|2012 International Activities|
Since its inception, ISISC has strongly supported the development and enhancement of International Criminal Law. It is worth mentioning that, in 2012, ISISC has successfully submitted an application to register as a vendor to the United Nations Procurement Division (PD).
In 2012, ISISC continued its cooperation with the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on the implementation of a project on “Post-Conflict Justice and Islamic Principles”. ISISC and USIP worked on editing the papers submitted by the project’s experts addressing contemporary issues of post-conflict justice under Islamic law. A coordination meeting was held in Washington DC in September in order to assess the status of the project and the future steps to be undertaken.
In September 2011, ISISC also started the “Protecting Human Rights in North Africa” project. The project contained two main objectives. First, the project established a database of government, media and NGO reports and other public sources regarding events related to the conflict in Libya that began in March 2011. Second, the project conducted a study compiling the history and context of the conflict, as well as providing a chronology and assessment of events which occurred, with a particular focus on allegations of human rights abuses by all involved parties. The purpose of the project was to supplement the work of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry (UN COI) on Libya and to provide a resource for the post-commission United Nations and ICC work. The results of the study were provided to the UN COI on Libya. A preliminary report was completed in March 2012. The report focused on locations in Libya which saw the heaviest fighting during the conflict. These were often areas where allegations of human rights abuses involving both opposition and government forces were highest. The report will be converted into book form, with the final version expected to reach approximately 700 pages.
The research program on “BICI Principles” is based on the “BICI Principles and Best Practices for International and National Commissions of Inquiry”, which are a set of principles and guidelines for international and national fact-finding bodies. In recent decades, fact-finding bodies have been increasingly used as a method of promoting human rights, fostering national reconciliation, identifying needs for reform and conflict resolution in specific circumstances, attributing responsibility for violations and informing the general public of certain situations. Fact-finding bodies are an important tool because only in determining the facts of a situation can effective long-term strategies be developed. A fact-finding mission, when conducted optimally, can potentially aid in averting protracted conflicts that are damaging to a society in terms of human, institutional and economic costs. The “BICI Principles” are intended to provide fair, objective and neutral standards for such bodies to promote accuracy, independence and impartiality in order to bring about wider acceptance of findings and foster trustworthy information-sharing between missions, organizations and institutions conducting parallel work. In light of the above, this research program will bring together world-renowned experts on fact-finding bodies to review a set of draft principles and adopt a final version to be made publicly available, along with a report on UN international fact-finding missions.
Finally, on December 1, 2012, ISISC celebrated its 40th anniversary with a ceremony under the High Patronage of the President of the Republic of Italy. The unveiling of a plaque sent for the occasion by the President of the Italian Republic was followed by the keynote speech of the Italian Minister of Justice and by the introductory remarks of the Mayor of Siracusa. After a musical interlude by a string quartet, the President of the Institute, Prof. M. Cherif Bassiouni, delivered a presentation on the 40 years of history and activities of the Institute. Celebratory speeches from a number of national and international authorities closed the “Celebration of the 40th anniversary of ISISC”, including the First President of the Italian Court of Cassation, the Prosecutor General of the Italian Court of Cassation and the United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues.