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Estonia is Active Supporter of International Criminal Court

27.10.2011

No. 341-E

At the at the presentation of the annual report of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that took place during the UN General Assembly in New York yesterday, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Lauri Bambus said that the consistent increase in the number of ICC member states shows growing political will to fight against serious international crimes going unpunished. In October the 119th country joined the ICC’s Rome Statute. “Estonia feels it is a positive thing that the number of countries that have joined the Rome Statute is growing. The goal is to reach the point where all the world’s nations join the statute and the court’s jurisdiction reaches across the globe,” he noted.

According to Undersecretary Bambus, the ICC has been one of Estonia’s international priorities every since it was created on the basis of the Rome Statute, and Estonia’s goal is to actively support the work of the court. “After consultations with all the other ICC member states, Ambassador Tiina Intelmann has been proposed as a candidate to be the president of the organisation’s Assembly of States Parties for the next three years,” said Bambus. “Ambassador Intelmann’s nomination is scheduled to be approved at the meeting of the member states of the ICC starting in New York on 12 December,” he added.

The undersecretary stated that big changes would soon be made in the administration of the court. In December the ICC member states will choose a new prosecutor, which will significantly affect the functioning of the court. Six new judges will also be chosen. “In order for the court to function effectively, it is essential that judges with both legal expertise and practical experience in the criminal justice field are chosen,” he added.

While talking about the work of the ICC, Bambus also emphasised that one key to success in the court’s work is co-operation with regional organisations. “Since the court is active in various regions around the world, open and constructive dialogue among the ICC, regional organisations, and countries is necessary in order to build reciprocal trust and avoid misunderstandings,” he added.

Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Bambus is attending the International Law Week taking place at the UN in New York from 24-28 October. He will participate in many consultations and discussions regarding international law and he also has many bilateral meetings scheduled with judge candidates for the International Criminal Court.

* Genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes all fall under the jurisdiction of the ICC. The ICC begins proceedings when domestic courts are not able to or do not wish to put the perpetrators of these crimes on trial. The court may also begin proceedings at the request of the UN Security Council. In accordance with the decision made at the Review Conference of the Rome Statute held last year in Uganda, as of 2017 the court will also be able to prosecute crimes of aggression. The International Criminal Court is based in The Hague. The court’s 18 judges and prosecutor are selected by the member states.

 

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