20th Anniversary of the International Criminal Court

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the founding of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the RWCHR and its Chair Professor Irwin Cotler - who had been a leader in the movement for the establishment of the ICC - participated in a major international gathering at the seat of the Court in the Hague. This historic Conference brought together key stakeholders - civil society leaders, Judges of the Court, International Organizations, and the like - to discuss the role of the Court, its challenges, successes, and collectively charting a path forward.

Grounded in the justice legacy of the Nuremberg Trials, and institutionalizing the concept and conscience of global accountability - that the authors of mass atrocity crimes, whoever and wherever they may be, will be held responsible - the Court is an important symbol and potentially transformative vehicle for pursuing international justice and challenging impunity.

In that regard, the RWCHR met with a broad and inclusive cross-section of civil society, governments, parliamentarians, and Court officials - including ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda [pictured] - to discuss the work of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights in pursuing justice. This included, in particular, our work with the Organization of American States Independent Panel of International Legal Experts on Venezuela - on which Professor Cotler sits - to determine whether Crimes Against Humanity have been committed in Venezuela, and whether they should be referred to the ICC.

As the Prosecutor moves forward in her preliminary examination of the situation in Venezuela, the Centre will continue to constructively engage with the Court to assist in its determinations and, most importantly, to help give expression to the plight and pain of the Venezuelan people, who are victims of a horrific crisis perpetrated and perpetuated by the Maduro Regime.