20th anniversary of the Rome Statute : justice, independence and efficiency.
High Level event on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute and the triggering of the ICC’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression
Statement by Ms Sheraz Gasri, Legal Counsellor of France to the United Nations
17 July 2018
Merci monsieur le Président,
I would also like to thank the cosponsors for the organization of this meeting and the panelists for their inspiring interventions. France, like many others here, States, NGO’s, individuals driven by a resolved concern for justice among whom Ben Ferencz, played an important role during the negotiations of the Rome statute. 20 years later, we continue to be attached to the balance guaranteed in the statute between the different legal cultures of the world, between the role of State parties and the independence of the Court, between the prerogatives of the prosecutor and the rights of the defense and, finally, between the different working languages of the Court.
Today also marks the activation of the Court’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression, according to the amendments adopted in Kampala in 2010 and to the decision adopted by the Assembly of State parties in December 2017 in New York. As the vast majority of State parties, France has not ratified these amendments and does not accept this jurisdiction as far as it is concerned. France considers that the definition of this crime remains uncertain and that this jurisdiction could lead to contradictory assessments between the Court and the Security Council on whether an act of aggression has occurred.
As member of the UN Security Council, as third contributor to the budget of the Court and as first State party in terms of cooperation with the Court aside States which situation is under examination by the ICC, France is determined to continue to support the Court to fulfill its major mission of bringing justice to victims and contribute to peace, stability and reconciliation.
We encourage the organs of the Court to continue their efforts in order to allow the ICC to accomplish its mandate with independence and efficiency.
We call on all States that have not done yet so to ratify the Rome Statute. And, finally, looking ahead, we also call on State parties to fully implement the Rome Statute and to only engage in reforms that are strictly legally indispensable. Thank you Mr. Chairman.