“20th anniversary of No Peace Without Justice: Challenges and Opportunities of the International Criminal Court”

International Conference, Italian Senate, Rome, 13 November 2014

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ), founded in 1994 with the mandate of campaigning for the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a critical part of an effective system of international criminal justice. NPWJ celebrated its long-standing commitment to end impunity by organising a conference “20th anniversary of No Peace Without Justice: Challenges and Opportunities of the International Criminal Court”, which was held at the Italian Senate, in Rome, on 13 November 2014 (from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm).
The purpose of the Conference was to examine the interplay between two fundamental elements underpinning the Rome ICC Statute, namely cooperation and complementarity.

In its initial 10 years, the ICC has done a great deal of work on specific policy issues including gender, prosecutorial policies and case selection, the handling of preliminary examinations, and most recently has begun working on a children’s policy. These policies have drawn together fundamental principles and lessons learnt by the ICC over the course of its first 10 years, alongside lessons learnt by other international courts and tribunals. They represent a growing body of literature that can support both the ICC and others in doing the best possible work in the best possible way.
The ICC is facing increasing complexities in respect of the fundamental issues of cooperation and complementarity. Its relationship with various regions, notably Africa, is marked by strong support on the one hand and suspicion and even hostility on the other hand. Some members of the international community are trying to give the ICC jurisdiction over massive violations against civilians in various situations, including Syria. Other members of the international community are challenging the ICC’s credibility and legitimacy, failing to provide cooperation and support to the Court. These contradictions hinder the ICC in carrying out its mandate to fight impunity, whether through promoting national proceedings (i.e. complementarity) or through investigation and prosecution of cases within its competence, for which it needs support from States Parties and others (i.e. cooperation).
This conference, which was opened by the President of the Italian Senate Pietro Grasso, examined those issues through its high-level participants, who included: James Kirkpatrick Stewart, Deputy Prosecutor of the ICC; Sidiki Kaba, Minister of Justice, Senegal, incoming ASP President; Benedetto Della Vedova, Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Italy; Emma Bonino, former Italian Foreign Minister and founder of No Peace Without Justice; Franco Frattini, former Italian Foreign Minister; Mauro Politi, former ICC Judge, current Chair of the COJUR-ICC; Athaliah Lesiba Molokomme, Attorney-General of Botswana;  Binta Mansaray, Registrar, Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone; Anthony Dworkin, Senior Fellow, European Council for Foreign Relations.

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For further information, please contact: icc_rome@npwj.org