The International Criminal Court (ICC) condemned yesterday the measures imposed by the United States on the Court’s Prosecutor and a member of her Office, describing them as unprecedented.
It said in a statement that the new measures “are another attempt to interfere with the Court’s judicial and prosecutorial independence and crucial work to address grave crimes of concern to the international community as mandated under the ICC Rome Statute.”
It added, “These coercive acts, directed at an international judicial institution and its civil servants, are unprecedented and constitute serious attacks against the Court, the Rome Statute system of international criminal justice, and the rule of law more generally.”
The ICC, said the statement, “continues to stand firmly by its personnel and its mission of fighting impunity for the world’s most serious crimes under international law, independently and impartially, in accordance with its mandate. In doing so, the Court benefits from the strong support and commitment of two-thirds of the world’s States which are parties to the Rome Statute.”
Meanwhile, O-Gon Kwon, President of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP), the management oversight and legislative body of the ICC, also rejected US measures against the ICC, describing them as unprecedented and unacceptable.
“Today the Government of the United States announced concrete measures against the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and a senior staff member in her office. I strongly reject such unprecedented and unacceptable measures against a treaty-based international organization. They only serve to weaken our common endeavor to fight impunity for mass atrocities,” said O-Gen in a statement.
“The Court is an independent and impartial judicial institution. It operates in strict adherence to the provisions of the Rome Statute. The ICC is complementary to national jurisdictions and thus recognizes the primary jurisdiction of States themselves. This is the cornerstone of the Statute. Further, the Assembly of States Parties and the Court have together embarked on wide-ranging review process to strengthen the Rome Statute system and improve the Court’s performance and efficiency,” he added.
“We stand by our Court and its staff as well as those cooperating with it in implementing its judicial mandate. A meeting of the Bureau of the Assembly will take place shortly to consider the measures imposed by the United States and ways to give effect to our unstinting support for the Court,” he said, calling on the States Parties and all the stakeholders in the Rome Statute system “to reiterate once again our unwavering commitment to uphold and defend the principles and values enshrined in the Statute and to preserve its integrity undeterred by any measures and threats against the Court and its officials, staff and their families.”