ICC Forum and Clinic

This Forum, at ICCforum.com, is an innovative and cooperative undertaking by the Sanela Diana Jenkins Human Rights Project at UCLA School of Law and the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC OTP). The Forum allows members of the legal community, governments, academics, and others to debate complex issues of international criminal law faced by the Office of the Prosecutor in the course of its work at the ICC.

Invited Experts discuss the Africa question on the ICC Forum.
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and Professor Richard Steinberg at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The Forum was named one of the world’s Top Three Justice Innovations in 2012 by the Hague Institute for the Internationalization of Law (HiiL) and was recently named a Gold Medal Laureate winner for World Good by Computerworld Magazine.

UCLA Law students and faculty work with the International Criminal Court Office of the Prosecutor, legal scholars and practitioners from around the world, as well as technology experts, to run the Forum. Students make a yearlong commitment to the project, researching and analyzing pressing issues that bear on the legal and institutional development of the International Criminal Court and that demand the attention of the prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda.

Students travel to The Hague to work with the Office of the Prosecutor, and to conflict and post-conflict zones around the world to conduct first-hand research that bears upon the questions of interest to the Prosecutor. In the 2012-13 academic year, students traveled to the Eastern Congo to research the reparations preferences of victims of mass atrocities, distill an anthropological “footprint” of mass rape that could be used as evidence at the ICC, and to explain what motivates combatants to disarm and demobilize.

Professor Richard H. Steinberg is Director of the Clinic and Editor-in-Chief of the Forum, which was launched on September 1, 2010 during the tenure of the first Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

The first major question was:

“Does the Prosecutor of the ICC have the authority to open an investigation into alleged crimes committed in the 2008-2009 Gaza conflict?”

The second major question was:

“What are the obligations of Contracting Parties to the Genocide Convention to implement arrest warrants for genocide issued by the ICC, and of African Union State Parties to implement ICC arrest warrants generally?”

The third major question was:

“What is the proper balance between the independence of the International Criminal Court and the oversight role of the Assembly of States Parties regarding the Court’s administration under Article 112 of the Rome Statute?”

The fourth major question was:

“What measures should be taken to maximize the crime prevention impact of the International Criminal Court?”

The fifth major question was:

“What International Criminal Court reparations regime would be most appropriate for addressing mass atrocities and war crimes?”

The sixth major question was:

“Can the International Criminal Court sustain a conviction for the underlying crime of mass rape without testimony from victims?”

The seventh major question was:

“Is the International Criminal Court targeting Africa inappropriately?”

The eighth major question was:

“What more can be done to secure the arrest and surrender of persons subject to arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court?”

The current ninth major question is:

"How can the ICC and its stakeholders more fully address challenges to outreach and public information, better utilize technology and other methods to enhance understanding of the Court’s mandate and activities, and promote support for its work?"

In January 2014 Richard Steinberg, Director of the Sanela Diana Jenkins Human Rights Project and Editor-in-Chief of www.iccforum.com conducted an ‘Exit Interview’ with the first Prosecutor of the ICC, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, during which the former Prosecutor engaged in a candid discussion of his tenure at the ICC.  That interview is available here.  The Forum also includes an ‘Ask the Former Prosecutor’ feature that allows members of the public to pose questions to Mr. Moreno Ocampo.

The Forum also hosts an online debate, online course, and video lecture series, the products of collaboration between UCLA School of Law; the Stanford Program on Human Rights; and Stanford's Division of International, Comparative & Area Studies. Videos of talks by Richard Steinberg (also here), Helen Stacy (also here), Richard Dicker, James Fearon, M. Cherif Bassiouni, Ambassador David Scheffer, Carla Ferstman, William Pace, and Shamila Batohi lead off debates on a number of important topics including Politics and the ICC, the Security Council,Deterrence, Efficiency, Arrest, Victims, Peace, and Universality.