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Increased UNHRC engagement could improve effectiveness of ICC says chief prosecutor

Greater collaboration and engagement between the UN Human Rights Council and The Hague could increase the effectiveness of the work of the International Criminal Court said the chief prosecutor of the ICC at a discussion panel event organised by ‘Friends of the international Criminal Court’ convened at the 28th session of the United Nations.
Noting that the ICC will always ensure impartiality and “complete independence” in investigations despite political situations, the chief prosecutor outlined her intention to carry out preliminary investigations in Palestinian territories.

Outlining challenges faced by current work at the ICC, Ms Bensouda said,

“The ICC is permanent and patient, arrest warrants will stay in place, and be carried out regardless of how long it takes.”

“The international community has always insisted that we cannot accept impunity,” she added.

Speaking on criticism that the ICC is disproportionately focused on African states, Ms Bensouda noted that out of the African states that had signed the Rome Statute, only 5 had been unwelcoming. The chief prosecutor further added that the African states looking to bring peace through justice were welcoming of the court’s assistance.

Ms Bensouda also suggested that the African Union should open up its own court that could look into war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.