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Schona Jolly QC @WomaninHavana
, 19 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
#IBARome@IntlCrimCourt⁩ Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda says emphatically that pushback by the American govt, & other states, will not deter the ICC from doing its work without fear or favour. #CrimesAgainstHumanity #genocide
ICC can be faced with total non-cooperation, dwindling resources, hostility etc. Forms part of challenge to conducting investigations. We need to anticipate such challenges. US isn’t 1st state to refuse to cooperate with ICC, eg Sudan, but we still collected evidence: Bensouda.
Since I announced investigation into Philippines. I’m sure you’ve heard response of leader, including threats against Prosecutor. But, eg, see Burundi where I opened prelim invest. Burundi immediately withdrew, but we ctd investigation & obtained satisfactory evidence- Bensouda.
Bensouda criticises & describes the myth that ICC is focused only on Africa - she says it’s an incorrect perception and lists many open preliminary investigations across continents, inc Myanmar, Venezuela, Colombia, Georgia etc.
Asked whether ICC failed in #AlBashir, Bensouda emphasise states that created the court have the responsibility & legal obligation themselves to enforce arrest warrants etc. If states fail, the ICC can’t continue to be blamed for that. We don’t have a police force or army.
UNSC can refer to ICC, regardless of whether that party is a party to the ICC, eg Sudan. But States’ own responsibility doesn’t disappear- Bensouda #IBARome
Asked if UNSC should be criticised after It refers eg Libya & Sudan, but then fails to put sanctions on countries that fail to comply with obligs, Bensouda says she always reminds & urges SC to take action & support ICC. It can’t just refer cases.Victims expect support & results.
Bensouda says law can be a potent tool to bring justice. The reason why ICC (& other mechanisms) was created is to bring justice to the victims & accountability for those responsible for atrocity crimes, acc to evidence & rules. Not abt targeting individuals.
Bensouda, citing Desmond Tutu, says when asked to pick a side, she chooses to take the side of the victim. #ICC #IBARome
Asked abt #rohingyas & complicity of State; Bensouda reminds Myanmar not a party to ICC & it’s abt individual criminal responsibility. She asked judges for interpretation on jurisdiction, since deportation of refugees into State party of Bangladesh. Judges responded positively.
Bensouda agrees that any #ICC referral from UNSC at the moment is unlikely. #IBARome
Bensouda on treatment of migrants in Libya: Describes ongoing with partners to advance work & office is collecting evidence & information to present before judges when time comes. #IBARome
Asked abt ongoing #ICC prelim examination in situation in Venezuela (State party) Bensouda emphasises ICC is not targeting any individual. It is *after* prelim work that individuals can be identified for individual responsibly. Points to 5 LatinAm states referring Venezuela.
Asked whether time has come for individual or blended courts, eg Bangladesh, Bensouda says ICC not created to extinguish domestic jurisd’n & does not stop any efforts to try atrocity crimes at regional level. ICC is not a panacea, but those which created it now must support it.
Asked If any progress on Nigeria, Bensouda says whilst there was a lull during political change of govt, it has now advanced & her team still on ground collectin evi for prelim investigation. Not yet concluded but hope to soon reach final determination. #IBARome
Asked abt Syria, Bensouda says Syria is not a State party. She’s considering angle of personal jurisdiction & asking for information since some actors, eg in ISIS, are nationals of State parties. UNSC veto power is being used and unlikely to get a referral on Syria. #IBARome
ICC is not a court of first resort, but court of last resort. But we can’t take action where States taking action over their nationals. So we have to hold back: Bensouda #IBARome
Last q on Mexico & #narcotrafficking leading to 1000s of deaths. Bensouda: Even though serious crimes happening in Mexico, we had difficulty placing them into the definition of crimes over which ICC has jurisdiction.Still monitoring, not abandoned & can re-open our investigation.
Fascinating & wide-ranging global input from audience, asking Bensouda about #ICC investigations on atrocity crimes across the world. Time is up on a really interesting #IBARome session. Good luck to her & her team! John Bolton’s words seem more petty & ignorant than ever.
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