Matthew D. Heaphy has served as deputy convener of the American Non-Governmental Organizations Coalition for the International Criminal Court (AMICC) since July 2006.
Before joining AMICC, Heaphy worked as an associate legal officer in Trial Chamber I at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague and interned as a law clerk to Judge Anita Ušacka at the International Criminal Court. He also worked as an antitrust litigation lawyer in San Francisco.
During law school, Heaphy clerked in the litigation department of a Brazilian law firm in Rio de Janeiro and represented human rights advocates as a Frank C. Newman intern at the 59th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights.
A graduate of Wesleyan University and the University of San Francisco School of Law cum laude, Heaphy has been a member of the State Bar of California since December 2003.
The ICC announced today that the ICC prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, has opened a formal investigation into the situation in Libya. The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1970 on Saturday, Feb. 26, which referred the situation to the prosecutor, thereby granting the court jurisdiction over alleged crimes committed in Libya since Feb. 15. The resolution did not, and could not, require the ICC to act. Since the Security Council referred the situation, under the court’s Rome Statute, the prosecutor did not need the permission of the Pre-Trial Chamber to open an investigation. However, the prosecutor will not necessarily be able to proceed quickly, given the difficulty of doing investigations in Libya and the challenges of an ongoing conflict there. More information is available at http://www.icc-cpi.int/Menus/Go?id=3eee2e2a-2618-4d66-8ecb-c95beccc300c&lan=en-GB.
On Saturday, Feb. 26, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1970 to address the ongoing crisis in Libya and to refer the situation there to the ICC prosecutor. Since Libya is not a state party to the Rome Statute, the referral provides the basis for ICC jurisdiction over alleged crimes committed in Libya since Feb. 15. It invites, but cannot require, the prosecutor to open an investigation into crimes within the court’s jurisdiction. This resolution may mark the beginning of a new era in the work of the court and in its relationship with the US. It is quite possible that there will be further referrals, supported by the US, of the cases of fallen leaders in other countries in the Middle East.
The secretariat of the American Non-Governmental Organizations Coalition for the International Criminal Court participated in the ninth session of the Assembly of States Parties at the UN in New York from Dec. 6-10, 2010. The group's report is now available at its Web site: http://www.amicc.org/docs/ASP9.pdf. You will also find a link on the site to a video interview with US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues Stephen Rapp, released on American Non-Governmental Organizations Coalition's blog and YouTube channel to coincide with Human Rights Day on Dec. 10.
Here are the contents of a letter that Bill Pace, the convener of the International NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) received from the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon. Our organization at UNA, the American NGO Coalition for the ICC (AMICC), is the national network for the international coalition. The actual letter is at: www.coalitionfortheicc.org/documents/Review_Conference_letter_from_SG_27Aug10.pdf