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Grounds for divorce ? MSF and the international criminal court

In 1998 MSF decided to support the creation of the International Criminal Court. Whether as victims or witnesses, it seemed obvious that we should participate in this initiative in the name of the protection of populations and the construction of a ‘more just international public order'. 10 years later MSF stated that it ‘would not cooperate and would not transmit any information to the ICC'. The organisation needs to keep its distance from the ICC, as from any other political body.

How can we explain this change of position? Is it Justice or MSF that has broken its promises? What is our position regarding the arrest warrant issued in March 2009 against the President of Sudan and the consequent retaliation against NGOs working in Darfur? Françoise Bouchet-Saulnier looks back at the relations between MSF and judicial proceedings, the theme of a publication in the Cahier du Crash series in 2007 by Fabien Dubuet.

Table of contents

1. Introduction
2. Legal testimony, an extension of humanitarian advocacy
3. MSF's reaction to the creation of the International Criminal Tribunal for ex-Yugoslavia
4. Testimony of a an MSF volunteer at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
5. Why and how not to testify ?
6. The turning point of the ICC
7. MSF's position in 2004
8. The question of individual testimony
9. How does the ICC impact MSF's public communication policy?
10. Testimony and punishment
11. NGOs, Human Rights organisations and the ICC/ Comment by Kate McIntosh, MSF Holland
12. The difference between being a direct eye witness and passing on second-hand information/ Rony Brauman
13. Remain silent or testify ?
14. What are the confusions about relations between MSF and the ICC ?
15. MSF : perpetually evolving policies
16. MSF : the weak link on the international stage ?
17. Fight against impunity or punishment ?

To cite this content :
Françoise Bouchet-Saulnier, Grounds for divorce ? MSF and the international criminal court, 8 April 2009, URL : https://www.msf-crash.org/en/conferences-debates/grounds-divorce-msf-and-international-criminal-court

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