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International Criminal Court Deserves Better-EU Ministers :: Uganda Radionetwork

International Criminal Court Deserves Better-EU Ministers

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A number of European Foreign Ministers say the International Criminal court has proven its effectiveness in effort to end impunity but it deserves to do better in future.
18 Jul 2015 07:56
Dominic Ongwen at his first appearance on 26 January 2015 International Criminal Court in The Hague. Credit ICC-CPI

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The Ministers in a joint statement on the occasion to celebrate International Justice Day say there need to judge the court by its achievements. They say international criminal Justice remains a work in progress.

The Ministers who include Norwegian Foreign Affairs Minister, Børge Brende say the Court frequently has to navigate political minefields as it investigates those most responsible for atrocity crimes, while upholding the highest standards of due process and giving countless victims a voice.

The International Criminal Court was founded in on 17th July 1998 as a milestone in the fight against impunity for the worst crimes known to mankind: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

The ministers say the International Criminal Court\'s deterrent effect has been empirically demonstrated with some potential perpetrators shying away from committing crimes.

Twelve warrants of arrest issued by the International Criminal Court remain unexecuted. This includes the one against President Al Bashir of Sudan, who has yet to answer for crimes that continue to terrorize the civilian population of Darfur.

Uganda was among the first countries to refer suspects to International criminal Court.

The cases The Prosecutor v. Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti, and Okot Odhiambo and The Prosecutor v. Dominic Ongwen are currently being heard before Pre-Trial Chamber II.

Five warrants of arrest have been issued against [the] five top members of the Lords Resistance Army (LRA).

Following the confirmation of the death of Mathew Lukwiya, the proceedings against him have been terminated.

On 16 January 2015, Dominic Ongwen was surrendered to the ICC\'s custody and transferred to the court\'s detention Centre on 21 January 2015.

His initial appearance before the single Judge of Pre-Trial Chamber II took place on 26 January 2015. The opening of the confirmation of charges hearing in respect of Dominic Ongwen is scheduled for 21 January 2016. On 6 February 2015, Pre-Trial Chamber II severed the proceedings against Dominic Ongwen from Joseph Kony and others.

Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, Germain Katanga and Bosco Ntaganda are currently in the custody of the International criminal court in relation to atrocities allegedly committed in Democratic Republic of Congo. 

The European Ministers called on fellow politicians and on all citizens to use their voices to help  join the International Criminal Court  to end cycles of violence through the rule of law.

Meanwhile in  2-1 decision, the International Criminal Court on Thursday ordered its chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to consider opening a full criminal investigation into war crimes allegations against Israeli Defense Force  personnel relating to the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla, just seven months after she had closed the file.

The Court  told Bensouda she should have considered more seriously the possibility that the deaths of those killed by the Israeli Defense Force  in the incident were “systematic or resulted from a deliberate plan or policy to attack, kill or injure civilians.

The decision puts the  International Criminal Court ICC the closest it has ever been to intervening directly in the Israeli-Arab conflict.

IsraeliPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out at the decision saying at a time when, in Syria, Assad slaughters hundreds of thousands of his own people, Iran sending  hundreds to death, and Hamas using  children as human shields in Gaza, the court  chose to deal with Israel for cynical political reasons.

Undersigned by the following Ministers:

Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg

Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia

Børge Brende, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Norway

Didier Burkhalter, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland

Karl Erjavec, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia

Aurelia Frick, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Liechtenstein

Kristian Jensen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark

Sebastian Kurz, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria

Manuel González Sanz, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica

Timo Soini, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland

Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Botswana

Margot Wallström, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden

Lubomír Zaorálek, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

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