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Wednesday, 6 December 2023, 13:15 – 15:15 EST United Nations Headquarters, Room B, New York

The Center for International Law and Policy in Africa (CILPA), in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the United Nations, had the honor to host a side event to the twenty-second session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on “Bringing the African Perspective to the ICC Reform Discussion” on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, 13:15,  at the United Nations Headquarters, in New York.

CILPA, with the funding of the Open Society Foundations’ Africa Regional Office, launched a project in 2022 to bring the African perspective to the ICC reform discussion: The International Criminal Court in Africa Project. CILPA commissioned three consultants in June 2022 to conduct research into the experience of African States with the aim of identifying key concerns about the distinct phases of the ICC reform process and proposing strategic recommendations to feed into the ongoing ICC reform discourse. A successful two-day workshop was hosted by CILPA in October 2022, in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The research and analysis carried out by the consultants during the first part of the project formed the basis of a comprehensive analysis of the African government concerns about the ICC reform. The workshop brought together the consultants with invited African legal experts, including from academia, civil society, government, and legal practice to examine how the reforms could be carried out to ensure more transparency and inclusivity of African concerns. Based on these contributions the consultants improved their respective papers before their various reform recommendations were published by CILPA in September 2023 as open-source papers and in special editions of the African Journal of International Criminal Justice (forthcoming):

  • Background Paper on the Relationship Between African States and the ICC – Consultant: Mr. Sètondji Roland Adjovi, Etudes Vihodé  
  • Examining the Domestic Legal Framework in the African States that Today Form Part of the Situational Docket of the ICC – Consultant: Dr. Geoffrey Kevins Lugano, Kenyatta University  
  • Examining the Role of African States in Supporting ICC Investigations, and Issues of Cooperation and Complementarity under the Rome Statute – Consultant: Ms. Lorraine Smith van Lin, Smith van Lin Consultancy 

The side event to the twenty-second session of the ASPs provided an opportunity for the consultants, to present their research and analysis in a discussion with Amb. Michael I. Kanu, a State representative member of the Review Mechanism, with the aim of bringing African perspectives to the ongoing ICC reform discourse, and determining the extent to which previous African State proposals were addressed by the IER.