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Presidency of ICC legislative body expresses concern over statements 'threatening to retaliate'

May 17, 2024 at 6:52 pm

A general view of the International Criminal Court (ICC) building in The Hague, Netherlands on April 30, 2024 [Selman Aksünger/Anadolu Agency]

The Presidency of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, on Friday, expressed concern over recent remarks “threatening to retaliate” against the International Criminal Court (ICC), calling on states to respect the independence and impartiality of the Court, Anadolu Agency reports.

In a statement, the Presidency – the Court’s management oversight and legislative body – said it regrets any attempts “to undermine the Court’s independence, integrity and impartiality.”

“Some statements may constitute threats of retaliation against the Court and its officials, in the event the Court exercises its judicial functions as mandated in the Rome Statute,” it noted.

Recently, authorities in the US and Israel have made statements concerning the ICC, characterising the Prosecutor’s potential actions as “lawless”, “disgraceful” and any possible warrants as “an outrageous assault” and “an abomination”.

Along with international organisations and groups, last week, a group of UN experts also expressed “utter dismay” over statements made by US and Israeli officials “threatening to retaliate” against the ICC, saying such threats promote a “culture of impunity”.

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“Prosecutorial and judicial independence is one of the key components of the rule of law. We call on all States to respect the independence and impartiality of the International Criminal Court,” noted the statement.

It also reiterated its “firm commitment” to uphold and defend the principles and values ​​enshrined in the Rome Statute and to preserve its integrity “undeterred by any threats or measures” against the Court, its officials and those cooperating with it.

The Rome Statute establishing the ICC was the result of thorough, transparent and inclusive negotiations involving all states.

It represents an international commitment to end impunity for the most serious international crimes that threaten peace, security and the well-being of the world. The Court has a critical mandate of holding accountable perpetrators of such crimes and delivering justice to victims equally.

“Safeguarding the Court’s integrity, including its judicial and judicial independence, is fundamental to the successful discharge of its mandate,” it said, stressing the importance of the ICC as an independent and impartial Court of law.

Quoting the statement, shared on X by head of the assembly, Paivi Kaukoranta, the Irish Foreign Ministry said it is vital that the independence and impartiality of the ICC is respected.

“Ireland condemns recent threats against the ICC and its officials. It is imperative for the rule of law that they are allowed to do their work fighting impunity without fear of reprisal,” it added.

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