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Amicus Committee

Pursuant to the ICCBA Constitution, the ICCBA Amicus Committee is responsible for:

 

1. considering and responding to requests from the ICC President or from an ICC Chamber for the submission of an ICCBA amicus curiae brief before the ICC; and

 

2. considering and responding to requests submitted to the ICCBA Executive Council from any third party, including, but not limited to, ICC counsel, governments, NGOs and individuals, for the submission of ICCBA amicus curiae briefs before the ICC or any other relevant forum.

 

Prior to submitting a formal request to the ICCBA Executive Council for the submission of an ICCBA amicus curiae brief, the Committee encourages the individual or entity in question to first consult with the Amicus Committee. Consultation requests may be submitted by email at the following address: info@iccba-abcpi.org.

 

The Role of an Amicus Curiae

 

Traditionally an “amicus curiae”, or “friend of the court”, refers to a person or organisation that is not a party to the proceedings before the court and who assists the court by providing information, legal or factual expertise, or a unique point of view or insight that is relevant to the determination of issues before the court. The submission of amicus curiae briefs is a well-developed practice in many common law jurisdictions, as well as before international human rights tribunals (such as the European Court of Human Rights and Inter-American Court of Human Rights) and international criminal tribunals (including the ICTY, ICTR, SCSL, STL, ECCC).

 

Before the ICC, applications for authorisation to submit amicus curiae observations are governed by Rule 103 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. Applications are granted at the discretion of a Chamber if the Chamber finds that the proposed observations would be “desirable for the proper determination of the case”. A Chamber may also invite interested persons and entities – or specific categories of persons / entities (for example professors of international law) – to submit amicus curiae observations on a particular issue.

 

During the Reparations phase of proceedings, Article 75(3) of the Rome Statute additionally provides that, prior to making any order for reparations, “the Court may invite and shall take account of representations from or on behalf of the convicted person, victims, other interested persons or interested states”.

 

The Committee has prepared a catalogue (periodically updated) of all Rule 103 and Article 75(3) applications and observations submitted before the ICC that fall into the category of ‘traditional’ amicus curiae observations, as well as in-depth analyses of a selection of amicus curiae interventions before the Court.

 

ICC Chambers have invited or authorised amicus curiae to submit observations on a variety of subjects, such as: the legal definitions of “conscription” and “enlistment” of children; the superior responsibility mode of criminal liability; the modalities of collective victim participation before the Court; gender as an element to be taken into account in drafting reparations orders; the status and capacity of the Libyan judiciary in 2011 and 2012; proposals for projects assisting former child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the context of reparations; the issue of immunities for heads of state or government and the obligation of States Parties to execute ICC arrest warrants. 

Current members
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ABDUL AZIZ MESLAT (Full Member)
Chair

I am Dr. Abdul Aziz Meslat, an esteemed criminal lawyer with over two decades of experience. Renowned for my expertise in criminal law at both national and international levels, I have achieved remarkable success in handling high-profile cases, establishing myself as a distinguished legal expert. With a Ph.D. in International Criminal Law and an LLM in Criminal Procedure and International Litigation Methods, my comprehensive educational background equips me to tackle diverse legal matters. I am deeply committed to safeguarding the rights of my clients and have earned a reputation for delivering favorable outcomes. As the President of the Washington Center for Criminal Justice (formerly the International Organization for Transitional Justice), I lead efforts in promoting justice and ensuring legal accountability. Additionally, I serve as a private legal advisor to multiple US jurisdictions, offering my guidance and expertise. Since 2022, I have held the esteemed position of Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the George Washington Legal Training Institute. In this role, I oversee legal training programs and provide mentorship to aspiring legal professionals, aiming to shape the future of criminal law. Furthermore, I am the Chairman and CEO of American Premier Advocates & Legal Consultants Group LLP, a distinguished law firm recognized for delivering exceptional legal services across a broad spectrum of cases. Beyond my legal practice and leadership roles, I am a fervent advocate for human rights. I actively contribute to the field through my extensive research and writing. With seven published books and 167 academic research papers, I have emerged as a thought leader in International criminal law, international relations, and global interactions. My work has significantly influenced the discourse in these areas.

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GIOVANNI CHIARINI (Associate Member)

Giovanni Chiarini (LLM, PhD) is a Lecturer (tenure-track – Asst. Prof.) and module leader in International Criminal Law at Huddersfield University, and International Fellow of the National Institute of Military Justice at Washington DC. Giovanni is also an attorney, admitted to the ICC list of assistants-to-counsel (eligible to be appointed associate counsel) and he carried out legal consultancy for UNAKRT. He was a Scholar-in-Residence at Texas Tech University and Visiting Professor at the Mississippi College School of Law, as well as Assistant Lecturer of Criminal Procedure at Insubria University. He was a visiting researcher at the following universities: Institute of International Peace and Security Law, Universität zu Köln; Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights, University College Cork; Laboratoire de droit international et européen, Université Côte d'Azur; Centre for International and Global Law, University of Edinburgh; Centre for Critical Legal Studies, Warwick University. Giovanni’s ICL publications (https://hud.academia.edu/GiovanniChiarini) have been awarded Gold Medal for the best article by the Cork Law Review Arthur Cox Prize; best PhD publication by the American Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences; best article by the Center for Studies in European and International Affairs. He is publishing a monograph with Routledge entitled “The Evolution of International Criminal Procedure”. 

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MARK DIAMOND (Full Member)

Mark Diamond is a criminal defense litigator in private practice.  He has extensive trial and appellate experience in state and federal courts throughout the United States.  He has served as neutral arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association and International Centre for Dispute Resolution since 1992. Mark is past chairman of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Criminal Justice Committee and the ABA’s General Practice Section Criminal Justice Committee.  His interest in the ICC began with his work as advisor to Amnesty International in the years leading to the Court's formation and has been a full member of the ICC since 2006.  He served for many years as advisor to the American Bar Association Central and East European Initiative. Mark is a member of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction and the editor of its magazine, “Leaveworthy.”  He is grateful for the opportunity to serve the members of the ICCBA.

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LYMA NGUYEN (Full Member)

Lyma Nguyen is an Australian trial and appellate barrister with an international practice in criminal law, victims and human rights and statelessness. In 2018, she was accredited as counsel before the International Criminal Court. In 2022, she became a member of the ICCBA Legal Advisory Committee. In 2014, Lyma was the youngest of 45 “Trailblazing Women Australian Lawyers” whose oral history is archived in Australia’s National Library – an award which recognised her ongoing pro bono practice since 2009 as International Civil Party Counsel at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, where she represented the ethnic Vietnamese minority victims in the tribunal’s historic genocide case. The international impact of her work was recognised through the Prime Minister’s Executive Endeavour Award (2013) and a Churchill Fellowship (2014). In 2012, Lyma was in the Australian Civilian Corps as a Law and Justice Civilian Expert. Lyma was a Director on the Board of Australian Volunteers International from 2014 to 2023.In 2020, she won the 40 Under 40 Most Influential Asian Australians Leadership Awards. Lyma is the current President of the Asian Australian Lawyers Association, NT Branch, and an active member of the United Nations Association Australia.

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AHMED ZUHAIR BAJALAN (Associate Member)

Ahmed Zuhair Bajalan (Ahmed Wali) Assistant to Counsel before the ICC & ICCBA member A lawyer since 2011 and Assistant to Counsel before the ICC since 2020.  Ahmed was born Baghdad he is Arabic and Kurdish speaker he is multicultural. furthermore English. Ahmed has been dedicated to addressing crimes against humanity and war crimes..etc. with a strong focus on those perpetrated jointly by the Turkish army and ISIS against Kurds in Western Kurdistan part which located in the north and east Syria, as well as offenses within Iraqi territory. as the Kurdish people face the jointly crimes of Turkey and its backed groups. His legal efforts extend to confronting continuous airstrikes and drone attacks by Turkey, a pressing issue in his homeland against civilians in Iraq and Syria.  South and west of Kurdistan. Living in a country which its people faced different kind of crimes against humanity and war crimes...etc.  Also the occupation of the Musel city in the north of Iraq by ISIS which also supported by Turkey. such crimes committed against the Yazidi and the Kurds - Christians. Arabs..etc. Ahmed working to protect the country from those international perpetrators. Ahmed's commitment to justice is further evident in his volunteer work with UN agencies independently he represented victims of Enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention - torture and degrading treatment..ect.  Also he represented victims of LGBTI community. He is deeply involved in representing victims of gender-based violence (GBV) representing them in the courts and his advocacy for individuals from diverse backgrounds, including children, women, displaced persons, and Syrian refugees. He is working in criminal justice in his country in cases before the investigation courts and courts handling felonies..etc. . Ahmed continues to fight for justice against international perpetrators.

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