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ICC and Ireland sign a Memorandum of Understanding

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ICC and Ireland sign a Memorandum of Understanding on voluntary contributions to three important trust funds of the Registry

On 5 December 2022, on the margins of the twenty-first session of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or the “Court”), the Registrar of the International Criminal Court, Mr Peter Lewis, and the Acting Legal Adviser of the Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland, Mr Declan Smyth, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) establishing the terms and conditions governing contributions made by Ireland to support the following ICC trust funds managed by the Registry: the Special Fund for Relocations, the Trust Fund for the Development of Interns and Visiting Professionals and the Trust Fund for Family Visits.

“I am extremely grateful for the generous support from the Irish authorities to the work of the Court and of the Registry in three crucial areas. It will contribute to the efficient implementation of the Court’s mandate in the areas of protection of witnesses and family visits to the ICC’s indigent detained persons, as well as to ensure geographical diversity amongst its interns and visiting professionals”, said ICC Registrar Peter Lewis.

With this MOU, a significant contribution will go to the Special Fund for Relocations. This Trust Fund is set up to manage donations from States to relocate witnesses in third countries through a cost neutral arrangement. This Fund allows States, who are able to donate some money towards relocations, to support those who are willing to receive relocated witnesses, but lack the financial means to do so. The donation will allow the Registry to support the relocation of several witnesses and their family members.

Another part of the donation will go to the Trust Fund for the Development of Interns and Visiting Professionals. This Trust Fund was established with the aim of providing funded internship and visiting professional placements to nationals of developing countries that are States Parties to the Rome Statute. The Trust Fund therefore contributes to the Court’s efforts to increase geographical representation and to give fair opportunities to all individuals willing to work at the Court.

Finally, a third part of the donation will be provided to the Trust Fund for Family Visits. This Fund contributes to protecting the right to and respect of family life for all indigent persons detained at the ICC Detention Centre. It ensures that during their time in detention, which usually spans over several years, indigent detained persons are able to receive visits from their nuclear families, who lack the means to afford such visits and travel.

The Ambassador of Ireland to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mr Brendan Rogers, said: “International justice is a profound idea, but many practical steps are required for its achievement. With these contributions Ireland will enhance key support functions at the ICC so that the Court can focus on delivering justice for victims of the most heinous crimes. Ireland is proud to contribute The Special Fund for Relocations, the Trust  Fund for Interns and Visiting Professionals and the Trust Fund for Family Visits. We encourage all States Parties to consider how they can use voluntary contributions to complement the work of the Court.”

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