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The Evolving Role of NGOs in International Criminal Justice

The seminar was held on 2 October 2006 12:00-16:00.

Invitation | Programme | Speakers | Documents

The distinguished record of contribution by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to the establishment and work of international criminal jurisdictions has given the NGOs considerable moral authority in international criminal justice, as the field is now consolidating and moving to new challenges. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is already firmly established and the work of the other internationalised criminal jurisdictions is well underway. The ICC complementarity principle gradually shifts attention to the national level. There are growing expectations that the NGOs play roles beyond birth and life support for the internationalised criminal justice institutions. Some in their constituencies call for renewed focus on the rights of the accused, a preoccupation of NGOs at the national level for years. Others point to the unique victims' participation and reparation regimes in the ICC and expect the NGOs to articulate the rights and fundamental interests of victims in what may represent a paradigmatic shift in international criminal justice. Others again recall the basic obligation of NGOs to monitor or watch the way public institutions exercise power, including internationalised criminal justice mechanisms. They opine that the convergence of values protected by the human rights movement and international criminal justice should not blind the NGOs to this responsibility now that international criminal justice has come of age. Others yet again suggest that the NGOs should focus on playing a role in the judicial processes of international criminal justice, where appropriate. This Seminar focussed on these different perspectives on the role of NGOs in the changing field of international criminal justice.

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