Bringing Fairness to International Justice: a Handbook on the International Criminal Court for Defense Lawyers in Africa

Bringing Fairness to International Justice: a Handbook on the International Criminal Court for Defense Lawyers in Africa

Jolyon Ford

Pretoria (Tshwane),: Institute for Security Studies, 2009

http://www.iss.co.za/uploads/LAWYERSHANDBOOKICC.PDF

From the Introduction:

Consider the following six brief and related statements:

 

1. Impunity and inaction in response to the most serious crimes of concern to the

international community represent a failure to meet human rights principles,

to respect victims, and to deal with issues affecting future peace.

 

2.A global consensus exists on the need to provide an acceptable, principled

international criminal justice system as a means to deal with perpetrators of

international crimes: that consensus is reflected in the Rome Statute of the

ICC.

 

3.The ICC is only likely to be perceived as just, effective, legitimate and

sustainable to the extent that it is fair in its treatment of those brought before

it.

 

4. Representation by a competent independent legal defence counsel is, in turn,

considered indispensible to fair investigations and trials in the ICC and other

international criminal tribunals.

 

5.The role of the defence lawyer in ensuring systematic fairness in international

justice deserves more attention generally.

 

6.There is, in particular, an ongoing need for more awareness raising and

capacity building in order to enable African lawyers to engage in the work of

the ICC in general and in Africa, including by acting as defence counsel or

assistants.

 

This handbook explores some of the issues raised in these statements with a view

to increasing African lawyers’ understanding of, and engagement, with the ICC

and its processes and in particular the role of defence counsel, in order to help

bring fairness to international justice.

 

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