18 July 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice

NPWJ press release

ICC: Conference on the 20th Anniversary of the Rome Statute
by NPWJ, 18 Jul 2018

On 18 July 1998, in the presence of then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Final Act of the United Nations Plenipotentiary Diplomatic Conference for the Establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Rome ICC Statute, adopted by an overwhelming majority after five weeks of intense negotiations, were presented at the Campidoglio in Rome. Exactly twenty years from that event, No Peace Without Justice, Parliamentarians for Global Action and the International Association of Criminal Law Italian Group issue an invitation to celebrate this achievement and to take stock of the Court’s functioning and work. The Court's legitimacy is currently challenged by some governments, but at the same time, it still represents a fundamental deterrent in the fight against impunity for the most serious crimes under international law.

Read More

The ICC at 20: Time for a New Compact
by NPWJ, 17 Jul 2018

I recall vividly the sweltering weeks spent in Rome back in 1998, conducting intense negotiations on the Rome International Criminal Court Statute in my capacity as representative of the European Commission and camping out at the FAO Headquarters alongside my friends in the Transnational Radical Party and other fellow activists. The ICTY had just been established and alongside Marco Pannella, Robert Badinter, Ben Ferencz, Cherif Bassiouni and many others, we could see the time was ripe to move set our campaigning sights on a permanent international criminal jurisdiction for the whole world.

Read More


War victims in northern Uganda still waiting for justice and reparation
by Mogens Pedersen, Daily Monitor , 18 Jul 2018

The surrender and subsequent handover of Dominic Ongwen to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in January 2015 to answer the charges of crimes that were allegedly committed under his command sparked off new waves of hope among the local communities in northern Uganda. Ongwen is one of the five top commanders of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) indictment by the ICC in 2005.
The Case against Ongwen is focused on war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed during attacks against former Internally Displaced Person’s camps (IDP camps) - Pajule (October 2003), Odek (April 2004), Lukodi (May 2004) and Abok IDP camp (June 2004). Ongwen’s trial re-awakened hope among some of the victims that those most responsible for the crimes will be held accountable for their actions and their (victims) plea for reparation responded to.
However, the above incidents that were investigated by the ICC are only a pinch to the hundreds of atrocities that have not been investigated.

Read More

ICC crime of aggression comes into effect without key signatories
by Owen Bowcott, The Guardian, 17 Jul 2018

A crime of aggression, under which politicians and military leaders can be held individually responsible for invasions and other major attacks, comes into force at the international criminal court, reviving global legal powers last exercised at the Nuremburg and Tokyo war crimes trials of the 1940s.

Read More