ICC judges complete assessment of IER recommendations concerning the judiciary at their annual retreat
On 2 June 2023, the judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) held their annual judicial retreat at Kasteel Duivenvoorde in Voorschoten, The Netherlands. The retreat focussed on recommendations made in the Report of the Independent Expert Review conducted in 2020 (“IER Report”) concerning motions for a judgment of acquittal, amicus curiae in ICC proceedings and the use of dissenting and separate opinions.
At the retreat, the judges discussed the appropriateness of regulating potential motions for a judgment of acquittal in the Court’s legal texts, a recommendation made in the IER Report (R201), to ensure a consistent approach by chambers. A motion for a judgment of acquittal is a potential procedure before a trial chamber after the close of the prosecution case in circumstances where the evidence presented by the prosecution is insufficient in law to sustain a conviction. The judges discussed the Court’s practice to date and agreed on the value of regulating the procedure applicable to potential motions for a judgment of acquittal. The judges will continue their discussion to develop proposals for amendments to the Court’s legal texts.
The judges also discussed IER recommendations R202 and R203 pertaining to the regulation of amicus curiae submissions in ICC proceedings. Based on an analysis of the practices of chambers at the pre-trial, trial, and appellate stages, the judges reiterated their earlier overall response that it would be prudent to leave chambers with flexibility as to when to solicit amicus curiae submissions. Finally, as part of their ongoing dialogue on working methods, the judicial retreat provided the judges with an opportunity to share best practices and examine the value of internal guidelines on the issuance of dissenting and separate opinions, a topic which was addressed in IER recommendations 221-224. The judges agreed that guidelines on this topic would be incorporated into the Chambers Practice Manual.
Since the IER Report was issued in 2020, the ICC judges have addressed various recommendations related to the work of the judiciary at three subsequent judicial retreats, taking action as appropriate to improve the conduct of ICC proceedings.
For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or +31 (0)6 46448938 or by e-mail at: [email protected]