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Dec 3, 2018

AFP Journalist on Covering the I.C.J.

The AFP, or the Agence France-Presse, is an international news agency with over fifteen hundred journalists contributing to its twenty-four-hour news coverage from across the globe. The AFP has one news outlet in The Hague with a staff of four.  They cover news from the Netherlands, the International Criminal Court, the Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals and with an office just a few blocks from the International Court of Justice, it extensively covers each case that goes before the court. The Belizean media pool, which was in The Hague last week, got the opportunity to meet with senior correspondent Jan (Yon) Hennop, to find out what it is like covering the settling of the world’s most prominent international disputes.

 

Jan Hennop

Jan Hennop, Correspondent, AFP

“There have been a lot cases that have gone though it and through the years, Ive seen the court has evolved from being a rather slow moving organization, because it is so massive and you gotta keep it moving. Youve got fifteen judges all with an opinion and eventually they are going to come up with one judgment at the end. So it is a slow moving court. So it is not a court that gives an instantaneous response. I think their judgments are well waited, but I would say in the last few years, things have moved a little bit quicker. Not as quick as wed like to see as journalists of course, but there have been lot quicker movement than in years before.”

 

Reporter

“Would you say if it was your life on the line or your country on line, half of your country on the line, would you have confidence in the I.C.J.?”

 

Jan Hennop

“I most certainly would have confidence in the I.C.J.  I think that one of the things that you see in this court is that the information is very well protected and the reason why they do that is to make sure that there arent certain rumours that are leaking out at various stages of the process. I think that also if you look at the countriesremember these countries come to the court voluntarily. So countries have come, I mean all of themsome of them are big countriesRussias been here, the United States, Iran, India, Pakistan. So it is a diverse group of countries that come through the court to have these methods resolved. And it is something that I really firmly believe in. International courts are there to bring justice into certain forms all around the world. I dont see how that will happen in local courts, in national courts. National courts up to a certain point, but sometimes you need a court that is away from where you are. And that comes back to your original question about people in Belize see this court far away. The reason why it is so far away is perhaps because it needs that perspective to look from the outside in to make a good judgment.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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