During the first quarter of 2020, the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Group of Independent Experts commenced their work to review the court and Rome Statute system. In accordance with their mandate, the experts collected views from various stakeholders, including states parties, civil society, and ICC staff. They set a deadline of April 15, 2020 to receive written submissions.
The mandate of the Group of Independent Experts is to make “concrete, achievable and actionable recommendations aimed at enhancing the performance, efficiency, and effectiveness of the Court and the Rome Statute system.” The experts are split into three clusters: governance, the judiciary, and prosecutions and investigations. They will issue a report for consideration at the nineteenth session of the Assembly of States Parties scheduled for December 2020.
The Open Society Justice Initiative welcomes and supports the establishment of a comprehensive ICC review process. To this end, we have submitted several recommendations to each cluster. These recommendations, some of which are also intended for the ASP and court itself, will be highlighted through a series of blogs that will be listed below for ease of reference. Other civil society organizations also made submissions to the Group of Independent Experts (see, for example, reports from the International Bar Association, Human Rights Watch, and International Federation for Human Rights). Meaningful participation by civil society in the ICC review process will ultimately contribute to a better system of international justice. We encourage all actors in the process to take these submissions into consideration.