The Deputy Minister for Information, Hon. Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah-Adjei, has tasked journalists and media practitioners, to publicise the good works of the International Criminal Court (ICC), and also constructively criticise the court, as excellence and perfection in international criminal justice is pursued.
She said this at the opening ceremony of the African Centre for International Criminal Justice’s (ACICJ) training programme for journalists and media practitioners, at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), in Accra.
The Deputy Minister noted that the goal of International Criminal Justice is to bring justice to victims of these various unlawful and criminal acts of individuals in society, adding that the ‘masses must know the ICC is our court.’
She reiterated that the court was created through the demand, and with overwhelming support, of African states and civil society alike, to overcome legacies of massive human rights violations, genocide and multiple civil conflicts.
She stated that the masses must know that the issue of the ICC targeting Africa is without any basis but rather it is African victims who are accessing their Court in pursuit of justice, adding that the mandate of the ICC is hinged on the principle of complementarity.
The Deputy Minister also said that the ICC is a court of last resort which only intervenes where states are either unwilling or unable to investigate and prosecute serious crimes.
She observed that public engagement is key if international justice is to have any significant effect beyond The Hague, adding that the courts must do more than speak, stressing that they must be heard. She added that media engagement is an obvious way to inform and educate the public about the work of the courts.
She charged the media to search and provide the right information to the various communities for whom the Court was created.
The training programme, themed, “International Criminal Law & Justice: An Overview”, aims at building legal capacity across the continent through innovative international criminal law education programmes and workshops for African journalists.
The ACICJ seeks to pursue research and scholarship, to develop international criminal law curricula and to provide training and short programmes for Ghanaians and the people of the African continent. It also provides a research and scholarly unit for deliberations on key issues affecting international criminal justice.