Africa Legal Aid presents the Final Communiqué of its Recent ICC Compementarity Workshop

ICC Complementarity Workshop – Final Communiqué

Attorney General of Kenya Hon. Amos Wako signing the Registration Form with Mr. George Kegoro to his left, Executive Director of ICJ Kenya, and Evelyn Ankumah to his right, Executive Director of AFLA

Attorney General of Kenya Hon. Amos Wako signing the Registration Form with Mr. George Kegoro to his left, Executive Director of ICJ Kenya, and Evelyn Ankumah to his right, Executive Director of AFLA

Attorney General of Kenya, Hon. Amos Wako, opening the Workshop

Attorney General of Kenya, Hon. Amos Wako, opening the Workshop

Participants of the Workshop

Participants of the Workshop

On 3 and 4 December, 2010, the following organizations convened a workshop on “ICC Complementarity” in Nairobi, Kenya at the Fairmont Norfolk Hotel: Africa Legal Aid (AFLA), the Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya), Kenyans for Peace, Truth and Justice (KPTJ) and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), with financial assistance from the Commonwealth Secretariat and the European Commission.

The Workshop was opened by the Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya, Hon. Amos Wako. The opening session of the Workshop was chaired by Mr. George Kegoro, Executive Director of ICJ Kenya, and was addressed by Evelyn Ankumah, Executive Director of AFLA, Ms. Gloria Atiba Davis, Head of the Gender Unit, on behalf of H.E. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Prosecutor of the ICC. Several human rights and justice Institutions/Organizations were represented at the Workshop attended by some 70 participants. The list of Institutions/Organizations represented include The International Criminal Court (ICC), The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), The War Crimes Division of the High Court of Uganda (WCD), Commonwealth Secretariat, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU), Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG), Human Rights Watch (HRW), and Coalition for Peace in Africa (COPA) among others.

There were four main panels. The first panel entitled The ICC In Africa: Identifying Obstacles and Challenges to Achieving Complementarity was chaired by Akbar Khan, Director of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat. Presentations were heard from Prof. Shadrack Gutto, Director of the African Renaissance Studies Centre of the University of South Africa, Betty Murungi, Board Member of the ICC Victims Trust Fund, and Donal Deya, Chief Executive Officer of PALU.

The second panel entitled Positive Complementarity: Implementing the Rome Statute in ICC Situation Countries was chaired by Prof. Githu Muigai, UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and related Intolerances. The panel heard presentations from Amb. Angelina Wapakhabulo, the Ugandan High Commissioner in Kenya on behalf of Amb. Mirjam Blaak, Christine Muthoga, Legal Researcher at ICJ Kenya, Alpha Sesay, Legal Officer at OSJI, and Nompumelelo Sibalukhulu, Researcher in the International Crime in Africa Programme at the ISS.

The third panel entitled Implementing Peace and Justice at The National Level was presided by Stella Ndirangu, Legal Officer at ICJ Kenya, and heard from Anna Triponel, Senior Counsel at PILPG, Dr. Frank Njenga, Founder Chair of the Institute of Education in Democracy, Ottilia Anna Maunganidze, Research Consultant in the International Crime in Africa Programme at the ISS, and Joan Kagezi, Head of the Prosecution Unit of the WCD.

The final panel entitled Gender Mainstreaming in Transitional Justice was chaired by Dr. Nomsa Mbere, Member of the Governing Council of AFLA and heard from Gloria Atiba Davis, Head of the Gender Unit of the ICC, Rachel Irura, Courtroom Officer at the SCSL and Laura Nyirinkindi, Chairperson of the Ugandan Federation of Women Lawyers.

Dr. Edward Kwakwa, Legal Counsel at the World Intellectual Property Organization, presided the closing of the Workshop, during which a communiqué was adopted by the participants as follows:

1. Complementarity is at the core of the international justice system today. In this regard, cooperating with the ICC is multifaceted and entails various activities and actors.

2. Domestic implementing legislation has only been passed by 5 out of 31 African countries that have accepted the ICC Statute. This is a very low and unacceptable figure, and African countries that have not enacted implementing legislation should be encouraged to do so as a matter of urgency.

3. Innovative approaches at the national level should be used to encourage Governments to comply with their obligations under the ICC Statute.

4. Some consider that the ICC has applied the exercise of its jurisdiction selectively to Africa, as similar crimes have been committed in other parts of the world, and noted the need for even exercise of the ICC’s jurisdiction.

5. Mindful of the existence of the ICC Trust Fund for Victims, the meeting recognized and emphasized the importance of states’ obligations to make reparations and encouraged the contribution to the fund from all states parties, including African states.

6. Incorporating a gender perspective in processes and mechanisms of transitional justice is essential to ensuring gender justice at the national, regional and international levels.

7. The meeting recognized and reaffirmed the important role played by civil society in catalyzing efforts to achieve accountability to victims for crimes. The meeting recommended that all stakeholders, namely civil society, governments, and international organizations, work together to fully realize positive complementarity through conducting effective investigations and prosecutions in the interest of achieving justice.

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