13 May Seriously, ICC, Update Your Website
The ICC’s website is its public face. Scholars, activists, and interested laypeople — many who live in the situations under investigation — rely on it as their primary source of information about the Court’s activities. So it is imperative that the Court update its website in a timely fashion.
Time and again, however, it does not. Case in point: three new documents concerning decisions by the Libya Pre-Trial Chamber appeared for the first time today, May 13. One is dated April 24; one is dated April 26, and one is dated May 10. None is more than a few pages long, and fortunately none is particularly substantively important. But there is still no excuse — much less any justification — for making them publicly available so long after they were issued by the PTC.
Even more troubling, the April 26 document — granting a request by Ben Emmerson for leave to reply to a recent motion by Libya regarding al-Senussi — mentions that the Registrar was required to “provide a report on the status of the arrangements of the visit to Mr Al-Senussi by his Defence counsel by Friday, 3 May 2013.” That report is obviously critical, as Libya has long been lying about its efforts to arrange such a visit. According to the PTC’s decision, the Registrar’s report should have been submitted 10 days ago. Yet there is no trace of the report on the Court’s website.
The ICC always emphasizes the need for effective outreach. It should start by keeping its website up to date.
UPDATE: Mark Kersten agrees and adds additional important thoughts at Justice in Conflict.