21 years of the ICC – what challenges do journalists face in reporting justice?

Justice must not only be done, but also seen to be done.
Typically, international criminal justice processes tend to occur far away from those who are most affected by the crimes they seek to address, thus alienating them from their most important constituency. The media continues to be an important instrument in the use of the public sphere.

Three journalists from different parts of the world will share their experiences in the challenges of reporting international justice. They will discuss about the role of the media in the process – challenges, possibilities, traumas and threats, the misunderstandings, the manipulations, the lack of knowledge, the difficulties  to follow the trials in The Hague, but also all the idealism and commitment.

How do they work with victims and survivors to represent their stories? What challenges do they face with translating difficult terminology and making sense of complex processes? How do they bridge the gap with the distant institutions in The Hague?


  • Benson Ongom is from Uganda, where the focus is on alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the context of a conflict between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the national authorities in Uganda since 1 July 2002. The ICC has already convicted Dominic Ongwen, a former LRA commander, on February 4, 2021and a phase dedicated to the reparations to victims is ongoing. He will be better placed at speaking on these issues and voicing the concerns of the people of Uganda.
  • Carla Angola is a Venezuelan national where the ICC is investigating the crimes of the regime against its people. Her constant reports of crimes against humanity and the repression in Venezuela, makes her a perfect candidate for voicing the justice processes in the country as well as any current developments regarding the situation.
  • Lian Buan comes from the Philippines. There is a renewed interest in the situation in the country and the ICC is currently conducting a preliminary examination focused on alleged crimes against humanity committed in the context of the “war on drugs” campaign. Ms. Lian has been covering this case since 2018.
  • Pierre Claver Niyonkuru is Burundian Senior International Journalist Reporter at VOA. Interested and works closely with the International Criminal Court, ICC, on cases involving the Central Africa Division countries. In Exile since 2015 because of his profession of Journalism.
Event moderator is Thomas Verfuss, a journalist, the training editor of Journalists For Justice, and the president of the AJICC, an organization that advocates for journalists covering the work of the ICC and aims to enhance the conditions for journalists in countries affected by war crimes. He has extensive knowledge of the media’s role in reporting on justice issues and ICC’s procedures.

Event is co-organised by Journalists for Justice.

This will be a hybrid event, with both online and in-person participation possible.


Join the event Livestream: https://www.youtube.com/haguetalks

09:30 –11:00 GMT + 2 (The Hague)

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