President Anthony Carmona has accepted an invitation from the International Criminal Court (ICC) to address its first ceremonial opening of the court’s judicial year on January 18 at The Hague, Netherlands.
A release from the Office of the President said that Carmona has been honoured by the ICC with an invitation to be its “distinguished guest speaker,” to address its inaugural ceremony for the opening of the judicial year 2018. The court, which was founded on July 17, 1998 in Rome, Italy has never held a ceremonial opening before.
Carmona, who served as a judge of the court from March 2012 to 2013 before becoming President of TT, will leave late next week for The Hague. The ICC will cover his travel and hotel expenses.
In her invitation to Carmona, ICC president Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi said, “I have the distinct honour to invite you to address, as the distinguished guest speaker, the International Criminal Court’s inaugural ceremony for the opening of the judicial year.”
His participation, the ICC president said, “would be of immense importance for the success of what I hope to become an annual tradition underlining the solemn, judicial nature of our institution.”
She continued, “Considering your illustrious career as a distinguish legal expert, a former judge of the court, and head of state of the country that put in motion the process that led to the court’s establishment, I cannot think of anyone more suitable to address this first ceremony of its kind, particularly considering your reputation as an outstanding public speaker.” Carmona’s presence, she said, “would be extremely significant to our institution and the broader cause of international criminal justice, to which I know you are deeply committed.”
Former president ANR Robinson, as prime minister, in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in 1989, proposed the establishment of a court with jurisdiction over international crimes. His proposal led to the adoption of the Rome Statute, the court’s founding treaty, in 1998.