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Meeting of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, December 5-12 2018

Each year, WFMC partners with officials at Global Affairs Canada to organize a meeting among Canadian civil society representatives and members of the Canadian delegation to the ASP. The meeting was held earlier in November ahead of the 17th session of the annual meeting of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute which will take place December 5 – 12, 2018 in The Hague.

The provisional work plan and background documentation is available on the website of the ASP.

Some highly charged discussions are anticipated at this year’s ASP. The agenda includes an item on “Addressing the threats directed at the International Criminal Court, its Judges and States Parties cooperating with the Court” following the controversial speech attacking the court by U.S. National Security Advisor (and long-time foe of the ICC) John Bolton.

Other issues of concern include the challenges posed by some members of the African Union, specific cases including Myanmar and Venezuela, issues around gender justice and what progress the Court is making concerning the crime of aggression.

Another pending issue is the upcoming search for a new Prosecutor. The term of current Prosecutor Bensouda will end in 2021 and the search for a new Prosecutor will, ideally, build and expand on best practices around transparency. The Coalition for the ICC is calling for the inclusion of independent experts.

At last year’s ASP meeting, a historic, consensus decision was made to “activate” the ICC’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression. Canada has yet to ratify the Kampala Amendments.

For some background on the state and future of the Court, watch the webinar The 20th Anniversary of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, hosted by WFMC Executive Director Fergus Watt in July 2018. The webinar considered the Court’s first twenty years, its current state, and the challenges that lay ahead over the course of a discussion with Valerie Oosterveld, Associate Professor at Western University’s Faculty of Law, and Bill Pace, Convenor of the Coalition for an International Criminal Court.

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