IMPUNITY, TRUTH, JUSTICE & RECONCILIATION
INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
One of the most important steps made in international law in the last years was the ratification of the International Criminal Court (ICC) by the necessary 60 states in April 2002 and its entry into force in July 2002.
In July 1998, at the end of a five-week-long diplomatic conference in Rome, the ICC statute was accepted. In the final vote close on July 17 there were 120 votes for the statute, 7 against and 21 abstentions.
In February 2003, the first 18 judges - 11 men and 7 women - of the ICC were elected during the meeting of the Assembly of States Parties in New York. And in April, Luis Moreno Ocampo of Argentina was elected by consensus to be the first prosecutor of the ICC. Moreno Ocampo is an expert on international humanitarian law and a former war crimes prosecutor in his homeland.
The ICC, according to its article 5, has the following crimes under its jurisdiction: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.
||International Criminal Court in The Hague
WCC Central Committee 2005 statement on the ICC
Churches, the WCC and the ICC
Churches in different parts of the world and the World Council of Churches (WCC) had specifically been advocating for the ICC.
In Harare, in December 1998, the WCC’s Assembly stated:
"We welcome the agreement to establish the International Criminal Court, which should help the international community in its enforcement of human rights. We urge the churches to promote their governments’ prompt ratification of the Rome agreement, and to incorporate acceptance of its jurisdiction in national legislation."
In recent years, two different advocacy groups have become priorities for churches and religious organizations in this work:
- the Faith and Ethics Caucus for the ICC (FECICC), in which the WCC is a founder member and which has been an important actor specially in regard to the United States, given the particular role that the US has played in relationship to the ICC
- and the recently created Centre for Justice and Reconciliation (CJR) based in The Hague, with its strong commitment to working toward reconciliation with victims of cases brought to the ICC.
SEE: CJR’s 2003 Expert’s meeting report
Guillermo Kerber’s contribution to the Experts’ meeting of the Center for Justice and Reconciliation, The Hague, September 2003
Coalition for the ICC:
The Coalition for the International Criminal Court is a network of over 2,000 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) advocating for a fair, effective and independent International Criminal Court (ICC).