Summary of Key Recommendations


To the Presidency

  • Continue efforts to marshal support for the court and to promote broader ratification of the Rome Statute through representational activities.

  • Continue to exercise leadership through the Coordination Council to provide internal coordination among the court’s organs and to develop a shared long-term vision through the court’s ongoing process of strategic planning.

  • To Chambers

  • Articulate as fully as possible the reasoning and legal basis for the role being shaped for the pre-trial chamber in carrying out its mandate of providing judicial supervision of the prosecutor’s investigations.

  • Enhance the transparency and coherence of judicial decision-making by referring to relevant prior interpretations and by articulating bases of disagreement with the decisions of other Chambers.

  • Office of the Prosecutor

    To the Assembly of States Parties

  • Positively consider requests from the Office of the Prosecutor and the International Criminal Court for additional resources to ensure that the ICC is equipped to investigate and prosecute the worst crimes based on a case-driven approach.

  • Support ICC efforts to push for genuine investigation and trials of serious crimes at the national level.

  • To the Office of the Prosecutor

    Structure of the office

  • Recruit a gender adviser in the Office of the Prosecutor to enhance efforts to mainstream issues relating to gender, including sexual violence crimes, in its prosecutorial strategy.

  • “Interests of justice”

  • Continue to make strong statements that there can be no political compromise on legality and accountability in the context of peace processes.

  • Cooperation with states and intergovernmental organizations

  • Continue to press states and intergovernmental organizations to cooperate with the office and the court and to provide the support needed to enforce ICC orders and decisions.

  • Selection of situations and cases

  • Use alternative avenues to voluntary referrals in the selection of situations, such as the prosecutor’s proprio motu power, when possible.

  • Continue investigations in all country situations to gather sufficient evidence to bring those in senior leadership positions to justice before the ICC.

  • Outreach and communications

  • Recruit a spokesperson as soon as possible and provide this official with the means necessary to improve the OTP’s interaction with international and local media.

  • Make more concerted efforts to explain the application of the office’s guiding principles—independence, impartiality, objectivity, and non-discrimination—in situation selection, especially since the decision to open an investigation may be subject to questions about the prosecutor’s independence and impartiality by those seeking to undermine the court’s work.

  • Improve efforts to consistently convey to affected communities important information about the office’s work, including non-confidential developments in investigations and prosecutions, to help address expectations of what can be achieved and to combat misinformation. This may include information on efforts to gather evidence about ICC crimes committed by all sides to a conflict, about the office’s policy regarding the gravity threshold in selecting cases, and about the limits imposed by the court’s temporal jurisdiction. It may also require addressing the negative perceptions that can arise from inevitable delays in conducting investigations.

  • Increase efforts to stress that regional balance is not a criterion for situation selection and continue to draw attention to those non-African situations under analysis, notably Colombia and Afghanistan.

  • Continue to closely collaborate with the court’s Outreach Unit to reinforce outreach and communications efforts relating to prosecutorial strategy. This should include more consistently providing outreach staff with targeted talking points to address recurring issues that arise in the course of the court’s dialogue with local communities.

  • Investigations

  • Recruit additional investigators, including experienced investigators, as soon as possible and prioritize their input in planning and executing the office’s prosecutorial strategy.

  • Consider basing members of the investigative teams in the field on an ongoing basis in those situations where security conditions permit the functioning of an ICC field office.

  • Present to the Assembly of States Parties in advance of its seventh session plans to recruit a deputy prosecutor for investigations.

  • Expand the application of the office’s sequential approach to investigate more than one group at a time in the field so as to avoid lengthy delays in bringing charges against rival groups alleged to have committed ICC crimes.

  • Gather sufficient evidence to charge suspects with a representative range of the gravest crimes allegedly committed.

  • Catalyzing national prosecutions: Positive complementarity

  • In situations under analysis, continue to engage with national authorities and use public communications to create pressure on states to fulfill their responsibilities to investigate and prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide cases.

  • In countries currently under ICC investigation, undertake targeted initiatives to enhance the capacity of national courts to prosecute serious crimes that the court will not address. These initiatives might include sharing expertise with local counterparts on legal issues related to the investigation and prosecution of ICC crimes.

  • Begin working on a focused common strategy together with court staff to encourage national prosecutions. This process should be public and engage relevant stakeholders.

  • Defense

    To states parties

  • Consider favorably requests to fund the legal aid system and provide additional resources to the Office of Public Counsel for the Defence.

  • To the Registry

  • Allocate additional staff to the Office of Public Counsel for the Defence, which should include at least one senior staff member (P-4 level) and other professional staff as needed to execute the OPCD’s mandate.

  • Continue to revise as appropriate and to implement the legal aid system with flexibility to ensure that indigent defendants have sufficient resources to mount an adequate defense.

  • Revisit the respective roles of the Defence Support Section and the Office of Public Counsel for the Defence to eliminate overlap and to ensure that the latter is fully vested with the responsibility—and the resources—to provide substantive support to defendants.

  • Field Engagement

    To the Assembly of States Parties

  • Ensure adequate funding for field offices (including for staffing, equipment, and infrastructure), for regular visits by high-level ICC officials to situation countries, and for in situ proceedings.

  • Allow some flexibility in budgeting for field offices so that field-based staff can utilize resources as necessary to respond to unanticipated developments.

  • To the Registry

  • Make field offices more accessible to affected communities, including by locating field offices in close proximity to affected communities.

  • Where security or other concerns prevent direct access to field offices by members of the general public, open small ICC public outposts which would solely accommodate public activities of the court; these small public outposts could also be located near affected communities when opening a proper field office there is not feasible.

  • Periodically revisit security assessments to evaluate if a field office located closer to affected communities is feasible.

  • Promote greater opportunities for field-based staff to assist in conceptualizing ICC policy and practice, including by inviting more substantive contributions from field-based staff, especially where situation-specific planning is needed.

  • Appoint a head of office for each field office, with responsibility for resolving logistical and staff coordination issues that arise in the field; for interaction with relevant interlocutors on the ground, including United Nations staff, diplomats, aid agency officials, and service providers; and for periodic assessment of developments in the situation that may affect ICC activities.

  • To the Registry and Chambers

  • Continue to actively pursue opportunities to hold in situ proceedings.

  • To the registrar, prosecutor, and president

  • Regularly visit situation countries and conduct activities targeted at affected communities during those visits, including by participating in outreach activities and giving interviews to local journalists.

  • Outreach

    To states parties and the donor community

  • Respond favorably to requests of independent local actors, such as representatives of nongovernmental and community-based organizations and other local leaders, to fund events aimed at disseminating information about the ICC.

  • Respond favorably to requests from the Public Information and Documentation Section for additional resources, including more staff, so that it can effectively meet the demands of devising and implementing a targeted, tailored, and creative outreach strategy in all country situations under investigation by the ICC.

  • To the Public Information and Documentation Section, Office of the Registrar

    Managing resources effectively

    • Manage financial and staff resources flexibly so that the court can begin discrete outreach activities—such as the perception surveys planned in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo—as early as possible.
    • Make requests for additional resources—including staff—as necessary in a timely and transparent manner.
    • Continue with efforts to develop evaluation tools to assess the substantive effectiveness of its work for states parties’ review.

    Tailoring outreach

  • Adequately respond to damaging opinions of the ICC by addressing negative misperceptions arising from the prosecutorial strategy through continued close collaboration with the OTP.

  • Maintain a “two-way” dialogue with affected communities to better understand their concerns and mount “mini campaigns” to address specific recurrent misperceptions.

  • Anticipate outreach challenges by developing a better understanding of the historical context in each country situation that likely informs affected communities’ perceptions about the court (such as through perception surveys).

  • Tailor messages, including their level of detail, according to the needs of the target audience, taking into account the different constituencies of victims within affected communities.

  • Use field offices and their staff more effectively, including by continuing with plans to recruit a field outreach coordinator in each country situation, by prioritizing the views of field outreach staff in devising the court’s national strategies, and by encouraging field-based staff to handle communications with local media outlets.

  • Maintain the “focal points” in The Hague assigned to follow judicial developments and to inform outreach staff in the field, especially with regards to the DRC and upcoming judicial proceedings, and bring, as a matter of standard practice, field-based outreach staff to participate in the court’s outreach presentation at the ASP and other events.

  • Information dissemination

  • Communicate directly with affected populations by increasing the number of events in which ICC staff interact directly with members of affected communities and by continuing the practice of occasionally involving high-level ICC officials (such as the prosecutor, the registrar, and the president) in outreach events.

  • Strengthen local networks and partners (such as NGOs) by developing a methodology to work more effectively with them in all country situations. This should include a plan for increased engagement with local partners and guidelines for financial support.

  • Develop creative tools to convey key messages, including through those projects outlined in the court’s outreach plans for 2008. Focus on interactive-type activities—such as the song contest planned for the DRC—in all country situations under investigation.

  • Continue implementing plans identified for 2008 in all four country situations to use local mass media, while developing a broader and more intensive strategy to make better use of the media overall. This should include increasing the court’s radio presence by producing additional programming and making efforts to cultivate and improve the court’s relationships with local journalists in all country situations.

  • Continue with plans to produce video and audio summaries of key ICC proceedings relating to the DRC, including the trial of Thomas Lubanga, which can be disseminated in the DRC.

  • To the Trust Fund for Victims

  • Participate as appropriate in the meetings of the External Relations Working Group to coordinate messages regarding the respective mandates of the Trust Fund for Victims and the other organs of the court to minimize confusion among members of affected communities.

  • Victim and Witness Protection and Support

    To the Assembly of States Parties

  • Ensure adequate funding of the court’s protection programs, which should include approving an increase in the number of staff in the Victims and Witnesses Unit of the Registry for field-based positions, among others.

  • Increase staff resources available to the VWU to enhance its provision of support and protection to victims and victim applicants, as required by the judges.

  • To the organs of the court

  • Maintain the VWU’s responsibility for decisions about field-based protection programs, including their design and implementation, as well as its responsibility for the protection and support referrals made by the OTP, defense counsel, and victims’ legal representatives.

  • To the Office of the Prosecutor

  • Consider including in the pre-interview psychosocial assessment of a vulnerable witness a recommendation to investigators as to whether a support referral should be made to the VWU for that witness.

  • Introduce interview training of crime base witnesses (that is, witnesses from the actual scene of the crime) for all OTP investigators, to be conducted several times a year so that new investigators hired during the year can benefit.

  • Ensure referrals for protection and support are made to the VWU in a manner that allows sufficient time for the VWU to make its assessment and put protection measures in place, as needed, while still permitting the OTP to meet its disclosure obligations.

  • To the Victims and Witnesses Unit, Office of the Registrar

  • Increase, where possible, the transparency of criteria applied to determine VWU assessments of protection referrals. Involve relevant experts and stakeholders in developing these criteria.

  • Introduce flexibility and expand the scope of the court’s protection programs by developing a range of measures short of relocation to address lesser protection needs that, nonetheless, must be met to ensure the effective interaction of witnesses, victims, intermediaries, and others with the court.

  • Enhance protection and support available to victims and victim applicants, including by developing threat assessments for victims or groups of victims equivalent to those carried out for witnesses and by providing victims with contact information of VWU staff who can help to assess any specific threats.

  • Increase regular engagement between VWU staff and intermediaries to enhance intermediaries’ awareness of precautions that should be taken to prevent risks.

  • Make protective measures available to intermediaries, including individual representatives of local nongovernmental and community-based organizations on which the court relies directly for its work and who may be put at risk as a consequence of their interaction with the court.

  • Take steps to improve programs of psychological support available to victims and witnesses, such as by adding additional support staff within the VWU including staff dedicated to victim psychological support and by enhancing networks of local partners.

  • Continue to increase the number of VWU staff located in situation countries in order to facilitate the provision of protection and support measures.

  • Provide training programs to authorities operating in situation countries, including the United Nations, to contribute to the development of national witness protection programs.

  • Victims’ Participation

    To the Victims Participation and Reparations Section

  • Translate the victims’ participation and reparations application forms, as well as the accompanying explanatory booklets, into local languages in each country situation.

  • Continue to enhance outreach efforts in all four country situations to provide general information about victims’ participation to the general public and to victims in affected communities. Continue to coordinate with the court’s Outreach Unit so that information about victims’ participation is included more systematically and strategically in its outreach events.

  • Improve both the content and the frequency of the trainings offered to intermediaries on the victims’ participation and reparations regimes, including by providing examples of some of the most frequent mistakes made in filling out the respective forms, guidance as to how to avoid or rectify them, and the “ethics” of how to approach and provide assistance to victims in filling out applications.

  • Regularly inform intermediaries of the status of the applications submitted, even if there are no new developments to report.

  • Establish and consistently apply transparent guidelines for the reimbursement of intermediaries who implement the participation and reparations regimes on behalf of the court in the field.

  • Reparations

    To states parties

  • Continue to make regular donations and encourage individuals and organizations subject to the domestic law to do so by, for example, making such donations tax exempt.

  • Enforce court orders to freeze assets.

  • To the Trust Fund for Victims

  • Where possible, publicize decisions regarding selection and implementation of projects in order to avoid creating perceptions of bias.

  • Ensure that projects and activities using the “other resources” of the Trust Fund for Victims do not compromise its ability to assist in funding court-ordered reparations.

  • Ensure open bidding in selecting intermediary groups, including domestic and international NGOs, to implement their projects or to disburse reparations awards.

  • Establish clear and transparent guidelines and procedures for consulting with victims and local organizations to ensure that the views of all interested parties can be heard during the selection, design, and implementation of projects and activities.

  • Cooperation and Support

    To states parties, including situation countries

  • Provide clear, consistent political and diplomatic backing to the ICC, including by promoting the ICC’s mandate and the importance of justice to peace when the ICC’s involvement in a conflict may be controversial.

  • Press for arrest and surrender of ICC fugitives in bilateral contacts with obstructionist states, in interactions with influential third-party states, in meetings with representatives of regional and intergovernmental organizations, during ASP sessions, and by using relevant political and economic leverage including sanctions.

  • Work domestically to pass ICC implementing legislation if not yet in place; consult with other states parties and regional organizations as necessary to do so.

  • Consider establishing domestic institutional arrangements to promote cooperation and support, including the appointment of a national focal point on ICC cooperation and the creation of inter-agency task forces.

  • Take steps to conclude framework agreements with the ICC, such as on witness relocation and enforcement of sentences, and conceptualize such efforts as a responsibility inherent to the fight against impunity and to the obligations of ICC membership.

  • To United Nations senior officials and staff

  • Consistently provide political and diplomatic support to the ICC in public and in private, such as in discussions with parties involved in peace negotiations and in meetings with regional organizations.

  • Continue to provide judicial cooperation and logistical assistance to the ICC.

  • To regional organizations, including the European Union, African Union, and Organization of American States

  • Conclude relationship agreements with the ICC if not already in place.

  • Provide judicial cooperation and logistical assistance to the ICC.

  • Provide clear and consistent diplomatic and political support to the ICC by initiating statements on the court, by facilitating working groups on the ICC, by holding meetings to exchange information on cooperation, and by addressing the ICC at high political levels in the organization.

  • To the Assembly of States Parties and the Assembly of States Parties Bureau

  • Intensify work to prepare the ASP to fulfill its mandate under article 87 of the Rome Statute on reacting to non-cooperation with the court.

  • To the Assembly of States Parties focal point on cooperation

  • Identify a discrete set of initiatives to work on cooperation needs that are particularly great and where innovation may be required to meet these needs, such as sentence enforcement, sharing of information and best practices on judicial cooperation, and witness relocation.

  • To the registrar, president, and prosecutor

  • Provide states parties with timely and comprehensive information on the ICC’s cooperation and support needs.

  • Regularly brief high-level UN officials and diplomats at UN missions on ICC developments so as to keep the ICC on the UN’s agenda.