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Towards an End to Impunity: The international criminal Court between New York and Rome

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D epartm ent of Foreign A ffairs and Trade

Joint News Release

D 1/98 5 May 1998

Towards an End to Impunity:

The International Criminal Court between New York and Rome

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Downer, and the Attorney-General, Mr Williams, will this week co-host, with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Australian Red Cross, a two-part seminar on the International Criminal Court.

The seminar - ‘Towards an End to Impunity: the International Criminal Court between New York and Rome’ - is being held on the verge of the realisation of one of the most significant developments in international relations this century: the creation of a permanent International Criminal Court.

On Wednesday 6 May, a public seminar at the Australian National University will be held involving participants from government, academia and nongovernmental organisations. On Thursday 7 May a seminar will be held at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for government representatives from the Asia-Pacific region.

Both Ministers will be participating in the Thursday meeting which will provide a valuable fomm for'an exchange of views on the Court by representatives from regional countries.

The seminar comes ahead of an international conference in Rome which will be a critical step towards the creation of the Court. The Diplomatic Conference to adopt the Statute of the International Criminal Court will be held in Rome from 15 June to 17 July.

The Attorney-General and the Minister for Foreign Affairs have provided from their portfolios significant financial contributions for the seminar.

The seminar will consider key issues relating to the Court such as the interface between national and international jurisdictions, the definitions of crimes under the jurisdiction of the Court and the trigger mechanism for the exercise of the Court's jurisdiction.

' The seminar features prominent key note speakers and experts on the International Criminal ""Court including Justice Louise Arbour, Prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda; Dr Zhu Wen-Qi, Legal Advisor, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda; and Ms Marie-Claude Roberge, Legal Expert on the International

Criminal Court, International Committee of the Red Cross.

Sir Ninian Stephen, a former judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, will also chair sessions of the seminar on 7 May.

Media arrangements: Wed 6 May, ANU, open public forum . Media inquiries: Vedrun Drakulic, Australian Red Cross (03) 9345 1865, mobile 041 9579209 Thurs 7 May, Department o f Foreign A ffairs and

Trade, RG Casey Building. Media invited fo r M inisters' speeches, at 9am, 5th Floor, JD Anthony Room. Media Inquiries: Tony M elville/Kirk Coningham (Department o f Foreign Affairs and Trade) (02) 6261 1555.

Media Contact (Attorney-General’s Department) Lindsay Olney: 02 6250 6 5 5 1 .