The International Criminal Court Bar Association’s (ICCBA) establishment in July 2016, and its recognition by the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute in November 2016, marked the fulfillment of a long-standing goal to establish a much-needed representative association of legal practitioners focused on matters relevant to the work of List Counsel and Support Staff before the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The ICCBA is independent of the Court and is registered as a non-profit foundation (Stichting) under the laws of the Netherlands. The ICCBA’s operations are primarily funded by the subscriptions paid by its members.
The ICCBA serves as a collective voice for independent Counsel and Support Staff who represent victims, defendants and other actors (such as witnesses) before the ICC, provides a range of support and services to its membership, and acts as a forum for discussion on all matters pertaining to the ICC.
Those with demonstrable experience of international criminal law may be involved in the ICCBA as Affiliate members.
The ICCBA recognises that it is a part of a wider global legal community and seeks to develop and solidify its relationships with international, regional and national bars and other relevant organisations in order to promote and strengthen the Rome Statute system as well as discuss issues of mutual concern.
Activities and Goals
The ICCBA, in line with its Constitution, and through the Executive Council, Committees and its wider membership:
Advocates on behalf of its membership with respect to issues of collective concern. These include matters such as the provision of adequate legal assistance to indigent victims and defendants under the Court’s legal aid policy and proposed amendments to the ICC Rules of Procedure and Evidence that may impact on the rights or protections of victims or defendants before the ICC. Advocacy may take place through the issuance of policy or position papers, dialogue with the Court, ASP and relevant third parties, engagement with existing formal processes, and/or the submission of amicus curiae briefs in legal proceedings.
Works to resolve practical issues faced by Counsel and Support Staff and generally improve the conditions of work of Counsel and Support staff before the Court. This includes matters such as the provision of adequate office space and other facilities at the Permanent Premises, the efficiency of the Registry’s review of applications to the ICC lists of Counsel and Assistants to Counsel, and the availability and functionality of ICC ‘e-court’ resources and applications.
Provides professional training conducted by experienced individuals on international criminal law and procedure, investigations, oral advocacy, case management, ethics, and ‘e-court’ systems, to its membership and interested non-members. Trainings are provided both in-person and online.
Keeps members updated on legal and other developments at the ICC.
Provides confidential ethics advise and opinions to members when requested.
Considers and addresses the particular views and concerns of Support Staff (primarily Legal Assistants and Case Managers) practicing before the Court.
Builds and maintains relationships with the Organs of the Court, the ASP, and relevant international, regional, and national bar associations and organisations, in order to facilitate and promote the work of the ICCBA and strengthen the Rome Statute system.
The ICCBA seeks to promote and instill both in its internal operations and within the Rome State system, parity and adequate representation and opportunity, with respect to gender, nationality, geographic diversity, and working languages (especially French and English).