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Statement of ABA President Paulette Brown on International Criminal Justice Day – July 17, 2016

ABA President Paulette Brown’s statement on International Criminal Justice Day recognizes successes and challenges in atrocity accountability.

Washington D.C., July 14, 2016 - In recognition of International Criminal Justice Day that occurs Sunday July 17, American Bar Association (ABA) President Paulette Brown acknowledged the successes of global efforts to combat the atrocity crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, and the need for more work to be done to achieve justice for other victims and end impunity wherever it exists.

On behalf of the ABA, President Brown’s statement made specific mention of achievements in international criminal justice that occurred this past year. Notable successes include the convictions of a high-ranking Bosnian Serb, a senior Congolese politician, and the former president of Chad, all for horrid atrocity crimes. While the successes are to be commended, President Brown also stated that significant challenges remain in achieving accountability for atrocities committed elsewhere. “Much more remains to be done. Atrocity crimes happen in many places around the world and at home, and the law mandates that there be accountability in all instances.  Certain states with legal obligations to the [International Criminal Court] fail to cooperate and assist the Court fully in their investigation, apprehension, and prosecution of suspects and accused individuals.  As a result, not only is justice for the victims of these horrific crimes evaded, but impunity also becomes more entrenched; atrocity crimes may become more attractive as a means to attain, retain, or increase governmental power; and durable peace and security under a just rule of law drifts farther out of reach.”

Looking forward, the ABA President noted ways for the United States to help achieve greater accountability for the perpetrators of atrocity crimes and increased justice for victims. Specifically, President Brown renewed previous ABA’s calls on the United States to enhance its support of the International Criminal Court, to accede to the Rome Statute, and to enact federal crimes against humanity legislation.

To read the full statement, please visit the following link.

#JusticeMatters #17July

The American Bar Association’s (ABA) International Criminal Court (ICC) Project is an independent initiative of the ABA Center for Human Rights that advances international criminal justice and US-ICC relations through advocacy, education and practical legal assistance. More information about the ABA’s ICC Project can be found at its website.

The occasion offers an important opportunity to hail successful efforts to hold accountable those found guilty of atrocity crimes and, in so doing, to achieve justice for survivors. It is also provides a critical moment to urge a redoubling of global efforts to end impunity for the world’s worst crimes, as the ABA has done through the ABA Center for Human Rights and its International Criminal Court (ICC) Project.

— ABA President Paulette Brown