THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
The AALCO has been following the developments relating to the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC) since its Thirty-Fifth Session at Manila (1996). The initial discussions relating to the establishment of the ICC were held at the two Special Meetings convened within the framework of the Thirty Fifth and the Thirty Sixth Annual Sessions. Thereafter, the agenda has been successively deliberated in many Annual Sessions, the last being 2012 Session held in Lagos, Nigeria. It may be noted that in 2008 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between AALCO and the ICC. This partly gave a thrust to the activities undertaken on this agenda item.
AALCO has conducted numerous seminars and work shops on specific thematic concerns relating to the ICC. In 2009, a seminar on “International Criminal Court: Emerging issues and Challenges” was successfully conducted in collaboration with the Government of Japan. In 2010, prior to the Kampala Review Conference, a Round Table Meeting of Legal Experts was organized jointly by the AALCO and the Governments of Malaysia and Japan with a view to consolidate the position of the Member States. The reports of these meetings have thereafter been published and circulated among the Member States.
Since review and analysis of the developments at the Kampala Review Conference were an important part of the Work Programme of AALCO, a three-member delegation, led by Prof. Dr. Rahmat Mohamad, the then Secretary-General participated at the Review Conference. Addressing the general debate on 1 June 2010, the Secretary-General highlighted the specific concerns of the Member States of AALCO, which emerged at the Putrajaya Round Table Meeting. He emphasized that expanding on the principles of universality, sustainability and complementarily were the major challenges that the ICC would have to face and look for solutions. The need for a clear and broadly accepted definition for ‘aggression’, the relationship between peace and justice, issues on cooperation with the ICC and the principle of complementarity were the other topics that he reflected on.
On 2 June 2010, the Secretary-General hosted an informal Networking Meeting of the AALCO. During the course of this meeting, the “Report of the Round Table Meeting of Legal Experts on the Review Conference of the Rome Statute of the ICC” was also launched. The meeting was well attended and several high-level representatives of Members States, non-Member States and representatives of civil society organizations attended it. In 2011, AALCO also organized, in collaboration with the Government of Malaysia and the ICC, a two-day meeting of legal experts on the topic “Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court: Issues and Challenges”.
A half-day Special Meeting during the Fifty-Sixth Annual Session on the topic was held in Nairobi in 2017. AALCO in collaboration with the Delhi Judicial Academy (DJA), New Delhi organized a seminar on ‘Operational Functioning of the International Criminal Court and International Judicial Education: Emerging Paradigms’ at the Delhi Judicial Academy, New Delhi on the 12th and 13th of January 2019. The focus of the seminar was on the operational functioning of the ICC and International Judicial Education.