July 17th, the Day of International Criminal Justice, marks the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court.
One way for Canada to mark this 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute would be to ratify the Kampala Amendments on the crime of aggression. Negotiations in December 2017 in New York at the meeting of the International Criminal Court’s Assembly of States Parties led to a historic, consensus decision to activate the ICC’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression.
Now that the aggression amendments have been agreed and incorporated, it would be reasonable to expect Canada to ratify the Kampala amendments.
Over the years Canada has been one of the key middle power champions of an effective International Criminal Court. Canada led a group of like-minded states during the negotiation of the Rome Statute (the Court’s founding treaty) and was among the first to incorporate the domestic changes necessary to come into compliance with the treaty, using legislation that became a model for many other countries around the world.
Canada’s can extend this country’s historic support for the ICC and demonstrate its support for including the crime of aggression as one of the ICC’s four core crimes by ratifying the Kampala amendments.
The Coalition for the International Criminal Court has gathered a variety of materials to mark the 20th anniversary, including a toolkit, a list of planned events, and links to video and statements.
As well, the website of the International Criminal Court has materials about the 20th anniversary including documentation from an Open Forum that was held in The Hague, The Netherlands earlier this year. The event was attended by over 280 people, including members of civil society, ICC officials, and representatives of states and regional and international organizations. Links to video of the event, as well as photographs and the prepared written remarks from various participants can be found on the ICC’s website.
What you can do
1) Join us on July 19th, 2018 at 12pm ET for a webinar to mark the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The webinar will consider the Court’s first twenty years, its current state, and the challenges that lay ahead over the course of a discussion with Valerie Oosterveld and Bill Pace. Learn more and register on our website.
2) Write to Foreign Minister Freeland encouraging Canada to ratify the Kampala amendments to the Rome Statute thereby allowing Canada to come within the ICC’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression and support an open and transparent selection process for Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s successor . A sample email is available here.
3) Download and read the CICC’s Toolkit for the 20th anniversary and decide what else you can do.