here are some resources on the conference:
The website of the ICC on the Review Conference contains an introduction to the conference, an overview of the suggested amendments to the Rome Statute, a live blog session (apparently on a daily basis) with Christian Wenaweser (President of the Assembly of States Parties; see also our Video of the Week), and a section with video clips. You may also find preparatory documents and general documents. The government of Uganda has also set up a separate website for the conference, as well as the Human Rights Network – Uganda.
In addition to these websites, the blogosphere has also taken note of the event. Professor Schabas, from the Irish Centre for Human Rights, has installed a separate blog in which he will ‘provide readers with information about the Conference […] publish relevant documents as they become available, [and] produce a diary of the Conference on a regular basis.’ See also the special ASIL Blog with on-site reporting from the conference, with upcoming reports by Professors John Cerone, David Crane, Michael Newton, and David Scheffer directly from Kampala.
Finally, the president of the ICC judge Sang-Hyun Song today wrote a commentary on the conference, published in the Daily Monitor. Here he formulates a cautious request directed to the States Parties to the Rome Statute to contribute to the success of the conference:
I look to Kampala with a sense of optimism. Ahead of the conference, states have initiated a pledge to the system. They have an opportunity to make tangible and ambitious commitments in each area of the stock-taking, and then set to work to implement them once the conference is over. By building on the system of justice born in Rome, states can take another bold step to ensure that the rule of law prevails precisely when it comes to the most horrific of crimes. If states succeed, they will instil new hope that the present century can be markedly more peaceful than the last.
See also the recent statement by UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon, who will convene the conference, where he announced that a new ‘age of accountability’ has replaced an older ‘age of impunity’.
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