The International Commission of Jurists organised a fascinating side-event yesterday at the Human Rights Council. Here is the ICJ’s background statement:
Particularly when crimes under international law are perpetrated on a large scale in situations of crisis, there is an urgent need to preserve evidence for use in eventual criminal proceedings, whether at the International Criminal Court or other national or international tribunals
Too frequently, obstacles prevent immediate direct recourse to international courts and prosecutors. One response has been the creation of mechanisms to collect and preserve the evidence in the meantime. Examples include the International Independent and Impartial Mechanism (IIIM) for Syria, and the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan.
At the current session of the Human Rights Council, the Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar has called for establishment of an IIIM pending referral to the ICC or an ad hoc tribunal.
Opening Remarks were given by Ambassador Monique T.G. van Daalen, Permanent Mission of the Netherlands. The Moderator was Saman Zia-Zarifi, Secretary General, International Commission of Jurists.
The panelists included Catherine Marchi-Uhel, Head, International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) for Syria; Yasmin Sooka, Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan; Sanji Monageng, former Judge/Vice-President of the ICC, and Commissioner of the ICJ; Stephen Rapp, Chair, Commission for International Justice & Accountability (CIJA), Distinguished Fellow, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, and former United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice; and Kingsley Abbott, ICJ Senior Legal Adviser (Global Accountability), formerly with the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
You can find video of the event, which lasted 80 minutes, here. It’s well worth watching.