The fight against impunity for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes

The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights today restated its full support for the International Criminal Court (ICC), the first ever permanent independent judicial institution with jurisdiction over individuals accused of the most serious crimes affecting the whole international community: genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

“There cannot be genuine respect for human rights under the European Convention on Human Rights unless we also combat the impunity of the perpetrators of the most serious violations of international law,” said rapporteur Alain Destexhe (Belgium, ALDE).

“With only 124 ratifications of the Rome Statute, we are still far from achieving universal ratification which would enable us to avoid having decisions displaying double standards and politicisation,” he added.

Accordingly, the Committee urges the Council of Europe member states, its observer states, the Assembly’s observer states and states having partner for democracy status with the Assembly to reassert their commitment to the ICC by signing and ratifying without further delay the Rome Statute, the Kampala amendments and the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the ICC. They also call on them to enact effective legislation implementing the Rome Statute, in particular by incorporating the crimes and general principles of law defined therein into their domestic criminal legislation and establishing procedures for full and effective co-operation with the Court.

Lastly, it calls on states to provide the ICC with effective budgetary resources to enable it to fulfil its tasks in an independent and efficient manner and to make meaningful contributions to the Trust Fund for Victims, thereby signalling that the ICC is delivering not only retributive and preventative justice but also restorative justice.