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Building - ICC Premises
Building - ICC Premises
The International Criminal Court is currently housed in temporary premises located on the eastern border of the city of The Hague in The Netherlands. The building, which because of its design is also referred to as the “Arc”, has been provided by the Host State, which will also pay for the Court’s housing until 2012, the first ten years after the establishment of the Court.

However, the current premises do not fulfill the Court’s requirements in terms of office space and security in the longer term. Therefore, the Host State, the Court, and the States Parties have been looking for alternative options regarding the future housing of the Court.

Alexanderkazerne option and Functional Brief
At its fifth session in November 2006, the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) adopted a resolution, which proposed to focus only on the Alexanderkazerne option and requested that the Court and the Host State prepare additional information on the requirements of the Court and the details of the Host State’s financial offer.

Hence, in April 2007 the Registry prepared a functional brief which was submitted to the Committee on Budget and Finance (CBF) for consideration. This document, which was assessed and modified by architectural/building experts during a series of meetings in The Hague, spells out all the functions that the Court will need for its future premises and the user and security requirements reflecting scalability in staffing levels.

The Coalition organised large consultative rounds among its active members, ensuring input from all the regions and from all relevant fields of expertise. As a result, the Team submitted recommendations to the Court on two different occasions on issues such as: legal representation, victims and witnesses, public and observers, among others. Many of the recommendations of civil society were taken into account by the Court and consequently included in the brief.

Sixth ASP
At its sixth session in December 2007, the ASP considered the Bureau’s report on the permanent premises, as facilitated by Mr. Masud Husain (Canada). The report proposed the establishment of an Oversight Committee to give overall direction to the project, and a Project Office, led by a Project Director, in charge of the everyday management of the project. The ASP also considered the recommendations of the CBF to proceed with the architectural competition on the basis suggested by the Bureau, taking into account the importance of flexibility and scalability.

The CICC Team on ICC Premises had expressed the need for adequate global dissemination of the initial public calling for candidatures, which should provide sufficient background information. Also, the Team had recommended that the ASP ensure that the expertise, views and concerns of civil society organisations, as one of the main stakeholders and users of the ICC, is taken into account during the design selection by allowing a representative to participate on the jury of the competition.

The ASP adopted a permanent premises resolution as recommended by the Bureau in its report and thus decided to go ahead with the architectural design competition. The resolution further establishes the Oversight Committee and a Project Board, the first as a standing subsidiary body of the ASP to give strategic oversight to the project, and the latter a consultative structure with the Court for the overall management of the construction.

The ASP also created the Project Director’s Office in charge of the routine management of the project; as well as a Trust Fund dedicated to the construction of the premises to be funded through voluntary contributions from any governments, international organisations, individuals, corporations or other entities.

Regarding the schedule for the design competition, the ASP agreed to set a timeframe of two months after the call for candidatures before initiating the pre-selection process. Moreover, although the ASP adopted English as the official language of the competition for practical reasons, it nevertheless noted that this should not be considered a precedent and reaffirmed its commitment to the two working languages of the Court and the six official languages of the Assembly.

Finally, the ASP decided to recommend that the Coalition for the International Criminal Court be given an observer seat on the jury for the architectural design competition.

The ICC permanent premises competition was subsequently launched on 4 February 2008.

NGO Team
The CICC coordinates an NGO Team on Premises that includes representatives of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, among others, and that prepares recommendations to the Court and the ASP concerning the Court’s premises.

For more information on this issue and on the NGO Premises Team, please contact Ms. Kirsten Meersschaert at the CICC Secretariat in The Hague: [email protected]

Documents produced by the CICC Secretariat: Compilation of Documents on Premises – upon request: [email protected]
Building - ICC Premises
The ICC is currently housed in interim premises in The Hague, The Netherlands, in the so-called "Arc." The Court is planned to move to permanent premises in 2012. Credit: ICC-CPI.
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