International Criminal Court and the Republic of Moldova
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the first permanent international institution established by UNO to prosecute individuals responsible for the most serious crimes of international concern: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, the crime of aggression (website of the International Criminal Court: www.icc-cpi.int). The Rome Statute of the ICC was adopted by an overwhelming majority of states on 17th of July 1998 at the diplomatic conference in Rome. The Rome Statute of the ICC foresees establishment of the Court after it is ratified by 60 countries. On 12 of April 2002 this point was passed. The number of countries that had ratified the Statute was brought to 66. On 1st of July 2002 the treaty on establishment of the International Criminal Court entered into force. As of 14 March 2008, 139 countries signed the Rome Statute and 106 countries ratified it all over the world. The number of States Parties to the Statute is constantly increasing. ISHR-MS decided to work together with other international NGOs to support the establishment of the International Criminal Court. Since 1999, ISHR-MS has worked in the area of raising awareness of the ICC at the national and regional level and has promoted signature and ratification of the Rome Statute by the Republic of Moldova. ISHR-MS has contributed to dissemination of information about the International Criminal Court, organized a number of seminars, round tables, press-conferences, meetings with representatives of the Parliament, the Ministry of Justice, the President. There was an international campaign carried on to collect signatures in support of the ICC. Hundreds of signatures were collected under appeals to the President and the Parliament about the necessity for the Republic of Moldova to sign the Rome Statute as soon as possible. On 8 of September 2000 the Republic of Moldova signed the Rome Statute. The next step after signing is ratification of the Statute. After that it will enter into force on the territory of the RM. In spring 2006 the Ministry of Justice prepared the bills necessary for the ratification of the Rome Statute of the ICC and for bringing national legislation in compliance with the requirements of the Rome Statute. ISHR-MS actively participated in discussing the law drafts with the experts from the Ministry of Justice and international experts from other countries. On 2nd October, 2007 Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova, on demand of the Government, decided that regulations of the Rome Statute of the ICC and Constitution of the Republic of Moldova are compatible. The ratification bill of the Rome Statute of the ICC, approved by the Government on 7th December 2007, passed into the Parliament on 29th January (it was published on the Parliament`s web-page on 11th February 2008). On 19th February 2008 the International Society for Human Rights – Moldavian Section together with Amnesty International Moldova, the Resource Center of Moldovan Non-governmental Organizations for Human Rights (CReDO), the Medical rehabilitation center of victims of tortures “MEMORIA”, the organizations “Lawyers for human rights” and Promo-Lex published a press release with an appeal to the authorities of the Republic of Moldova to ratify the Rome Statute without any restrictions regarding the territory of its influence in the country. Human rights organizations urged to exclude from the text of the ratification bill the statement that the Statute regulations will be applied only upon the territory actually controllable by authorities of the Republic of Moldova (art.3 p.1). This means that the Rome Statute will not act on the territory of the Transnistrian region and the population from this part of Moldova will not be under the protection of the ICC. On 25th February 2008, the International Society for Human Rights – Moldavian Section made an appeal to the president of the country, the prime minister, chairman of the Parliament, Minister of Justice and Minister of Foreign Affairs and the European integration to accelerate the ratification of the Rome Statute of the ICC.
Raising Military and Civil Awareness of the ICC in Eastern European Countries
In 2000 ISHR-MS implemented the project “Raising Military and Civil Awareness of the ICC in Eastern European Countries”. This project brought the nature and significance of the ICC to the attention of the policymakers, the military and the public in Eastern European countries. The project was implemented in the Republic of Moldova, Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Germany. Our partners in this project were ISHR National Sections. Beneficiaries of the project in Moldova were NGOs representatives, lecturers from institutions of higher education, representatives of state structures (Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Justice). There were seminars, press-conferences, actions for collecting signatures in support of the ICC carried out. As a successful result of this project, the Republic of Moldova signed the Rome Statute on September 8th 2000. Information and Ratification Campaign on the International Criminal Court in Central Asian Countries and Mongolia Within the frames of this project the ISHR-MS in partnership with Gustav-Stresemann Institute e.V. (GSI) – Academy for European Politics and Economics carried out two seminars in Chisinau on the ICC for representatives of the Ministry of Defence of the RM and Moldovan nongovernmental organizations. At the seminar with the armed forces personnel carried out in July 2004, the international experts from Germany offered information about the ICC, its objectives and functions. A special consideration was given to the Rome Statute, to development of measures for prevention of war crimes. The main objective of the seminar program for NGOs held in November 2004, was to familiarize civil society organizations with the most important aspects of the international criminal law and the new possibilities that present themselves through the establishment of the International Criminal Court. To learn more about this project please visit the website www.ngo-at-work.org/icc
International seminar “Moldova and the Statute of the International Criminal Court”
On March 3-4th 2006, an international seminar “Moldova and the Statute of the International Criminal Court” was organized and held in Chisinau by ISHR-MS and International Criminal Law Society (ICLS). Ambassador of the Federative Republic of Germany to the Republic of Moldova, EU Special representative for the Republic of Moldova, representatives of the Ministries of Justice of Germany and the Netherlands who were directly involved in bringing into conformity their countries’ legislation with the Rome Stature of the ICC attended the seminar. From the Republic of Moldova, the Deputy Minister of Justice, specialists from the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, the President and judges of the Constitutional Court, representatives of the Prosecutor General’s Office, State University of Moldova took part in the seminar. The seminar participants shared experience and exchanged their views on the necessity to introduce amendments into Moldovan legislation to join and implement the Statute of the International Criminal Court. Wolfgang Lerke, Ambassador of the Federative Republic of Germany to the Republic of Moldova, invited the seminar participants to the reception that took place in the residence «Das Gelbe Haus».