International Criminal Court holds expert Seminar on cooperation agreements
On 25 November 2016, the International Criminal Court (ICC) hosted an expert Seminar on cooperation agreements at the seat of the Court in The Hague, The Netherlands. The event brought together 30 participants from more than 20 States, including representatives of countries that have concluded cooperation agreements with the Court, practitioners who have implemented them in practice, relevant staff members from the Court and other international tribunals, a representative from the ICC Bar Association, and capacity-building experts.
The event provided a forum for exchanging good practices and experiences, addressing operational and other challenges with a view to finding concrete solutions leading to the conclusion of such agreements by as many States as possible.
"States have a vested interest in ensuring effective and efficient judicial proceedings at the ICC," said Mr Christian Mahr, Director of the Division of External Operations of the ICC Registry at the opening the Seminar. "The full and effective implementation of the cooperation framework foreseen in the Rome Statute, including through cooperation agreements, has a direct impact on the length of proceedings and required financial resources," he added.
The Seminar was also opened by H.E. Mr Paul Wilke, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the OPCW and the ICC, who actively supported the organisation of the event. The Ambassador insisted on the importance of cooperation with the Court: "The ICC cannot work well without your countries' support" and insisted on the importance of today's event to continue enhancing such support.
In all of its activities, the ICC relies on the cooperation of States and international organisations. Cooperation agreements are crucial to give effect to the rights and responsibilities set forth in the Rome Statute, such as the protection of victims and witnesses, the enforcement of sentences, interim release during proceedings, or the release of suspects or accused following acquittal or the termination of proceedings in case they cannot go to the State that has a responsibility to receive them.
This Seminar forms part of larger continuing efforts to further advance cooperation with the Court. It was organised by the ICC in close cooperation with the Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the ICC and with the financial support of the European Commission.
For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson/Head, 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]