I.P.O. Information Service

 The politicization of international criminal justice

International Progress Organization participates in conference on the legacy of the Security Council's ad hoc tribunals

The Hague, Netherlands, 16 November 2009


Defense lawyers from the international criminal tribunals for Rwanda (ICTR) and former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and from the International Criminal Court (ICC) met in The Hague from 14 to  15 November 2009 to discuss the problems caused by political interference into the investigation and prosecution of cases before the respective international courts. The conference, which focused on the legacy of the Rwanda tribunal in particular, was organized by a group of ICTR defence lawyers and co-sponsored, among others, by the International Progress Organization (IPO), the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), and the National Lawyers Guild (United States).

In his inaugural address, Ramsey Clark, former Attorney-General of the United States, asked whether international criminal courts in the 21st century promote equal justice under the international rule of law or are the continuation of war by other means. In a special address to the conference, Dr. Hans Koechler, President of the International Progress Organization, outlined five fundamental requirements for the depoliticization of international criminal justice. He explained that victor's justice and a policy of double standards have characterized almost all forms of international criminal justice since the Second World War, and in particular the hoc courts set up by the United Nations Security Council. Köchler stated that without an adequate separation of powers at the transnational level, the prosecution of international crimes cannot be pursued in a credible manner. He called for the adoption of  a "United Nations Declaration on the Principles of International Criminal Justice" by the General Assembly.

Maître Jean Flamme, Defence Counsel at the ICC and representative of the International Criminal Bar (ICB) (established in Montreal in 2002), called upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to officially recognize the ICB as an "independent representative body of counsel or legal associations" in accordance with Rule 20(3) of the ICC Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

International Progress Organization 
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