Press Releases

Note to Correspondents

Background Note: Ref.- ICC-AT-PI-02-004

Note No. 201
4 September 2002


THE HAGUE, 3 September The Advance Team for the International Criminal Court welcomes the first session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute that will start today at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

According to the provisional work programme, the Assembly of States Parties will adopt the necessary auxiliary documents negotiated at the Preparatory Commission for an International Criminal Court. These include the Rules of Procedure and Evidence; Elements of Crimes; Financial Regulations and Rules; the budget for the first financial period of the Court; a Relationship Agreement between the Court and the United Nations; an Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the Court as well as Basic Principles Governing a Headquarters Agreement to be negotiated between the Court and the Host State. This Meeting which will end on 10 September, is also expected to adopt procedures for the election of Judges and the Prosecutor.

In addition, the Assembly of States Parties will decide on the appointment of the Director of Common Services Division. Once appointed, this first senior officer of the Court will prepare job descriptions, recruit and oversee the work of those staff engaged in establishing the Court in the first months of its existence.

In the meantime, the Advance Team consisting of technical experts in various fields will continue making the first practical arrangements for the coming into operation of the Court. Areas of work covered by the Team include human resources, finance, building and facilities management, information technology, legal matters, and security. The Team which has also been acting as a custodian for all information, communications, and other materials addressed to the Court started its work in July and is mandated to work until the end of September.

It is envisaged that during the second session of the Assembly of States Parties scheduled for January/February 2003, the Prosecutor and the eighteen Judges of the Court will be elected, following which, an inaugural meeting of the Court and the swearing-in of the Judges and the Prosecutor will take place in The Hague. After that, the Judges will hold their first organizational meeting to elect a President and to establish a list of candidates for the Registrar. This list will be sent to the Assembly of States Parties which will make a recommendation to the Judges for a Registrar. The election of the Registrar by the judges will take place in April 2003.

The Rome Statute entered into force on 1 July 2002. To date the Statute has been ratified by 78 States and signed by 139. The Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute is the body that will oversee the work of the Court. Its Bureau, consisting of a President, two Vice-Presidents and eighteen members will assist the Assembly in the discharge of its responsibilities.

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