Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

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International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Justice

 

For the Czech Republic the support for International Criminal Justice and International Humanitarian Law is a logical and natural choice and represents an integral part of the Czech Foreign Policy.

International Humanitarian Law is an important field of international law, which is applied in time of armed conflict. The Czech Republic is a party to the Geneva Conventions on the protection of victims of armed conflicts of 1949, all of its three Additional Protocols and other relevant treaties. To implement the commitments related to the international humanitarian law at national level the National Committee for the implementation of international humanitarian law was established and serves as a standing coordinating and advisory body for participating stakeholders. The National Committee is chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is composed of the representatives of the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health Care, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of education, Youth and Sports, the Ministry of the Environment, the Institute of International Relations and the Czech Red Cross. The National Committee has prepared i. a. “Information material on the concept and content of Responsibility to Protect”.

International Criminal Justice is a vital element for promotion of the respect for human rights, international humanitarian law, the rule of law and the principle of good governance, which constitute the pillars of the Czech foreign policy. The Czech Republic supports the activities of international criminal tribunals, including the International Criminal Court, regularly provides voluntary contributions to their activities and actively nominates highly qualified experts to the positions of judges at the international tribunals. Since 2012, the Minister of Foreign Affairs is a member of the Informal Ministerial Network supporting the International Criminal Court. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the coordinator of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which was adopted on 17 July 1998 at the international conference held in Rome. The Czech Republic became the 110th State Party to the Rome Statute on 1st October 2009. In 2010, the Czech Republic has also actively participated in the Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda, where so called Kampala amendments to the Rome Statute were adopted. The Amendments cover the crime of aggression and expand the category of war crimes in Article 8 of the Rome Stature. The Czech Republic has completed the ratification process of these amendments and on 12 March 2015 deposited its instruments of acceptance. At its final meeting the16th Assembly of States Parties of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (4 - 14 December 2017) adopted by consensus resolution on the activation of the jurisdiction of the Court over the crime of aggression as of 17 July 2018 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs chairs the Commission for selection of candidates for the position of a judge to the International Criminal Court. Mr. Robert Fremr has been elected in 2011 as a judge to the International Criminal Court for the 2012-2021 term. Mrs. Ivana Hrdličková serves as judge at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon since 2013 and in 2015 she was appointed by the UN Secretary General as the president of the Tribunal. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs participates in the activities of the EU in relation to international criminal justice (based on Council Decision 2011/168 / CFSP of 21 March 2011 on the International Criminal Court and the related Action Plan) and ensures the participation of the Czech Republic in the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. In 2011-2014, the Czech Republic was a member of the Bureau of the Assembly of States Parties, and in 2014 was re-elected as a member of the Bureau for 2014-2017. The Bureau assists the Assembly in the exercise of its functions in between of its annual meetings. Since 2015, the Czech Republic has served as a regional focal point of the Eastern European Group for the issue of non-cooperation.

In 2014, a working group for international criminal justice of the National Committee for the implementation of international humanitarian law prepared “Information material about the Czech Republic and the International Criminal Justice System”, whose aim is to inform about the existence of international criminal tribunals, the relationship of the Czech Republic to them and the legal framework on cooperation between Czech authorities with international criminal tribunals.

 

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