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Connie de la Vega and Alen Mirza

Chapter 3 is a practical guide to advocacy at the International Criminal Court. It is divided into two parts: (1) advocacy within the litigation context, primarily on behalf of victims; and (2) work outside the litigation framework. The first part primarily focuses on victim advocacy, including: attaining counsel status; group versus individual representation; victim participation before and during trial; appeals; sentencing, and reparations. This first, litigation-oriented part also describes promoting prosecutions or investigations through the so-called ‘Article 15’ process and filing amicus curiae briefs in active cases. The second part of the chapter looks outside the courtroom. It offers instruction on conducting fieldwork, including locating victims/witnesses and connecting them to the ICC and counsel, and helping enable reparations. The chapter concludes with a primer on participating in the annual meeting of the ICC’s governing body, the Assembly of States Parties.

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Connie de la Vega and Alen Mirza

This book provides a practical, experience-based guide for advocates using international institutions to remedy human rights violations. Since 1948, when the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, mechanisms for addressing human rights violations have multiplied. These mechanisms, covered in previous chapters, include UN Charter-based bodies, treaty-based organizations, regional institutions, and others. These bodies provide numerous methods for addressing human rights violations, from filing complaints to participating in meetings that result in resolutions and raising awareness about these violations. Each mechanism has its own admissibility requirements, which include accreditation, timeliness of claims, and exhaustion of remedies. For practitioners the maze of rules and institutions can be difficult to navigate. This Conclusion looks to help advocates think strategically about how best to maximize the institution’s intended effect of promoting human rights at all levels based on their specific advocacy goals and objectives. Advocates should note that isolated engagement with international institutions is rarely successful. The most effective use of the procedures outlined in this book is when they are thoughtfully integrated as part of a larger advocacy strategy that engages, when appropriate, governments, other NGOs, both grassroots and global, human rights victims, and the media. As such, advocates should treat these procedures as one tool among many to realize their intended human rights objectives. Furthermore, advocacy will not end at the international or regional level. Advocates should work towards ensuring that decisions in cases or resolutions or other outcome documents are meaningfully enforced or realized at the national level. Lastly, advocates should recognize that human rights are interdependent and interrelated. As noted in the UN Population Fund, ‘the fulfillment of one right often depends, wholly or in part, upon the fulfillment of others. For instance, fulfillment of the right to health may depend, in certain circumstances, on the fulfillment of the right to development, to education or to information’. Advocates, particularly those dedicated to a particular thematic concern, should think broadly about the various human rights standards impacted by the issues they pursue and the possible venues that would benefit from of their perspective.

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Connie de la Vega and Alen Mirza

This book is a practical, experience-based guide for advocates seeking remedies for human rights violations through the use of international institutions. Since 1948, when the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, mechanisms for addressing human rights violations have multiplied to include UN Charter based bodies, treaty-based organizations including the international criminal court, and regional institutions. Each mechanism has its own admissibility requirements: accreditation, timeliness of claims, and exhaustion of remedies. For practitioners, the maze of rules and institutions can be difficult to navigate. This book offers step-by-step approaches for maximizing the institutions’ intended effect–promotion of human rights at all levels.
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Connie de la Vega and Alen Mirza

Chapter 1 covers the United Nation’ Charter-based and treaty-based human rights procedures. The first part covers participation in the Charter-based procedures, which includes the Human Rights Council and the bodies that report to the Economic and Social Council, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, as well as the Specialized Agencies. The process for getting accreditation is addressed. The work of the body, the outcome documents, and how Civil Society, including non-governmental organizations, can submit written statements and make oral statements is covered. The second part of this chapter covers the treaty bodies, including their review of States Parties reports and adjudicating individual complaints. Also included are the mechanisms for issuing of General Comments, conducting inquiries, early warning or urgent action procedures, and conducting country visits. Suggestions for how advocates can participate and make use of these to best protect and promote human rights are made.

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Connie de la Vega and Alen Mirza

This chapter discusses the regional human rights systems in the Americas, Europe and Africa. Part 1 covers the procedures under both the Inter-American Commission and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which include the general petition process and the one under the American Convention.  Also covered are the thematic hearings before the Commission. Part 2 covers the European Court of Human Rights, including the use of Protocols and the admissibility of individual complaints. Also included are the Court's mechanisms for navigating a serious backlog of cases, the types of remedies the Court can demand from States Parties, and the role of the Council of Europe in the Court's administration. Lastly, Part 3 covers the procedures under both the African Commission and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which include the obtaining NGO observer status, attending Commission sessions, submitting shadow reports, writing amicus briefs, and submitting individual communications.