by Pierre A. Ahouré, Cote d’Ivoire

The 15th day of our Symposium began with a visit to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in TheHague. We began our visit to the heart of the ICC premises under the guide of the representative of the Protocol. Having completed the check-in and security formalities, we were guided throughout the different steps of our journey, with an eye sight view over the design of the new ICC building which is expected to be completed by 2015.

Our formal meetings began with the nomination of three members of our team, to introduce us to the three speakers. First Ms Allyson Maccrery introduced our group to Mr Volker Nerlich, legal Adviser, Appeals division of the ICC Chambers. Ms Manelle Chawk introduced us to Mr Fadi El Abdellah, the spokesperson and head of Public Affairs Unit in of the ICC Registry, and lastly myself introducing the group of 54 members from 26 countries around the world with one vision learning about post-crisis peace transition, to Mr Emeric Rogier, Head, Situation Analysis section JCCD, OTP of the ICC.

In his Address, Mr Volker traced the history of the idea of an International Criminal Court which originated following the horrors of World War II. Mr Fadi El Abdallah gave us an overview of the four organs of  the ICC which are firstly, the Judiciary made up of three divisions, Appeals, Trials and the Pre-trial divisions, and secondly, the office of the prosecutor, and thirdly, the Registry, as per the Rome Statute. Mr Abdallah explained the procedures of the ICC and the role of the Registry before the Court. The Registrar provides all administrative supports to the organs of ICC, by contributing to the preparations of the defence, the victims, and the witnesses as well as the handling of sensitive matters and records, up to the detention of the prisoner. In terms of the reparations to the victim, Article 75 allows for reparations of the victim in the form of restitution, indenisation, and rehabilitation. Mr Emeric Roger, the Head of the Situation Analysis Section JCCD, OTP, then briefed us about the jurisdiction of the ICC.

During the questions and comments time, numerous issues were raised which covered the case for and against the ICC. Arguments for the ICC ranged from it being an instruments for deterrence, and human right protection. It was reported to us that one of the single issues facing the ICC may be its effect on States sovereignty, in particular national constitutions which often conflict with the Rome Statute in areas of national jurisdictions, in particular, when the constitutional powers are paramount in many States.