Symposium Convened on Lessons from the Gbagbo and Blé Goudé Case & ICC Review

On 13 September, Africa Legal Aid (AFLA), in cooperation with the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), supported by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Ireland, the Municipality of The Hague, and Trust Africa, convened a Symposium on Lessons from the Gbagbo and Blé Goudé Case and ICC Review.

Participants discussed the controversy surrounding the case - its collapse after seven years, the acquittal of Gbagbo and Blé Goudé, their unprecedented detention after acquittal, and the subsequent conditional release of the acquitted persons. A recurring point of discussion was how the expectations of victims were managed.

On 16 September 2019, the ICC Prosecutor filed the prosecution's notice of appeal to the Reasons for oral decision of 15 January 2019 accompanied by the Opinion of Judge Cuno TarfusserReasons of Judge Geoffrey Henderson and Dissenting Opinion Judge Herrera Carbuccia.  

We share some highlights of the Symposium below.

The Symposium was facilitated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
During the Opening of the Symposium, from left to right: Evelyn A. Ankumah, Executive Director of Africa Legal Aid; H.E. Paul van den Ijssel, Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the ICC and OPCW; Dr. Namira Negm, Legal Counsel, African Union Commission; Dr. Fabricio Guariglia, Director of Prosecutions, Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC; and Eric-Aimé Semien, President, Observatoire Ivoirien des Droits de l'Homme (OIDH).
Left: Jennifer Naouri, Counsel for Laurent Gbagbo, engages with the panel. 
Right: Paolina Massidda, Principal Counsel of the OPCV and Common Legal Representative of Victims at the ICC in the Gbagbo and Blé Goudé Case, addresses the issue of managing victims' expectations.
H.E. Binta Mansaray, Registrar of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone shares the experience of the Special Court; looking on in green is H.E. Päivi Kaukoranta, Ambassador, Embassy of Finland to the Netherlands
Panel on The Right to a Fair Trial, from left to right: Paolina Massidda; H.E. Mirjam Blaak-Sow (chairing), Ambassador, Embassy of Uganda to Belgium; Chief Charles A. Taku, Immediate Past President, ICC Bar Association; Rod Rastan, Legal Advisor, Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC; and Ottilia Anna Maunganidze, Head of Special Projects, Institute for Security Studies (ISS). 
Rod Rastan addresses the topic: To Prosecute or Not to Prosecute, and discusses the policy paper of the Office of the Prosecutor on case selection and prioritisation.
Panel on ICC Review, from left to right: Mariana Pena, Senior Legal Officer, Open Society Justice Initiative; Melinda Taylor, Defence Counsel before the ICC; H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Belal (chairing), Ambassador, Embassy of Bangladesh to the Netherlands; and Ottilia Anna Maunganidze.
Left: Melinda Taylor, presents on ICC Review: Due Process Issues.
Ottilia Anna Maunganidze presents on ICC Review: A Time for Change.
Right: Mariana Pena, presents on ICC Review: Proposals and Methodologies.
Left to right: Evelyn A. AnkumahBrenda Peace Amito, Legal Officer, TrustAfrica; and Ahmed Iyane Sow, United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
Right: Chief Charles A.Taku, takes the floor. 
Left: Dr. Namira NegmRachel Irura, Special Tribunal for Lebanon; and Evelyn A. Ankumah.
Right: Thomas Verfuss, President, Association of Journalists at the International Criminal Court (AJICC)
; and Prof AP van der Mei, Maastricht University.
Left: Dr. Fabricio Guariglia and Renan Villacis, Director of the Secretariat of the Assembly of States Parties to the ICC.
Right: Desmond Davies, Africa Briefing Magazine; Chief Charles A. Taku; and H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Belal.
Report of the Symposium is coming soon...
Your comments are most welcome. Click here to comment.
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