Civil society status in the Rome Statute system

The efforts of the Coalition were instrumental in the adoption of the Rome Statute and establishment of the ICC. 

The Statute, rules of the Assembly of States Parties and other agreements and resolutions recognize the role of civil society and specificallly the Coalition for the ICC in the Rome Statute system. 

Interacting with the Office of the Prosecutor

RS Article 15(2): “The Prosecutor shall analyse the seriousness of the information received and for this purpose, he or she may seek additional information from States, organs of the United Nations, intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations, or other reliable sources that he or she deems appropriate, and may receive written or oral testimony at the seat of the Court.” 

Read more about civil society and the ICC. 

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Providing external expertise

RS Article 44: “The Court may, in exceptional circumstances, employ the expertise of gratis personnel offered by States Parties, intergovernmental organizations or non-governmental organizations to assist with the work of any of the organs of the Court. The Prosecutor may accept any such offer on behalf of the Office of the Prosecutor. Such gratis personnel shall be employed in accordance with guidelines to be established by the Assembly of States Parties.” 

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Assembly of States Parties: participation and coordination 

Civil society can also engage in ICC matters by way of the Rules of the Assembly of State Parties (ASP), which permits civil society participation in meetings of the ICC’s governing body. Specifically, Rule 93 allows NGOs invited to the assembly to receive copies of official documents, to attend meetings of both the Assembly and subsidiary bodies, and under certain conditions, to make oral statements at the opening and closing of such meetings.  

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Agreement on Coalition and the Netherlands as ICC host state

Following the escalation of threats and intimidation against human rights defenders working with the ICC in The Hague, the Coalition has called on the Netherlands to do more as a host state to protect international justice advocates.  

In 2016, the occurrence of these threats for the first time on Dutch territory has prompted scrutiny of the “Headquarters Agreement between the International Criminal Court and the Host State”, which obliges the Netherlands to facilitate the smooth and efficient functioning of the Court. 

Specifically, the Agreement includes a clause on the obligation of the host state to facilitate the entry into, stay and employment of NGO representatives and their families in the Netherlands. Enabling employees within the justice sector to carry out their work mandate free of intimidation and threat is crucial to the functioning of the Court. 

Civil society members and the Coalition specifically continue to advocate for host states to do more to ensure the safety and protection of all employees of the international justice sector. It is vitally important that Dutch authorities do all they can to guarantee this protection.

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