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Side Event at the 2013 ICC-ASP Session: ‘Quality Control in Fact-Finding’ and Complementarity Online

The Hague, 25 November 2013

Programme | ICC-made film of the event | Statement by Judge LIU Daqun

At a side event to the 12th Session of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court on 25 November 2013 at 13:00-15:00 in The Hague, the new book ‘Quality Control in Fact-Finding’ (500 pp.) was launched and a cluster of new online complementarity resources of CILRAP-CMN (the CMN Knowledge Hub) introduced. The side event was co-sponsored by CILRAP, the European Commission, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Norway and Switzerland. The launch panel included ICTY Prosecutor Serge Brammertz, ICC Registrar Herman von Hebel, Judges David Re and LIU Daqun, Professors Martin Scheinin and Charles Garraway, and Wolfgang Kaleck (ECCHR). The book is dedicated to Professor Emeritus Frits Kalshoven, who was present at the event. In the second half of the programme, new online complementarity services were introduced, and CILRAP-CMN capacity development activities under a recent grant from the EU, including on State co-operation issues, presented.

In his concluding remarks to the book launch, the Chair Mr. Martin Sørby (Director, Section for International Humanitarian and Criminal Law, Department of Legal Affairs, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) observed the following: “Firstly, there seems to be a widely held view that there should be a greater measure of spill-over from large investments in internationalised criminal justice fact-finding over many years, to fact-finding outside criminal justice, while respecting the different natures of international criminal, humanitarian and human rights law. The book helps to take the discussion forward on what such spill-over could entail. Secondly, there seems to be a growing expectation that there should be some sort of standing capacity to support internationalised fact-finding. This should not become a discussion driven by competing interests centred around locations, such as the UNHQ in New York or the UNHCHR in Geneva. Rather, the book reminds us of the need to analyse further which functions should be included in a possible standing support capacity, to facilitate an informed assessment of the expected added value. It warns us against generalising between the needs of UN human rights fact-finding, internationalised commissions of inquiry, humanitarian law fact-finding, truth and reconciliation commissions, and NGO fact-finding. Thirdly, the book points out that rules and manuals cannot replace the importance of individual leadership of fact-finding mandates, of the will among staff to professionalise, and of always returning to the wording of the mandate on which fact-finding is based”.

Closing the side event, he observed: “Firstly, the presentations and discussion at this side event illustrate the importance of opening access to legal sources to everyone concerned. Free access represents empowerment at a basic level, and can lead to self-capacitation: that investigators, lawyers and judges strengthen their own capacity at their own convenience and expense. Ensuring free access to legal sources in international criminal law must be an essential component of our overall capacity development activities. The ICC Legal Tools Project and CILRAP make innovative and important contributions in this respect. Secondly, the book launched today draws our attention to the importance of vigilance in quality control when working on facts in the context of international criminal, humanitarian and human rights law. The challenge of quality control cuts across a variety of fact-finding mandates. It is a shared challenge and we should thank the authors, publisher and CILRAP for putting this on the agenda”. Here you can see a complete video of this event made by the AV Team of the Public Information and Documentation Section of the International Criminal Court.

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