Last Updated 4 April 2014
1 April 2014: A group 146 of NGOs released a joint statement urging DRC President Joseph Kabila to adopt specific legislation to implement the Rome Statute of the ICC.
31 March 2014: Trial Chamber V(b) of the International Criminal Court adjourns the commencement date of the trial against Uhuru Kenyatta to 7 October 2014. The purpose of the adjournment is to allow Government of Kenya a further, time-limited opportunity to provide relevant records the Prosecution previously requested. The Chamber rejects the Defence’s request to terminate the proceedings in the case and the Prosecution’s request to suspend proceedings indefinitely.
28 March 2014: The United States has announced that it will be sending extra planes and troops to aid the African Union in the search effort for Joseph Kony
27 March 2014: Charles Ble Goude, the leader of "Youth Patriots," made his initial appearance before the ICC where he expressed his confidence that he will not be found guilty.
18 February 2014: The Ugandan army says that Okot Odhiambo, a LRA leader and deputy to Joseph Kony and who is wanted by the ICC in the Uganda situation, may have been killed last year in the Central African Republic.
14 February 2014: The Pre-Trial Chamber issues a tentative schedule and releases its decisions concerning motions by the Prosecution and the Defense in the case of Laurent Gbagbo in the situation of Cote d’Ivoire. The Prosecution must submit its final list of evidence it intends to present by 17 March 2014. The Defense has until 14 April 2014 to respond to the Prosecutor’s final list of evidence. The Court rejected many of the motions made by the Defense requesting the Chamber to appoint experts to refute reports and evidence entered by the Prosecution.
10 February 2014: Bosco Ntaganda, who surrendered himself to the American Embassy in Rwanda in March 2013, makes his initial appearance before the ICC at a Hearing for the Confirmation of Charges. Ntaganda is charged with 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the DRC Situation and although he is not yet required to enter a plea, Ntaganda has denied the charges against him.
7 February 2014: The Prosecutor of the ICC opens a preliminary investigation into potential war crimes or crimes against humanity in the Central African Republic. Fighting between Christians and Muslim militias has worsened and taken on an increasingly sectarian nature since the break down of a peace deal and power sharing agreement between Muslim rebels from the north and the previous government. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres states more than 600 people have been killed and a million displaced.
20 January 2014: The Muslim Brotherhood announces that it has filed a complaint with the ICC to hold the current Egyptian regime accountable for alleged crimes against humanity. The law firm representing the Brotherhood says they gave evidence to the ICC that proves the Egyptian army has committed crimes against supporters of President Mohammed Morsi.
15 January 2014: The ICC has conditionally excused Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto from continuous presence at trial with conditions.
20 December 2013: Croatia ratifies the Kampala Amendments to the Rome Statute concerning the crime of aggression and Article 8 related to war crimes.
13 December 2013: The Appeals Chamber dismisses the Prosecutor’s appeal against the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber II in the Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang case, rejecting her request to amend the temporal scope of the charges against Ruto and Sang. The Appeals Chamber ruled that once the trial commences, it is no longer possible to amend or add to the charges.
20 November 2013: The Central African Republic reports that Lord’s Resistance Army commander Joseph Kony is present in the country, and that the government has been in talks with him to negotiate his surrender. Kony is wanted by the ICC for war crimes in Uganda. At the same time, UN and ICC officials have warned that the present state of anarchy in the CAR is rapidly developing into a religious and ethnic civil war, and that crimes against humanity may already have been committed.
19 November 2013: ICC Trial Chamber II schedules a hearing in February of 2014 to deliver a judgment in the Germain Katanga case. Katanga is on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ituri Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was arrested by Congolese authorities in 2005, extradited to The Hague in 2007, and his trial began in 2009.
14 November 2013: Libya refuses the ICC’s request to surrender Saif Al-Islam Gadhafi. Gadhafi has been charged on two counts of crimes against humanity: murder and persecution. Libya’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ibrahim Dabbashi, told the U.N. Security Council that Libyans want to see Gadhafi prosecuted in Libya.
23 October 2013: Kenya and the African Union are lobbying the United Nations Security Council to have the ICC case against Kenyatta pushed back a year, citing concerns about the security of Kenya and the region.
21 October 2013: The ICC determines that it does not have the authority to release three witnesses who have been held in the ICC Detention Center since giving testimony for the defense in the Katanga trial. Before coming to testify, the three were imprisoned in the Democratic Republic of the Congo pending charges related to the conflict there, so they were kept incarcerated during their time in The Hague. However, in their testimony, they claimed that the president of the DRC, Joseph Kabila, and not the defendant Germain Katanga, was responsible for the massacre at issue. For this reason, they claim that they will face torture or death if they are returned to the DRC and have filed asylum applications with the Dutch government.
18 October 2013: The defense arguments in the case of Jean-Pierre Bemba are drawing to a close. The Trial Chamber has ordered that presentation of oral evidence must conclude by October 25. It expects to be able to make a ruling before the winter recess. Mr. Bemba, a Congolese politician, is accused of committing war crimes in the Central African Republic when his militia intervened to defend that country’s president from a rebellion in 2002.
18 October 2013: Trial Chamber V(b) conditionally excuses Kenyatta from continuous presence at his trial starting 12 November 2013. Kenyatta’s physical presence is required for the entirety of the following sessions: opening and closing statements of all parties and participants, hearings when victims present their views and concerns in person, the delivery of judgment in his case and any other attendance ordered by the Chamber. Violations of any of these conditions may result in revocation of the partially granted request and/or an arrest warrant.
12 October 2013: African states decide to remain part of the ICC, at an Extraordinary Session of the African Union. AU officials reiterate the importance of the ICC and the Rome Statute. However, the AU has issued a declaration that heads of state should not be prosecuted while in office.
11 October 2013: Pre-Trial Chamber I decides that the Al-Senussi case is to proceed in Libya and is inadmissible before the ICC. The Chamber decided the case is subject to domestic proceedings conducted by Libyan authorities and that Libya is willing and genuinely able to carry out such an investigation.
10 October 2013: The president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, may not appear in person before the ICC for his trial in the aftermath of the attacks by the Al-Shabab in Nairobi. Kenyatta has asked if he may attend the trial via video link. Judges have not yet ruled on his request, but similar requests from Ruto have been denied. Kenyatta is charged with crimes against humanity for his involvement with the 2007 post-election violence in Kenya.
4 October 2013: Trial Chamber IV of the ICC, which is seized of the case The Prosecutor v. Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus, terminates the proceedings against Saleh Jerbo due to his apparent death on 19 April 2013. No official death certificate was issued. The trial will proceed as scheduled against Abdallah Banda and begin on 5 May 2014. Banda and Jerbo were charged with violence to life and attempted violence to life; intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units and vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission; and pillaging in the attack of the African Union Mission in Sudan at Haskanita on 29 September 2007.
4 October 2013: Two Palestinian human rights groups, Al-Haq and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, are calling on the ICC to launch an investigation into the commission of crimes under international law in the occupied territories. The two groups have presented a legal opinion to ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda at The Hague. The opinion states that the ICC has grounds to extend its jurisdiction without ratification by Palestine.
2 October 2013: Ruto and Sang trial resumes.
2 October 2013: Pre-Trial Chamber II of the ICC unseals an arrest warrant against Walter Osapiri Barasa. Barasa is suspected of corruptly influencing or attempting to corruptly influence ICC witnesses of the Kenyan cases. Judge Tarfusser finds it necessary to arrest Barasa to ensure his appearance at trial and to ensure he does not continue to obstruct or endanger the investigation or the proceedings.
2 October 2013: ICC President Tiina Intelmann sends a letter to the Chairperson of the African Union, describing how the Rome Statute constitutes a major achievement in the field of international law that was made possible with key contributions from African states. She urges states to bring their concerns and ideas for action to the annual ICC Assembly meeting in November. This letter comes in the context of the impending Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union on 11-12 October to discuss the body’s possible discontinuation of cooperation with the ICC.
1 October 2013: The ICC makes public an arrest warrant for Charles Blé Goudé, described as a member of former Côte d’Ivoire president Laurent Gbagbo’s inner circle. Mr. Blé Goudé was the leader of a pro-government youth movement which is accused of committing murder, rape, and persecution during the 2010-2011 conflict. Ghana extradited him to Côte d’Ivoire in January 2013.
23 September 2013: ICC Judges temporarily suspend trial proceedings in Ruto and Sang case. Mr. Ruto was excused from trial proceedings for one week in light of the terrorist attacks in Nairobi, Kenya and the Chamber subsequently decided to adjourn the trial.
20 September 2013: ICC asks African Union to address concerns on Kenya cases through legal channels. The Second Vice President of the ICC has informed the leadership of the African Union that the court can only consider suspending the Kenya cases before the ICC if an application is made to the court.
20 September 2013: Côte d’Ivoire lawmakers vote to try former first lady Simone Gbagbo in a domestic court and to dismiss the ICC arrest warrant against her. The ICC has been informed of the decision. Former president Laurent Gbagbo is currently in ICC custody in The Hague, awaiting trial.
19 September 2013: Former Congolese militia commander Bosco Ntaganda asks judges to release him from ICC detention and promises to remain on Dutch territory until the confirmation of charges against him in February 2014. Ntaganda cites the fact that he voluntarily surrendered himself to the Court.
18 September 2013: In the Ruto and Sang case, Trial Chamber V(a) states that interfering with witnesses is an offence against the administration of justice and may be prosecuted. Judge Eboe-Osuji issued a reminder of the importance of witness protection and the possible sanctions for obstruction of justice.
18 September 2013: The Pre-Trial Chamber II of the ICC invites the United States to arrest and surrender to the Court Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir as he arrives in New York for the UN General Assembly. The ICC issued warrants of arrest in 2009 and 2010 against Al Bashir for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The United States, however, is not a party to the Rome Statute and is not obligated to comply.
17 September 2013: Uganda’s deputy foreign minister Okello Oryem reports that the upcoming summit of the African Union will debate the possible exit of some African countries from the ICC. Oryem says that if a summit-level recommendation is made in solidarity with Kenya’s indicted leaders, Uganda will quit the Rome Statute.
11 September 2013: ICC Assembly of States Parties President Ambassador Tiina Intelmann and the Trust Fund for Victims Board of Directors Chair Mr. Motoo Noguchi visit victims’ assistance programs in northern Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
10 September 2013: The Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang opens before Trial Chamber V(a) at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands. Ruto and Sang are accused of crimes against humanity committed in Kenya in the 2007-2008 post-election violence. Crimes include murder, deportation or forcible transfer of population and persecution. The accused pled not guilty to the charges.
21 August 2013: The judge handling Bosco Ntaganda’s case at the ICC rules that victims who participated in the Thomas Lubanga trial do not automatically qualify for participation in the Ntaganda proceedings and must apply in writing to participate. According to prosecutors, Lubanga was the head of the Patriotic Force for the Liberation of Congo, while Ntaganda was the group’s deputy chief of staff.
18 July 2013: The ICC Appeals Chamber rejects Libyan authorities’ request to suspend the surrender of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi. Pre-Trial Chamber I issued warrants of arrest for Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Senussi on June 27, 2011 for crimes against humanity.
16 July 2013: Pre-Trial Chamber II requests Nigeria to immediately arrest Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir. Al Bashir is visiting Abuja, Nigeria. He is facing charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, allegedly committed in Darfur, Sudan. The President of the Assembly calls on Nigeria to respect its obligations to the Rome Statute.
15 July 2013: Judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) decide that the Ruto and Sang trial will take place at The Hague, the Netherlands, rejecting the defendants’ request to hold hearings in Kenya or in Tanzania. The trial is scheduled to commence 10 September 2013.
5 July 2013: The Presidency of the ICC assigns to Pre-Trial Chamber I the situation of the Israeli raid on the Comorian-flagged Mavi Marmara and the ensuing deaths of 9 people. The Union of Comoros refers the situation to the ICC as a State Party to the Rome Statute. This is a preliminary examination to determine whether the criteria for opening an investigation are met.
20 June 2013: Trial Chamber V(b) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) sets the date of the commencement of the trial of Mr. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta for 12 November 2013. Mr. Kenyatta is charged as an indirect co-perpetrator with five counts of crimes against humanity consisting of murder, deportation or forcible transfer, rape, persecution and other inhumane acts allegedly committed during the post-election violence in Kenya in 2007-2008.
16 April 2013: The ICC holds a groundbreaking ceremony on the new permanent premises building in The Hague. Danish firm, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, have designed the new headquarters of the ICC, which should be completed by the end of 2015. President Judge Song and the Secretary-General of the Dutch Foreign Ministry, Ms. Renée Jones-Bos, participated in the ceremony marking the beginning of construction for the new complex. The Netherlands donated the land where the new premises will be built, and the project is funded by the 122 States Parties. Renderings of the new premises can be seen here: http://www.designboom.com/architecture/schmidt-hammer-lassen-architects-international-criminal-court-breaks-ground/.
16 April 2013: Rwanda, which presides this month the Security Council, blocks the adoption of a nonbinding statement recommending the ICC’s role in solving conflicts and human rights abuses in Africa, which was proposed following the surrender of Bosco Ntaganda to the Court.
15 April 2013: The Security Council meets to consider deploying UN peacekeepers to Mali. The draft resolution was proposed by France and calls for deployment to begin on 1 July with a force of 12,600 members. The Security Council hopes to adopt the resolution by the end of the April, coinciding with France’s withdrawal of its 4,000-member force in Mali.
15 April 2013: ICC President Judge Song and ASP President Ambassador Intelmann meet with the Judicial and Political Committee of the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C., thanking member states for their support of the ICC. Judge Song also emphasizes that there are several areas where member states could improve their cooperation with the Court. Ambassador Intelmann encourages states to adopt domestic legislation that would allow for the investigation and prosecution of core international crimes domestically. Of the 35 OAS Member States, all but seven are States Parties to the Rome Statute.
14 April 2013: The International Center for Supporting Rights and Freedoms calls upon the Egyptian authorities to ratify the Rome Statute in order to join the ICC. This would mean Egypt would be required to arrest certain regional leaders wanted by the ICC if they tried to attend to meetings of the Arab League in Egypt.
13 April 2013: Kenya’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN urges the General Assembly to allow Kenyan courts to try the two cases before the ICC. In her statement, she said that Kenyan courts are capable of trying the cases and that “Kenyan strongly objects to the politicization of the ICC and particularly the office of the prosecutor.” She further emphasized that the prosecution of the three Kenyans could “deter ongoing peace and reconciliation process.”
12 April 2013: A witness testifies in Jean-Pierre Bemba’s trial that Bemba had “an ‘elementary’ military background that made it impossible for him to individually make major decisions related to military operations.” The witness further testified that all of the planning operations were done by the general staff and not Mr. Bemba. According to the witness, Bemba only held an honorary status as the group’s political leader and not because of his military experience.
12 April 2013: The ICC opens a formal inquiry into allegations that four individuals were subject to sexual abuse by a former ICC staff member working in the DRC. The Court emphasizes that it has a zero tolerance policy and “is handling these allegations with great rigor and caution.” The four individuals reported the alleged abuse through the ICC’s protection programme. The results of the investigation will be reported to the ICC Judges and all relevant parties. Additionally, local authorities were notified.
11 April 2013: Ministers of G8 countries meeting in London call on countries, including their own, to increase funding to the Trust Fund for Victims and its affiliate programs.
10 April 2013: The ICC Outreach Coordinator, Maria Kamara, tells a Kenyan news station that the ICC is completely apolitical and had no interest in who would become Kenya’s president. Kamara also responded to some of President Museveni’s remarks at Kenyatta’s inauguration in which he criticized the Court, stating that Uganda has been “at the forefront” in cooperating with the ICC.
10 April 2013: Uganda’s President Museveni launches “a scathing attack on the West and the ICC for trying to blackmail Africa.” Speaking at Kenyatta and Ruto’s swearing in ceremony on “behalf of all invited guests,” President Museveni states that Kenyatta’s election victory “demonstrates Kenyans rejection of ‘blackmail by the ICC.’” Museveni explains that while he initially supported the Court, it has now been distorted “by the usually opinionated and arrogant actors.” He further promises never to allow the UN or the ICC to operate in Uganda during his presidency, and states that he only invited the ICC to pursue Joseph Kony because he was operating outside the country at the time.
8 April 2013: Human Rights Watch issues a statement urging President Kenyatta and Deputy Ruto to ensure full cooperation with the ICC.
5 April 2013: The OTP makes a statement “deplor[ing]” recent statements made in the Kenyan media regarding the lack of protection to witnesses. The OTP emphasizes that the office will “not be drawn into any public speculation on the status of witnesses.”
4 April 2013: Jordanian Permanent Representative to the UN Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein calls for a boycott a controversial UN session on international criminal justice and reconciliation. Jordan’s principle concern is that the Serbian President of the General Assembly will use the event to unfairly criticize the ICTY.
3 April 2013: The Secretary General of the UN presents his updated guidelines to the Security Council regarding staff contacts with persons who are subject to warrants of arrests or summons to appear issued by the ICC. The rules emphasize that generally there should be no meetings between UN officials and such persons, but there are exceptional circumstances which may warrant direct interaction.
2 April 2013: Following the successful transfer of Bosco Ntaganda from the US Embassy in Kigali, an op-ed in the New York Times outlines the US’s increasing cooperation with the ICC. The piece examines US publicizing the transfer of Ntaganda, increasing the rewards for information leading to the arrest or capture of ICC suspects, and a speech by then-State Department Legal Advisor Harold Koh on the importance of the Court. While not indicating that the US position with regards to joining the ICC has changed, the article does point to several scholars and practitioners praising the Obama Administration’s “practical approach” to the ICC.
3 April 2013: The Trial Chamber gives the Registry until 9 April to give its opinion on whether or not Kenyatta and Ruto can have their trials conducted via a video link. All three accused in the cases arising out of the Kenya situation have requested to participate via video link.
3 April 2013: US offers up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest or capture of Joseph Kony. Awards are also offered for information on two other LRA leaders Okot Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen. US Secretary of State wrote an OpEd in the Huffington Post today discussing Kony’s alleged crimes.
2 April 2013: The ICC Prosecutor marks the beginning of Genocide Awareness Month.
30 March 2013: Kenya’s Supreme Court upholds Kenyatta’s election win, rejecting the challenges to the vote. The Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision that the poll was free and fair. Two people died and eleven were injured when Odinga’s supporters clashed with police in Kisumu.
28 March 2013: Estonia ratifies the Crime of Aggression Kampala Amendments. Estonia is the fifth country to ratify the Amendments.
27 March 2013: The Appeals Chamber confirms Trial Chamber II’s decision allowing a possible change in the legal characterization of the form of responsibility with which Germain Katanga is charged. Katanga was originally charged under Article 25(3)(a) and now could possibly charged under Article 25(3)(d). The Defense appealed the possible change. The Appeals Chamber found that the Trial Chamber’s decision does not violate Mr. Katanga’s right to a fair trial.
26 March 2013: The Confirmation of Charges hearing for Bosco Ntaganda will begin on 23 September 2013. Mr. Ntaganda is represented by Mr. Hassane Bel Lakhdar.
26 March 2013: Bosco Ntaganda makes his initial appearance at the ICC and pleads not guilty to all charges, even though he was not required to enter a plea. Ntaganda faces ten counts including those based on acts of rape, murder, and the use of child soldiers.
25 March 2013: The Trust Fund for Victims suspends its activities until further notice in the Central African Republic given the recent political changes in the country. The TFV will nevertheless ensure that it will support the victims who have been waiting for assistance for years and will carefully monitor the political and security situation.
24 March 2013: Members of the North Kordofan bloc in the Sudanese Parliament launch a petition in order to persuade Sudanese President to reconsider his decision to not run for President in 2015. The bloc spokesmen claimed that Bashir stepping down would have disastrous consequences and only he can guarantee unity for Sudan, because “he is respected by all political entities in the country”. The spokesmen also stated that if Bashir stands down, would drop his immunity from the ICC and he could be prosecuted because “there will no longer be barrier between him and the criminal court.”
23 March 2013: Prosecutor Bensouda releases a statement regarding the political upheaval in the Central African Republic. She reminded all involved that the Office of the Prosecutor “will not hesitate to investigate and prosecute all those alleged to be committing these crimes”.
23 March 2013: OTP Witness #8, who recanted evidence against Ruto, speaks out about how officials from the ICC allegedly tried to “get him to stand by his testimony”. The witness claims that ICC officials called him frequently to get him to recant his affidavit and also promised to relocate his family if he testified.
22 March 2013: Bosco Ntaganda is in ICC custody and is on route to the detention centre in The Hague. Upon his arrival, Mr. Ntaganda will receive a medical visit and then appear as quickly as possible before the Pre-Trial Chamber II.
22 March 2013: A Congolese soldier (Witness D04-45) who served in the army contingent accused of committing war crimes under Jean Pierre Bemba Gombo testifies that his unit was not even present at the areas the OTP claims crimes were committed. He further states that he was unaware of any rapes, murders, or pillaging committed by the unit and that if they had occurred, General Mazzi of the FACA would have arrested the perpetrators.
22 March 2013: The Pre-Trial Chamber approves an amendment of charges against Kenyatta to include the use of guns in the 2008 Naivasha retaliatory killings. Prosecutor Bensouda presented four witness statements that guns like the G3 and AK47 were used in the killings. Judge Trendafilova stated that “[t]he Prosecutor is not barred from continuing her investigations post confirmation of charges hearing”. The OTP confirmed that the decision has no impact on the schedule of the cases and the case against Kenyatta will still begin on 9 July.
21 March 2013: The OTP alleges that Witness D04-45, testifying in the Bemba case, carried a script into the courtroom to testify. The witness claims he merely wrote down notes in “order to be able to refer to something” and that court officials did not tell him he could not appear with notes. Court officials made copies of his notes.
8 March 2013: Herman von Hebel is elected as Registrar of the ICC replacing Ms. Sivlia Arbia. Mr. Von Hebel (Netherlands) is the former Registrar at the STL and Special Court for Sierra Leone. Additionally, he worked as a Senior Legal Officer at the ICTY.
20 March 2013: Judge Anthony Carmona (Trinidad and Tobago) resigns from his position as judge to be the Fifth President of the Republic of Trinidad.
20 March 2013: Complex negotiations continue among the ICC, the United States, Rwanda, and the DRC regarding the transfer of Bosco Ntaganda to the Hague. One theory as to why Ntaganda surrendered himself to the American Embassy in Kigali was that his rebel group was about to collapse facing Makenga’s M23 rebels.
20 March 2013: Motoo Noguchi is elected Chair of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims. Mr. Noguchi will serve as Chair until November 2015. Justice Noguchi served in the Supreme Court Chamber of the ECCC and as Director of International Cooperation Department of Research & Training Institute of the Ministry of Justice in Japan.
19 March 2013: Prosecutor Bensouda publishes an Op Ed in the New York Times discussing the peace versus justice debate. Bensouda argues that peace and justice “are two sides of the same coin” and that each should be pursued simultaneously.
19 March 2013: The UN Peacekeeping mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) welcomes the surrender of Bosco Ntaganda to the US Embassy in Rwanda. The Secretary-General’s Special Representative Roger Meece said “The surrender of Bosco Ntaganda and his early transfer to the ICC will help advance the peace process in the DRC”.
19 March 2013: Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir confirms—in an interview with Al Shraq newspaper—he will step down as President of Sudan at the end of his term in 2015. President Bashir did not address rumors of ill health or his ICC warrants of arrest in addressing his departure. President Bashir underwent a second operation in Saudi Arabia in November and party officials stated he would cut down on his public appearances.
18 March 2013: Bosco Ntaganda, a Congolese rebel leader against whom two ICC arrest warrants have been issued, turns himself into the American Embassy in Kigali and asks to be transferred to the Hague. The ICC welcomed Ntaganda’s surrender.
18 March 2013: Kenyatta’s lawyers urge the ICC to drop the charges against him following the special hearing dropping the charges against co-accused Francis Mathaura. Kenyatta’s lawyers are arguing that the evidence against Mr. Mathaura is the same as the evidence against their client, so at a minimum, the case should be sent back to the Pre-Trial Chamber for a new confirmation of charges hearing.
18 March 2013: The ICC officially welcomes Côte d’Ivoire as the 122nd State Party to the Rome State. President Song and ASP President Intelmann welcomed H.E. Ambassador Mr. Salleh Ben Abdelkader Hamza at the Court and presented him with a special edition of the Rome Statute.
18 March 2013: Prosecutor Bensouda releases a message to members of the LRA to correct misconceptions that captured LRA members will be killed or tortured by the ICC. Bensouda affirmed that three commanders with outstanding warrants should turn themselves in instead of remaining fugitives and potentially being wounded during the pursuit. The message was translated into French, Acholi, Sango, Swahili, and Lingala and will be transmitted throughout Uganda, DRC, CAR, and Southern Sudan.
15 March 2013: Prosecutor Bensouda appoints Mohammed Ayat as Special Advisor for advice and expertise on regional cooperation with MENA. Mr. Ayat is currently a law professor at Mohammed V University and a member of the Moroccan National Council on Human Rights.
15 March 2013: According to the testimony of witness D04-45 in the Bemba case, Mr. Bemba’s troops deployed in the Central African Republic operated jointly with the country’s army and used communication devices provided by the Central African authorities. Bemba even visited his troops and told that they were under the command of the Central African Armed Forces. This testimony contradicts that of Colonel Lengbe, who said in 2011 that the Congolese troops operated independently of the FACA, except in one occasion and their radio equipment was incompatible with that of the FACA.
11 March 2013: The ICC prosecutor drops all charges againstKenya’s Francis Muthaura, who alongside President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta was accused of inciting violence in the East African nation after an election in 2007. ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda says they no longer have enough evidence for a “reasonable prospect of conviction” after a key witness in the case recanted his testimony and acknowledged taking bribes. The investigation also faced setbacks after some witnesses died or are now refusing to speak to the prosecution, and due to the the Kenyan government’s refusal of requests for documents and witnesses that would have bolstered the prosecution’s case. The prosecution plans to go forward with the cases against Kenyatta and his running mate, William Ruto.
11-15 March 2013: An ICC seminar aimed at fostering cooperation between the institution and States Parties to the Rome Statute is held in Nuremberg,Germany, with 28 representatives of States and regional and international organisations. ICC Vice-President Judge Monageng opened the seminar.
9 March 2013: Kenya’s election commission declares Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s first president, to be the winner of the country’s presidential race. Mr. Kenyatta is currently facing trial at the ICC based on allegations concerning his role in the post-election violence in 2007.
8 March 2013: The ICC postpones the trial of Kenyan vice-presidential contender William Ruto to 28 May, after his lawyers complained of not having enough time to prepare his defense. Ruto is charged with several counts of crimes against humanity based on his alleged role in the 2007 post-election violence in Kenya.
28 February 2013: The confirmation of charges hearing in the case against Laurent Gbagbo concludes. The former Ivorian president is charged with four counts of crimes against humanity.
26 February 2013: ICC Prosecutors do not object to delaying the trials of the Kenyan accused. It is now believed the trial will be pushed until later in the year. The OTP initially objected to the delay, but has since admitted that “operational constraints”, including availability of court rooms, could make the April start date, untenable.
24 February 2013: Sudanese Defense Minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, who is wanted by the ICC travels to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to meet with Crown Prince Salman. The two are meeting to discuss bilateral relations and the latest issues in the Arab world. Saudi-Sudanese relations have been strained by Sudan’s close ties with Iran. This is one of the first public trips made by Hussein abroad following his warrant of arrest. Additionally, despite Saudi Arabia not being a State Party, there was a plot to arrest Ahmed Haroun on his way to Mecca for pilgrimage, which caused him to cancel his plans.
22 February 2013: A new poll has Uhuru Kenyatta’s Coalition ahead in the upcoming Kenyan election.
20 February 2013: Egypt intends to ratify the Treaty of Rome soon, but will utilize a loophole to allow President Bashir to visit without being arrested. Egypt signed the Rome Statute in 2000, but has not yet ratified. Egyptian Justice Minister stated that Egypt could sign an Article 98 agreement with Sudan. Egypt will become the fourth Arab state to join the ICC.
20 February 2013: FIDH reminds ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda that Laurent Gbagbo is not the only suspect in crimes committed in Côte d’Ivoire. The group notes that the ICC has not issued any warrants of arrest for supporters of current Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara. Mr. Gbagbo’s confirmation of charges hearing began on 19 February 2013.
20 February 2013: Côte d’Ivoire officially joins the ICC by depositing its instrument of ratification of the Rome Statute at the UN. Côte d’Ivoire is the first state to ratify in 2013, and the 34th African state party.
20 February 2013: Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir is attending the summit of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States in N’Djamena, Chad. Additionally, President Bashir is expected to return to Chad in mid-March. Chad is a State Party of the ICC. This is the third time Chad has hosted President Bashir, without arresting him, contrary to the country’s obligations under the Rome Statute.
20 February 2013: Human Rights Watch issues a report stating that Mexico has “the most sever crisis of enforced disappearances in Latin America in decades”. HRW documented 149 cases within the past six years. This comes after Calderón’s government compiled a list of 25,000 people missing during the war on drugs and cartels. Mexico is a State Party to the ICC.
19 February 2013: The confirmation of charges hearing against Laurent Gbagbo begins at the ICC. Gbagbo’s defense counsel is arguing that he is under investigation in the Côte d’Ivoire, therefore the case is inadmissible pursuant to the principle of complementarity.
18 February 2013: Carla del Ponte urges the UN Security Council to refer the Situation in Syria to the ICC for investigation. Ms. del Ponte is the former Chief Prosecutor at the ICTY and a current UN human rights investigator. She presented a report documenting evidence of war crimes and other abuses in the six months before January to the UN Human Rights Council commission investigating Syria.
18 February 2013: The Kenyan cases will be the most expensive cases the ICC has had to date. Judicial activities will cost €7,721,200 and field operations will cost an additional €7,720,000. This comes after the ICC indicated it spent €7,412,130 in 2012 and €7,740,800 in 2011 on the two Kenyan cases alone. This is compared to other Situations: DRC €7,790,000 for six cases; Uganda €970,700; and CAR €1,710,550 for one case.
15 February 2013: Judges of the ICC issue an order at the request of Prosecutor Bensouda to remind Chad of its Rome Statute obligations in preparation of Bashir’s third visit to N’Djamena. Chad’s previous two non-cooperation instances were reported to the United Nations Security Council, but no action was taken. It was rumored that Bashir would continue on to Tripoli to commemorate the outbreak of the revolution, but the Libyan Mission to the UN confirmed Bashir will not be attending.
15 February 2013: The High Court of Kenya allows Kenyatta to stand in the 4 March election for President. The court refused to rule in a case brought by campaign groups seeking to exclude him from the poll. The Court stated that it lacked the jurisdiction to handle a question relating to the election of the president.
7 February 2013: Ngudjolo is seeking asylum in the Netherlands following his acquittal. The Dutch authorities were contemplating expelling him, but there were worries he would face persecution in the Ituri. His application is currently being processed by Dutch authorities.
6 February 2013: Kenyatta files an application with Trial Chamber V requesting that the confirmation of charges decision be referred back to the Pre-Trial Chamber for reconsideration. Kenyatta argues that the “essential facts underpinning the Confirmation Decision” are no longer relied upon by the Prosecution as evidence. He further alleges that the main “Prosecution Witness OTP-4, has been shown to be untrue”. Unless the Chamber orders otherwise, the OTP and Mr. Muthaura have 22 days to submit their responses. The next hearing is scheduled for 14 February.
4 February 2013: Three witnesses who testified against Ngudjolo are still being held in the ICC Detention Center while waiting to be granted asylum in The Netherlands. They have been in a legal limbo state for almost two years while waiting for asylum. The issue is whether or not the three witnesses are war criminals, if found yes, then the Dutch are under no obligation to grant asylum. Another issue revolves around the Host State Agreement between the ICC and The Netherlands, which lays out clear rules.
2 February 2013: Trial Chamber V allows Prosecutor Bensouda to continue hiding the identity of one of the OTP witnesses in the case against Ruto and Sang. The identity will be continue to remain anonymous after the Victims and Witnesses Unit confirmed the necessity of protective measures. The Chamber had previously ordered Bensouda to disclose the witnesses’ identities to the defense, but Bensouda appealed suggesting possible witness intimidation.
1 February 2013: The Libyan government responds to the “Urgent Application on behalf of Abdullah Al-Senussi for Pre-Trial Chamber to order the Libyan Authorities to comply with their obligations and the orders of the ICC,” in which the government attacks Senussi’s counsel Ben Emmerson, QC. The filing states: “[I]t is hoped that in the future the Defence for Mr Al-Senussi will not file unfounded and repetitive applications before the Court containing serious allegations against the Libyan Government which are premised solely on inaccurate media reports.” Emmerson is currently the UN Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights, as well as the British judge on the ICTY’s Residual Mechanism, Special Advisor to the ICC and the judges to the ECC.
30 January 2013: Kenyatta and Ruto are seeking a possible postponement of their trials at the ICC. They would like to postpone the trial for at least a year, especially if Kenyatta wins the Presidential Election on 4 March. Ruto is Kenyatta’s running mate. There is fear that if their motion is denied, they will use a play from Charles Taylor’s case and sack their lawyers at the last minute. Kenyatta recently told al Jazeera that he could run the government from The Hague if elected.
29 January 2013: Prosecutor Bensouda has said that the Malian forces may have committed abuses in battling the insurgents in Mali. She made a statement to the Government of Mali to “put an immediate stop to the alleged abuses and on the basis of the principle of complementarity, to investigate and prosecute those responsible for alleged crimes”.
17 January 2013: Saif al-Islam makes his first appearance in Libyan court on charges of harming state security, attempting to escape prison, and insulting the new flag. The appearance was in Zintan, a western town, where he is being held by militiamen.
16 January 2013: OTP releases its Article 53(1) Report on Mali.
15 January 2013: U.S. President Barak Obama signs into law the Department of State Rewards Program Update and Technical Corrections Act of 2012. The act enhances the federal government’s ability to offer monetary rewards for information that leads to the arrest or conviction of foreign nations accused by international criminal tribunals of atrocity-related crimes. The goal of the Act is to help bring perpetrators from the likes of the LRA, M23, and the FDLR to justice.
13 December 2012: Prosecutor Bensouda presents the 16th Report on Darfur to the UN Security Council
12 December 2012: Prosecutor Bensouda appoints three new Special Advisors. Patricia Viseur Sellers is the new Special Advisor on International Criminal Law Prosecution Strategies, which advises the OTP on policies and training with regards to international criminal law prosecution and strategies. Previously, she was Visiting Fellow at Oxford University and former Deputy Head of the Legal Advisory Section in the OTP at the ICTY. Professor Leila Sadat is the Special Advisor on Crimes against Humanity, which will advise the OTP on the formulation of office wide strategic policies relating to crimes against humanity. She is currently the Director of the the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative and Director and Co-Founder of the Summer Institute for International Law and Policy at Utrecht University. Professor Diane Marie Amman is the new Special Advisor on Children in and affected by Armed Conflict. She will advice the OTP on policies, trainings, and awareness with regard to children in and affected by armed conflict.
22 November 2012: Pre-Trial Chamber I unseals the warrant of arrest issued against Simone Gbagbo for four charges of crimes against humanity. The initial warrant was issued on 29 February 2012. Ms. Gbagbo is allegedly responsible for the crimes against humanity of murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, other inhumane acts, and persecution allegedly committed between 16 December 2010 and 12 April 2011 in Cote d’Ivoire.
15 November 2012: Trinidad and Tobago ratify the crime of aggression amendments and deposit them with the Office of Legal Affairs at the UN. Trinidad and Tobago is the third country (following Liechtenstein and Samoa) to ratify the Kampala Accords. The Court’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression cannot take effect one year after thirty states have ratified the amendments, subject to a decision to be taken after 1 January 2017 by a 2/3 majority of States Parties to the Rome Statute.
14 November 2012: To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the International Criminal Court, more than 500 high-level officials attend a ceremony in The Hague, along with Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands. The ICC's founding treaty, the Rome Statute, entered into force on 1 July 2002.
10 November 2012: ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda says, in an interview, that she intends to look further into crimes committed by both supporters and opponents of former Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi's regime. The case was referred to the ICC in February 2011 by the Security Council. So far, the ICC has only issued arrest warrants for Gaddafi, who was later killed, his son Seif al Islam, and Abdullah al-Senussi, former chief of intelligence. However, Bensouda is now looking into crimes committed by rebel forces as well.
22 October 2012: ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, begins her week-long visit to Kenya to meet with government figures, civil society and the diplomatic community to discuss with them the two cases in the ICC regarding the 2007-2008 post-electoral violence in Kenya.
18 October 2012: The President of the ICC, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, addresses the Security Council in New York during its open debate on “Peace and Justice with a Special Focus on the Role of the International Criminal Court.” The Prosecutor regularly briefs the Council regarding progress on situations referred to the Court by the Council, but this is the first time that the ICC President has been invited to address the Security Council.
18 October 2012: Addis Ababa hosts fifty people from twenty-one African states for a joint seminar between the African Union and the ICC to establish greater cooperation and mutual understanding. The meeting focuses on the lessons learned from the ICC proceedings in its first case, The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, and helps participants enhance their understanding of the various stages of ICC proceedings.
18 October 2012: The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC and the UN-mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) Centre hold a one-day strategic meeting at the Peace Palace in The Hague. Education stakeholders from all over the world discuss the role of education in contributing to peace and justice. Results will be shared with the Ministries of Education for the 121 States Parties to the Rome Statute for possible inclusion in their national curricula systems.
12 October 2012: The ICC Registry puts out a call seeking common legal representatives for the victims in the Kenya cases. On 3 October 2012, the Trial Chamber issued decisions in the cases of post-electoral violence in Kenya and ordered the Registry to submit recommendations for legal representatives of the victims of the alleged violence. Different legal counsel will be appointed for each of the two cases.
26 September 2012: A Dutch court rules that three witnesses who testified in the ICC’s case against Congolese warlord Germain Katanga must be allowed to stay in the Netherlands as asylum-seekers. The three men were transferred from a prison in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the ICC’s detention center in The Hague in May 2011. Judges ruled that the Netherlands must be prepared to take custody of the witnesses within four weeks. Two of the men were in pre-trial detention in the DRC on charges of being involved in the deaths of UN troops and another for high treason. They lodged an asylum claim after being transferred to The Hague.
23 September 2012: The ICC opens its doors for The Hague International Day. Visitors from all over the world participate in a one hour-presentation in the ICC public gallery asking questions to representatives of the Judges, Prosecution, Defense, Registry and Victims’ Representative. The Hague International Day gives the public the opportunity to learn more about the functioning and aims of the various international institutions and non-governmental organizations based in the city.
12 September 2012: The Pre-Trial Chamber schedules a hearing for September 24-25 on the health of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo to determine whether he is fit to stand trial. The hearing will take place behind closed doors. A panel of three independent medical experts have examined Mr. Gbagbo, but their report remains confidential.
11 September 2012: Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda submits a shortlist of three names, chosen from a pool of 126, to the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute for the position of Deputy Prosecutor. The three candidates are Ms. Raija Toiviainen (Finland), Mr. Paul Rutledge (Australia), and Mr. James Stewart (Canada). The position of Deputy Prosecutor was left vacant after Ms. Bensouda took over as Chief Prosecutor in June 2012. The Assembly will elect a candidate in November 2012 during its 11th session.
9 September 2012: Libyan officials announce that Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi’s trial will be delayed by five months. In August, government officials said that Mr. Gaddafi’s trial for war crimes would begin in September. However, the arrest of Abdullah al-Senussi, the former Libyan spy chief, has pushed the trial date back. The ICC, which issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Gaddafi in 2011, permitted Libya to postpone handover of Mr. Gaddafi to the ICC pending its final decision on Libya’s admissibility challenge to the case. An ICC lawyer who was recently detained in Libya indicated that Libyan proceedings against Mr. Gaddafi are unlikely to be fair.
5 September 2012: Mauritania hands over Libya’s former spy chief, Abdullah al-Senussi, to Libya. Mr. Senussi was arrested in Mauritania six months ago. The ICC issued an arrest warrant against Mr. Senussi for crimes against humanity committed against opponents of Gaddafi during the 2011 uprising.
21 August 2012: Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda appoints Brigid Inder, from New Zealand, as her Special Gender Advisor. Ms. Inder will provide the Prosecutor with advice on sexual and gender-based violence.
7 August 2012: The ICC issues its fist decision on reparations for victims, in the case against Thomas Lubanga, who was convicted of enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15 years and using them to participate in hostilities. The decision of Trial Chamber confirms that victims should be at the center of reparation proceedings and that the needs of vulnerable victims (including women, children, and victims of sexual and gender-based violence) must be addressed as a priority and that reparations should promote reconciliation whenever possible. The Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) is responsible for holding consultations with victims and their communities at localities in Ituri (DRC) affected by the crimes. This process is expected to result in plans for collective reparations measures that the TFV will subsequently submit to the Chamber for approval.
2 August 2012: Pre-Trial Chamber I of the ICC postpones the confirmation of charges hearing in the case against Laurent Gbagbo, initially scheduled for 13 August 2012, until the issue of his fitness to take part in the proceedings is resolved. On 26 June 2012, at the Defense’s request, the Chamber appointed medical experts to proceed with the evaluation of Mr. Gbagbo and confidential medical reports were filed on 19 July. Subsequently the Chamber ordered the Prosecutor and Defense to submit observations on the reports, by 13 and 21 August, respectively. The Chamber decided to postpone the confirmation of charges hearing until such observations are submitted.
13 July 2012: The ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber II issues a new warrant of arrest for Bosco Ntaganda, following the request submitted by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) on 14 May 2012. Ntaganda is suspected of committing war crimes and/or crimes against humanity from September 2002 through September 2003 in the conflict in Ituri in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Based on evidence presented by the OTP, the Pre-Trial Chamber II finds reasonable grounds to believe Ntaganda bears responsibility for three counts of crimes against humanity and four counts of war crimes.
13 July 2012: The ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber issues a warrant of arrest for Sylvestre Mudacumura, following the request submitted by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP). Mr. Mudacumura, born in Rwanda, is suspected of committing war crimes from January 2009 to September 2010 in the conflict in the Kivus provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Based on evidence presented by the OTP, the Pre-Trial Chamber II finds reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Mudacumura is responsible for nine counts of war crimes pursuant to Article 25(3)(b) of the Rome Statute.
13 July 2012: The ICC holds a ceremony at the Court’s seat in The Hague welcoming the Republic of Guatemala as the 121st State Party to the Rome Statute.
10 July 2012: Trial Chamber I sentences Thomas Lubanga Dyilo to a total period of 14 years’ imprisonment. Mr. Lubanga was found guilty on 14 March 2012 of conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 and using them to participate in hostilities in the Ituri region in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1 September 2002 to 13 August 2003. He will receive credit for time served in the Court’s detention facility since his surrender to the ICC on 16 March 2006.
9 July 2012: Trial Chamber V of the ICC issues scheduling orders setting the dates for the commencement of the trials in the two Kenyan cases—The Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang and The Prosecutor v. Francis Kirimi Muthaura nad Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta—respectively on 10 and 11 August 2013.
29 June 2012: Amendments to the Regulations of the Court adopted by the judges on 2 November 2011 enter into force.
15 June 2012: Fatou Bensouda makes her solemn undertaking and formally takes office as the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Ms. Bensouda, a Gambian national, was elected in December 2011 at the session of the Assembly of States Parties and will serve a nine-year term.
13 June 2011: The Office of the Prosecutor submits an amended application to Pre-Trial Chamber I for an arrest warrant against Sylvystre Mucadumura for 5 counts of crimes against humanity (murder, inhumane acts, rape, torture and persecution) and 9 counts of war crimes (attack against a civilian population, murder, mutilation, cruel treatment, rape, torture, destruction of property, pillaging, and outrage upon personal dignity). The Pre-Trial Chamber found the previous petition to have fallen short of the proper level of specificity. Mr. Mucadumura is allegedly responsible for a campaign of violence targeting civilians in the Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
12 June 2012: Pre-Trail Chamber I decides to postpone the opening of the confirmation of charges hearing in the case The Prosecutor v. Laruent Gbagbo to 13 August 2012, following the request submitted by Mr. Gbagbo’s defense. The request was made to allow the Defense team to prepare for an effective and efficient defense.
5 June 2012: The ICC Prosecutor issues a statement to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the situation in Darfur, which was referred to the Court pursuant to UNSC Resolution 1593 (2005).
1 June 2012: Pre Trial Chamber I of the ICC decides that Lybia may postpone its execution of the ICC’s request for surrender of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, pending the ICC’s final determination of Libya’s challenge to the admissibility of the case, dated 1 May 2012. The Chamber emphasizes that “the arrest warrant remains valid and accordingly Libya must ensure that all necessary measures are taken during the postponement in order to ensure the possibility of an immediate execution of the Surrender Request should the case be found admissible.”
31 May 2012: Pre-Trial Chamber I unanimously dismisses the Prosecutor’s application for a warrant of arrest against Mr. Sylvestre Mudacumura, considering that the application “fell short of the proper level of specificity” required in describing the alleged crimes “for which the person’s arrest is sought.” The Chamber noted that the application did not provide proper counts of the specific facts underlying the crimes and failed to set out the specific references to the alleged crimes, as required by the Rome Statute.
30 May 2012: The Appeals Chamber decides unanimously to dismiss the Prosecution’s appeal against the decision issued by Pre-Trial Chamber I declining to confirm the charges against Mr. Callixte Mbarushimana. The Chamber rejects the first two grounds of appeal related to the Pre-Trial Chamber’s power to evaluate the evidence at the confirmation of charges stage. The Chamber also rejects the third and last ground of appeal, related to whether the contribution of the person must be significant because the alleged error did not materially affect the decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber. This judgment relates only to the issues submitted in appeal and therefore should not be considered to be endorsing the Pre-Trial Chamber’s factual findings.
24 May 2012: The Appeals Chamber unanimously decides to reject the appeals regarding the challenges to the ICC’s jurisdiction raised by the Defence teams in the two Kenyan case: The Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang and The Prosecutor v. Francis Kirimi Muthaura and Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta. The Defense teams had challenged the Court’s jurisdiction before the Pre-Trial Chamber, arguing the Court should decline jurisdiction over the cases and contesting the interpretation of the term “organizational policy,” a component of the crimes charged. The Appeals Chamber indicated that the interpretation of the term relates to the substantive merits of the case, and not whether the Court has subject-matter jurisdiction, and therefore, was not properly before the Appeals Chamber.
23 May 2012: The trial in the case The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui enters its finals stages following closing statements that took place at the ICC from 15 to 23 May 2012. The three judges of Trial Chamber II will deliberate on the proceedings and will pronounce the decision within a reasonable time. Mssrs. Katanga and Ngudjolo are Congolese nationals and charged with three counts of crimes against humanity and seven counts of war crimes in the context of an armed conflict in Ituri. The trial began on 24 November 2009.
16 May 2012: The ICC Prosecutor presents a Statement to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, pursuant to UNSC Resolution 1970 (2011).
15 May 2012: Closing statements in the case The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui commence before the Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court. The statements are scheduled to continue through 23 May 2012.
14 May 2012: The Office of the Prosecutor announces its request for two new warrants of arrest in the DRC situation. The first relates to Bosco Ntaganda for the crimes committed as a top commander of Thomas Lubanga’s militia in which the Prosecution requests to add charges against Mr. Ntaganda for crimes against humanity of murder, persecution based on ethnic grounds, rape/sexual slavery, and war crimes of intentional acts against civilians murder, rape/sexual slavery and pillaging. The second is against Sylvestre Mudacumura, alleged leader of one of the most active militia in the Kivu provinces, who is charged with five counts of crimes against humanity and nine counts of war crimes.
09 May 2012: Liechtenstein becomes the first State Party to ratify the amendments that were adopted in a historic consensus at the 2010 Review of Conference of the Rome Statute in Kampala. The amendments are related to the crime of aggression—they define the crime and set out the conditions for jurisdiction.
24 April 2012: Trial Chamber I of the ICC issues an order fixing the date to hear oral submissions for sentencing in the case The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo. The hearing is scheduled to start on 13 June 2012. The verdict of this case was rendered on 14 March 2012. Mr. Lubanga was found guilty of conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 and using them to participate in the hostilities.
20 April 2012: Trial Chamber II issues the order on procedures for the presentation of closing statements in the case The Prosecutor v. Germian Katanga and Mathieu Nigudjolo Chui. The closing statements are scheduled to take place 15 to 23 May 2012. The schedule for presentations is as follows: closing statement of the prosecution, questions posed to Prosecution, closing statement of legal representative of victims; closing statement of the Defense; questions posed to the Defense.
03 April 2012: Guatemala becomes the 121st State to join the ICC’s Rome Statute system. The Rome Statute will enter into force for Guatemala on 1 July 2012.
4 April 2012: ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber I rejects Libya’s request to postpone the surrender of Saif Gaddafi so that he can be prosecuted domestically for other crimes. That request was based on Article 95 of the Rome Statute, which reads: “Where there is an admissibility challenge under consideration by the Court pursuant to article 18 or 19, the requested State may postpone the execution of a request under this Part pending a determination by the Court, unless the Court has specifically ordered that the Prosecutor may pursue the collection of such evidence pursuant to article 18 or 19.”
3 April 2012: The Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) issues a statement announcing that it will not investigate acts allegedly committed on the territory of Palestine since July 2002, despite the 2009 submission of a declaration from Palestine under Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute, which permits “a State which is not a Party to [the] Statute” to accept the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court with respect to particular crimes. In the view of the OTP, “it is for the relevant bodies at the United Nations or the Assembly of States Parties to make the legal determination whether Palestine qualifies as a State for the purpose of acceding to the Rome Statute and thereby enabling the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court.” The statement also notes that the Rome Statute “provides no authority for the Office of the Prosecutor to adopt a method to define the term ‘State’ under article 12(3).”
02 April 2012: Guatemala accedes to the Rome Statute and becomes the 121st state to join the ICC. The Rome Statute will enter into force in Guatemala on 1 July 2012.
02 April 2012: Mr. Dominic Grieve, Attorney General of the United Kingdom meets with ICC President Judge Sang-Hyun Song in The Hague and discuss the work of the ICC and improving cooperation between the Court and the United Kingdom.
29-31 March 2012: Ambassador Tiina Intelmann, President of the Assembly of States Parties, participates in a symposium commemorating the tenth anniversary the Rome Statute’s entry into force and the International Criminal Bar’s “Assembling the Defence” during her trip to Geneva. President Intelmann highlights the importance placed upon adequate defense of defendants and representation of victims at the ICC by the States Parties. President Intelmann also speaks about the decisions to review the legal aid system of the States Parties. President Intelmann meets with members of the States Parties and members of civil society and the Geneva Press Club to discuss improving the implementation of the Rome Statute and recent developments before the Court respectively.
27 March 2012: Speaking at a status conference, Jean-Pierre Bemba’s attorneys tell ICC judges that Mr. Bemba’s defense will last longer than one year and that defense witnesses would likely be able to begin testimony in August 2012.
22 March 2012: The Board of Directors for the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) at the International Criminal Court (ICC) holds its annual meeting in The Hague from 20 to 22 March 2012. At the meeting, the TFV announces an increase in the Fund’s financial reserve to complement ICC reparation awards, and calls upon the ICC and States Parties to increase efforts to identify and freeze assets of persons accused before the ICC, for the eventual purpose of financing Court-ordered reparations. The TFV was established under the Rome Statute to implement Court-ordered reparations and provide general assistance to victims of crimes under the ICC’s jurisdiction using voluntary contributions from donors.
22 March 2012: The Iraqi government assures that Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir will have adequate security when he attends the Arab League Summit in Iraq the following week, and assures that Bashir will not be arrested and extradited to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Iraq is not a signatory to the Rome Statute, and therefore not legally obligated to enforce the ICC arrest warrant. In addition to the Summit, Mr. Bashir is expected to meet with Iraqi president Jalal Talabani to discuss bilateral ties and regional issues.
21 March 2012: Sudan calls for assurances from South Sudan that Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir will not be arrested and extradited to the International Criminal Court (ICC) when he visits the Juba on April 3rd. South Sudan is not a signatory to the Rome Statute, and is therefore under no legal obligation to enforce the ICC arrest warrant. Some South Sudanese officials, however, have stated that the country has a moral obligation to extradite Bashir, while many civil society organizations have also called for Bashr’s arrest. Mr. Bashir is scheduled to meet with South Sudan President Salva Kiir to sign a number of border related treaties, in what will be his first visit to the country since it gained its independence in July 2011.
13-21 March 2012: The last prosecution witness in the trial of Jean-Pierre Bemba concludes five days of testimony in closed session before the International Criminal Court (ICC). Due to health concerns, the individual, known as “Witness 36,” has testified via video link from the Congolese capital Kinshasa. The individual is a former insider in the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), the militia group led by Mr. Bemba. The Defense is expected to begin its presentation of witnesses later this year.
14 March 2012: Trial Chamber I of the ICC unanimously finds Mr. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo guilty, as a co-perpetrator, of the war crimes of conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 and using them to participate actively in hostilities from 1 September 2002 to 13 August 2003. The Lubanga verdict is the first verdict issued by the ICC.
11 March 2012: The judges of the ICC re-elect Judge Sang-Hyun Song (Republic of Korea) as President of the Court for a three-year term with immediate effect. Judge Sanji Mmasenono Monageng (Botswana) is elected First Vice-President and Judge Cuno Tarfusser (Italy) is elected Second Vice-President.
9 March 2012: The ICC swears in five judges at a ceremony held at the seat of the Court in The Hague. Judges Howard Morrison (United Kingdom), Anthony T. Carmona (Trinidad and Tobago), Olga Herrera Carbuccia (Dominican Republic), Robert Fremr (Czech Republic), and Chile Oboe-Osuji (Nigeria) were elected to nine-year terms at the December 2011 session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute. Judge Miriam Defensor-Santiago (Republic of the Philippines), who was also elected in December, was unable to attend the ceremony and will be sworn in at a later date.
7 March 2012: The ICC has recovered a key witness ahead of the trial of Uhuru Kenyatta, Francis Muthaura, William Ruto, and Joshua Arap Sang, who are charged with committing crimes against humanity in Kenya. The witness initially declined to participate in the trial out of concern for his own welfare and safety under the ICC witness protection program. In response to those concerns, and the concerns of other witnesses, the ICC has increased security measures for witnesses in the protection program, provided better education for their children, and provided other forms of support for their families. Since last year, the ICC has placed more than 12 witnesses under protection in countries outside of Kenya.
1 March 2012: Pre-Trial Chamber I issues a warrant of arrest against Mr. Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein for 41 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed in the context of the situation in Darfur (Sudan). Mr. Hussein is currently Minister of National Defence of the Sudanese Government and former Minister of the Interior and former Sudanese President’s Special Representative in Darfur.
29 February 2012: Trial Chamber I will deliver a decision on the innocence of guilt of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo (Lubanga) at a public hearing on 14 March 2012. Lubanga, a national of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is accused of enlisting and conscripting child soldiers into the Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC) between September 2002 and August 2003. Lubanga was transferred to The Hague on 17 March 2006. The trial began on 26 January 2009, and closing remarks were presented on 25 and 26 August 2011. Lubanga’s trial is the first to be held before the ICC.
27-28 February 2012: H.E. Diana Kovatcheva, Minister of Justice of Bulgaria and Mr. Boris Velchev, the Prosecutor-General of Bulgaria visits the ICC, meeting with Court officials such as the ICC President Judge Sang-Hyun Song, the Registrar, the Deputy Prosecutor, and Judge Trendafilova. Bulgarian and ICC officials discuss challenges facing the development of international justice and opportunities for greater cooperation between Bulgaria and the Court.
26 February 2012: Nkwebe Liriss, Lead Counsel of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo’s defense team, passes away in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a long struggle with illness. Mr. Liriss, a national of the Democratic Republic of Congo, was appointed by Mr. Bemba in July 2008 to lead his defense team.
22 February 2012: Pre-Trial Chamber III expands its authorization for the investigation of the situation in Côte d’Ivoire to include crimes committed between 19 September 2002 and 28 November 2010. The Chamber initially granted authorization to investigate alleged crimes committed since 28 November 2010 in Côte d’Ivoire. The Chamber considers that the political turmoil and violence that began in 2002 and has continued into the present should be treated as a single situation.
14-15 February 2012: Judge Sang-Hyun Song, President of the International Criminal Court; Ms. Fatou Bensouda, the ICC Deputy Prosecutor and Prosecutor-elect; Ambassador Tina Intelmann, President of the Assembly of State Parties of the Rome Statute; and Ms. Silvana Arbia, the ICC Registrar, participate in “Justice for All? The International Criminal Court-10 year review of the ICC,” an international conference at the University of New South Wales in Australia.
13 February 2012: Media officials of the Central African Republic attend a briefing on the case of The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo as part of the ICC’s media outreach to the Central African Republic. The briefing includes summaries of the direction and evidence introduced in the case, clarifications of prior motions and procedure, and other aspects of the trial.
6-13 February 2012: Witness 44 and Witness 15 are questioned in closed session in the case of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo. The identity of the witnesses remains unknown, although both are believed to be former high-ranking members of the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC).
10 February 2012: Seven victims submit statements to ICC judges in support of their applications to testify in the trial of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo. Mr. Bemba is accused of committing crimes against humanity and war crimes in the Central African Republic during his tenure as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC).
7 February 2012: Members of the G7 alliance, a Kenyan political bloc, defy a court order banning debate on the eligibility of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former Cabinet Minister William Ruto in Kenya’s upcoming presidential election. The Kenyan High Court has ordered the ban to remain in effect until it has been determined whether the recent ICC indictments against Mr. Kenyatta and Mr. Ruto disqualify them from the election. Critics argue that the decision denies Kenyans their freedom of speech.
6 February 2012: ICC Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, files a response opposing the requests by Kenyan suspects Uhuru Kenyatta, Francis Muthaura, William Ruto, and Joshua Sang to be allowed to appeal the confirmation of the charges against them. The suspects are accused of committing crimes against humanity following the 2007 presidential election in Kenya. They argue that the prosecution’s evidence was insufficient and that the Pre-Trial Chamber erred in allowing the cases to go to trial.
1-3 February 2012: The President of the Assembly of State Parties visits Brussels to meet with members of the European Parliament, senior officials of the European Union, and representatives of several NGOs. The President expresses gratitude for the support of the parliamentarians and EU senior officials and the continued need for universality of the Rome Statute.
29 January – 1 February 2012: Ambassador Tiina Intelmann, the President of the Assembly of State Parties, visits The Hague and meets with senior Court officials and members of the diplomatic community to discuss cooperation of State Parties of the Court, expediting proceedings, possible procedural amendments, and budget forecasts for 2013 in an informal setting. The President also convenes a Bureau meeting to discuss appointment of facilitators for the Bureau’s Working Groups and organizational matters regarding the eleventh session of the Assembly. The President and Mr. Markus Börlin, Vice President of the Assembly, H.E., visit the ICC detention center.
24 January 2012: Luis Moreno Ocampo, Prosecutor of the ICC, delivers a speech regarding the confirmation of charges determinations of the cases in the Kenya situation of The Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto, Henry Kiprono Kosgey and Joshua Arap Sang and The Prosecutor v. Francis Kirimi Muthaura, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and Mohammed Hussein Ali.
23 January 2012: The Pre-Trial Chamber issues decisions on the confirmation of charges in the cases of The Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto, Henry Kiprono Kosgey and Joshua Arap Sang and The Prosecutor v. Francis Kirimi Muthaura, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and Mohammed Hussein Ali. The Pre-Trial Chamber judges decline to confirm charges against Mr. Kosgey and Mr. Ali but confirm charges for Mr. Ruto, Mr. Sang, Mr. Muthaura, and Mr. Kenyatta. The defendants will stand trial on a date to be determined.
19 January 2012: The ICC holds a ceremony honoring Cape Verde as the 119th State Party to the Rome Statute. The Statute became effective in Cape Verde on January 1st, 2012.
16-20 January 2012: The Trial Chamber II judges conduct a field-based fact finding mission to Ituri in the eastern portion of the Democratic Republic of Congo as part of the trial The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui. The judges visit Bogoro, Aveba, Zumbe and Kambusto and speak with victims and witnesses to confirm witness accounts as well as visit alleged crime scenes. The visit is part of an effort to increase the visibility of the ICC in local communities affected by the cases the ICC tries.
13 January 2012: The Republic of Mali concludes an agreement to enforce imprisonment sentences issued by the ICC. The agreement allows for the transfer of prisoners from the ICC to Mali to serve their sentences in Mali. Other agreements of enforcement of imprisonment sentences exist between the ICC and the governments of Austria, Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Serbia, and the United Kingdom.
23 December 2011: The ICC releases Callixte Mbarushimana, of Rwanda, from custody following the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber I. The Chamber finds insufficient evidence that Mr. Mbarushimana is responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2009. Mr. Mbarushimana is currently under investigation in France for his role in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
17 December 2011: The Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute elects the following six judges to the ICC: Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona (Trinidad and Tobago), Miriam Defensor-Santiago (Philippines), Chile Eboe-Osuji (Nigeria), Robert Fremr (Czech Republic), Olga Venecia Herrera Carbuccia (Dominican Republic), and Howard Morrison (United Kingdom).
12-13 December 2011: Pre-Trial Chamber I informs the United Nations Security Council and the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute that the Republic of Malawi and the Republic of Chad failed to cooperate with the ICC by not arresting and surrendering Omar Al Bashir to the Court when Mr. Bashir visited the countries in August and October 2011.
12 December 2011: The Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC opens its tenth session at UN headquarters in New York. Tiina Intelmann of Estonia has been elected President for the tenth to twelfth sessions. Ken Kanda, of Ghana, and Markus Börlin, of Switzerland, have been elected Vice-Presidents.
6 December 2011: The ICC hosts a ceremony welcoming the Republic of Maldives as the 118th State Party to the Rome Statute. ICC President Sang-Hyun Song presents Ambassador of the Maldives to Belgium and the European Union, Mr. Ali Hussain Didi, with a special edition of the Rome Statute.
5 December 2011: Former President of Côte d’Ivoire, Laurent Gbagbo, makes his initial appearance before the ICC on charges of crimes against humanity. The confirmation of charges hearing is set to begin on 18 June 2012.
2 December 2011: The Republic of Vanuatu submitted to the United Nations its instrument of accession to the Rome Statute. Vanuatu will become the 120th state to become party to the Rome Statute.
2 December 2011: Prosecutor of the ICC, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, requests Pre-Trial Chamber I to issue a warrant for the arrest of Sudanese Defense Minister, Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein, for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Darfur from August 2003 to March 2004. Mr. Hussein is alleged to have coordinated the crimes during his tenure as Minister for the Interior for the Government of Sudan and Special Representative of the President in Darfur.
1 December 2011: Ms. Fatou B. Bensouda, of The Gambia, has been named consensus candidate for the position of Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court following four weeks of consultations within the Assembly of States Parties. Ms. Bensouda previously served as Deputy Prosecutor at the ICC, and as Legal Advisor and Trial Attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
29 November 2011: Former President of Côte d’Ivoire, Laurent Gbagbo, is surrendered to the ICC by national authorities of Côte d’Ivoire following a warrant of arrest issued by Pre-Trial Chamber III on 23 November 2011. Mr. Gbagbo is suspected to have been a co-perpetrator of violence against civilians in the aftermath of the 2010 presidential election in Côte d’Ivoire. The attacks, which occurred between December 2010 and April 2011, were directed against supporters of opposition candidate, Alassane Outtara.
23 November 2011: H.E. Ambassador Fernando Schmidt Ariztía, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Chile, visits the ICC to meet with ICC President, Judge Sang Hyun-Song. President Song informs the Ambassador of the current proceedings of the ICC and expressed gratitude for Chile’s support for the ICC and for Chile’s ratification of the Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the International Criminal Court.
22 November 2011: Prosecutor of the ICC, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, and Deputy Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, lead a delegation to Tripoli, Libya to meet with Libyan authorities to help coordinate efforts after the arrest of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and unverified reports of the arrest of Abdullah Al-Senussi.
22 November 2011: The arrest warrant for Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi is terminated by the Pre-Trial Chamber I of the ICC. The ICC Prosecution makes a request to have the warrant for Muammar Gaddafi withdrawn to the Judges on account of Muammar Gaddafi’s death.
19 November 2011: Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, President of the Assembly of State Parties, delivers speech commending Libyan authorities for the arrest of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and their cooperation with the ICC.
17-18 November 2011: Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs of the United Nations, D. Stephen Mathias, visits the ICC to hold meetings with the Prosecutor, Mr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the ICC President, Judge Sang-Hyun, and the Registrar, Ms. Silvana Arbia. Judge Sang-Hyun and Mr. Mathias discuss the relationship between the ICC and the United Nations, focusing on issues of mutual cooperation between the two entities and the role of the UN in improving the capacity of states to address Rome Statute crimes.
17 November 2011: The ICC hosts an educational visit by professionals in the T.M.C. Asser Institute’s Open Course on International Law. The course was organized by the Hague Forum on Judicial Expertise, and included participants from Zambia, Uganda, Nigeria, and other states. Participants ranged from High Court Judges, a Senior State Attorney, and other legal officials.
17 November 2011: Mr. Luzolo Bambi Lessa, the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, announces the conclusion of the ICC training session of police officers of the National Congolese Police.
16 November 2011: Mr. Henry Bellingham, MP of the United Kingdom and minister of the Foreign Office meets with ICC President, Judge Sang-Hyun Song and the ICC Registrar, Ms. Silvana Arbia at the Hague.
15 November 2011: ICC President San-Hyun Song gives the keynote address at the 2011 Law, Justice, and Development Week conference in Washington, DC. In his speech, President Song calls for more synergies between international justice and development. He lauds the innovative features of the Rome Statute to bridge these concepts,including the ICC’s victim participation and reparation scheme and the Trust Fund for Victims.
14 November 2011: ICC President Judge Sang-Hyun Song delivers keynote speech at the opening of the World Bank Group’s 2011 Law, Justice and Development Week event. President Song highlights in his speech the need for greater synergy between development and international justice and the use of victim reparations through the Trust Fund for Victims as a means of empowering victims.
14 November 2011: Registrar of the ICC, Silvana Arbia, discusses the role of media and journalists in educating the public about the ICC and promoting the work of the Court by encouraging continued support as part of the opening of a seminar organized by Ordine dei Giornalisti della Lombardia/ Lombardy’s Order of Journalists, in Milan, Italy. The ICC Registrar also provides a two-day training session for journalists, a lecture to university students and researchers of international law, and addresses lawyers in a conference organized by the Bar Association of Milan.
14 November 2011: NATO members are reportedly concerned that the ICC may investigate allegations of crimes committed in Libya by NATO.ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo states that the ICC would investigate alleged NATO war crimes “impartially and independently.” Sources indicate that an attempt by NATO to pre-empt an ICC investigation would likely entail an internal review of incidents when NATO actions caused civilian casualties.
11 November 2011: ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announces that the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) is closely monitoring the electoral process in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Elections are scheduled to take place in the DRC on 28 November 2011. Investigations have been ongoing in the DRC since June 2003.
8 November 2011: The Philippines becomes the 117th state party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. It is also the second member of the Association of Southern Asian Nations (ASEAN) to join the Rome Statute.
7 November 2011: Judges and the Acting Registrar of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights visit the headquarters of the ICC. The ICC President, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, welcomes and briefs the representatives about the ICC’s activities and judicial processes, highlighting the similarities and differences between the ICC and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Representatives also have discussion with ICC judges.
2 November 2011: The ICC Prosecutor delivers the Second Report of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to the UN Security Council pursuant to UNSCR 1970 (2011). The Prosecutor’s statement focuses on the progress of the ICC and the Office of the Prosecutor in particular in investigating the situation in Libya. He announces that the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) is attempting to secure the surrender of Seif al-Islam Gaddafi and Libya’s former spy chief. Moreno-Ocampo also comments that the OTP is investigating alleged crimes committed by Libya’s National Transitional Council, including detention of civilians and the murder of detained combatants.
26 October 2011: Judge Sang-Hyun Song, President of the ICC, delivers the seventh annual report of the ICC to the United Nations General Assembly. Report covers activities of the Court, concerns for unheeded arrest warrants, the role of the Trust Fund for Victims, goals of the ICC, and welcomes new state parties to the Rome Statute.
26 October 2011: The ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II issues a decision stating that it will issue the decision on confirmation of charges in both Kenya cases – The Prosecutor v. Ruto et. al. and The Prosecutor v. Mutharura et. Al – on the same date.
25 October 2011: Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, and former intelligence chief, Abdualla Al-Senussi are reportedly near Libya’s border with Niger. The two have international warrants out for their arrest and surrender to the ICC for charges of crimes against humanity.
25 October 2011: A search committee set up by ICC member states names four candidates as potential successors to Luis Moreno-Ocampo as ICC Prosecutor. Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo’s nine-year term ends next year. Many observers consider Deputy Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda from Gambia to be the front-runner candidate. Bensouda’s candidacy is supported by the African Union, which has openly criticized Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo for only opening investigations in Africa.
24 October 2011: Zimbabwe’s minister of justice and legal affairs, Patrick Chinamasa, announces that Zimbabwe refuses to ratify the Rome Statute on the grounds that the ICC is being used by the west to punish dictators from the global south. Minister Chinamasa argued that, by contrast, US and UK leaders have committed crimes against humanity in Iraq and other parts of the world with impunity.
21 October 2011: The ICC states that it will not withdraw its arrest warrant against Muammar Gaddafi until reports of the former Libyan dictator’s death is are corroborated by forensic proof. An ICC spokesman said that authorities in Tripoli would be responsible for providing DNA evidence to the court.
20 October 2011: ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announces that up to six people will be investigated for allegedly contributing to post-election violence in Cote d’Ivoire. Approximately 3,000 people were killed when the incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to step down and cede power to President-elect Alassane Ouattara. Cote d’Ivoire has not acceded to the Rome Statue, but has accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC pursuant to article 12(3).
19 October 2011: The ICC has given Malawi up to 11 November to explain why it failed to arrest Sudanese president and ICC indictee Omar al-Bashir during his recent visit to Malawi for a summit. Malawi, a state party to the Rome Statute, has told media sources that it will need time to respond to the ICC’s inquiry.
15 October 2011: ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo visits Cote d'Ivoire on an invite from President Ouattara. Ocampo meets with members of the opposition, victims, and government officials.
12 October 2011: Activists announce their intention to have charges brought against Mexican President Felipe Calderon for crimes against humanity. The activists allege that President Calderon’s military strategy in confronting drug cartels has brought over 50,000 fatalities.
10 October 2011: ICC President, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, delivers a keynote speech at the beginning of the Annual Meeting of the Law Association for Asia and the Pacific (LAWASIA) in Seoul, Korea. The speech addresses topics such as human-rights protection, promotion of the rule of law, and international criminal justice. Attendees include almost one thousand legal scholars from thirty one Asia-Pacific countries.
3-6 October 2011: The ICC hosts the sixteenth Strategic Meeting between the ICC and non-governmental organizations. ICC and NGOs discuss topics relating to legal representation of victims, public outreach, and the Trust Fund for Victims.
3 October 2011: Multinational delegation of officers training at the National Defence College of Bangladesh visit the ICC to learn about the history of the ICC, its mandate, structure, outreach efforts, and function.
3 October 2011: Pre-Trial Chamber III grants the Prosecutor’s request to begin investigation of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire. The investigation will cover the alleged crimes within the ICC’s jurisdiction committed since 28 November 2010 and those crimes that may be committed in relation to those events.
26-28 September 2011: The ICC holds its first training session for judicial officers of the Congolese National Police in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Officers discussed topics ranging from combating international crimes to victims rights and the roles of the ICC and the Congolese courts in prosecuting international crimes.
26 September 2011: San Marino becomes the first state to ratify one of the Kampala amendments to article 8 of the Rome Statute. The amendment extends the Court’s jurisdiction to crimes involving the deployment of certain weapons and substances in armed conflicts not of an international character.
23 September 2011: The Appeals Chamber upholds the Trial Chamber decision to deny Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo’s application for provisional release. Bemba applied for provisional release to go to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to apply for a voting card and register as a candidate in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.
23 September 2011: The Regional Training Seminar on the ICC concludes in Tunis, Tunisia. The seminar focused on increasing state cooperation with the ICC and included discussions on victim and defense representation, complementarity, and international cooperation.
21 September 2011: The confirmation of charges hearing begins in the second Kenya post-election violence case brought before the ICC; The Prosecutor v. Francis Kirimi Muthaura, Uhuru Muigain Kenyatta and Mohammed Hussein Ali (Kenya Case 2). Muthaura heads Kenya’s civil service, Kenyatta is Kenya’s deputy prime minister, and Ali is the Kenya’s former police commissioner and current head of Kenya’s postal service. Pre-Trial Chamber II approved the Prosecutor’s request to investigate post-election violence in the Republic of Kenya propio motu in March 2010.
21 September 2011: The Republic of Maldives becomes the 118th State to accede to the Rome Statute. The Statute will enter into force in the Maldives on 1 December 2011.
21 September 2011: Confirmation of charges hearing in The Prosecutor v. Callixte Mbrushimana ends. The judges will decide if there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe Mr. Mbrushimana committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. If the court finds substantial grounds to believe Mr. Mbrushimana committed the crimes with which he is charged, the case will continue to trial.
20 September 2011: In the case of The Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto, Henry Kiprono Kosgey and Joshua Arap Sang (Kenya Case 1), the Appeals Chamber denies the appeal of the Republic of Kenya’s challenge against the admissibility of the case. Kenya challenged the ICC proceedings arguing that Kenya was already addressing the case in its domestic courts. Under Article 19(2)(b) of the Rome Statute, the ICC’s jurisdiction may be challenged by “A State which has jurisdiction over a case, on the ground that it is investigating or prosecuting the case or has investigated or prosecuted the case. . . .” The Appeals Chamber reached a 4-1 decision with Judge Anita Usacka dissenting.
16 September 2011: The ICC holds a ceremony welcoming Tunisia as the 116th state party to the Rome Statute. Tunisia acceded to the treaty on 24 June 2011. The Rome Statute entered into force in Tunisia on 1 September 2011.
13 September 2011: The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests (SNAP) file a complaint with the ICC alleging that Vatican officials committed crimes against humanity because they tolerated and enabled sex crimes. The New York-based rights groups requests that the Court investigate Pope Benedict and three Vatican officials.
9 September 2011: The Court releases practical information for journalists covering the confirmation of charges hearings in the case against Callixte Mbarushimana, which will be held between 16 September and 21 September 2011. Mr. Mbarushimana, a Rwandan national, stands accused of five counts of crimes against humanity and six counts of war crimes for alleged behavior in the Kivu Provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2009.
8 September 2011: The Prosecutor of the ICC, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, requests that INTERPOL issue a Red Notice to arrest Muammar Gaddafi for the alleged crimes against humanity of murder and persecution. An INTERPOL Red Notice seeks the provisional arrest of a warranted person, with the eventual goal of extradition or surrender to an international criminal court. The Prosecutor also requests Red Notices for Gaddafi’s son, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, and brother-in-law, Abdullah Al-Senussi.
8 September 2011: The confirmation of charges hearings in the case of Ruto, et al., which is the first of two cases arising out of the Situation in Kenya, came to a close. Each of the three accused – William Ruto, Henry Kosgey and Joshua Sang – is charged with crimes against humanity committed in the aftermath of Kenya’s Presidential election in December 2007.
1 September 2011: The Rome Statute becomes fully effective in Tunisia.
30 August 2011: The Appeals Chamber dismisses the appeals filed by the Government of Kenya challenging the admissibility of the Ruto, et al. and Muthaura, et al. cases under Article 19 of the Rome Statute. The Appeals Chamber affirmed the Trial Chamber’s holding that there was not sufficient evidence supporting Kenya’s claim that credible domestic investigations of the individuals charged by the ICC are underway.
30 August 2011: The Government of the Philippines deposits its instrument of ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and the Statute will take full effect for the Philippines on 1 November 2011.
25 July 2011: The Victims Participation and Reparations Section (VPRS) of the Registry of the ICC launches a four-day training seminar in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), to build capacity amongst local intermediaries working with victims. According to VPRS, the role of the intermediaries in contact with the Section “is crucial in implementing victims’ rights to be informed, to participate in proceedings via a legal representative and, potentially, to apply for reparation.” The seminar will be attended by members of human rights organizations and local associations, as well as teachers, lawyers, and other professionals.
26 July 2011: The Bureau of the Assembly of States Parties issues a recommendation that Ambassador Tiina Intelmann of Estonia be elected President of the Assembly of States Parties at the beginning of the 10th Session of the Assembly, which will be held from 12 to 21 December 2011. The term of the Presidency is three years. In the past, Ambassador Intelmann has served as the Permanent Representative of Estonia to the United Nations, as well as to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
25 July 2011: The Pre-Trial Chamber presiding over the Ruto, et al. case in the Kenya situation issues a decision ordering the defense team to reduce the number of viva voce witnesses called at the upcoming confirmation of charges hearing to two live witnesses per suspect, for a total of six live witnesses. Earlier, the suspects had indicated to the Chamber that they intended to call forty-three viva voce witnesses during the hearing.
25 July 2011: Jean-Pierre Bemba, the Congolese national who is currently on trial at the ICC for alleged crimes committed in the Central African Republic, is slated to run in the next presidential election in Congo. Bemba is likely to still be on trial at the time of the elections, which are scheduled for November 2011.
13 July 2011: ICC President Judge Sang-Hyun Song and Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma sign a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen and develop cooperation between their organizations to jointly support States implementing international criminal law. The signing took place at the Commonwealth Law Ministers’ Meeting in Sydney, Australia, and was witnessed by law ministers, attorneys-general and senior officials from the 54-member Commonwealth.
8 July 2011: The number of victims participating in the trial of Jean-Pierre Bemba reaches 1,620 with the issuance of a decision by the Trial Chamber approving an additional 307 applications.
4 July 2011: The Pre-Trial Chamber presiding over the Mbarushimana case issues a decision holding that some 470 victims who had applied to participate in proceedings would be excluded from the confirmation of charges hearing because the Registry has been unable to comply with the Chamber’s deadline for processing the applications. The confirmation hearing is currently scheduled to take place on 17 August 2011.
29 June 2011: Single Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova issues a decision on behalf of Pre-Trial Chamber II holding, inter alia, that the confirmation of charges proceedings in the two Kenya cases will be held in the Hague, rather than in situ in Kenya. The Single Judge cited to the fact that the Prosecution, victims, and majority of the accused had opposed the idea of holding the proceedings in Kenya.
27 June 2011: Pre-Trial Chamber I issues warrants of arrest for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif Al Islam Gaddafi, and head of the Libyan military intelligence. Abdullah Al Sanusi. With respect to each, the Chamber found reasonable grounds to believe that the accused is responsible for the crimes against humanity of murder and persecution based on events taking place in February 2011. The Chamber also requested the Registry to prepare and transmit a request for cooperation seeking the arrest and transfer of each of the accused “to the competent Libyan authorities…, and to (i) all States Parties to the Statute; (ii) all of Libya’s neighboring States; and to (iii) the United Nations Security Council members that are not States Parties to the Statute.”
24 June 2011: Tunisia accedes to the Rome Statute, becoming the 116th party to the treaty.
23 June 2011: Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo submits a request to Pre-Trial Chamber III seeking authorizing to open an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Côte d’Ivoire since 28 November 2010. Although Côte d’Ivoire is not a party to the Rome Statute, it has accepted the jurisdiction of the Court pursuant to Article 12(3) of the Statute. According to the Prosecutor’s application, at least 3,000 persons were murdered, 72 persons disappeared, 520 persons were subject to arbitrary arrest or detention, and 100 persons raped during the post-election violence in the country.
22 June 2011: The Trial Chamber in the Katanga & Ngudjolo case issues another ruling relating to the requests by three defense witnesses for protection from the Court based on a stated fear that they will be mistreated by Congolese authorities if they are returned to the custody of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Specifically, citing to assurances from the Congolese government that the three witnesses will be well-treated upon return, the Chamber held that the witnesses may be returned to the DRC, subject to a decision by the Dutch government on the witness’s refugee claim.
13 June 2011: The parties and participants in the two Kenya cases submit their observations as to whether the confirmation of charges in the cases should be held in situ in Kenya, rather than at the seat of the Court in the Hague. In both cases, the Prosecution and the Office of Public Counsel for Victims (OPCV) argued against in situ proceedings, arguing that witnesses could not be adequately protected and may be subject to intimidation. In addition, OPCV argued that holding the hearings in Kenya could increase the potential of a renewed outbreak of violence. Two of the accused – Mr. Kosgey and Mr. Muthaura – expressed support for the idea of holding the hearings in situ, stating that proceedings in Kenya would bring justice closer to the victims, would save time and cost, and would be more convenient for witnesses and the accused and their friends and family who will want to provide support during the proceedings. The remaining four opposed the proposal, citing, inter alia, concerns regarding the ability of the Kenyan government to make the logistical preparations necessary by September 2011.
9 June 2011: The Trial Chamber in the Katanga & Ngudjolo case issues a ruling relating to the requests by three defense witnesses for protection from the Court. The three witnesses, who were in custody in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) prior to their transfer to the Hague, claimed that they feared mistreatment at the hands of the Congolese authorities if returned to the DRC. The Chamber decided to temporarily suspend the transfer of the witnesses back to the DRC to allow for them to file for asylum with the Dutch government.
3 June 2011: Pre-Trial Chamber II issues a request to the parties and victims in the cases of The Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto, Henry Kiprono Kosgey and Joshua Arap Sang and The Prosecutor v. Francis Kirimi Muthaura, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and Mohammed Hussein Ali as to whether the confirmation of hearing proceedings in the two cases should be held in Kenya. The Rome Statute contemplates in situ proceedings in Article 3, which provides that “ [t]he seat of the Court shall be established at The Hague in the Netherlands,” but also states that “[t]he Court may sit elsewhere, whenever it considers it desirable.” The Chamber requested that the parties and participants submit their observations no later than 13 June 2011.
1 June 2011: The Trust Fund for Victims (TFV), which was created by Article 79 of the Rome Statute “for the benefit of victims of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court, and of the families of such victims,” formally announces the launch of its activities in the Central African Republic (CAR). According to a statement released by the TFV, the Fund’s activities will “benefit victims of sexual violence in as far as they are considered serious crimes under the jurisdiction of the ICC and their families and communities” throughout the territory of the CAR. The projects in the CAR are scheduled to start in early 2012.
31 May 2011: Pre-Trial Chamber I grants the Prosecution’s request to postpone the commencement of the confirmation hearing in the case of The Prosecutor v. Callixte Mbarushimana. The hearing, initially scheduled to begin 4 July 2011, is now scheduled to commence 17 August 2011.
30 May 2011: Pre-Trial Chamber II issues a decision rejecting the Kenyan Government’s challenges to the admissibility of the two cases brought before the Court arising from the Situation in Kenya. The Kenyan government’s challenge was based on Article 17 of the Rome Statute, which provides that a case will be inadmissible before the ICC if it is “being investigated or prosecuted by a State which has jurisdiction over it, unless the State is unwilling or unable to genuinely carry out the investigation or prosecution.” The Chamber rejected the challenge after concluding there was insufficient evidence of ongoing proceedings in Kenya with respect to the persons charged in the ICC cases.
27 May 2011: ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announces the appointment of Professor Mireille Delmas-Marty as his Office’s Special Adviser on the Internationalization of Legal Issues. According to the Office of the Prosecutor, Special Advisers to the Office are “persons with recognised expertise in their field, who provide advice to the Prosecutor at his or her request or on their own initiative on training, policies, procedures and legal submissions.” In addition, “they may assist with cooperation between the Office and institutions associated with them.”
26 May 2011: Speaking at the University of Qatar at Doha, the Registrar of the ICC launches the “Calling Arab Lawyers” campaign, which is designed to increase the number of Arab counsel authorized to practice before the Court.
24-25 May 2011: The Regional Diplomatic Conference on the Court is held in Doha, State of Qatar. The conference, which is being sponsored by the State of Qatar and undertaken together with the League of Arab States in cooperation with the ICC, is aimed at providing information about the Court and the Rome Statute to states in the Middle East and North Africa.
20 May 2011: Trial Chamber I orders the closing of the presentation of evidence stage in the case The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo. The parties and participants in the case will present their closing arguments to the Chamber on 25 and 26 August 2011.
20 May 2011: The ICC Presidency assigns the situation in the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire to Pre-Trial Chamber II following the ICC Prosecutor’s letter of 19 May 2011, by which heinformed the President of the Court of his intention to submit a request to the Pre-Trial Chamber for authorization to open propio motu investigations into the situation in Côte d'Ivoire since 28 November 2010.
19 May 2011: The ICC Prosecutor informs the President of the Court that he intends to submit a request to the Pre-Trial Chamber for authorization to open proprio motu investigations into the situation in Côte d’Ivoire since 28 November 2010. Côte d’Ivoire is not a party to the Rome Statute, but has accepted the Court’s jurisdiction pursuant to Article 12 of the Rome Statute.
19 May 2011: The government of Grenada deposits its instrument of accession of the Rome Statute with the United Nations, making Grenada the 115th State Party to the Statute. The Statute will enter into force for Grenada on 1 August 2011.
17 May 2011: During a visit to Bogotá, Republic of Colombia, the President of the ICC, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, concludes an agreement with the President of Colombia, H.E. Mr. Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, on the enforcement of ICC sentences. Colombia is the first country from the Latin American and Caribbean region to enter into such an agreement with the Court.
16-17 May 2011: The CARICOM regional seminar on the Rome Statute of the ICC is heldin Port of Spain. Organized by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, with the support of the Commonwealth Secretariat and the assistance of the Secretariat of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, the seminar addressed a number of topics, including the drive for universal ratification of the Rome Statute and the outcome of the 2010 Review Conference.
16 May 2011: The ICC Registrar opens the ninth annual Seminar of Counsel in The Hague, which has been described as “the most important forum of interaction between the Court and all external lawyers authorised to practice before its chambers.” Topics to be covered among the 250 participants include developments in the representation of both suspects and victims participating in cases before the Court, the Court’s Code of Professional Conduct, and the Court’s engagement with the legal profession.
16 May 2011: ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo submits an application to the Pre-Trial Chamber seeking arrest warrants against Muammar Abu Minya Gaddafi, Saif Al Islam Gaddafi and the Head of the Intelligence Abdullah Al Sanousi from crimes against humanity committed in Libya since February 2011. According to a statement released by the Office of the Prosecutor, the Office has “gathered direct evidence about orders issued by Muammar Gaddafi himself, direct evidence of Saif Al Islam organizing the recruitment of mercenaries, and direct evidence of the participation of Al Sanousi in the attacks against demonstrators.” In addition, the Office has “documented how the three held meetings to plan the operations.” The Pre-Trial Chamber may grant the application, reject the application, or ask the Prosecutor for additional evidence.
12 May 2011: Pre-Trial Chamber I issues a decision informing the United Nations Security Council and the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir’s visit to Djibouti, which took place on 8 May 2011, “in order for them to take any measure they may deem appropriate.” According to the Chamber, Djibouti, as a State Party to the Rome Statute, “has an obligation to cooperate with the Court” in relation to the enforcement of arrest warrants issued by the Court.
11 May 2011: Appeals Chamber Judge Daniel David Nsereko Ntanda addresses a group of eight-five lawyers, most of whom were women, in Durban city, South Africa, as part of the Court’s campaign to actively encourage African female lawyers to represent either defendants or victims before Court.
10 May 2011: Appeals Chamber Judge Daniel David Nsereko Ntanda addresses 230 students and lecturers from the Faculty of Law at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. According to a press release issued by the Court, Judge Nsreko “underlined the importance the Court attaches to academia and highlighted the essential role universities play in enhancing understanding of international criminal law and the [ICC].”
6 May 2011: The Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) makes public an invitation for Expressions of Interest to support the rehabilitation of victim survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) because it has identified a pressing priority need for assistance to victim survivors of such crimes in the context of the situation in CAR. At the same time, the TFV makes clear that future TFV programs in the CAR may also address victims of other types of crime.
6 May 2011: Appeals Chamber Judge Daniel David Nsereko Ntanda completes a two-day visit to Kampala, Uganda. During his visit, Judge Nsreko addressed the legal community and civil society organizations on the relationship between the ICC and Africa and the possibilities for African legal professionals to join the ICC list of counsel and assistants to counsel authorized to practice before the Court.
4 May 2011: The ICC Prosecutor reports to the United Nations Security Council on the progress made in the investigations regarding the situation in Libya, saying that in the next few weeks, he will submit a request for warrants of arrest against three individuals for crimes against humanity committed in Libya since 15 February 2011. The Situation in Libya was referred to the ICC by was of UN Security Council Resolution 1970, which was adopted on 26 February 2011.
18 April 2011: The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, and the President of the International Criminal Court, Judge Sang-Hyun Song meet at the OAS headquarters in Washington D.C. to sign an Exchange of Letters for the establishment of a Framework Cooperation Arrangement between the ICC and the General Secretariat of the OAS.
12 April 2011: In the case of The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, Trial Chamber I determines that the parties and participants will present their closing oral statements in public hearings on 25 and 26 August 2011. In addition, the Chamber holds that the Prosecution and the Legal Representation of Victims are to file their written closing submissions no later than 1 June 2011, to which the Defence may reply, no later than 15 July 2011. The Prosecution may file a reply to the Defence by 1 August, and the Defence will have until 15 August to file its final reply. These final submissions shall address all the relevant legal and factual issues arising in the case.
11 April 2011: Several thousand Kenyans attend a rally for Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and member of Parliament William Ruto, two of the “Ocampo Six,” accused of multiple counts of crimes against humanity for the post-election violence in Kenya in late 2007 and early 2008. Speakers at the rally in Nairobi’s Uhuru Park repeatedly blamed the International Criminal Court case on politics and Western meddling. The chief prosecutor, Louis Moreno Ocampo, took the brunt of the criticism.
11 April 2011: The UN Security Council declines Kenya’s request to defer the ICC’s charges against the “Ocampo Six.” Kenya had argued that the cases risked triggering new political turmoil. “After full consideration the members of the Security Council didnot agree on the matter,” Security Council president Nestor Osorio, Colombia’s UN ambassador, told reporters following a meeting on the request. African nations on the 15-member council had demanded that the Security Council at least hear Kenya’s case. But according to diplomats, Britain, France and the United States, as well asother Western nations, strongly opposed a deferral.
8 April 2011: The suspects in the case of The Prosecutor v. Francis Kirimi Muthaura, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and Mohammed Hussein Ali make their initial appearance and the Pre-Trial Chamber sets the date for the confirmation of charges hearing for 21 September 2011. During the hearing, the Pre-Trial Chamber II verified the identity of the suspects and ensured that they were clearly informed of the crimes which they are alleged to have committed and of their rights under the Rome Statute of the ICC.
7 April 2011: The suspects in the case of The Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto, Henry Kiprono Kosgey and Joshua Arap Sang, (regarding post-election violence in Kenya in 2007-08) make their initial appearance before the ICC and the Pre-Trial Chamber sets a date of 1 September 2011 for the confirmation of charges hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds that suspects committed each of the crimes charged. The Presiding Judge also noted an article in the Kenyan newspapers saying there are movements towards reigniting violence through dangerous speeches, reminded suspects that such type of action would be perceived as an inducement to continue committing crimes within the Court’s jurisdiction, which may constitute a breach of one of the conditions in the summons and be grounds for replacing the summons with warrants of arrest.
7 April 2011: The Pre-Trial Chamber judges dismiss Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s objection to a ruling that he reveal evidence he has against the “Ocampo Six,” accused of crimes against humanity in the Kenyan post-elecion violence. The judges ruled that a status conference would be held on 18 April where the Prosecutor will make available all documents he wants to use in the confirmation hearing and witnesses he intends to call and their statements. Mr Moreno-Ocampo had challenged the decision, arguing that an admissibility challenge mounted by the Kenyan government is “an obstacle to the disclosure process.” However, Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova said that disclosure will allow the suspects’ lawyers to prepare their defence ahead of the commencement of the confirmation of charges hearing and that the Kenyan government’s application only prevents the prosecutor from further investigations, not with the disclosure.
6 April 2011: The Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) expresses concern about the deteriorating situation in Ivory Coast, including recent information about alleged mass killings in the western part of the country. The OTP has been conducting a preliminary examination in Ivory Coast and, absent a referral of the situation from a state or the UN Security Council, the next step will be for the Prosecutor to request authorization from the Pre-Trial Chamber to initiate an investigation proprio motu. Ivory Coast is not a state party of the Rome Statute, but then President Gbagbo accepted jurisdiction of the Court in accordance with article 12(3). Current President Ouattara has confirmed his acceptance of ICC jurisdiction.
6 April 2011: Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo states that the Libyan government planned to crush protests by killing civilians even before the uprising in Libya broke out. Mr. Ocampo said the plans had been a reaction to street protests that led to the fall of the Tunisian regime. He is expected to request arrest warrants for Col. Muammar Gaddafi, his sons and close aides.
4 April 2011: The judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber acknowledge receipt of the Kenyan government’s application and state that they are currently in the process of reviewing the application that challenges the Court’s authority to try the 6 Kenyans accused of planning post-election violence. There is no specified time limit for the Chamber to decide on the motion. The government is disputing whether the cases are admissible and whether the ICC has jurisdiction over them. The Pre-Trial Chamber requested the Prosecutor and Defense to submit written observations by 28 April, invited victims who had submitted applications to participate in Court’s proceedings to make written observations by 28 April, and decided that the Office of Public Counsel for Victims represent these victims.
1 April 2011: The Pre-Trial Chamber rejects prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s request for leave to appeal against its ruling rejecting charges that police were responsible for crimes in Naivasha, Nakuru, Kibera and Kisumu relating to the 2007-08 post-election violence in Kenya. Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova stated that, under the Statute, a person can only be charged with the crimes committed in the context of a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population “carried out pursuant to or in furtherance of a State or organisational policy.” Mr Moreno-Ocampo had requested leave in order to appeal against the decision, arguing that it weakens his case against head of Public Service Francis Muthaura and postmaster-general Hussein Ali, then Police Commissioner, and to some extent, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta.
31 March 2011: The Kenyan government submits an application pursuant to Article 19 of the Rome Statute (challenges to the jurisdiction of the court or the admissibility of a case) saying that the case is inadmissible, requesting a status conference to be attended by the Kenyan government to address the Pre-Trial Chamber on procedure to be adopted before any orders or directions are made, and requesting that the Kenyan government be given an opportunity to address briefly the pre-trial chamber on one or both of hearings.
30 March 2011: The lawyer for Mbarushimana, a Rwandan rebel accused of involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity in Congo, asks the court for interim release of the accused from detention under Article 60(2) and to allow him to return to his family in France. Prosecutors say Mbarushimana is a leader of the Hutu rebel group Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda. He is accused of 11 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, rape, persecution based on gender, and extensive destruction of property. A hearing to weigh prosecutors' evidence and determine whether it is strong enough to merit a full trial has been scheduled for July 4. He claims he will not flee justice or threaten witnesses.
24 March 2011: The ICC Prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, announces he will present a case before the Pre-Trial Chamber in May for possible war crimes by Qaddafi and that he would possibly open a second case to include more civilians. ICC judges will then decide whether arrest warrants will be issued.
21 March 2011: The UK donates the largest single voluntary contribution of £500,000 to the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV), during the Annual Meeting of the TFV Board of Directors. Over the last three years, the TFV has worked with international partners in northern Uganda and the DRC to support 75,000 victims of crimes within the ICC’s jurisdiction. The TFV is going to start activity in the Central African Republic focusing on victims of sexual violence. The TFV came into effect under Article 79 of the Rome Statute to benefit victims of crimes and their families. It provides reparations and a broad range of support.
19 March 2011: Following an informal meeting between Kenyan envoys and members of the Security Council, the French Ambassador says that there is no chance that the Security Council will act on Kenya’s request to defer ICC prosecution under Article 16 of the Rome Statute, which allows the Security Council to defer an investigation or prosecution for a renewable period of one year if a deferral would be in the interests of international peace and security.
18 March 2011: Pre-Trial Chamber II decides to convene the hearing for the initial appearance of Francis Kirimi Muthaura, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and Mohammed Hussein Ali on Friday, 8 April 2011. The date of the initial appearance of Samoei Ruto, Henry Kiprono Kosgey and Joshua Arap Sang remains scheduled for Thursday, 7 April.
18 March 2011: The ICC Prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, warns Libyan leader Muammar Qaddaffi that if he intentionally attacked civilians in the Benghazi area, he would be committing war crimes. Ocampo’s warning was also aimed at military commanders.
16 March 2011: The Presidency the ICC constituted Trial Chamber IV, composed of Judges Fatoumata Dembele Diarra, Joyce Aluoch and Silvia Femandez de Gurmendi, for purposes of presiding over the case of The Prosecutor v. Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus. This case involves the war crimes of violence to life and attempted violence to life; intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units and vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission; and pillaging that occurred in Darfur in 2007 against the African Union Peacekeeping Mission. Banda and Jerbo were allegedly two of the commanders that led the attack.
13 March 2011: The President of the ICC, Judge Sang-Hyun Song of South Korea, concludes an eight-day official trip to Southeast Asia. The purpose was to raise awareness about the ICC and to facilitate informed consultations in countries that may be considering ratification of the Rome Statute. Asia is the least represented region at the ICC, and only two – Cambodia and Timor-Leste – are in Southeast Asia. During Judge Song’s visit, the President of the Philippines announced he had signed an instrument of ratification and had sent it to the Senate for concurrence, the Minister of Law of Malaysia announced that ratification would be coming soon, and delegates from the Maldives stated that they would work to de-block the ICC ratification bill from parliamentary stagnation.
15 March 2011: The ICC Chief Prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, writes a letter to the Kenyan Government asking it to clarify the role of Mr. Muthaura, the head of the civil service, who is one of six suspects summoned to appear before the ICC in connection with the Situation in Kenya. The Chief Prosecutor said that Muthaura still has authority over the police and if he remains in this position, something should be done to ensure that police will not work for him or protect his interests. In addition he said that removing Muthaura’s authority over Kenyan police is necessary to prevent any testimony against the Kenyan official from reaching his office. Moreno Ocampo said such steps were critical to ensure the safety of ICC witnesses.
10 March 2011: The Outreach Unit of the International Criminal Court (ICC) launches the Kenyan TV seriesAsk the Court. Ask the Courtanswers the most frequently asked questions raised by the Kenyan population on the Court’s mandate and its work. The TV series has been designed to foster interaction between the Court and the national population, in particular with those most affected by the post-election violence. It explains judicial developments as they unfold, clarifies the next steps in the Court’s procedures, and enhances transparency and understanding of ICC proceedings. Each episode is available on the ICC’sYou Tubechannel.
10 March 2011: Hundreds of grassroots women from the war-affected community of Paicho sub-county, Gulu district, in Northern Uganda attend a gender outreach session at the ICC to mark the annual celebration of International Women’s Day.
10 March 2011: Chief prosecutor of ICC, Luis Moreno Ocampo said that he would welcome hearing Gaddafi’s version of events as part of his probe into events in Libya. He said “I would welcome any information from Gaddafi and others who are on notice on how they are punishing past crimes and preventing new crimes.” Libyan government officials have reacted with scorn to news of Moreno Ocampo’s investigation.
10 March 2011: The President of the Assembly of States Parties, Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, pays a visit to the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington D.C.
9 March 2011: A majority of two judges of Pre-Trial Chamber II issues decisions granting the applications submitted by the Prosecutor to summon William Samoei Ruto, Henry Kiprono Kosgey, Joshua Arap Sang, Francis Kirimi Muthaura, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, and Mohammed Hussein Ali to appear before the Court on 7 April 2011. The Chamber, by majority, found reasonable grounds to believe that all are criminally responsible for crimes against humanity committed in Kenya.
8 March 2011: Pre-Trial Chamber I unanimously confirms the charges of war crimes brought by the ICC Prosecutor in the case against Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus, which arises out of the Situation in Darfur, Sudan. These crimes were allegedly committed during an attack led by Abdallah Banda and Saleh Jerbo and other commanders and directed against the compound of the African Union Mission in Sudan at Haskanita on the evening of 29 September 2007. The Chamber found substantial grounds to believe that the attack was directed to personnel, installations, material, units and vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations which were entitled to the protection afforded to civilians and civilian objects.
7 March 2011: Noting the unanimous decision of the United Nations Security Council to refer the situation in Libya since 15 February 2011 to the ICC Prosecutor and noting the Prosecutor’s letter informing the ICC President of this referral, the Presidency of the ICC decides to assignthe situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriyato Pre-Trial Chamber I.
3 March 2011: A two day training on the ICC was held on 3 and 4 March for about 85 journalists in Brazzaville (Democratic Republic of Congo) and the surrounding region. It aims to enhance media representatives’ understanding of the ICC and its activities, and also constitutes an opportunity for the ICC to answer questions and address concerns from journalists regarding the Court and its judicial developments.
2 March 2011: The ICC president announces he will visit Southeast Asia in March 2011. The main purpose of the visit is to raise awareness about the ICC and to facilitate informed consultations in countries that may be considering ratification of the Rome Statute. During his visits, he will hold meetings with state officials, members of the legal profession and other relevant actors.
28 February 2011: The Office of the Prosecutor releases a statement on the situation in Libya, stating that it is currently assessing allegations of widespread or systematic attacks against the civilian population, as well as other additional legal requisites established by the Rome Statute. In addition, the Office is liaising with relevant organizations including the Arab League, the African Union, the UN Council on Human Rights, the UN High Commission for Human Rights and the UN Secretariat, as well as with States, in order to collect information required. Finally, the Office also contacted Libyan officials and army officers to receive every form of information.
28 February 2011: The ICC president, Judge Song, welcomes the move by the UN Security Council in passing Resolution 1970, saying that it creates a trust in the ICC’s role as the permanent and independent international judicial institution with jurisdiction over most serious crimes.
24 February 2011: The ICC issues a statement clarifying that Mr Sayed Al Shanuka (or El-Hadi Shallouf), who was presented as a “member of the International Criminal Court” in various reports relating to the situation in Libya, is neither a staff member nor a counsel currently practicing before it, and by no means can he speak on behalf of the Court. Any declaration he made is given solely in his personal capacity. The only official position to date is the ICC Prosecutor’s statement, published on 23 February 2011.
23 February 2011: The ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo releases a statement responding to the Libyan deputy ambassador’s public request to the ICC to investigate and hold accountable those responsible for serious crimes in Libya, saying: “The decision to do justice in Libya should be taken by the Libyan people. Currently, Libya is not a State Party to the Rome Statute. Therefore, intervention by the ICC on the alleged crimes committed in Libya can occur only if the Libyan authorities accept the jurisdiction of the Court, (through article 12(3) of the Rome Statute). In the absence of such step, the United Nations Security Council can decide to refer the situation to the Court. The Office of the Prosecutor will act only after either decision is taken.” Libya is not a party to the ICC but the court's statute allows a non-state party to declare at any time that it accepts the court's jurisdiction for such crimes within its borders.
23 February 2011: Two German lawyers have submitted information to the Prosecutor of the ICC relating to alleged charges against Pope Benedict XVI for crimes against humanity.
17 February 2011: In the case of Callixte Mbarushimana, a Hutu Rwandan charged with various war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Pre-Trial Chamber of the ICC ordered the prosecution to respond, no later than 24 February 2011, to the defense’s request to disclose various records relevant to the prosecution’s case.
14 February 2011: In the trial of Thomas Lubanga, a former rebel leader in the DRC charged with war crimes relating to the recruitment and use of child soldiers, the Trial Chamber grants a request by the defense for the disclosure of information from two victims’ application forms by which they sought to participate in the proceedings. The victims testified in the Lubanga trial in January 2010 for the prosecution as Dieudonne Tonyfwa Urochi and Jean Paul Bijijjo Chonga respectively. In April, two defense witnesses claimed they were Mr. Urochi and Mr. Chonga and the Prosecution witnesses who testified in January were impostors. The Chamber found that the accused’s right to a fair trial required disclosure of the requested identities which “may well assist the defence in investigating the (true) identity of the victims and witnesses linked to this application.” The Chamber noted that the information sought had, for the most part, already been disclosed at trial and was therefore not likely to jeopardize the safety of those whose identity was to be revealed.
11 February 2011: The International Criminal Court holds a ceremony in The Hague to welcome the Republic of Moldova as the 114th State Party to the Rome Statute, the ICC’s founding treaty.
7 February 2011: The five-member Search Committee for the new ICC Prosecutor holds its first meeting in New York. Over the next few months, the Search Committee will take recommendations and identify its own recommendations before forming a short list of candidates to be voted on at the tenth session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute. The term of the current Prosecutor, Mr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, expires in June 2012.
7 February 2011: A group of civil societies launch a campaign to collect one million signatures from Kenyan civilians to protest the ICC deferral motion that is being led by the Kenyan government and African Union. This campaign against the government is led by the Green Belt Movement. Other civil rights groups such as the Kenyan Human Rights Commission are running their own campaigns against the government.
4 February 2011: A delegation from the Office of the Prosecutor visits Moscow to gather information from Russian authorities regarding national investigations into crimes allegedly committed in the armed conflict in South Ossetia, Georgia in August 2008. ICC has jurisdiction over all parties to the conflict. Alleged crimes include forced displacement of civilians, directing attacks against protected persons, and widespread destruction of civilian objects.
3 February 2011: Egypt’s Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary says it may ask the ICC to look into attacks on demonstrators protesting against Mubarak, alleging that these acts were systematic and committed by police in plain clothes and supporters of the government.
3 February 2011: The African Union rejects a bid to set up an ICC liaison office in Addis Ababa.
31 January 2011: The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) submits information against Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to the ICC, seeking an inquiry into alleged crimes against humanity in April and May last year. The ICC Office of the Prosecutor has already said it has no jurisdiction over the political crimes in Thailand, as Thailand is not a State Party to the Rome Statute of the ICC, but the UDD claims Vejjajiva has British nationality. UDD alleges that the Royal Thai Army’s operations were military in nature and designed to kill innocent civilians without provocation or justification to suppress the demonstration.
31 January 2011: ICC dismisses an application by nine Kenyan Provincial and Police chiefs who were seeking immunity from prosecution if they testified regarding their roles during the 2008 post-election violence. The Pre-Trial Chamber judges ruled they cannot undertake the role of the Prosecutor on who should be indicted.
28 January 2011: The Pre-Trial Chamber sets 4 July 2011 as the date for Callixte Mbarushimana’s confirmation of charges hearing. Mbarushimana was transferred from France to the ICC on January 25. He is accused of five counts of crimes against humanity (murder, torture, rape, inhumane acts and persecution) and six counts of war crimes (attacks against the civilian population, destruction of property, murder, torture, rape and inhuman treatment).
27-28 January 2011: President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC, Mr. Christian Wenanweser, visits Kenya. He emphasized complementarity and encouraged the government to present its plans to establish credible and effective national proceedings to the ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber. The AU is supporting Kenya’s desire to defer the cases and will lobby the UN Security Council to do so.
26 January 2011: ICC Prosecutor Ocampo says that he is collecting information on the alleged atrocities occurring in the Ivory Coast, including the attacks against UN troops, and is prepared to prosecute if justified.
12 November 2010: The ICC welcomes the People’s Republic of Bangladesh as a new State party member to the Rome Statute. Bangladesh deposited its instrument of ratification on 23 March 2010 and it became effective in that country on June 1, 2010. The ICC celebrated the country’s adoption of the Rome Statute by giving Bangladesh a limited edition version of the Rome Statute.
8/9 November 2010: The Registrar of the ICC holds a special seminar on the Registry’s role in providing support and assistance to victims. The seminar focused on the Registry’s next steps moving forward and considered how the it could work with other international organizations to better serve victims. The seminar outlined the legal framework for the victim support laid out in the Rome Statute as well. It also reflected on Registry work especially with regards to Registry worker’s interaction with victims. Since not all workers are trained psychologists there is concern to ensure the well-being of the staff and prevent secondary tramatization. Within the Registry there are three sections that are directly in contact with victims: the Public Information and Documentation Section, the Victims Participation and Reparations Section, and the Victims and Witnesses Unit.
1 November 2010: The ICC held a ceremony to welcome the Republic of Seychelles as the 112th State Party to the Rome Statute. The Statute also entered into force for Seychelles on 1 November. In a symbolic act held at the seat of the Court, the President of the Court, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, congratulated the Ambassador of Seychelles, H.E. Ms Viviane Fock Tave, and presented her with a special edition of the Rome Statute.
1 November 2010: The President of the ICC, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, meets with the Deputy Minister of Interior of the Republic of Bulgaria, H.E. Dr Veselin Vuchkov, at the seat of the Court in The Hague. After welcoming Dr Vuchkov to the Court, President Song expressed appreciation for Bulgaria’s long-standing support to the ICC, both in its own capacity as well as a member state of the European Union.
28 -29 October 2010: The President of the Assembly of States Parties, the President of the Court, the Prosecutor, the Registrar and the Director of the Secretariat attend a retreat dealing with the current issues of complementarity of the ICC with national judicial systems. This was a follow-up to the Review Conference in Kampala which had resounding interest in determining ways to strengthen national court systems so that the ICC could truly be a safety net or court of last resort. The event was organized by the International Center for Transitional Justice and the United Nations Rule of law Unit. Approximately 60 high-level officials from legal departments and development cooperation departments of States Parties and observer States, multilateral organizations and civil societies attended the event. The Key note speaker emphasized that while the ICC would act as a catalyst for the strengthening of national court systems and support these systems the court is not a development entity and has limited resources to devote. Complementarity has been a very hot topic in recent months.
25 October 2010: Pre-Trial Chamber I of the ICC requests that the Republic of Kenya inform the Chamber about any problem which would impede or prevent the arrest and surrender of Omar Al Bashir in the event that he visits the country on 30 October 2010. The Chamber, being seized on a notification of the Prosecutor informing the judges of the possibility that Omar Al Bashir might travel to Kenya for a summit on 30 October, renewed its request to the Republic of Kenya to take any necessary measure to ensure that the President of Sudan, Omar Al Bashir, in the event that he travels to Kenya, be arrested and surrendered to the Court in accordance with its obligations as a State Party to the Rome Statute since 1 June 2005.
25 October 2010: The ICC hosts an informative session with Colombia’s National Commission for Reparation and Reconciliation (CNRR) on the Colombian experience with respect to victims and reparations. The session is presided over by Mr Eduardo Pizarro, Chair of the Commission and member of the Board of Directors at the Trust Fund for Victims at the ICC. He is accompanied by four experts from the Commission. The session focuses on five different topics: making effective victims’ rights to truth and justice; comprehensive approaches to victims’ reparations; introducing a gender dimension in reparations: women and former child soldiers; integral reparation as a way to reconciliation; and analysis of Colombia’s institutional frameworks for reparation.
22 October 2010: Pre-Trial Chamber I of the ICC decides to reschedule the confirmation of charges hearing in the case of The Prosecutor v. Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain (Banda) and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus (Jerbo) to 8 December 2010. The confirmation hearing is held to ensure that no case goes to trial unless there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that the person committed the crime with which he or she has been charged. Mr Banda and Mr Jerbo are charged with three war crimes: violence to life, in the form of murder, whether committed or attempted; intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, materials, units, and vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission; and pillaging.
21 October 2010: Trial Chamber III of the ICC sets the date for the commencement of the trial in the case of The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo as 22 November 2010. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo is allegedly criminally responsible, as a person effectively acting as military commander within the meaning of article 28(a) of the Rome Statute, for two crimes against humanity (murder and rape) and three war crimes (murder, rape and pillaging), allegedly committed in the territory of the Central African Republic during the period from approximately 26 October 2002 to 15 March 2003.
19 October 2010 – Appeals Chamber confirms Trial Chamber III’s decision to dismiss admissibility and abuse of process challenges brought by the defense for Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo. Bemba allegedly bears superior responsibility for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the Central African Republic (CAR) between 2002-2003.
19 October 2010 – The Office of Public Counsel for Victims of the ICC publishes a manual to help prepare those who legally represent victims before the Court. The publication is titled “Representing victims before the International Criminal Court: A Manual for legal representatives”
19 October 2010 – ICC situation analysts have moved from Kisumu to Eldoret (Kenya) in order to continue their fact-finding tour.
11-14 October 2010 – Amb. Christian Wenaweser, President of Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, holds an informal meeting in The Hague with 17 ICC judges. Wenaweser also met with other senior officials to discuss governance issues.
13 October 2010 - President Judge Song meets with Aurelia Frick, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Justice and Cultural Affairs of Liechtenstein in The Hague.
12 October 2010 – Moldova formally ratifies the Rome Statute. The ratification goes into effect on 1 January 2011 and makes Moldova the 114th member state.
11 October 2010 – Callixte Mbarushimana, 47, is arrested in Paris by French authorities following the issuance of an ICC warrant on 28 September 2010. A citizen of Rwanda, Mbarushimana is alleged to be Executive Secretary of FDLR-FCA since July 2007. He is suspected of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Kivus, DRC.
8 October 2010 – ICC Appeals Chamber reverses decisions of Trial Chamber I to stay Lubanga proceedings and release Lubanga. Judge Song, presiding over the appeals, explained that while the Prosecutor clearly did not comply with binding orders by the Chambers to disclose the identity of intermediary 143 (source of Prosecutor’s information), the Trial Chamber erred in ruling to stay proceedings before first imposing sanctions to force the Prosecutor’s compliance. Additionally, as the ruling to release Lubanga was based on the decision to stay proceedings, this ruling too should be reversed.
8 October 2010 – The Guardian reports that Turkish lawyers formally wrote to ICC Prosecutor Ocampo to request that the ICC prosecute IDF members involved in killing/injuring Turkish citizens aboard a Gaza-bound flotilla in May 2010.
5 October 2010 – Judge Sang-Hyun Song, ICC President, opens the Commonwealth meeting in London, asking member-states to encourage membership in the Rome Statute by current non-member states.
4 October 2010 – ICC regional seminar begins in Cameroon. The five-day conference with the theme “Perspectives on the issues and challenges facing international criminal justice: the International Criminal Court and national courts,” included eight central African franophone countries (Burundi, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon and Rwanda) and was opened by ICC Vice-President Judge Fatoumata Dembele Diarra.
24 September 2010: Trial judges refuse an application by prosecutors at the ICCfor permission to interview pending witnesses in the Thomas Lubanga trial while proceedings remain suspended. The trial judges suspended proceedings in July 2010 due to ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s alleged failure to obey the Court’s orders to reveal the identity of a prosecution witness. Thomas Lubanga, a former rebel leader in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is accused of conscripting, enlisting, and using child soldiers.
21 September 2010: The ICC holds a one-day seminar for judges and judge trainees in Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR). The purpose of the seminar was to inform participants about ICC activities in CAR and elsewhere in the region. Seminar participants were also informed about progress being made in the case of The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba.
17 September 2010: Over five-hundred people visited the ICC for The Hague International Day. The Hague International Day was organized by the Municipality of The Hague and the event is designed to educate the public about the functioning and aims of the international institutions and non-governmental organizations based in the city.
17 September 2010: The President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, His Excellency Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, meets in New York with His Excellency Mr. Moses Wetangula, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kenya. Minster Wetangula emphasized Kenya’s support for the ICC and its current investigations in Kenya. In reference to President Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan’s recent visit to Nairobi, Minister Wetangula stressed his country’s competing obligations towards the Court, the African Union, and regional peace and stability.
10 September 2010: The President of the ICC, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, meets with Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council (EC) to discuss the results of the Review Conference of the Rome Statute, which was held in Kampala, Uganda, earlier this year. President Song thanked President Van Rompuy for the European Union’s (EU) constant, unwavering support for the ICC and was pleased to have received assurances of the EU’s continued commitment. Both Presidents agreed that one of the priorities of the continuing partnership between the EU and the ICC is to turn the promises of Kampala into reality.
4 September 2010: The ICC Registrar distributes 200,000 copies of “Understanding the ICC” in Kenya to help local populations understand more about the ICC.
1-4 September 2010: The ICC Registrar visits Kenya to discuss the operational and legal framework needed to conduct Registry activities in Kenya following Pre-Trial Chamber II’s decision authorizing the Prosecutor to open an investigation in the context of this situation. The Registrar will also speak with local authorities, embassies, and international organizations to inform them on operational and legal frameworks.
30 August 2010: The ICC Registrar meets with the Attorney General of the State of Qatar on 29 August 2010. They discussed the organization of a regional diplomatic conference on the ICC and explored different means of reinforcing relations between the Court, Qatar, and the Arab world. The first regional diplomatic conference on the ICC in and for the Middle East will be held in Doha, Qatar on 6-7 October 2010.
27 August 2010: Pre-Trial Chamber I informs the UN Security Council and the Assembly of States Parties about Omar Al Bashir’s visits to Kenya and Chad so that the Security Council and the Assembly could do what they deem most appropriate. The Pre-Trial Chamber reiterated that Kenya and Chad have an obligation to cooperate and support the ICC which includes honoring arrest warrants made by the Court. Arrest warrants were issued for Bashir on 4 March 2009 for five counts of crimes against humanity and three counts of war crimes, and on 12 July 2010 for three counts of genocide.
19-20 August 2010: The President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, and Prosecutor to the ICC, Mr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, visit Guatemala. They purpose of the trip was to answer the Guatemalan government’s questions about the ICC’s jurisdiction and the benefits of accession to the Rome Statute.
19 August 2010: Saint Lucia becomes the 113th state to ratify the Rome Statute. The ratification will become effective on 1 November 2010.
11 August 2010: The Seychelles ratifies the Rome Statute of the ICC on 10 August. The ratification will come into effect 1 November 2010. The Seychelles is the 112th country to become a State Party member.
23 July 2010: The Appeals Chamber of the ICC grants the Prosecution’s appeal and suspends the Trial Chamber’s oral decision to release Lubanga (DRC). The accused remains in the custody of the ICC pending the final decision on appeal. The Appeals Chamber finds that an immediate implementation of the order to release Lubanga could render the resumption of the trial impossible, should the Appeals Chamber later find in favor of the Prosecutor’s appeal.
17 July 2010: The ICC commemorates officially for the first time the Day of International Justice. The date of 17 July was adopted by the Assembly of State Parties during the Review Conference of the Rome Statute held in Kampala (Uganda) this past June. The date marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute, the founder treaty of the ICC.
16 July 2010: The ICC launches a Twitter account to share relevant news and last minute information in real-time. The use of this social media platform, that follows the launching of the ICC YouTube channel, is part of the Court’s effort to guarantee more accessible information in a diverse and transparent way.
15 July 2010: Following its decision, dated 8 July, 2010, imposing an unconditional stay on the proceedings of the Lubanga case, Trial Chamber I orders the release of the accused. According to the judges, an accused cannot be held in preventative custody on a speculative basis, namely that at some stage in the future the proceedings may be resurrected. However, this order will not be enforced until the five day limit for an appeal has expired and, in the event of an appeal, the accused will not leave detention until the Appeals Chamber has resolved whether the order granting release should be suspended. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo is accused of having committed, as a co-perpetrator, the war crimes of enlisting and conscripting of children under the age of 15 years into the FPLC, and using them to participate actively in hostilities in Ituri, a district of the eastern province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), between September 2002 and August 2003. The situation was referred to the Court by the government of the DRC in April 2004.
12 July 2010: Judge Sang-Hyun Song, President of the ICC, ends a two day visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the headquarters of the African Union. He met with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Dr Jean Ping, who reiterated the African Union’s commitment to end impunity, as well as with Heads of European Missions and of the African States Parties to the Rome Statute.
12 July 2010: The Appeals Chamber confirms the decision rejecting Germain Katanga’s motion for a stay of proceedings. On 30 June 2009, Mr. Katanga filed a motion requesting a declaration for unlawful detention and a stay of proceedings against him for his alleged unlawful arrest and detention in the DRC prior to his surrender to the ICC.
12 July 2010: Pre-Trial Chamber I of the ICC issues a second warrant of arrest against Al Bashir (Sudan), considering that there are reasonable grounds to believe him responsible for three counts of genocide committed against the Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa ethnic groups. The second arrest warrant does not replace or revoke the first warrant issued on 4 March 2009, which considered that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Al Bashir is criminally responsible for five counts of crimes against humanity and two counts for war crimes.
8 July 2010: Trial Chamber I orders a stay of proceedings in the Lubanga case, considering that the fair trial of the accused is no longer possible due to non-implementation of the Chamber’s orders by the Prosecution. The judges had ordered the OTP to confidentially disclose to the Defense the names and other necessary identifying information of an intermediary (number 143).
7 July 2010: In the Bemba case (CAR), Trial Chamber III vacates the commencement date, scheduled for 14 July. Trial Chamber III considers that it is in the interests of justice for the challenge to admissibility of the case raised by the Defense to be resolved by the Appeals Chamber prior to the commencement of the trial.
1 July 2010: Hundreds of Ugandans join to celebrate the eighth anniversary of the entry into force of the Rome Statute. Commissioners, representatives of civil society organizations, unions of persons with disabilities, women’s groups, local leaders, teachers and school children from eight secondary schools in the districts of Soroti, Amuria and Kaberamaido participated in the events.
26-27 June 2010: The ICC raises awareness amongst the Sudanese diaspora in Manchester and Birmingham, UK. One hundred forty representatives of the affected communities from Sudan living in exile in the UK participate in sessions and workshops organized by the Outreach Unit as part of the campaign to promote better understanding of the ICC.
25 June 2010: In the Bemba case (CAR), Trial Chamber III postpones the opening of the trial, initially scheduled for 5 July, to Wednesday 14 July. The postponement is due to administrative reasons, in particular the likely change in the composition of the Trial Bench, and to facilitate necessary preparation for the commencement of the trial.
23 June 2010: The ICC Bangui field office launches the Central African Republic part of its campaign “The ICC needs you! Calling African female lawyers”, which forms part of a wider program targeting female lawyers across the African continent. Launched in June by the ICC and the International Bar Association, the six-month campaign will feature special information sessions in various countries.
22-24 June 2010: A delegation from the OTP conducts a visit to Georgia, a State Party to the Rome Statute. The purpose of the visit is to gather additional information from the Georgian authorities on the on-going national investigation into crimes allegedly committed in the context of the August 2008 armed conflict in South Ossetia, Georgia. The Court potentially has jurisdiction over ICC crimes allegedly committed on the territory of Georgia, including forced displacement of civilians, killing of peacekeepers, and attacks against civilian targets.
22 June 2010: In the lead-up to the opening of the Bemba trial (CAR), the Outreach Unit is conducting information and discussion sessions with various target groups throughout the DRC in order to prepare the Congolese population for this important event.
22 June 2010: The Outreach Unit meets with local women’s groups in Damara, Central African Republic, to provide information about the mandate, functioning and activities of the ICC and the progress of the proceedings in the case against Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo (CAR).
17 June 2010: Pre-Trial Chamber I sets the date of the beginning of the confirmation of charges hearing in the case of Banda and Jerbo (Sudan) for 22 November 2010.
16 June 2010: Thousands of children who have suffered and are still suffering crimes of an international nature during armed conflicts are honored by their Ugandan peers during events organized by the ICC Outreach Unit in the district of Gulu to commemorate the Day of the African Child, observed across Africa.
16 June 2010: Darfur rebel commanders Abdallah Banda and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus arrive in The Hague for their 17 June voluntary appearance at the ICC. Mr Banda and Mr Jerbo are charged with three war crimes: (violence to life, in the form of murder, whether committed or attempted, intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, materials, units, and vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission, and pillaging) allegedly committed during an attack carried out on 29 September, 2007, against the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), a peace-keeping mission stationed at the Haskanita Military Group Site, in the locality of Umm Kadada, North Darfur. It is alleged that the attackers killed 12 and severely wounded eight soldiers, destroyed communications facilities and other materials, and appropriated property belonging to the AMIS. Pre-Trial Chamber I considers that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the attack against AMIS occurred in the context of an armed conflict of non-international character between the Government of Sudan and several organized armed groups at the time of the attack. It was allegedly carried out by the troops belonging to the Sudanese Liberation Army-Unity (SLA-Unity), which had broken away from the Sudanese Liberation Movement-Army (SLM/A), under the command of Mr. Jerbo, jointly with splinter forces of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), under the command of Mr. Banda. Karim Khan is defense counsel for the suspects.
11 June 2010: In the Lubanga case (DRC), the Defense says it will question the Prosecution’s rebuttal witnesses about the responsibility of the OTP in the alleged corruption of evidence in the war crimes trial.
11 June 2010: The Review Conference of the Rome Statute concludes in Kampala, Uganda, after meeting for two weeks. According to an ICC press release, around 4600 representatives of States, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations attended the Conference. The Conference adopted a resolution amending the Rome Statute so as to include a definition of the crime of aggression and the conditions under which the Court could exercise jurisdiction with respect to the crime, subject to a decision to be taken after 1 January 2017 by a 2/3 majority of States Parties. States Parties also adopted a resolution amending Article 8 of the Rome Statute to provide the Court with jurisdiction over the war crime of employing certain poisonous weapons and expanding bullets, asphyxiating or poisonous gases, and all analogous liquids, materials and devices, when committed in armed conflicts not of an international character. Finally, States Parties adopted a resolution agreeing to retain Article 124 of the Rome Statute in its current form for another five years, at which point it will be reviewed again. Article 124 allows a new State Party to prevent the Court from exercising jurisdiction over war crimes allegedly committed by that States’ nationals or on its territory for a period of seven years.
11 June 2010: “Impunity carries a price and the victims are paying the price” states Luis Moreno-Ocampo in New York, as he presented his eleventh Report to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the situation in Darfur, Sudan. The Prosecutor highlighted the ICC Judges’ decision of 25 May 2010 informing the UN Security Council that Sudan is not respecting Security Council Resolution 1593, based on Sudan’s refusal to arrest Ahmad Harun and Ali Kushayb, two men against whom arrest warrants were issued three years ago.
8 June 2010: The first half of the Review Conference of the Rome Statute, which included a stocktaking exercise on international criminal justice, concludes with the adoption of two resolutions, a declaration, and summaries of discussions. The resolution on the impact of the Rome Statute system on victims and affected communities recognizes the right of victims to equal and effective access to justice, support and protection, adequate and prompt reparation for harm suffered and access to information concerning violations and redress mechanisms. The resolution on complementarity recognizes the primary responsibility of States to investigate and prosecute the most serious crimes of international concern and the desirability for States to assist each other in strengthening domestic capacity to ensure that investigations and prosecutions of serious crimes of international concern can take place at the national level. In the Declaration on Cooperation, States Parties emphasize that all States that are under an obligation to cooperate with the Court must do so, which particular reference to the execution of arrest warrants.
7 June 2010: In response to questions, the OTP issues a clarification stating that Sri Lanka is not a State Party to the Rome Statute. However, the ICC could potentially have jurisdiction over crimes committed by nationals of State Parties on the territory of Sri Lanka.
5 June 2010: The Registrar of the ICC, Silvana Arbia, together with representatives of States Parties to the Rome Statute, travels to Bunia, the capital of Ituri, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to interact with affected communities and hear their views and concerns in relation to the work of the Court.
4 June 2010: The Registrars of international criminal bodies meet at the field office of the ICC in Kampala, Uganda on the margins of the Review Conference of the Rome Statute, to discuss matters of the Registries’ responsibilities and co-operation in the context of international criminal justice. The participants were Silvana Arbia, Registrar of the ICC; Adama Dieng, Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda; John Hocking, Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia; and Binta Mansaray, Registrar of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
4 June 2010: The national campaign for Uganda to increase the number of African female lawyers authorized to practice before the International Criminal Court (ICC) is launched in Kampala. The campaign, which is a part of a broader, international six-month campaign jointly-conducted by the ICC and the International Bar Association, aims to encourage experienced female lawyers from African nations to play a crucial role at the ICC by representing victims or defendants in proceedings before the Court.
3 June 2010: The President of the ICC, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, and the Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, deliver statements in a panel discussion on complementarity during the Review Conference that is taking place in Kampala, Uganda. Judge Song also participated as keynote speaker in the discussions on States’ co-operation with the ICC. Both events were part of the stocktaking exercise during which the overall success and impact of the Rome Statute is being considered.
3 June 2010: In the context of the stocktaking exercise on international criminal justice, a “Peace and Justice” session is held during the Review Conference in Kampala. The debates offered an opportunity for States to affirm that peace and justice are complementary, rather than mutually exclusive.
2 June 2010: The Registrar of the ICC, Madame Silvana Arbia, participates in a panel discussion on the impact of the work of the Court on victims and affected communities. Discussions focused on participation of victims, protection of victims and witnesses, the role of outreach and the Trust Fund for Victims.
2 June 2010: In the Lubanga trial (DRC), Judges direct Prosecutors to reveal to the Defense details of the professional backgrounds of the intermediaries used by the Prosecution in gathering evidence against the accused. At least two of the intermediaries will testify in the trial at the request of judges.
1 June 2010: The Review Conference concludes its general debate, with a total of 84 States (67 States Parties and 17 observers), along with Palestine, international organizations, and NGOs having taken the floor to reiterate their commitment to the ICC mission of fighting against impunity, bringing justice to victims, and deterring future atrocities. States also adopted the Kampala Declaration which deals mainly with the reaffirmation of the commitment of States to the Rome Statute and its full implementation, as well as its universality and integrity.
1 June 2010: The Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of Denmark, and the Republic of Finland sign agreements with the ICC to enforce the judges’ final sentences of imprisonment.
31 May 2010: The Review Conference of the Rome Statute of the ICC opens in Kampala, Uganda. Opening remarks are delivered by the President of the Assembly of States Parties, Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, and the ICC President, Judge Sang-Hyun Song. Statements were also made by the ICC Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the former United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, and the President of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. The Conference represents the first opportunity to consider amendments to the Rome Statute – the ICC’s founding treaty – and to take stock of its implementation and impact since it entered into force in 2002.
29-30 May 2010: The President of the ICC, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, pays a two-day visit to Gulu district in the Acholi sub-region (northern Uganda) to interact with various groups of affected communities and listen to their views and concerns in relation to the mandate and operations of the Court.
26 May 2010: In the Al Bashir (Sudan) case, Trial Chamber I appoints Ms. Michelyne C. Saint-Laurent as ad hoc Counsel for the Defense of Mr. Al Bashir.
25 May 2010: Pre-Trial Chamber I of the ICC orders the ICC Registrar to transmit the decision informing the United Nations Security Council about the lack of cooperation by the Republic of the Sudan in the case of Ahmad Muhammad Harun (Ahmad Harun) and Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al Rahman (Ali Kushayb), in order for the Security Council to take any action it may deem appropriate.
19-21 May 2010: A delegation from the OTP of the ICC visits Guinea to follow up on the mission carried out by the Deputy Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, in February this year. The OTP made public its preliminary examination in Guinea in October 2009. At the same time the international community unanimously called for accountability either through ICC or Guinean proceedings. Since then, the OTP has benefited from the full support of Guinean authorities as well as Regional and International Organizations. The purpose of this second visit was to liaise with Guinean judicial authorities and gather updated information on the on-going national investigation into the events of 28 September, 2009.
19 May 2010: The President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, announces he will hold a press conference on Friday, 28 May 2010 at 11:00 hours at the Uganda Media Centre, 26 Nile Avenue, Kampala.
18 May 2010: The ICC Office of the Prosecutor announces that, from 19 to 21 May 2010, a delegation will travel to Guinea to follow up on the mission carried out by the Deputy Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda in February this year. The OTP made public the preliminary examination in Guinea in October 2009. Since then, the OTP has benefited from the full support of Guinean authorities as well as Regional and International Organizations. The purpose of this second visit is to liaise with Guinean judicial authorities and gather updated information on the on-going national investigation into the events of 28 September 2009.
17 May 2010: The eighth Seminar of Counsel hosted by the Registry of the ICC opens in The Hague. The annual meeting constitutes the most important interaction forum between the Court and external lawyers. This year, 300 registered participants will discuss best practices and policies related to the work of external counsel to ensure qualified legal representation of suspects and the accused, as well as of victims participating in proceedings before the Court.
12 May 2010: In the Lubanga case (DRC), Trial Chamber I rules on the interview that Ms. Le Fraper du Hellen, the Head of the Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division of the OTP, gave to Wairagala Wakabi of “Lubangatrial.org” on 15 March 2010. The interview involved information regarding the credibility of child soldier witnesses and could be interpreted to influence public opinion in favor of the Prosecution. The Chamber held that it did not intend to take any action beyond expressing the strongest disapproval of the content of the interview and stated that if objectionable public statements of this kind are repeated, the Chamber will not hesitate to take appropriate action against the party responsible.
12 May 2010: In the Lubanga case (DRC), Trial Chamber I adopts a revised procedure for the numbering of exhibits.
12 May 2010: The ICC and the IBA jointly launch a six month campaign to increase the number of women lawyers authorized to represent defendants or victims at the ICC. It its first phase, the campaign will focus on African countries. An expansion to other countries will be considered following an evaluation of the success of the campaign.
12 May 2010: The OTP confirms that it has requested Judge Baltasar Garzon of Spain to work as a consultant for seven months, helping the office improve its investigative methods. Mr. Garzon has already assisted the OTP in relation to the preliminary examination the Office is carrying out in Colombia.
10 May 2010: In the Bemba case (CAR), Trial Chamber III of the ICC transmits, in accordance with rule 176(2) of the Rule and in confidential Annexes 1, 2 and 3, the submissions made by the authorities of the CAR.
5 May 2010: In the Katanga and Ngudjolo case (DRC), Trial Chamber II approves the Prosecution’s request for the protection of the neutral and impartial status of information providers and orders the redaction of the names of the organizations that provided information.
4 May 2010: Luis Moreno Ocampo announces he will visit Kenya May 8-12 to lead investigations and to meet with victims of Kenya’s post-election violence.
29 April 2010: In the Lubanga case (DRC), Trial Chamber I refuses the Defense’s application for leave to appeal regarding the admissibility of three photographs which concern a relatively confined area of evidence in the case. The Chamber held that an interlocutory appeal will not materially advance the proceedings at this stage of the trial, in the sense of ensure that the proceedings follow the right course.
29 April 2010: The Registrar of the ICC, Ms Silvana Arbia, receives a Palestinian delegation lead by H.E. Mr. Issa Qaraqe’, Minister of Detainees and ex-Detainees Affairs of the Palestinian National Authority.
28 April 2010: Luis Moreno Ocampo announces the appointment of Professor Jose Alvarez (NYU) as his Office’s Special Advisor on International Law. As Special Adviser to the OTP, Professor Alvarez will focus on any public international law questions that arise in the course of the Prosecutor’s duties.
27 April 2010: At the invitation of the Outreach Unit of the ICC, some twenty Central African Republic (CAR) media professionals attend a broadcast of a status conference on the challenge to admissibility raised by Mr. Bemba’s Defense team in February. The presence of journalists at this broadcast, held at the ICC’s field office in Bangui, meant that the hearing was reported to a wide audience in the CAR, by both the press and radio.
27 April 2010: The President of the ICC, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, visits Brussels in order to address the European Parliament Sub-Committee on Human Rights and to answer questions from the Members of the European Parliament in attendance.
26 April 2010: In the Harun and Kushayb case (Sudan), Pre-Trial Chamber I appoints Mr. Ahmad Assed as ad hoc Counsel of the Defense of Ahmad Harun and Ali Kushayb. The Chamber granted the Prosecution until 20 May 2010, and the Counsel for the Defense three weeks to reply after the receipt of the 6 applications for victims’ participation in the proceedings, and ordered all participants to only refer to the applicants by the numbers assigned to them by the registry.
26 April 2010: In the Katanga and Ngudjolo case (DRC), Trial Chamber II holds that witness protection rules apply not only to witnesses, but also to victims to whom the Chamber has granted anonymity.
26 April 2010: The first of this year’s bi-annual diplomatic briefings of the ICC take place in The Hague. These meetings are regularly organized by the ICC to keep the diplomatic community informed about judicial and other Court related developments.
23 April 2010: In the Abu Garda case (Sudan), Pre-Trial Chamber I of the ICC issues a decision rejecting the Prosecutor’s application to appeal the decision declining to conform the charges against Abu Garda (8 February 2010). This decision does not preclude the prosecution from subsequently requesting the confirmation of the charges against Abu Garda if such request is supported by additional evidence.
20 April 2010: In the Katanga and Ngudjolo case (DRC), Trial Chamber II rejects the Defense’s Application for Leave to Appeal the Decision on the Prosecution’s request for the addition of witness P-219 to the Prosecution List of Incriminating Witnesses and the disclosure of related incriminating material to the Defense.
19 April 2010: The ICC Field Outreach Unit concludes a one-day workshop with members of the Ugandan legal community in Kampala. The workshop brought together fifty lawyers currently practicing in Uganda with the objective of providing updates about the activities of the ICC and opportunities to practice at the ICC. The event was opened by Honorable Justice Elizabeth Ibanda Nahamya (Special War Crimes Division of the High Court of Uganda) who emphasized the need for Ugandan lawyers to acquire international experience.
16 April, 2010: The Outreach Unit meets with representatives of women’s groups in Kinshasa, informing the women about the organization and functioning of the Court and the protection of women against crimes of sexual violence under the Rome Statute. The Outreach Team explained how rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy and forced sterilization can constitute crimes against humanity and war crimes, and how rape can also constitute an element of genocide.
13 April 2010: The ICC Registrar Ms Silvana Arbia, announces she will attend a "Meeting of registrars of final/appellate, regional, and international Courts." The meeting will be hosted by the Supreme Court of Canada and take place 14 to 16 April 2010. The event is intended to serve as a forum to discuss institutional and operational challenges affecting registrars, and to exchange best practices. During the meeting, Ms Arbia will address aspects of the ICC Registrar's duties in "servicing the Court" as established under article 43(1) of the Rome Statute, in support of all its organs. She will also address specific challenges in various fields such as the legal aid program, family visits for detainees, and the protection and support afforded to victims and witnesses.
12 April 2010: Sudanese elections are extended until 15 April 2010 because of delays in delivering ballots.
11 April 2010: Elections begin in Sudan, including al-Bashir as a candidate. These are the first multi-party elections in over twenty-four years. Many believe that al-Bashir is manipulating the election to assure re-election.
9 April 2010: International environmental lawyer Polly Higgins launches a new campaign urging the UN and ICC to accept "ecocide" as an international crime. Higgins theory is that extraction leads to ecocide, which leads to resource depletion, and resource depletion leads to conflict.
8 April 2010: Geoffrey Robertson, who formerly served as a judge on the Appeals Chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, publishes an article stating that Pope Benedict XVI should be tried at the ICC for "crimes against humanity" and held responsible for the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests.
3 April 2010: Kenya's parliament kicks off debate on a new law, aimed at creating a witness protection agency, to shield witnesses likely to implicate powerful politicians during their trials at ICC. Attorney-General Amos Wako told Parliament the new amendments introduced to the Witness Protection Act would give the Attorney-General absolute powers to determine which witnesses receive state protection while giving evidence both at home and abroad. The amendments to the Witness Protection Act will see the creation of a Witness Protection Agency responsible for the protection of witnesses.
2 April 2010: The Lubanga Trial goes on recess after a defense witness testified via video link (all in closed session) from Ituri province in DRC. The defense stated in the filing that "Witness 14" would give testimony that would relate to two prosecution witnesses and would provide evidence that she was the mother of a prosecution witness who had stated in his testimony that he was sure his mother was dead. The trial will resume on 21 April 2010.
1 April 2010: The Office of the Prosecutor releases a statement today announcing it will commence a formal investigation and prosecution of crimes in Kenya. It currently has a list of 20 suspects, but the Prosecutor states that this list is not binding pending formal investigations. The cases the ICC will prosecute will be the most serious violators.
31 March 2010: Pre-Trial Chamber II grants the Office of the Prosecutor's request to commence a formal investigation into the crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Kenya.
31 March 2010: ICC launches an ICC YouTube site to create more accessibility to the Court and its activities.
29 March 2010: The resumed 8th session of the Assembly of the States Parties is held March 22 through the 25th and mainly discussed the crime of aggression, addressing primarily the following questions: Whether the alleged aggressor State would have to accept the jurisdiction of the Court over the crime, whether the UN Security Council would have to identify the aggressor state before the Court could exercise jurisdiction, and what sort of judicial safeguards could be in place absent Council approval.
25 March 2010: Elisabeth Rehn is elected chairperson of the Board of Directors for the Trust Fund for Victims
24 March 2010: Bangladesh ratifies the Rome Statute and it will come into force on June 1, 2010. Bangladesh will be the first member to the Assembly of States Parties from South Asia.
18 March 2010: The Justice Minister and a delegation from Georgia meet with Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo to discuss the alleged crimes that took place in August 2008. This meeting is part of the Office of the Prosecutor's preliminary investigation into alleged crimes that happened in Georgia in August 2008.
3 March 2010: The Lubanga Trial resumes after a break to conduct research in the DRC. A witness who said he fought with the UPC, which Lubanga headed, started giving evidence. The witness testified mostly in closed session and had protective measures such as face and voice distortion. From the small bits of evidence given by the witness in open session, it was not possible to get an idea of what the gist of his testimony was. The defense asked the witness whether he maintained contact with his mother, brothers and sisters. After answering yes, the defense asked that court to go into closed session for the witness to provide details about those contacts. The witness is expected to continue giving evidence tomorrow, and then the seventh defense witness will appear. Lubanga’s defense team has indicated that its first 16 witnesses will show that intermediaries of the ICC concocted evidence and coached prosecution witnesses. Meanwhile, judges today granted the prosecution’s request to meet a defense witness who is expected to begin testifying this Friday. The meeting is anticipated to take place a day before the witness takes the witness stand. While granting the prosecution’s application, Judge Adrian Fulford warned prosecutors against making similar applications when witnesses are about to appear in court.
3 March 2010: Ocampo gives ICC judges a list of 20 senior Kenyan politicians and businessmen accused of organizing and financing ethnic attacks after the country's 2007 election. The list of suspects, compiled from independent investigations into the post-election crisis, almost certainly includes cabinet ministers from the PNU and ODM political parties, which sit on opposite sides of the coalition government. Ocampo's submission followed a request from the judges for additional information linking individuals and state policy to the violence.
3 March 2010: Tim McCormack, a Melbourne legal expert, wins a key position at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. McCormack will be special adviser on humanitarian law to the prosecutor at the court.
2 March 2010: Human Rights Watch writes in a letter that The European Union Election Observation Mission to Sudan should consider the impact of ongoing human rights abuses and insecurity on the elections process. HRW also urged observers to insist that Omar al-Bashir, appear in The Hague to respond to the charges against him. The EU mission will be in Sudan during March and April to observe the Sudan elections process and assess its compliance with international standards. The letter described the ongoing abuses present during the pre-election process as well as the ongoing armed clashes between the government and rebel forces in Darfus, and increasing inter-ethnic violence in Southern Sudan, noting the possible impairment of the ability to reach the polling places. HRW said that the EU should refrain from direct contact with al-Bashir in view of the pending arrest warrant and that EU’s silence on this issue risks tacitly endorsing Khartoum's total obstruction of justice for atrocities against Darfuris.
27 February 2010: The Office of the Prosecutpr at the ICC denies news reports that it intends to push for conducting in absentia confirmation of charges hearing for Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir. While the Rome Statute allows this when the person has waived his or her right to be present, has fled, or cannot be found and all reasonable steps have been taken to secure his or her appearance before the Court, OTP states that they are not currently considering this. OTP said they will continue to work towards increased isolation of Al Bashir and ultimately his arrest.
26 February 2010: The Foreign Ministry and the ICC hold a Seminar on the First Review Conference of the ICC Rome Statute, seeking to achieve the amendment of the statute to incorporate aggression into the ICC’s jurisdiction prior to the May review conference.
26 February 2010: Prosecutors in Katanga province (Democratic Republic of Congo) pledge to end possibility of early release in rape cases. Offenders will no longer be able to buy their way out of jail, as they can do at the moment once they have served at least a quarter of their sentence. It is up to the appeals courts to decide whether a prisoner is eligible for early release or not. The prisoner has to persuade the court that he is no longer a danger to society and that he will not run away and must pay a fee for early release, currently set at 50-500 US dollars for regional courts and 500-1000 dollars for the High Court. Some question the success of implementing this measure
26 February 2010: A prosecution witness in the Katanga trial, giving testimony with face and video distortion, describes how child soldiers armed with arrows and spears helped to pillage the Ituri village of Bogoro. He said that he did not see any child soldiers using rifles. The witness, a Bogoro resident who said he was of Hema ethnicity, told the court that the assailants, including men, women and children, were of Lendu and Ngiti ethnicity. The witness told the court that the FRPI and FNI forces (groups that represent the Lendu and Ngiti) had often attacked Bogoro before the final strike on February 24, in which some 200 people were allegedly killed and much of the village destroyed by fire.
24 February 2010: Fatou Bensouda, the deputy prosecutor for the ICC, says it is likely that crimes against humanity were committed in Guinea last year. Bensouda returned from a three-day visit to Guinea, and said the ICC will continue its preliminary investigation surround the September 28, 2009 event, where Guinean security forces killed more than 150 people and raped many women at a rally opposing the military junta. Bensouda indicated that if Guinea doesn’t take legal steps, the ICC will.
24 February 2010: The Outreach Unit goes to the town of Sibut (Kémo Prefecture) in the Central African Republic to meet with the local authorities and representatives of various groups. Two awareness sessions were organized to explain the general principles governing the ICC to the authorities and the main representatives of civil society in Sibut and to provide them with information on the progress of the proceedings in the case of The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo. For around one third of participants, this was the first time they had heard of the ICC. In a few weeks, the Court’s representatives will return to Sibut to organize an information and outreach session open to the general public.
23 February 2010: Lubanga’s attorneys ask for permission for one of the defense witnesses to testify via video link from Ituri in the Democratic Republic of Congo, saying that traveling to The Hague would be cumbersome for the “extremely vulnerable” witnesses. Judges did not grant the defense request – instead, they directed the Victims and Witnesses Unit (VWU) of the court to assess the matters raised by the defense, and then advise judges whether giving evidence in the Hague would be significantly detrimental to the witness and whether using a video link was a reasonable alternative for the witness. According to the defense, her evidence will relate to two prosecution witnesses. She will provide evidence contrary to one prosecution’s claim that he was sure his mother was dead. Judges will make a final ruling on the defense request after hearing back from the VWU.
19 February 2010: On the occasion of a moot court competition, the ICC welcomes two groups of participants, representing different competing universities. The students have the possibility to meet with various ICC representatives.
18 February 2010: The Lubanga trial today takes a break to allow Lubanga’s attorneys to travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo to conduct “critical research.” The two witnesses called by Thomas Lubanga’s defense gave their evidence in closed session, thereby providing no indication of their identities or of the issues they testified about. The witnesses gave only their oaths in public. This week’s witnesses brought the total of defense witnesses to have testified with protective measures such as voice and face distortion to three.
18 February 2010: Ocampo decides to consider an urgent petition by an NGO, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP). The petition requests him to use his position to investigate allegations of unlawful killing of at least 326 people and perpetration of other crimes under international law during the violence this month in Jos; and the reports that the military and police used excessive force against both Christians and Muslims in responding to the violence. The ICC said that they will give consideration to petition in accordance with the provisions of the Rome Statute
18 February 2010: The court of The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo declares a break so that the Defense counsel could visit the Democratic Republic of Congo to further their “critical research.” The trial will continue on March 3, 2010.
18 February 2010: The ICC judges from Pre-Trial Chamber II request additional information from the Prosecutor regarding the situation in Kenya. Under the rules of the ICC, the judges can request more information to determine if the Prosecutor can continue forward with an investigation.
17 February 2010: The Defendant’s counsel approaches the Court in The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo to ask for permission to share information with the counsel of Germain Katanga, another former Congolese leader on trial at the International Criminal Court. The judges have not made a decision regarding this request. Meanwhile, the fifth witness for the Defendant takes the stand.
16 February 2010: The trial of The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo adjourns early because the Defense claims that there are mistakes in the English translation of the fourth witness.
15 February 2010: The fourth witness for the Defense takes the stand in The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo. This is the second witness to take the stand with protective measures.
13 February 2010: The President of the ICC, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, visits the Lao People's Democratic Republic to participate as the keynote speaker of a conference on the ICC.
12 February 2010: Presided over by Judge Adrian Fulford, the court of The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo hears from the Defense’s two witnesses, who both claim the Prosecution is concocting evidence to cause the Court to find the Defendant guilty.
11 February 2010: The ICC Outreach Team speaks with Congolese women about crimes of gender violence and issues relevant to women’s rights.
11 February 2010: In The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, the ICC trial is delayed because the Defendant’s witness, Claude Nyéki Django, became extremely upset while taking the stand. Because he became upset, the court is forced to halt the testimony for the day. This is the second time that this witness has halted the trial due to his emotional outburst.
10 February 2010: Continuing his testimony from the day before, twenty year-old Claude Nyéki Django takes the stand in The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, as the Defendant’s third witness. Django claims that any boys, who fought in the Defendant’s military group, did so voluntarily. Django’s testimony seriously contradicts most of the Prosecutor’s witnesses who have taken the stand thus far in the trial.
9 February 2010: In The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, the Defense calls their third witness today, Claude Nyéki Django. The witness claims that he never served in the Defendant’s military group, but was paraded around, along with other boys who did not participate in the military group, as a “former child solider.”
8 February 2010: In The Prosecutor v. Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, the Pre-Trial Chamber I declines to confirm the charges made against the Defendant. The court is not satisfied with the evidence given to charge the Defendant; the court finds that there is not sufficient proof that the Defendant is criminally responsible either as a direct or as an indirect co-perpetrator for the commission of the criminal charges.
8 February 2010: In The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, the witness on stand claims that the intermediaries of the ICC bribed the witness with $200 US dollars to lie on the stand. Specifically, the witness states that he was given the bribe so that he would convince his nephew to give false testimony about the Defendant.
4 February 2010: In The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, the ICC Judges reprimand the Prosecutor. According to the ICC regulations, counsels have a statutory obligation to alert the opposing side when information, regarding witnesses, is discovered. Here, the Prosecutor failed to alert the Defense about certain information the Prosecutor discovered about the defense witnesses. The ICC judges made it known that this belated action by the Prosecution is unacceptable.
3 February 2010: Increasing incidents of intimidation are being reported against witnesses to the 2008 post-election violence in Kenya. Witnesses who are cooperating with the ICC Prosecutor are facing increased threats as the prospect of ICC trials becomes more likely. Testimony from one witness named “Victor” implicates tribal leaders in instigating the outbreak of violence, which establishes the violence was orchestrated and not entirely spontaneous.
3 February 2010: A Guinean national inquiry into violence against opposition demonstrators in September 2009 concludes that suspects should be tried by national courts. This decision conflicts with a separate UN investigation that concluded the suspects should be tried by the ICC. The UN investigation argued that any national trial would likely be biased because one of the suspected leaders of the violent crackdown is Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, the military leader of Guinea. The Guinean inquiry already concluded that Captain Camara was not responsible, and instead blames the former head of the presidential guard, who tried to assassinate Camara several months later.
3 February 2010: In the case of The Prosecutor v. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir, the Appeals Chamber renders its judgment on Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo’s appeal and reverses Pre-Trial Chamber I’s decision of 4 March 2009 to the extent the chamber decided not to issue a warrant of arrest for a genocide charge. The Appeals Chamber directs the Pre-Trial Chamber to decide again whether the arrest warrant should include a genocide charge. Judge Kourula, presiding judge on the appeal, explains that the Appeals Chamber’s decision addresses a question of procedural law, namely whether the Pre-Trial Chamber applied the correct standard of proof when disposing of the Prosecutor’s application for an arrest warrant. Kourula writes that the Pre-Trial Chamber required the Prosecutor to prove genocide by inference from the available evidence and to disprove other possible explanations from the evidence, which is too high a standard to apply at the arrest warrant stage.
1 February 2010: Nigerian rights group Serap writes to ICC Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo requesting that he investigate riots between Christians and Muslims in the Nigerian region of Jos in January 2010. 326 people were killed as a result of the riots and the subsequent police action to restore control. Lawyer Femi Falana, writing the letter for Serap, argues that no one has been arrested in connection with the riots and the government is too weak to conduct its own investigation. There was also religious violence in Jos in 2001 and 2008.
28 January 2010: ICC President Song meets with Rwandan Minister of Justice and Attorney General Tharcisse Karugarama to discuss the possibility of Rwanda becoming a state party to the Rome Statute.
27 January 2010: Christian Wenaweser, the President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, interacts with war-affected communities in the Acholi sub-region of northern Uganda. The ASP president visits the Ugandan village of Tingkidi to spread awareness about the upcoming Conference on the Rome Statute. The president describes several goals of the conference, including an amendment adding the crime of aggression to the statute, and to discuss the impact of the ICC on victims. Villagers raise concerns to the president, such as ensuring the safety of victims who testify at ICC trials and the perception that the ICC is too focused on African situations.
27 January 2010: In the case of The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, the Defense provides an opening explanation setting out the main lines of the case for the Defense before commencing with its evidence. The Defense is arguing that the evidence against Mr. Lubanga is fabricated, and that witnesses testifying against him are lying.
26 January 2010: The trial in the case of The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga & Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui resumes before Trial Chamber II.
25 January 2010: Ms. Patricia O’Brien, the Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs for the UN, meets with ICC leadership, including President Song and Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo. The subject of the meetings is areas of cooperation between the UN and the ICC, especially the upcoming Review Conference of the Rome Statute to be held in May in Uganda. On the subject of cooperation President Song says the UN and ICC are “inherent allies” because “the Rome Statute has joined the Charter of the United Nations and the Statute of the International Court of Justice as the third principal pillar on which the system of international justice is constructed.”
20 January 2010: In a closed plenary session following their swearing in, the ICC assigns Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, from Argentina, to the Pre-Trial Division, and Judge Kuniko Ozaki, from Japan, to the Trial Division.
7 January 2010: Judges of Trial Chamber I hear the testimony of Mrs Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations for Children and Armed Conflict, in the trial of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo. Mrs Coomaraswamy testifies as an expert witness on the definition of conscription or enlistment of children, and on the interpretation of the term "using them to participate actively in the hostilities."
18 December 2009: The President of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Sang-Hyun Song, visits Japan from 21 to 22 December 2009.
2 December 2009: Trial Chamber II decides to postpone the hearings in the Katanga and Ngudjolo case, to resume 26 January 2010.
2 December 2009: The Presiding Judge of the Appeals Chamber delivers a summary of the judgment reversing the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber II that had granted the request of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo for interim release. Among the reasons cited by the Appeals Chamber for granting the Prosecutor’s appeal was that no State had agreed to accept Bemba and enforce the conditions of his provisional release.
26 November 2009: The Prosecutor requests the authorization of Pre-Trial Chamber II to open the investigation into crimes allegedly committed in Kenya in relation to the 2007-2008 post-election violence. Judges of Pre-Trial Chamber II will have to consider whether or not there are reasonable grounds to proceed with an investigation and whether the situation appears to fall within the jurisdiction of the Court. This is the first time the Prosecutor has sought to open an investigation on his own initiative (proprio motu), in accordance with article 15 of the Rome Statute.
26 November 2009: The Assembly of States Parties (ASP) concludes its eighth session and adopts resolutions on several issues, including: next year’s Review Conference of the Rome Statute; the establishment of an independent oversight mechanism; the partial subsidizing of family visits for indigent detainees; the establishment of an AU liaison office in Addis Ababa; the permanent premises of the Court; and the program budget for 2010. The Assembly decided that the 10-day Review Conference would be held in Kampala, Uganda, beginning 31 May 2010, and that the following would be discussed:
- The possible deletion of article 124 of the Statute, which allows a new State Party to opt for excluding from the Court’s jurisdiction war crimes allegedly committed by its nationals or on its territory for a period of seven years.
- The definition of the crime of aggression, the conditions for the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court, as well as draft elements of the crime.
- The inclusion of the employment of certain poisonous weapons and expanding bullets in the definition of war crimes in article 8 of the Statute.
25 November 2009: A senior investigator testifies that witnesses in the case against Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo have been threatened and that the Court does not have the resources to fully protect them. Twenty-one of the twenty-six witnesses whom prosecutors plan to call will be given protective measures in court to shield their identity to try to prevent possible retaliation. The investigator’s comments showed the difficulties of building cases in zones like Congo where fighting is still under way.
24 November 2009: Trial begins in the case The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui before Trial-Chamber II. Katanga and Ngudjolo stand accused of directing an attack on the village of Bogoro in 2003 in which more than 200 people were killed. They face charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes arising from the alleged ordering attacks on civilians, sexual slavery, rape, and enlisting child soldiers. Both deny the allegations and have expressed sympathy for the victims. Their hearings will be held until 11 December and will resume on 26 January 2010.
23 November 2009: The Prosecutor officially notifies victims of post-election violence in Kenya that he intends to request authorization from Pre-Trial Chamber II to open an investigation into the matter, and that they would have thirty days to send to the Pre-Trial Judges their comments on whether such an investigation should be opened.
19 November 2009: U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues Stephen Rapp, leading the U.S. delegation attending the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) as observers, makes a debut appearance for the U.S. at the ICC. He said, “Our view has been and remains that should the Rome Statute be amended to include a defined crime of aggression, jurisdiction should follow a Security Council determination that aggression has occurred.” He also said that the U.S. was keen on “gaining a better understanding of the issues being considered and the workings of the court.” The issue of crimes of aggression is to be addressed next May in Uganda at a review of the Rome Statute. Most countries do not believe the Security Council's permanent members should have sole control over determining whether an act of aggression has occurred.
18 November 2009: Human Rights Watch and a leading Congolese human rights group call for the ICC to charge Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony with crimes committed in the DRC, in addition to those for which he has been sought since 2005, when the ICC issued an arrest warrant in connection to LRA crimes in northern Uganda. Both the Office of the Prosecutor and the Congolese government commented that they have set the arrest of Kony at a higher priority than the addition of new charges.
18-27 November 2009: Annual meeting of Assembly of States Parties (ASP) is held in The Hague.
10 November 2009: Two judges in the trial of Thomas Lubanga are appointed to conduct the upcoming proceedings against Jean-Pierre Bemba. Judge Adrian Fulford, who presides over the Lubanga trial, will perform the same function during the Bemba proceedings. He will be joined by Judge Elizabeth Odio-Benito, who was known during the Lubanga trial for asking witnesses about the experiences of young girl soldiers. The third judge will be Joyce Aluoch. It is unclear whether Lubanga’s trial will be completed by the time the proceedings against Bemba begin on 27 April 2010.
10 November 2009: Howard Wolpe, U.S. envoy to the Great Lakes, says that the Democratic Republic of Congo must arrest former rebel general Jean Bosco Ntaganda, also known as "the Terminator,” who is now believed to hold a the position of deputy commander of an anti-rebel offensive that is being supported by the U.N. mission in Congo (MONUC). The U.N. says Congo has assured it that Ntaganda is not playing a significant role. He is wanted by the ICC for recruiting child soldiers, but joined the DRC army in January, after the arrest warrant was issued.
9 November 2009: Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula says that Nairobi will help the ICC to probe election violence, but that it is committed to a "local solution,” after ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo failed to secure a formal referral from the Kenyan government. A bid by a Kenyan member of parliament to create of a special court to try perpetrators of last year's post-election violence was delayed on 4 November 2009 when only 19 of the members of Kenya’s 222-seat parliament showed up to debate the bill (a quorum of 30 MPs is required to hold a vote). Two previous attempts to win parliamentary approval for the creation of the court have also foundered, despite the backing of President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader-turned-Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
8 November 2009: Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir pulls out of the 9 November 2009 Organization of the Islamic Conference summit in Istanbul, a trip that the European Union had objected to because of his indictment by the ICC. Sudan's state news agency reported that Bashir postponed his trip to return to Khartoum to discuss a deadlock over election laws with his coalition partners, the former southern rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement. Turkey has not ratified the Rome Statute and said it had no plans to arrest Bashir; however, the country continues to seek EU membership and had come under pressure from Brussels to drop Bashir from the guest list.
6 November 2009: During a visit to Kenya to meet with President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo says that he will ask the ICC to let him start an investigation into suspected crimes against humanity committed during Kenya's post-election violence in 2008. "The presidency had received from the prosecutor a letter ... indicating its intention to submit a request for the authorization of an investigation into that situation," the Court said in a statement. Kibaki and Odinga said in a joint statement that Kenya remained committed both to cooperating with the ICC and to establishing a local judicial mechanism to prosecute those involved in the violence.
5 November 2009: Trial Chamber III sets Tuesday, 27 April 2010 as the date for the commencement of the trial in the case of The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo.
5 November 2009: In response to the 575-page Goldstone Report, the U.N. General Assembly votes to urge the Jewish state and Palestinians to investigate war crimes in the recent Gaza conflict. The Arab-drafted resolution is nonbinding and unlikely to lead to inquiries by either Israel or Hamas into their conduct during the December-January military action. Following a two-day debate, 114 countries voted for the resolution with 18 opposed – including Israel and the United States – and 44 abstaining. No General Assembly country has veto power. It is unlikely the Security Council will take action as all five veto-wielding permanent members opposed council involvement.
3 November 2009: In a TV broadcast, the leader of Guinea's most recent coup, Capt. Moussa "Dadis" Camara, says he "bitterly regrets" the deaths of over 150 pro-democracy protesters who were gunned down by soldiers last month, that "the blood of innocent people has been spilled,” and that he "prostrates himself" before their memory. He declines to say that men under his control were responsible for the killings and blames opposition leaders for having organized the demonstration. He also says that he would not stand by while foreigners try to "teach Guinea a moral lesson."
2 November 2009: Colombia’s ambassador to The Hague, Jose Lloreda Mera, says that the ICC will only intervene in Colombia as a "last resort," if it believes that war crimes and crimes against humanity have not been dealt with adequately under Colombian justice. The Ambassador stresses that the Court will only intervene in Colombia when there is a failure by the State to bring war criminals to justice.
2 November 2009: Guinea's main Forces Vives opposition leaders arrive in Burkina Faso to meet with President Blaise Compaore for talks over the 28 September army massacre. Four of Guinea's former prime ministers are also in the capital, Ouagadougou, for the talks, which are due to start on 3 November. Opposition leaders Alpha Conde and Mouctar Diallo along with union representatives and civil society leaders are to attend the summit as well.
31 October 2009: The ICC holds two sessions in the DRC, on 29 and 30 October, for seventy-five Congolese civil and military judges on the theme “Judicial practice before the International Criminal Court: what lessons can national courts learn?” The aim of these sessions is to provide information tailored to judges, mainly on the principle of complementarity, according to which the ICC’s mission is not to replace national courts and tribunals, but only to intervene if national courts are unable or unwilling to do so.
30 October 2009: Bahr Idriss Abu Garda’s pre-trial confirmation of charges hearing comes to an end. Legal Representatives of 78 victims participated in the hearing, and three of these Legal Representatives made closing statements on 29 and 30 October. Within sixty days Pre-Trial Chamber I will deliver its decision to: (a) confirm those charges and taking the case to the Trial-Chamber; (b) decline to confirm charges and adjourn the proceedings; (c) adjourn the hearing and request further evidence; or, (d) adjourn the hearing and request the Prosecutor to amend any charge where a crime other than the crime charged was committed. Both parties can apply before the Pre-Trial Chamber for leave to appeal the decision on the confirmation of charges.
30 October 2009: 16 heads of African states and other African leaders, meeting in the Nigerian capital Abuja, recommend the establishment of a new court for Darfur, following proposals in a 148-page report compiled by a panel headed by former South African President Thabo Mbeki. The hybrid court would consist of Sudanese and foreign judges appointed by the African Union in consultation with the Khartoum government. The summit set up another team of experts — including Mbeki, former president of Burundi Pierre Nkuruziza, and ex-leader of Nigeria Abdul salami Abu-Bakr — to help in the implementation of the recommendations. The team has a one year mandate. The Sudanese government formally expressed reservations on the proposed hybrid court, though President Omar al-Beshir decided to stay away from the conference, with his Second Vice-President representing Sudan in his place. A communiqué released after the summit reiterated that AU had never requested for a cancelling Omar al-Bashir’s ICC arrest warrant, but only a deferral.
30 October 2009: Chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announces that proposed special tribunals for Kenya's post-election violence would complement the International Criminal Court. He declined to say how quickly he might launch indictments but said he would discuss with the Kenyan government how to avoid a repeat of the violence at the next election in 2012.
30 October 2009: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announces that three prominent jurists will form the international commission of inquiry to probe last month’s violent crackdown in Guinea. He expects the commission should be able to complete its work within a month, once it is in the field. The commissioners are:
- Mohamed Bedjaoui: Algeria’s foreign minister; has also served as a judge on the International Court of Justice and as president of Algeria’s Constitutional Council.
- Françoise Ngendahyo Kayiramirwa: Burundi’s former minister of national solidarity, human rights and gender, as well as a former minister for the repatriation of IDPs; has also served as an adviser on the ICTR.
- Pramila Patten: barrister-at-law in Mauritius; member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
29 October 2009: President of the ICC, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, presents the annual report of the ICC to the UN General Assembly in New York, emphasizing the need to respect the Court’s judicial independence and calling on the States, international organizations, and civil society to continue to work with the Court and the United Nations to further enhance this system.
29 October 2009: At a news conference in Kinshasa, Lambert Mende, a spokesman for the Congolese government, says the arrest of former rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda on war crimes charges is "not possible for the time being,” and rules out arresting Ntaganda and transferring him to the ICC for now.
25 October 2009: Responding to the invitation extended to Omar al-Bashir's to attend an African Union meeting, four national non-governmental organizations in Nigeria write an open letter to the president expressing concern that he was invited despite Nigeria's international legal obligations under the Rome Statute (which Nigeria has ratified). An anonymous Nigerian governmental source told AFP, "I think al-Bashir is still considering the invitation, out of fear we will hand him over, but that will not happen."
24 October 2009: Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak comments that he fully trusts the IDF investigation into Israel’s alleged use of disproportionate force and failure to protect civilians during the 27 December - 18 January action against Palestinians in Gaza. Mr. Barak’s comments are viewed as part of Israel’s effort to prevent the UN from debating whether the ICC should take action on the Richard Goldstone report. In a meeting with the UN Secretary-General, Israel’s deputy Prime Minister also said he was "optimistic" about Israel’s request to "bury the Goldstone report.”
23 October 2009: An Outreach Team completes a two-day training and capacity building session with 15 journalists and 20 members of listening clubs from the 5 territories of the District of Ituri (Eastern District of the DRC), who will use the techniques taught by the Team to accurately inform the population of Ituri on the ICC and its activities.
19 October 2009: ICC opens confirmation hearing on war crimes charges against Darfurian rebel Bahr Idriss Abu Garda. He voluntarily appeared before the ICC on charges of war crimes over the killing of 12 African Union peacekeepers in 2007. This case is the first time the ICC has tried a suspect with charges involving crimes against international peacekeepers. This hearing will continue until 29 October 2009.
17 October 2009: The United Nations Human Rights Council endorses a report calling on Israel and Hamas to conduct credible investigations of alleged war crimes by their forces or face further international inquiries and possible prosecutions. The report urges the U.N. Security Council to require both sides to show within six months that they are conducting impartial investigations; failing that, it says, the Security Council should refer the allegations to prosecutors at the International Criminal Court.
15 October 2009: Press conference is being held on 16 October 2009 regarding the confirmation of charges hearing of Abu Garda. The confirmation of charges hearing is scheduled to start on 19 October 2009. Abu Garda is a Sudanese rebel leader charged with three war crimes.
14 October 2009: The ICC is beginning preliminary examinations of the situation in Guinea. On 28 September 2009, 157 died when soldiers opened fire during an anti-government protest in Conakry. The ICC prosecutors say there is evidence women were “abused or otherwise brutalized” by men in uniform. The ICC is currently trying to determine whether any crimes that fall under their jurisdiction have been perpetrated.
14 October 2009: Kenya is inviting ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo to take part in discussions with the President and Prime Minister on 3 November 2009. If Ocampo accepts, they will discuss trying the main suspects in the post-election violence of 2008. Kenya has to date failed to establish a local tribunal to try those suspected of crimes, but has said that the ICC is free to prosecute the suspects, even though those suspects may include high ranking Kenyan Officials.
9 October 2009: ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo and Integrity Vice President of the World Bank Group Leonard McCarthy sign a Memorandum of Understanding in The Hague. The agreement will allow for cooperation on areas of common interest, such as the detection, substantiation, and prevention of fraud and corruption in connection with conduct which constitutes a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court or which constitutes a serious crime under national law.
9 October 2009: The ICC announces that the confirmation of charges hearing in the case of The Prosecutor v. Abu Garda is scheduled to start on Monday, 19 October 2009. The confirmation hearing is being held to ensure that the case does not go to trial unless there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that Abu Garda committed the crime with which he has been charged. He has the right to attend the hearing or in his absence be represented by counsel. Abu Garda is charged with three war crimes (violence to life, in the form of murder, whether committed or attempted; intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, materials, units, and vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission; and pillaging) allegedly committed during an attack carried out on 29 September 2007.
7 October 2009: In the context of the Bahar Idriss Abu Garda case, the Single Judge denies applicants for victim status the right to file a "Response to Defense Observations on Applications for Victim Participation in the Proceedings.” The pre-trial judge dismissed their filings because applicants are not yet considered as victims with procedural rights.
7 October 2009: In the Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo case, Trial Chamber II denies request for time extensions to gather additional evidence, authorizes the Prosecutor to disclose the visual representation of the 'Institut de Bogoro' and add it to its List of Incriminating Evidence, and rejects the application to add Mr. Gilles Bourgeot, Mr. Philippe Esperanca, and Professor Jean-Paul Moisan to the List of Incriminating Witnesses.
6 October 2009: Relating to the situation of Darfur, Sudan, Pre-Trial Chamber I of the Bahar Idriss Abu Garda case issues a decision on victims' modalities of participation at the Pre-Trial Stage. The court ordered that the legal representatives of the 34 victims participating in the confirmation proceedings can attend the court proceedings and have the right to access to court documents, including transcripts, decisions, motions, etc.
6 October 2009: Judge Sang-Hyun Song is appointed the Presiding Judge of the Appeals Chamber for purposes of the appeal in the Lubanga case against the “Decision giving notice to the parties and participants that the legal characterization of the facts may be subject to change in accordance with Regulation 55(2) of the Regulations of the Court.”
6 October 2009: The Trial Chamber I Court of the Thomas Lubanga Dyilo case issues a correction due to a clerical error in the “Decision on disclosure issues, responsibilities for protective measures and other procedural matters.”
5 October 2009: The Trial Chamber presiding over the case against Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui decides that the Prosecutor and the legal representatives of victims have until 12 October 2009 to submit their observations on the continued detention of Mathieu Ngudjolo to the seat of the Court.
29 September 2009: U.N. Investigator presents a report on the Gaza war to the U.N. Human Rights Council. The report calls on the Security Council to refer the issue to the International Criminal Court if Israel makes no good-faith effort to investigate.
25 September 2009: The Appeals Chamber dismisses Germain Katanga’s appeal of the Trial Chamber decision rejecting Katanga’s claim that his case is inadmissible.
21 September 2009: The ICC Outreach Team holds a training in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, with the members of the two Bars of Kinshasa.
18 September 2009: The presidency of the ICC decides that Trial Chamber III will be composed of Judge Elizabeth Odio Benito, Judge Joyce Aluoch, and Judge Adrian Fulford. The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo will be heard by this chamber.
17-18 September 2009: The Prosecutor of the ICC meets with Kenyan civil society representatives in The Hague to discuss the 2008 post-election violence in Kenya.
17 September 2009: The ICC holds a ceremony welcoming Chile as a new State Party. The total number of States Parties is now 110.
14 September 2009: Pre Trial Chamber I postpones the commencement of the confirmation of charges hearing in the case of The Prosecutor v. Bahr Idriss Abu Garda until 19 October 2009. The postponement was considered necessary in order to allow the Prosecutor to provide the suspect with a list of evidence and the statements of witnesses in Arabic, which is the suspect’s native language.
11 September 2009: The ICC holds a ceremony welcoming the Republic of Chile as a new State Party. This type of celebration is a first for the ICC. All future new member states will be welcomed in this way.
7 September 2009: The ICC’s outreach unit visits Kisangani, in the Orientale Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to meet with provincial parliamentarians, senior military officers of the Congolese army, military and civil judges, and prosecutors, lawyers, local journalists, and representatives of NGOs and civil society organizations and discuss the issues arising from the trials at the ICC.
4 September 2009: Pre-Trial Chamber II postpones hearings scheduled with the representatives of a number of countries on the subject of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo’a provisional release pending a ruling from the Appeals Chamber on the decision to conditionally release Bemba.
3 September 2009: The ICC Appeals Chamber decides to grant suspensive effect to the Prosecutor’s appeal against the Pre-trial Chamber II’s 14 August decision to grant conditional release to Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo. The decision on interim release is suspended pending the final decision on the merits of the Prosecution’s appeal.
31 August 2009: Trial Chamber II decides to postpone the commencement of the trial of Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui until 24 November 2009. The trial was set to begin on 24 September, but the chamber determined the postponement was justified because (1) changes need to be made to the prosecutor’s table of evidence and witnesses, (2) outstanding evidentiary issues remain including Chui’s opposition to the inclusion of 290 pieces of evidence, (3) the chamber needs to rule on Katanga’s 30 June motion that his arrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo was unlawful, and (4) the chamber may need to change protective measures for trial witnesses. A status conference is scheduled for 30 September at 9:30 am.
26 August 2009: ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo concludes a three day visit to Colombia, during which he declared he would continue to examine the country’s investigations of perpetrators of crimes against humanity committed during the country’s civil war.
25 August 2009: ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo releases the reasoning behind his recent filing to the Appeals Chamber contesting release of Jean-Pierre Bemba. Moreno-Ocampo argues that the only change in circumstances since the judge last denied Bemba’s release has been the court’s confirmation of charges, and this development actually increases the potential risk of Bemba both fleeing and harming witnesses. The prosecutor also requested a suspensive effect to his appeal so Bemba cannot be released before the Appeals Chamber renders its decision.
11-12 August 2009: Both Defense and Prosecution in the Lubanga case request leave to appeal the Trial Chamber’s decision regarding the re-characterization of the facts under Regulation 55.
30 July 2009: South Africa agrees to cooperate with ICC’s arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.
30 July 2009: Uganda hosts conference, but tells President al-Bashir not to attend in order to avoid international tension regarding Uganda’s duty, as a party to the Rome Statute, to arrest Bashir pursuant to the ICC arrest warrant.
30 July 2009: 161 African civil society and human rights organizations release a statement urging the African States that are parties to the Rome Statute to reject the 3 July 2009 agreement of the African Union to refuse cooperation with the ICC in the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.
28 July 2009: The Outreach Unit and the Victims Participation and Reparations Unit of the International Criminal Court begin a joint mission from 28 July to 4 August 2009 to Béni and Bukavu in the Kivus region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This mission is part of the outreach campaign in the North and South Kivu region, where the Office of the Prosecutor is currently investigating crimes allegedly committed by individuals from warring factions. The mission will talk with civil society organizations, representatives of NGOs and human rights advocacy groups, students, and youth and women’s associations.
28 July 2009: Republic of Portugal submits Additional Observations on Defence's Application for Interim Release of Mr. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo.
23 July 2009: ICC receives Observations of the Kingdom of Belgium on the Defence's Application for Interim Release of Mr. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo. Report addresses Belgium’s comments on the release as well as any conditions that would need to be imposed to enable Belgium to accept him on their territory.
22 July 2009: Opposing op-eds are published in New York Times about whether or not the ICC should investigate international crimes from Israel’s operations in Gaza in 2008. John Dugard, South African professor of law and former chairman of the Independent Fact Finding Committee established by the Arab League wrote in favor of the investigation. George P. Fletcher, professor of jurisprudence at Columbia University, opposed the investigation. The central issue is whether Palestine can be considered a “state” for the purposes of granting the Court jurisdiction.
22 July 2009: The Czech Republic ratifies the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The Statute will enter into force on 1 October 2009, bringing the total number of States Parties to the Rome Statue to 110.
21 July 2009: Trial Chamber I issues a decision in the Lubanga case: 1.) authorizing thirteen victims to act on their own behalf rather than through a legal guardian; 2.) granting legal status to the parents of six victims for the personal harm they have suffered as a result of their children’s alleged recruitment; 3.) granting legal status to two applicants; 4.) and refusing to grant legal status to one applicant as he was apparently over fifteen at the time of recruitment.
17 July 2009: Today marks International Justice Day, and the ICC and its member governments express not only their belief in the necessity of international justice but also their commitment to ensuring its enforcement.
16 July 2009: The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, receives a report on crimes committed during post-election violence and a status report on the operation of the witness protection program from Kenyan Attorney General Amos Wako. In the coming days, the Prosecutor will receive materials compiled by the Commission of Inquiry into the Post-Election Violence (known as the Waki Commission) and a list of the possible suspects by the Waki Commission, which will remain confidential.
14 July 2009: The Prosecution in the trial of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, the alleged founder and leader of the Union des patriots congolais (UPC), finishes its case presentation. The trial began 26 January 2009, and the Defense is scheduled to start presenting evidence in October 2009. Dyilo is accused of enlisting and conscripting children under the age of fifteen and using them to actively participate in hostilities in The Democratic Republic of Congo.
9 July 2009: ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo is in Bunia, Democratic Republic of Congo. He plans to hold town hall meetings and speak with leaders and representatives of all communities to gain an understanding of the needs of victims.
7 July 2009: ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo is in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to meet with the African Union High-Level Panel on Darfur (AUPD), led by former President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa.
7 July 2009: A joint declaration is released following a round table discussion on 2-3 July 2009 of the Registrars of the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in Venice, Italy. The meeting concentrated on discussions of securing adequate funding and the efficient use of resources for each institution, including the importance of retaining qualified and committed staff. They agreed to further develop cooperation with regard to mobility of staff between their institutions and explore the possibility of common strategies for enforcement of sentences, arrangements following acquittal/interim releases, and the protection of witnesses.
3 July 2009: A high level delegation of Kenyan officials meets with the ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo to explain the steps they plan to take during the upcoming year to investigate and prosecute post-election violence in Kenya. Both Kenyan government representatives and the ICC Prosecutor agreed that impunity is not an option.
30 June 2009: The Republic of Chile ratifies the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The Statute will enter into force for Chile on 1 September 2009, bringing the total number of States Parties to the Rome Statute to 109.
26 June 2009: The First Vice-President of the ICC, Ms. Fatoumata Dembele Diarra of Mali will begin her first official visit to the African States Parties of Mali, Benin, and Senegal on 28 June 2009. Ms. Diarra intends to use this opportunity to encourage dialogue and emphasize the importance of implementing the Rome Statute into domestic legislation.
24 June 2009: Pre-Trial Chamber II will hold a public hearing on Monday 29 June 2009 to listen to the parties before deciding on Mr. Jean-Pierre Bemba’s pre-trial detention.
19 June 2009: The Registrar of the ICC, Ms. Silvana Arbia, addresses the United Nations Human Rights Council, discussing the progress and evolution of an international criminal justice system and the importance of conducting national prosecution of serious international crimes in order to put an end to impunity.
19 June 2009: Juan E. Mendez is appointed as Special Adviser on Crime Prevention where he will advise Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo on how to maximize the impact of the ICC’s work and prevent the commission of massive atrocities. Mr. Mendez will be working on a pro bono basis.
15 June 2009: Pre-Trial Chamber II confirms the majority of the charges brought by the Prosecutor against Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo for crimes committed under a theory of command responsibility in the Central African Republic from on or about 26 October 2002 to 15 March 2003, including murder constituting a crime against humanity; rape constituting a crime against humanity; murder constituting a war crime; rape constituting a war crime; and pillaging constituting a war crime. The Chamber declined to confirm charges of torture as a war crime; torture as a crime against humanity; and outrages upon personal dignity as a war crime.
12 June 2009: Trial Chamber II of the ICC issues a unanimous oral decision to reject the challenge to admissibility raised by the Defence for Germain Katanga. Mr. Katanga is currently being prosecuted concerning the 24 February 2003 attack on Bogoro in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Trial Chamber II also considered that the arrest warrant issued against Mr. Katanga on 2 July 2007 was not flawed.
11 June 2009: Professor Catharine A. MacKinnon, the Special Gender Adviser to the Prosecutor, provides a three day training course entitled “Evolution of Gender Crimes,” recognizing gender and sexual violence crimes as a relatively recent phenomenon in international criminal jurisprudence.
1 June 2009: ICC President Song begins his first official visit to African States Parties to the Rome Statute since taking office in March this year. He is traveling from 1 to 6 June to meet with senior representatives of governments in Tanzania, Lesotho, and Botswana.
27 May 2009: The ICC launches its school outreach campaign in eleven schools in Kinshasha, DRC, with a one-day cultural event built around the theme “No to the use of child soldiers.”
26 May 2009: Chilean President, Michelle Bachelet, met with President Song of the ICC and the Prosecutor, Luis Moren-Ocampo, as Chile moves closer to ratifying the Rome Statute and becoming the 109th State Party.
18 May 2009: Bahr Idriss Abu Garda, charged with committing three counts of war crimes in Darfur, voluntarily appears before Pre-Trial Chamber I pursuant to a Summons to Appear issued by the Chamber. During the initial appearance hearing, Single Judge Cuno Tarfusser informed the suspect of his rights under the Rome Statute and set 12 October 2009 as the date to begin the confirmation of charges hearing in the case. Abu Garda’s counsel stated that his client waived his right to attend any status conferences before the confirmation hearing, and the suspect returned to Darfur.
13 May 2009: The ICC holds an outreach session with young people in the 2nd arrondissement of Bangui, Central African Republic. The 130 attendees received information about the four situations currently before the Court (the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Sudan, and the Central African Republic). The session also showed videos of the confirmation hearings in the case of The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, which took place in the Hague from 12 to 15 January 2009.
12 May 2009: The ICC concludes its annual seventh Seminar of Counsel in The Hague, held on 11 to 12 May 2009 with approximately 200 attendees. The Court provided an update on judicial proceedings, while influential members of the international legal profession debated and discussed issues of shared interest.
24 April 2009: Judge Fumiko Siago passes away after a brief illness. A national of Japan, Judge Siago was elected by the States Parties to the Rome Statute from the Asian Group in December 2007 and re-elected last January. She served as Judge in Pre-Trial Chamber II and Trial Chamber II.
8 April 2009: Former Kenyan MP Paul Muite writes to Chief ICC Prosecutor asking that he open an investigation into the extrajudicial killings in Kenya. Muite says his life is in danger adding that a police squad has instructions to kill him because of comments he made in 2005 over the composition of the President’s family.
4 April 2009: The trial of Lubanga isadjourned until 5 May to take into account the Court’s judicial spring break and an official holiday.
3 April 2009: The ICC registrar completes a satisfactory visit to Chad. In Chad, she met with meet with members of the Chadian government, local authorities, representatives of United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations active in Chad as well as with Sudanese refugees. She thanked Chad for their help with the situation in Darfur and expressed her hope that Chad would help with the arrest warrant of President Bashir.
1 April 2009: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir travels to Saudi Arabia despite the outstanding ICC arrest warrant issued against him. Saudi Arabia is not a party to the Rome Statute.
30 March 2009: Moamer Kadhafi, the new chairman of the African Union claims that the ICC is a “new form of world terrorism” that wants to recolonize developing countries and ignores the wrongs done by Western Nations. In addition, he voiced his disapproval of the arrest warrant for President Bashir, as he believes arresting a sitting head of state is inappropriate.
25 March 2009: Despite the ICC’s warrant for his arrest, Bashir is welcomed in Egypt by the government. Egypt is not a party to the Rome Statute.
20 March 2009: The Institute for War & Peace Reporting issues a statement urging the ICC to probe Uganda’s role in the DRC—claiming that Uganda was a source of training and command for many of the child soldier militias that were eventually commanded by Lubanga. A video recorded in 2003 shows Lubanga “accusing” Ugandan troops of arming child soldiers in various Congolese militia groups.
18 March 2009: A witness explains in the Lubanga case that certain inconsistencies between prior statements and his current testimony resulted from the fact that he was initially afraid to tell the truth.
16 March 2009: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir expels thirteen aid groups for allegedly cooperating with the ICC in its investigation against him and states that he wants all other foreign aid groups who have worked with the ICC to leave within the next year.
11 March 2009: The judges of the International Criminal Court elect Judge Sang-hyun Song President of the Court, Judge Fatoumata Dembele Diarra First Vice-President, and Judge Hans-Peter Kaul Second Vice-President. All three were elected by an absolute majority for a term of three years.
11 March 2009: Five new judges of the ICC, elected by the Assembly of States Parties in January, are sworn in. The judges are: Ms Fumiko Saiga (Japan); Ms Joyce Aluoch (Kenya); Ms Sanji Mmasenono Monageng (Botswana); Ms Christine Van Den Wyngaert (Belgium); and Mr Cuno Tarfusser (Italy).
4 March 2009: Pre-Trial Chamber III issues a decision adjourning the confirmation of charges hearing in the case of The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo and requesting that the Prosecutor consider amending the charges to include allegations that Bemba bears responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity under a theory of command or superior responsibility pursuant to Article 28 of the Rome Statute. The Prosecutor is to submit any amendments to the charges by 30 March 2009. The Defense and the Legal Representatives of participating victims will then have an opportunity to reply.
4 March 2009: Pre-Trial Chamber I issues a warrant for the arrest of Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir, President of Sudan, for two counts of war crimes and five counts of crimes against humanity. The majority of the Chamber, Judge Anita Ušacka dissenting, declined to include charges of genocide in the arrest warrant, based on a finding that the material provided by the Prosecution in support of its application for a warrant of arrest failed to provide reasonable grounds to believe that Bashir acted with specific intent to destroy, in whole or in part, the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups. This is the first warrant of arrest ever issued for a sitting Head of State by the ICC.
16 February 2009: Judge Mohamed Shahabuddeen submits his resignation from the International Criminal Court for personal reasons. Mr. Shahabudden had been elected by the Assembly of States Parties in January 2009 for a nine year term of office as a judge, scheduled to commence on 11 March.
26 January 2009: The trial of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo opens before Trial Chamber I of the Court, marking the first trial to commence before the ICC. Ninety-three victims will be participating in the case through eight legal representatives. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, the first person to have been surrendered to the Court, is accused of having committed the war crimes of enlisting, conscripting, and using children under the age of 15 years in armed conflict in Ituri, a district of the Eastern Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, between September 2002 and August 2003.
29 December 2008: Pre-Trial Chamber III announces that the confirmation of charges hearing in the case of The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo will take place from 12 to 15 January 2009.
2 December 2008: Pre-Trial Chamber III postpones the confirmation of charges in the case of The Prosecutor vs. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, which was originally scheduled from 8 to 12 December 2008. The Chamber envisages 12 January 2009 as the earliest possible date for conducting the hearing.
26 November 2008: The Appeals Chamber issues judgment holding that “the Prosecutor cannot unilaterally preventively relocate witness” and, in cases of disagreement between the assessment of the Victims and Witnesses Unit of the Registry and the Prosecutor, the Chamber should decide whether relocation is appropriate. Judge Pikis and Judge Ntanda Nsereko issue dissenting opinions on the matter.
26 November 2008: The Office of the Prosecutor announces the appointment of Professor Catharine A. MacKinnon as Special Gender Adviser to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
20 November 2008: The ICC Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, presents evidence to Pre-Trial Chamber I in support of an arrest warrant against rebel commanders for their alleged responsibility for crimes committed against African Union peacekeepers working at the Haskanita camp in North Darfur on 29 September 2007.
18 November 2008: Trial Chamber I announces a lift on the stay of proceedings in the case against Thomas Lubanga Dyilo and provisionally suggests the date of 26 January 2009 for the commencement of the trial. The decision of the Chamber, which was delivered orally in a public status conference, is based on a finding that the reasons for imposing the halt “have fallen away.” A written opinion explaining the decision more fully will be issued “in due course.” Mr. Lubanga will remain in custody pending trial.
14 November 2008: The Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute opens its seventh session at the World Forum Convention Center in The Hague, The Netherlands. The session will run through 22 November 2008.
6 November 2008: The prize-winners of the architectural competition for the construction of the new permanent ICC facilities are announced. Three architectural firms were selected from the 19 firms that submitted designs: 1) Ingenhoven Architects, Düsseldorf, Germany; 2) Schmidt Hammer Lassen / Bosch & Fjord, Århus, Denmark; and 3) Wiel Arets Architects & Associates, Maastricht, The Netherlands. The building's construction will be overseen by Hans Heemrood of the Netherlands and the ICC may now negotiate with one or more of the prize winners to determine the winning design and the next steps into the buildings construction. The final winning design will be made public in early 2009.
31 October 2008: Pre-Trial Chamber III decides that the confirmation of charges hearing against Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo for five counts of war crimes and three counts of crimes against humanity in the Central African Republic will take place from 8 December to 12 December 2008.
24 October 2008: The ICC Presidency refers the case against Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui to Trial Chamber II, which is composed of Judges Fatoumata Dembele Diarra (Mali), Fumiko Saiga (Japan) and Bruno Cotte (France). Katanga and Ngudjolo are accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
22 October 2008: Trial Chamber I requests the Prosecution, Defense and Legal Representatives of Victims to make submissions on Lubanga’s pre-trial detention by 31 October 2008.
21 October 2008: Appeals Chamber issues judgment affirming the Trial Chamber’s decision to stay the proceedings against Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, but overturning the Trial Chamber’s conclusion that the release of the accused was required as a result of the stay. Instead, the Trial Chamber must determine whether the continued provisional detention of the accused is warranted in light of all relevant factors, including the likelihood that he will appear for trial in the event the stay is lifted, the possibility that he will obstruct or endanger future proceedings in his case, and whether detention is necessary to prevent the accused from continuing with the commission of the charged crime or another crime within the statute of the Court.
16 October 2008: ICC judges ask the Prosecutor for additional material regarding the request for an arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmad al Bashir.
6 October 2008: In light of serious and converging information on attacks by the LRA against civilians in the DRC, ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo calls for renewed efforts to arrest LRA leader Kony and his top commanders.
1 October 2008: Public redacted version of the decision of Pre-Trial Chamber I confirming the charges against Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui is released.
26 September 2008: ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I confirms all but three of the alleged charges in the case against Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, sending the case against them to trial. Pre-trial judges found sufficient evidence to try Katanga and Ndgudjolo for seven counts of war crimes and three counts of crimes against humanity. The evidence was insufficient to try Katanga and Ngudjolo for inhuman treatment, outrages upon personal dignity and inhumane acts. The alleged crimes were committed from January to March 2003 in the village of Bogoro in the Ituri district of eastern DRC. The trial is expected to start in 2009.
22-26 September 2008: ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo meets with United Nations and African Union officials to discuss how to further the protection of civilians in Darfur, stop the crimes, and ensure the execution of the Court's judicial mandate and decisions.
21 September 2008: The ICC participates in an open exhibition at the World Forum Convention Center in The Hague.
3 September 2008: Trial Chamber I rejects the Prosecutor’s application to re-commence proceedings in the Lubanga case. While noting that some progress had been made in respect to the Prosecutor’s inability to disclose potentially exculpatory documents to the Defense, a fair trial could not be guaranteed unless the Trial Chamber, and possibly the Appeals Chamber, were able to review the relevant documents and ensure that the accused would be given access to any documents material to his defense.
16 July 2008: The confirmation of charges hearing in the Katanga & Ngudjolo case concludes. The Pre-Trial Chamber indicates that it will issue a decision confirming or denying the charges by 26 September 2008.
11 July 2008: Appeals Chamber issues judgment on appeals by the Prosecution and the Defense of Trial Chamber I’s 18 January 2008 decision on victim participation in the Lubanga case. The Appeals Chamber reverses the Trial Chamber’s holding that victims may participate in a case even if that victim is unable to show that his or her harm resulted from the crimes for which the accused has been confirmed for trial. Rather, according the Appeals Chamber, the harm alleged by victims wishing to participate in a particular case must be linked with the charges against the accused. At the same time, the Appeals Chamber affirmed the Trial Chamber’s holding that it is possible for victims participating in a trial to lead evidence pertaining to the guilt or innocence of the accused and to challenge the admissibility of relevant of evidence.
7 July 2008: Appeals Chamber grants suspensive effect to the Prosecution’s appeal against “Decision on the release of Thomas Lubanga,” meaning that the accused will remain under custody of the ICC pending a final decision on the appeal.
3 July 2008: Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo is transferred from Belgium to the custody of the ICC. He will make his initial appearance before Pre-Trial Chamber III on 4 July 2008.
2 July 2008: Trial Chamber I orders the release of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, holding that there was no justification to hold the accused in provisional detention in light of the Trial Chamber’s stay of the proceedings. However, since an appeal may be filed within five days, the order granting release will not be enforced immediately.
27 June 2008: The confirmation of charges hearing commences in the Katanga & Ngudjolo case.
24 June 2008: Trial Chamber I holds that it would be premature to consider at this stage the release of the accused in the Lubanga case.
23 June 2008: Pre-Trial Chamber I determines that an individual expected to testify as a witness for the Prosecution during the confirmation of charges hearing in the Katanga & Ngudjolo case could also participate as a victim in that case.
18 June 2008: Appeals Chamber, with Judge Song partly dissenting, grants the 11 applicants who have victim status in the Darfur Situation the right to participate in the pending appeals by the Office of the Prosecutor and the Office of Public Counsel for the Defence regarding whether the Pre-Trial Chamber may grant applicants a procedural status of “victim” at the situation stage of proceedings before the Court.
13 June 2008: Trial Chamber I renders a decision indefinitely staying the proceedings against Thomas Lubanga Dyilo on the ground that a fair trial was impossible in light of the Prosecution’s inability to disclose potentially exculpatory documents obtained under conditions of confidentiality.
11 June 2008: During a public hearing in the Lubanga case, Trial Chamber I announces that the trial will not commence on 23 June 2008, as planned.
10 June 2008: Pre-Trial Chamber I issues decision on 97 victims’ applications to participate in the Katanga & Ngudjolo case. Fifty-one of the applications are granted.
24 May 2008: Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, who is believed to be a national of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is arrested by Belgian authorities following a warrant of arrest issued under seal by the International Criminal Court. Bemba, who is President and Commander in Chief of the Mouvement de Libération du Congo, is alleged to be criminally responsible for four counts of war crimes and two counts of crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the Central African Republic from 25 October 2002 to 15 March 2003.
28 April 2008: Pre-Trial Chamber I unseals the warrant of arrest against Congolese national Bosco Ntaganda, who is also known as “the Terminator.” Ntaganda, who is still at large, is alleged to have committed the war crimes of enlistment and conscription of children under the age of 15 and of using them to participate actively in hostilities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
28 April 2008: Pre-Trial Chamber I postpones the confirmation of charges hearing in the joint case against Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui from 21 May 2008 to 27 June 2008.
17 April 2008: Silvana Arbia is sworn-in as the Registrar of the International Criminal Court.
14 March 2008: Madagascar deposits its instrument of ratification to the Rome Statute, which will enter into force for Madagascar on 1 June 2008, bringing the total number of States Parties to the Rome Statute to 106.
13 March 2008: Trial Chamber I postpones the starting date of the Lubanga trial from 31 March 2008 to 23 June 2008.
10 March 2008: Pre-Trial Chamber I issues decision joining the cases of The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and The Prosecutor v. Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui.The hearing on the confirmation of the charges in the joint case is scheduled to start on 21 May 2008.
28 February 2008: Judges of the ICC elect Silvana Arbia of Italy as Registrar of the International Criminal Court for a five-year term.
26 February 2008: Trial Chamber I grants the Prosecution and the Defense leave to appeal certain aspects of the Chamber’s 18 January 2008 decision on victim participation in the Lubanga case.
13 February 2008: The Registrar of the International Criminal Court, Bruno Cathala, submits his resignation to the President of the Court, to take effect on 9 April 2008.
11 February 2008: Congolese national Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui makes his first appearance before Pre-Trial Chamber I. The arrest warrant issued against Ngudjolo was read aloud and the Chamber satisfied itself that Ngudjolo was informed of his rights under the Rome Statute, including the right to apply for interim release pending trial.
7 February 2008: Congolese national Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, who was arrested by the Congolese authorities yesterday, is surrendered to the custody of the ICC. Ngudjolo is alleged to have committed crimes against humanity and war crimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
30 January 2008: Pre-Trial Chamber I postpones the confirmation hearing in the Katanga case, which was provisionally scheduled to start on 28 February 2008. The Chamber explained that the delays were due to outstanding issues relating to disclosure of evidence from the Prosecution to the Defense.
18 January 2008: Trial Chamber I issues decision regarding victim participation in the trial phase of the Lubanga case. A majority of the Chamber, Judge Blattmann dissenting, held that, in order to meet the criteria for participation in a case, a victim need only show that he or she is affected by an issue arising during the trial; the victim need not show that he or she suffered harm as a result of the specific charges confirmed against the accused. The Trial Chamber also held that it is possible for victims participating in a trial to lead evidence pertaining to the guilt or innocence of the accused and to challenge the admissibility of relevant of evidence.
4 December 2007: The Assembly of States Parties elects Bruno Cotte (France), Daniel Nsereko (Uganda), and Fumiko Siaga (Japan) to fill judicial vacancies arising from the resignations of Maureen Harding Clark (Ireland) on 10 December 2006, Karl Hudson-Phillips (Trinidad and Tobago), effective 30 September 2007, and Claude Jorda (France), effective 12 August 2007.
30 November - 14 December 2007: The Assembly of States Parties holds is annual meeting in New York. Items on the agenda include elections to fill judicial vacancies, discussions concerning the Court's permanent premises, adoption of the budget for the sixth financial year, and reports from committees and working groups.
22 October 2007: Germain Katanga appears before Pre-Trial Chamber I. A confirmation of chages hearing is scheduled for Fenruary, 2008.
17 October 2007: In the Democratic Republic of Congo situation, Germain Katanga is surrendered by Congolese authorities and taken into custody in The Hague. The warrant of arrest for Katanga, the alleged commander of the Force de résistance patriotique en Ituri [Patriotic Resistance Force in Ituri] (FRPI), lists three counts of crimes against humanity and six counts of war crimes. He is the ICC's second suspect in custody.
1 October 2007: The Rome Statute enters into force in Japan, bringing the number of States Parties to the Rome Statue to 105.
14 June 2007: Serge Brammertz, Deputy Prosecutor for Investigations, submits his resignation to the Court.
22 May 2007: The Office of the Prosecutor opens an investigation into crimes of sexual violence occurring in the Central African Republic between late 2002 and early 2003. In a press release, Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo states, “The allegations of sexual crimes are detailed and substantiated. The information we have now suggests that the rape of civilians was committed in numbers that cannot be ignored under international law.” The investigation is the first in which the Court will focus primarily on allegations of sexual crimes, rather than killings.
9 May 2007: Citing issues of poor health, Judge Claude Jorda resigns from the ICC. He was assigned to the Pre-Trial Division and was a member of Pre-Trial Chamber I.Judge Jorda served as presiding judge in the case of the Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo.
2 May 2007: In the Darfur situation, the Pre-Trial Chamber issues warrants of arrest for crimes against humanity and war crimes for Ahmad Muhammad Harun, former Minister of State for the Interior of the Government of the Sudan, and Ali Kushayb, a leader of the Janjaweed militia.
22 March 2007: In the Kony et al. case, the Prosecutor requests the Pre-Trial Chamber to order “that the warrant of arrest issued for Raska Lukwiya be withdrawn and rendered without effect because of the changed circumstance of Lukwiya’s death.”
14 March 2007: Judge Karl T. Hudson-Phillips (Trinidad and Tobago) submits his resignation from the Trial Division “for personal reasons.” His resignation will take effect on 30 September 2007.
27 February 2007: In the Darfur situation, the Prosecutor presents evidence to the Pre-Trial Chamber showing that Ahmad Muhammad Harun, former Minister of State for the Interior of the Government of the Sudan, and Ali Kushayb, a leader of the Janjaweed militia, jointly committed crimes against the civilian population of Darfur, Sudan, including 51 counts of alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes, and requests a summons directing them to appear before the Court for initial proceedings. Although Ali Kushayb is also being investigated by the government of Sudan, the Prosecutor has determined that those proceedings do not address the same incidents or conduct that are the subject of the ICC case.
29 January 2007: In the Lubanga case, the Pre-Trial Chamber confirms the three war crimes charges against Thomas Lubanga Dyilo and refers the case for trial — the first scheduled to be held before the ICC. The three-judge chamber finds “substantial grounds to believe” that Lubanga is responsible for enlisting children under the age of fifteen, conscripting children under the age of fifteen, and using children under the age of fifteen to participate actively in hostilities.