Reviewing the ICC's performance for a strengthened Court and Rome Statute System

Motivated by calls for a review of the Court’s performance made by States, Court officials, civil society and other key stakeholders, at the last session of the Assembly of States Parties in December 2019 States adopted a resolution establishing a formal process in order to identify and implement measures to strengthen and improve the performance of the ICC and of the Rome Statute system.

Coalition members will be there every step of the way, from enganging with the Group of Experts, to ensuring the inclusivity and transparency of the process.

The "Review" Process

In the resolution that established the process of Review of the International Criminal Court and the Rome Statute system, the Assembly noted that some issues identified in the "Matrix" (Meeting the challenges of today for a stronger Court tomorrow, Matrix over possible areas of strengthening the Court and Rome Statute system) must be addressed by the Assembly, or the Assembly and the Court, together with other relevant stakeholders, while other issues are assigned to a group of independent experts.

The ASP requested the Bureau (The Bureau of the Assembly consists of a President, two Vice-Presidents and 18 members elected by the Assembly for three-year terms) to address some of those issues as a matter of priority in 2020 (through its working groups and facilitations): (i) Strengthening cooperation, (ii) Non-cooperation, (iii) Complementarity and the relationship between national jurisdictions and the Court, and (iv) Equitable geographical representation and gender balance.


Independent Expert Review (IER)

The ASP has additionally mandated an independant review to be undertaken by a nine-person Group of Independent Experts (IEG), focused on three ‘clusters’ of work: Governance, Judiciary and Investigations and Prosecutions.

The Group is tasked with identifying ways in which the Court and Rome Statute system as a whole can be strengthened, with the following timeline as a guide:

  • January 2020: Preparation and organization of work.
  • February - March 2020: Consultations with States Parties, Court officials, and civil society.
  • April - August 2020: Analyzing information gathered and drafting reports.
  • June - July 2020: Interim report or briefing to States Parties.
  • September 2020: Submission of final report to the Bureau and Assembly of States Parties.

Working throughout 2020, the Group will come up with concrete, achievable, actionable recommendations aimed at enhancing the performance, efficiency and effectiveness of the Court, to be submitted to the 19th session of the Assembly of States Parties.

The experts focusing in each cluster are the following:

  • Cluster 1: Governance: Mr. Nicolas Guillou (France), Ms. Mónica Pinto (Argentina), Mr. Mike Smith (Australia)
  • Cluster 2: Judiciary: Ms. Anna Bednarek (Poland), Mr. Iain Bonomy (U.K.), Mr. Mohamed Chande Othman (Tanzania)
  • Cluster 3: Prosecution and investigation: Mr. Richard Goldstone (South Africa, Chair), Mr. Hassan Jallow (The Gambia), Ms. Cristina Romano (Brazil)

At their first meeting held in The Hague on 21-23 January, the Experts elected Judge Richard Goldstone as Chair of the Group. They also discussed their plan of work and agreed on cluster and plenary meetings for the coming months.

The Experts invited States Parties, civil society, former and current Court staff, and Defence and Victims representatives to submit views and input. See all deadlines and details in the Statement.

NB: The Deadline for civil society to send written submissions to the Group of Independent Experts has been extended from 10 March 2020 to 15 April 2020.

Read on to get the latest updates on the process, check out the profiles of the Group of Experts and learn more about what Coalition members will be doing in 2020.

CICC Resources & Members Statements

CICC Statements to ASP18


IEG Resources

Statement by the Group of Experts (23 January 2020)

List of Experts