There is a lack of trust between ICC and state parties, says registrar

20 January 2016 by Janet H. Anderson, The Hague (The Netherlands)

In part 1 of an interview with the International Criminal Court’s registrar [IJT-189], IJT asked Herman von Hebel about the ICC budget for 2016 and criticism he’s faced for internal programmes, such as ReVision. Part 2 looks at the bigger picture, asking how he sees the next few years at the ICC. Topics include prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s model for how much work her office can realistically do and its resource implications, the introduction of performance indicators at the court and a website that the ICC’s own staff are reluctant to rely on for timely information.

ICC registrar Herman von Hebel speaks with IJT in his office  (Photo: Stephanie van den Berg)
Image caption: 
ICC registrar Herman von Hebel speaks with IJT in his office (Photo: Stephanie van den Berg)

Would you say the ICC now has too many on-going strategic processes?

Herman von Hebel (HV): I don’t think so. [It is] more of a recognition that a lot of that is necessary and that a lot of that is being requested by states as well. We have to do a report on synergies for 2016, we have to do a report on Basic Size – you know the prosecutor came up with a basic-size model [outlining how much work her office can handle], but the implications of that still have to be translated for the judiciary and the Registry. Most of my time during the next half-year will be spent preparing reports for the committee on budget and finance and for states parties. If I compare this position with that of registrars of other tribunals, where I used to be [Von Hebel previously served as registrar at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and the Special Court for Sierra Leone], that [prior work] was managing the place. Here, I feel more like a reporting mechanism for states parties and for the committee on budget and finance. And I’m not saying that I object to external governance control, quite to the contrary.

Want to read more?

If you subscribe to a free membership, you can read this article and explore our full archive, dating back to 1997.

Subscribe now

Related articles

article
19 February 2007 by Laetitia Grotti

One year ago on January 6, 2006, the 17 members of Morocco's Equity and Reconciliation Commission (IER) were closing up shop after submitting their final report to King Mohammed VI. The Moroccan truth commission had received a flood of compliments from the international community praising the recommendations in its report, especially those advocating legislative and constitutional reforms. One year later, however, the results have been rather mixed.

article
11 September 2006 by our correspondent in Arusha

After having tried high-ranking officers, ministers, businessmen, priests, journalists, local officials and militiamen, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is in uncharted waters. On September 11, the most famous rwandese troubadour of his generation will stand trial for genocide. 

article
23 October 2006 by Christine Chaumeau

China is keeping a polite distance from international criminal justice. Beijing is hardly disinterested, but China does want to make sure that these new global mechanisms are not going to infringe upon its sovereignty by delving into particularly sensitive cases such as Tibet. 

article
United Nations Operation in Burundi disarms rebel forces in Mbanda in February 2005 (Photo: Flickr/UN Photo/Martine Perret)
03 June 2015 by Janet H. Anderson, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Over the last month, Burundi has hit the headlines as the president put himself forward to be elected for a controversial third term, resulting in street protests, thousands of refugees who fled instability and an attempted coup. Behind the issues of elections and constitutionalism are also those of justice following Burundi’s long-running civil war. The international community supported an intensive process of negotiation and the signing of the Arusha Accord in 2000. But in the decade and a half since, its provisions on justice have been debated though never fully implemented.

article
06 November 2006 by Pierre Hazan

France's attitude towards international criminal justice is marked by ambiguity. Paris subscribes to a vision of the world in which international humanitarian law is considered a way to curb violence against civilian populations, but at the same time it is wary of an unchecked judicial system that could end up prosecuting French soldiers engaged in areas where it has old and deep-rooted interests.