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ABA Supports Efforts to Strengthen ICC at Assembly of States Parties

The Hague, The Netherlands, Dec. 3, 2019: On the occasion of the 18th Session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the International Criminal Court (ICC), the American Bar Association (ABA) reaffirmed its support for the International Criminal Court as the cornerstone of a global system of justice for atrocity crimes. 

In a written statement submitted on behalf of the ABA, Past President of the ABA and Chair of the ICC Project Michael S. Greco noted that the envisioned court-wide review of the ICC aimed at strengthening the Court’s procedures and effectiveness, which will be discussed throughout this Assembly, is a opportunity to address the Court’s challenges. Greco encouraged States Parties and independent experts (a group of which is expected to be authorized to address certain topics as part of a review) to engage diverse voices and to involve Court officials/staff and civil society, who have unique perspectives on the Court’s challenges and potential solutions. Elsewhere during the ASP, the ICC Project co-hosted a side event highlighting on the unique perspectives that victims, affected communities, and civil society organizations can contribute to this process.

“This initiative has the potential to have a lasting impact on the Court’s history, but its impact will depend on the support and openness of all involved, including the Assembly of States Parties, Court leadership, experts and civil society. We must all be accountable for staying true to the ICC’s purposes and guiding principles while also questioning where it has fallen short and can do better to fulfill them.” - Michael S. Greco

Greco also stressed the continued need for all stakeholders to protect the independence of the Court’s legal professionals and its casework, including from political interference.

Read the full statement here.


The International Criminal Court (ICC) Project, jointly supported by the ABA’s Center for Human Rights and Criminal Justice Section, seeks to advance international criminal justice and US-ICC relations through advocacy, education and practical legal assistance. For more information about the ABA’s ICC Project, please visit its website.

The long-term success of the ICC, and its wide-reaching impact for victims, affected communities, national jurisdictions, and the international community, depend on the Court’s ability to continue to question, improve, and resiliently pursue its mission to fight impunity for atrocity crimes that still remain too often unaddressed and unchecked more than two decades after its establishment. The Court must be able to do this difficult job without fear of political interference in its investigations and decisions or persecution of its professionals because of their work on behalf of a global institution dedicated to international criminal justice.

— Michael S. Greco, Past President of the ABA (2005-2006) and Chair of the ICC Project