Benin signed the Rome Statute on 24 September 1999, and ratified on 22 January 2002, becoming the 49th State Party to the ICC. Benin has yet to adopt national legislation that would allow it to prosecute crimes under ICC jurisdiction. Recently, the country has been working with the UN to find solutions for long-staying refugee and asylum seekers.
Benin also signed the Agreement on Privileges and Immunities on 10 September 2002 and ratified on 24 January 2006. Benin has been a cooperative State Party since the creation of the ICC.
Benin has draft legislation implementing both complementarity and cooperation obligations. However, the President has sought the opinion of the Constitutional Court regarding the constitutionality of the law. The draft is currently being reviewed by the Constitutional Court for improvements and amendments. During a seminar in March 2008, organized jointly by the ICRC and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Benin, the Secretary-General of the government made a commitment to facilitate the process of incorporating the input given by the National Codification Commission into the initial draft bill. CICC members are preparing an analysis, including the input from the National Codification Commission, to present to the government.
On 13 February 2014, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Benin, H.E. Prof. Nassirou Bako-Arifari, visited the ICC. The Minister expressed Benin’s full support and commitment to the ICC in fighting against impunity for the perpetrators of international crimes as listed in the Rome Statue. The country is still in the process of finalizing national legislative processes necessary to make complementarity and cooperation effective.
Civil society activities
Coalition members continue to push the government of Benin to adopt ICC laws for domestic prosecutions of international crimes and against impunity.