Debevoise and PILPG Submit Commentary to International Criminal Court Prosecutor on Policy on Children

8 June 2023

June 8th 2023 – Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has once again partnered with Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG) and other pro bono law firm partners to submit commentary on the International Criminal Court Office of the Prosecutor (OTP)’s 2016 Policy on Children as part of the policy renewal process.

In their comments (available here), Debevoise, PILPG and the other partners specifically recommended that the OTP:

  • Employ a situational analysis, and in particular a gendered analysis, of crimes involving child soldiers;
  • Recognize child victims of crimes committed by members of their own armed forces;
  • Expand intersectionality in investigating and prosecuting crimes against and affecting children;
  • Enhance involvement and protection of child witnesses in the OTP’s work; and
  • Adopt a child-centered and child-sensitive approach to reparations.

Paul Williams, President of PILPG, commented: “It is always a pleasure to partner with our colleagues at Debevoise & Plimpton to provide commentary to the ICC, this time on the Office of the Prosecutor’s 2016 Policy on Children to assist the office in working towards a more suitable and inclusive justice for children affected by armed conflict. We are honored to have this opportunity to contribute to the advancement of the policy and to thereby also contribute to the way the Court interacts with and serves those most vulnerable.”

Milena Sterio, Managing Director at PILPG, commented: “It has been an honor to work with a dedicated team of talented lawyers to expand on the ICC Office of the Prosecutor's 2016 Policy on Children. The team suggested ways to expand thinking on how children affected by war deserve to be treated by the Court and other Transitional Justice actors, and I hope to see these implemented in the future policy.”

In March and November 2022, Debevoise and PILPG submitted comments to the OTP concerning its policy initiative to advance accountability for gender-based persecution under the Rome Statute.

The Debevoise team includes partner Natalie L. Reid and associates Monika Hlavkova, Perpétua Chéry and Olivia Collin, and law clerk Paige Sferrazza.