By Benjamin Duerr*
The ICC Dictionary is a guide for everyone interested in the proceedings in The Hague. It contains almost 200 of the most important terms and concepts with short explanations in alphabetical order. Justice Hub is presenting a selection of some of the terms highlighted by the Dictionary.
Fact of common knowledge
Facts which are common knowledge must not be proven. According to Article 69(b) of the Statute, “the Court shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge but may take judicial notice of them”. An example of common knowledge would be the fact that Christmas is on 25 December. Taking judicial notice of facts of common knowledge is a method to speed up proceedings and save the resources of the Court.
False testimony is considered an offense against the administration of justice and is can be punished by the Court. Depending the gravity of the offense, the OTP can request to open a new case and prosecute the offense. The same applies to other offenses such as manipulation of witnesses, disclosure of protected material or the refusal to testify.
The floor language is the language that is spoken in the court room. In the same hearing, a judge may speak English while an accused speaks French or a witness her local language. Everything is translated simultaneously in various languages which adds to the floor language an English and a French language channel. Visitors in the public gallery can chose between those channels.
*Benjamin Duerr is a correspondent and foreign reporter covering the International Criminal Court and the war crimes tribunals in The Hague.