12th ASP to the ICC: NPWJ calls for a stronger international criminal justice system, through outreach and an intensified ICC field presence

20 Nov, 2013 | Press Releases

The Hague, 20-28 November 2013

From 20 to 28 November 2013, the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will meet in The Hague for its twelve annual session.  The ASP will be attended by States Parties, observer States, international organisations and non‑governmental organisations, including a delegation from No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ).

NPWJ’s delegation will be headed by its Secretary-General Niccolo’ Figa-Talamanca. NPWJ will also convene two side-events co-sponsored by the Delegation of Italy on:  “Accountability for Syria”, to be held on 23 November 2013, and “Complementarity in Libya”, to be held on 26 November 2013.

The Twelfth Session of the ICC Assembly of States Parties comes at a time when the ICC itself is under increasing threat. The ICC and its States Parties need to take strong, decisive action to be flexible enough to respond to political demands and various threats to the ICC, while at the same time maintaining the fundamental principles that underpin the Rome Statute, such as the irrelevance of official capacity when it comes to the application of the Rome Statute.

While the ICC as an institution will continue, how it and its States Parties respond to the challenges, particularly those that have arisen as a consequence of the Kenya cases, will determine how much of its time is spent fighting threats or reacting to problems and how much of its time can be spent on forward planning and development. At the same time, life goes on: even as the ICC is under threat, it must still function in its situation countries and continue to strive to provide proper, visible and meaningful justice for the populations affected by crimes. As such, the ICC and its States Parties must continue to maintain their focus on the everyday challenges facing the ICC, including in relation to its investigation teams, outreach, field presence, a completion strategy and its budget, particularly in terms of promoting its efficiency and effectiveness.

As the Twelfth Session begins, NPWJ is therefore pleased to share the following recommendations for the ICC’s 123 States Parties:
1. Prevent abuse of State Immunities: ICC States Parties should protect and maintain the irrelevance of official capacity as a fundamental principle of the Rome Statute and ensure that any proposed amendments are subject to thorough scrutiny and discussion, including with the engagement of non-States Parties, international organisations and civil society as a whole.
2. Investigation teams: ICC States Parties should support full, well-resourced investigation teams primarily based in the field as a means to ensure the integrity of the Rome Statute system and to promote efficiency and effectiveness, including avoiding the need for timeconsuming and expensive follow-up investigations.
3. Outreach: ICC States Parties should support outreach at the earliest possible opportunity, preferably whenever an interest in a particular country is indicated or work begins in a particular country.
4. Field Presence: ICC States Parties should support the enhancement of the Court’s field presence and encourage the ICC to prioritise it, both as a matter of operational policy and, wherever possible, through holding trials or parts thereof in situ.
5. Completion strategy: ICC States Parties should support the ICC in developing its completion strategy, both general guidelines and for specific situations.
6. Budget: ICC States Parties should oppose arbitrary zero nominal growth and support an ICC budget that will enable the ICC to fulfil its mandate effectively and efficiently.


  • NPWJ Policy Priorities for the Twelfth Session of the Assembly of States Parties
  • Agenda of the Twelfth session of the Assembly of States Parties

NPWJ and the ICC
No Peace Without Justice, which is a founding member of the NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) and which has been one of the organisations at the forefront of promoting the establishment and entry into force of the permanent International Criminal Court (ICC) and continues to work for its universal ratification, has participated in every session of the ASP since its first session in 2002, the year the ICC was established.

For further information, contact Alison Smith, Director of NPWJ International Criminal Justice Program, on asmith@npwj.org or +32-2-548-3912 or Nicola Giovannini on ngiovannini@npwj.org or +32-2-548-3915.