Press Release: 22 July 2010

Central African Republic: The CCCPI and ICC celebrate the Day of International Criminal Justice on 17 July 2010

From left to right: Fabienne Chassagneux (ICC Outreach Coordinator); Marie-Edith Douzima-Lawson (CCCPI Coordinator); Jean-Sébastien Mboutou (CCCPI General Secretary); Mathias Morouba (Vice-president of the Central African Human Rights Observatory)

On 17 July, the Central African Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CCCPI), in partnership with the Public Information and Documentation Section of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Field Office in Bangui, Central African Republic, held a conference/discussion to mark the Day of International Criminal Justice.

Twelve years (1998-2010) on from the adoption of the Rome Statute, the international treaty which established the International Criminal Court, the CCCPI and ICC decided to join together to celebrate this anniversary.

Marie-Edith Douzima-Lawson, CCCPI Coordinator, opened the conference by emphasising the importance of the Day of International Criminal Justice to all of the Coalition’s member associations. Jean-Sébastien Mboutou, CCCPI General Secretary, then introduced the Coalition, which consists of ten organisations: the Association of Female Lawyers of the Central African Republic (AFJC); the Association of Christians for the Abolition of Torture and the Death Penalty (ACAT-RCA); the Episcopal Justice and Peace Commission (CEJP); the Inter-African Committee for Combating Harmful Practices against Women and Children (CIAF-Centrafrique); the Central African Human Rights League (LCDH); Lead Centrafrique; the Human Rights and Humanitarian Action Movement (MDDH); the Central African Human Rights Observatory (OCDH); the Dynamic Network of the Central African Republic and the Union of Journalists of the Central African Republic (UJCA).

The Outreach Unit of the International Criminal Court then spoke about the Court, with particular emphasis on the provisions of the Rome Statute as adopted 12 years ago. The Unit also reflected on how far the Court had come since 1998 and on current situations and cases before this permanent, forward-looking judicial institution. The conference was also an opportunity for the outreach teams to discuss developments in the case of The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, and to explain the reasons for the recent further postponement of the opening of the trial. The explanations were welcomed by participants.

Marie-Edith Douzima-Lawson (CCCPI Coordinator), Jean-Sébastien Mboutou (CCCPI General Secretary), Mathias Morouba (Vice-president of the Central African Human Rights Observatory) and Fabienne Chassagneux (Outreach Coordinator, the International Criminal Court) responded to the audience’s questions and concerns. On 19 July 2010, Bangui newspaper Le Quotidien reported that: “[TRANSLATION] The clarity and level of detail of the presentations were of the high standard expected of legal practitioners. Public opinion has been exasperated by the repeated postponement of the Jean-Pierre Bemba trial … Happily, the clarification provided (…) dispelled any fears that the ICC is subject to political manipulation. It is for journalists (…) to convey the legal reasons for these postponements to the public”.

Before the CCCPI brought the event to a close, participants strongly encouraged the speakers to repeat this initiative on the occasion of the next Day of International Criminal Justice, 17 July 2011.

For additional information, please contact Fabienne Chassagneux, Field Outreach Coordinator, in Bangui, at + 236 75 76 36 09 or by emailing: [email protected].

Source: Outreach

Source: Outreach