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PGA's Consultative Assembly of Parliamentarians for the ICC and the Rule of Law

Under PGA's International Law and Human Rights Programme and coinciding with the year in which the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court entered into force, PGA members, led by Hon. Irwin Cotler, MP (Canada), former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice launched the Consultative Assembly of parliamentarians for the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Rule of Law (CAP-ICC) held in Ottawa in 2002.

The Consultative Assembly is the only global gathering of legislators focused solely on the ICC. Its meetings represent a unique opportunity for several hundred legislators of all continents to discuss and define strategies to advance the strategic goals of mobilizing in favour of the ICC.

The sessions of the Consultative Assembly are located in accordance with the strategic objectives of the Campaign, aiming at facilitating the largest participation of lawmakers from targeted regions, paving the way for the advancement of the accession process in key countries.

From 2002 to 2004, the Consultative Assembly met on an annual basis in 2002 in Ottawa, in 2003 in New York and in 2004 in New Zealand. Under its current biennial format, the fourth session took place in Japan (2006), the fifth in Santo Domingo (2008), the sixth in Kampala, Uganda (2010), and the seventh session is planned to take place in Rome, Italy in December 2012, at the birthplace of the Rome Statute and on the ocassion of the 10th Anniversary of its entry into force.

A common aspect to the sessions of the Consultative Assembly has been the adoption of a strong final document which MPs use in-between sessions as road map to promote political initiatives to strengthen the role of the ICC as a universal, effective and credible institution designed to deter the future commission of crimes that shock the conscience of humanity. Therefore, the gathering of experience and the aim of maximizing the preventative role of the ICC is a cross-cutting element of PGA country-specific work, especially when such work targets conflict or post-conflict societies (see PGA paper on the ICC and Deterrence)

The Consultative Assembly has, in parallel, regional Working Groups meetings soliciting all opinions concerning the ICC and initiatives for the reinforcement of the rule of law, including from those who remain critical or sceptical of the role to be played by this international court. PGA employs a methodology of inter-parliamentary dialogue, peer-to-peer exchange and non partisan approach to experiences from which no single voice of democratically elected representatives is excluded. All parliamentarians concerned with the challenges faced by the ICC and related to the fight against impunity are invited to contribute to the Consultative Assembly process.

During the first 6 sessions, delegations of more than 107 countries participated in the Consultative Assembly of Parliamentarians for the ICC and the Rule of Law.

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