Before the ICC could be set up, the treaty establishing it, the Rome Statute, needed to enter into force. Its efficiency was only guaranteed once sixty states had ratified it. On August 27th, 2001, 37 countries adopted its principles. The ICC investigates the crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. These crimes are defined in the Rome Statute for the purposes of the ICC only.
The implementation of the Rome Statute was a momentous event. The treaty creates the very first secure international criminal court, independent and objective, and able to hold individuals responsible for the commission of the most serious crimes. The ICC will therefore extend the rule of law internationally, driving national systems to examine and take legal action regarding such crimes. Thus, if nations do not succeed in bringing major criminals to justice, the International Criminal Court will be prepared to act. To function efficiently, the ICC depends on widespread consent to the Rome Statute as well as the compliance of states with their obligations specified in the treaty.
All participants must be exceedingly morally conscious of their roles in court, and highly competent and experienced in the prosecution/defense/judging of criminal cases. The Prosecutors and Defendants are also able to request assistance or cooperation from states parties in protecting victims and witnesses. Judges, prosecutors and defendants can be disqualified or excused from a particular case for reasons regarding misconduct. Given the nature of the crimes that the ICC will be prosecuting, it is necessary that the judges have legal expertise in the specific issues being discussed.
The ICC will be able to impose terms of imprisonment, including life sentence for the most grave crimes, and fines upon conviction. The ICC cannot enforce the death penalty.
All those being prosecuted have the intrinsic rights:
to be informed properly, in detail, of the nature and cause of the charge;
to be treated with respect in court;
to a fair hearing by an accurate, independent and unbiased trial established by law;
to be assumed innocent until proven guilty;
to defend themselves and to have efficient legal representation,
Definitions of ICC crimes
Articles 6, 7, and 8 of the Rome Statue define the three main crimes investigated in the ICC.
Genocide involves any acts of murder, causing severe physical or mental damage, imposing measures that attempt to prevent births, and violent relocation of children to another group, “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group” (article 6).
Crimes against humanity are defined as any acts that are “committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population.” Examples as specified in article 7 are murder, massacre, enslavement, deportation or forcible transfer of population, imprisonment in violation of fundamental rules of international law, torture, rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization and other grave forms of sexual violence, discrimination, enforced disappearance, apartheid, and other inhumane acts.
War crimes are acts committed during international and “internal” armed conflicts. The definition includes willful killing or torture of protected persons or mass destruction of protected property; other serious violations of the laws and customs appropriate in international armed conflict; intentional attacks of violence against civilians and other serious violations of the laws and customs related to non-international armed conflict (article
What are the responsibilities within the court?
Inside a court room, everybody executes e different position. There is always a defendant, a prosecutor (who sometimes take the side of a state rather than a person), a superior judge, lawyers for both side, witnesses and a jury. Inside our ICC, these are the responsibilities:
Chair: Represents the President of the ICC, who commands the court. This person determines time limits, speaking time, agenda, gives out warnings to those misbehaving inside the court, demands order and sets up the procedural aspects of the trial. This person has no judicial power, therefore he/she does not cast a vote or have the right to speak. Just like a Secretary General, the President is a superior authority who leads the trial and determines procedures.
Prosecutor: The person responsible for bringing the case before the court, they are responsible for establishing the alleged crimes of the accused. The prosecutor should research, investigate and denounce the crimes committed by the accused, using evidence to back up their allegations. There are three topics that should be addressed in each case, but the prosecutor should feel free to go deep inside each and bring more proof to his case. This person should act like the voice of reason, and try to convince the judges that the accused should be sentenced by the court. A prosecutor should be prepared with tricky questions, insightful points and strong evidence (pictures, articles or facts) that help them prove their point.
Defendant: This person is responsible for defending the person who is on trial inside the ICC, as a representative of the country he or she governed or governs. Basically, their job is to prove and convince the judges that the person held on trial is innocent and free from charges. They should present a speech where all the points addressed by the prosecutor should be answered and counter arguments should be used to back up their defense. This person should be ready to answer ALL QUESTIONS and find their way of explaining their defense. A defendant should NOT impersonate the person in trial, but expose the accuser’s point of view on the issue.
Witness: In every trial, there are people who are brought in by the prosecutor or defendant who speak and tell the court all they know about the case. This person is always somebody who is not directly involved in the crime, but can contribute to the accusation or defense. In our ICC, the two witnesses for each case, are representatives of nations who had some type of involvement in the case and can share their version of the facts. This person should be prepared to answer questions from both sides and always have their story well told. Being confused, controversial or over dramatic does not contribute to the veracity of the speaker and does not help the judges believe in what they are saying. Witnesses are key for the execution of the trial, and they should definitely work with the prosecutor or defense (depends on the side you are taking), as they are part of their evidence.
Judges: The most important people in the court room, they are the ones responsible for the final verdict on the case. Neutral or unbiased, these people represent nations who have some or no involvement in the case and are able to determine who is speaking the truth—the prosecutor or the defendant. This person should be ready to ask questions and analyze the case, since there are no abstentions and they have to choose in between innocent and guilty.
How does voting work?
Everybody has the right to no one vote.
There can not be any abstentions.
The choices are: guilty or innocent.
How should an accusation/defense speech be done?
There are no set of rules to creating a speech, however there are a few points that should be considered:
* Try to convince the judges at any cost. Use strong wording, emphasize your points, repeat the ideas you consider "catchy" and make sure to be somewhat dramatic. Show that you are trustworthy
* Use evidence. You can use magazine or internet articles (considered trustworthy), pictures (previously permitted by the SALMUN ICC) or documents that can help you convince the judges.
* Use rhetorical questions. Make the court THINK and follow YOUR train of thought. Make them see what you see and be by your side.
* Be clear. Create a clear and understandable development of your speech. Do not throw information in the air and expect the judges and others present in court to understand what you mean. Numerate and organize your ideas.
* Balance out objectiveness and sentimentality. Try to pass out your ideas as straight as possible, but do not put aside the emotional part of the speech. Remember you are trying to touch the person inside the representative.
* USE YOUR LEGAL PAPER! It is a speech that you already wrote! If your “Argument" section is well written and has a clear development, use it!
FOR BOTH CASES ( DAY 1 and 2)
I. Chairs read summary of the case
II. PROSECUTORS's speech
II. x min of questions by DEFENDANT
II. y min of open questions
III. DEFENDANT speech
IV. x min of questions by PROSECUTOR
V. y min of open questions
VI. WITNESS 1
VII. x questions for PROSECUTOR/DEFENDANT
VIII. y open questions
IX. WITNESS 2
X. x questions for PROSECUTOR/DEFENDANT
XI. y open questions
XII. Open speech by a judge
XII. Voting procedure
The Legal Paper
You will be expected to write TWO LEGAL PAPERS. ONE FOR EACH CASE.
This is the format:
Submitted by: COUNTRY
Representative: YOUR NAME
Caucus: International Criminal Court
CASE: OMAR AL-BASHIR ON CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY or GEORGE W. BUSH ON WAR CRIMES
I. Background info on the case
Explain the whole history behind the case. Start by explaining how that person came to power and their history as a leader. Go into the historical facts that led them to take measures and command operations. Explain the crimes and accusations the person in receiving. You should put numbers, data and facts in this part.
II. Country's point of view
Your country's opinion on the case. Guilty or innocent?
How is your country involved in the case and how does your people and government feel about the trial? Describe how your country sees the ICC and how they feel about the crimes the leader is being accused of. Maybe detail on topics such as genocide, murder or war chimes and especially, how does your country view punishment.
This should reflect your ideas like a position paper would.
You should put evidence and facts that prove ur opinion on the case. Point out where the leader failed or why he or she should be free from charges. This is where you are free to use your best argument skills and pick out the best ideas to prove your point. Remember to use counter arguments and refute points that could be done by the defense!
An overall of the case and your position.