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International Bar Association publishes new monitoring report on the ICC

The International Bar Association (IBA) recently published a new monitoring report concerning the International Criminal Court (ICC). According to the report itself, “the monitoring programe focus primarily on the fair trial rights of defendants before the Court and the manner in which the Rome Statute, Regulations of the Court and the Rules of Evidence and Procedure are implemented by the different organs of the Court.” The report tries to provide an overview of the developments in the situations and cases before the ICC. Unfortunately I have not been able to go through the whole report yet. However, some of the significant findings and legal developments noted by the IBA deserve to mentioned.

Most of the problematic findings of the IBA might be explained by the juvenile character of the ICC and the still untested procedures; inter alia a number of administrative challenges encountered by the defence team in the Lubanga case, which negatively impacted the pace of the proceedings; the necessity of a reform of the Legal Aid programe (the Registry recently presented a proposal which has yet to be approved); insufficient staff of the Lubanga defence team; inability to effectively conduct investigations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and some technological challenges.

Other findings, however, are far more worrying. For example the apparent lack of co-operation by States parties and especially the Sudanese Government in the enforcement of the outstanding arrest warrants issued by the ICC (see our previous post States need to co-operate more with the International Criminal Court). That seems to be one of the most important challenges the ICC has to face at the moment, and presumably for quite some time to come.

The legal developments spotted by the IBA inter alia include the finding of the Appeals Chamber that disclosure was a right and non-disclosure the exception and several findings by the presiding judge of the pre-trial chamber on the procedure to be followed during the confirmation of charges hearing.

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