ICC 20th Anniversary with the Coalition for the International Criminal Court

On the 20th anniversary of the ICC, with the help of the Coalition For the International Criminal Court, we brought together some of the people who have been campaigning for states to ratify from day one. What was the pull factor in the ratification of the Rome Statute? And what has changed over time? Is the goal of a universal court still attainable? 

We hear from Brigitte Suhr, human rights and social justice consultant, about her early work with the Coalition  For the International Criminal Court in gathering states under the ICC umbrella and why she is proud of their achievements. We also have Melissa Verpile, Director of Democratic Renewal and Human Rights Campaign at Parliamentarians for Global Action, explaining why the Rome Statute is still relevant in the face of all the mass atrocities which still remained unpunished today. Melissa also gives plenty of arguments to use in the debate on why small states should ratify if the big fish (China, Russia, and the US) do not.     

For a closer look at how the politics of joining the ICC play locally, we welcome Oleksandra Matviychuk from the Center for Civil Liberties in Ukraine and Aurora Parong from the Philippines National Coalition for the ICC. Oleksandra gives us an inside perspective on the ratification process inside Ukraine and how this has changed since the start of the war. As the Philippines started withdrawing from the ICC in 2018, Aurora fills us in on the reason behind it and the work that is still being done to achieve accountability. 

As food for thought, Melissa suggests reading Why We’re Polarized by Ezra Klein, which reflects on how we struggle to talk to each other across political divides, while Aurora highlights the Afghanistan and Bangladesh cases at the ICC, interesting because they are in her backyard! Finally, Oleksandra goes for a future favourite case – Ukraine at the ICC.


This podcast has been produced as part of a partnership with JusticeInfo.net, an independent website in French and English covering justice initiatives in countries dealing with serious violence. It is a media outlet of Fondation Hirondelle, based in Lausanne, Switzerland.