Photo: Felipe Michelini, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims at the International Criminal Court since December 2018 ©Magdalena Gutiérrez Rodríguez
The Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) at the International Criminal Court (ICC) announces with great sadness the passing of Felipe Michelini, Chair of the Board of Directors, on Sunday, 19 April 2020.
We mourn with deep regret the untimely departure of Felipe Michelini, as we stay behind in shock from the sudden loss of his warmth, engagement and leadership.
Felipe Michelini was first elected to the TFV Board of Directors in 2015. Upon re-election in December 2018, he became the Chair of the Board.
TFV Board members Mama Koité Doumbia, Baroness Arminka Helić, Sheikh Mohamed Belal and Gocha Lordkipanidze are joined in bereavement: “Felipe Michelini’s passion was to ensure justice for victims. We recall Felipe’s leadership, friendship, skill and commitment to bring about new and strategic thinking for the TFV as a vital pillar of the Rome Statute.” TFV Executive Director Pieter de Baan, recalling Mr Michelini’s support, guidance and personal warmth, offers condolences to the family on behalf of all staff at the TFV Secretariat.
The President of the Assembly of States Parties, Mr. O-Gon Kwon, praised the legacy of Mr. Michelini: "The Assembly conveys its heartfelt condolences to his family. Felipe made an indelible contribution to the Rome Statute system, having played a key role in the annual meetings on the ICC organized for Latin American parliamentarians in Montevideo; he was also the main proponent in having Uruguay become the first State in the region to include Rome Statute crimes as part of its national legislation in 2006. His devotion to the global struggle against impunity for atrocity crimes and the protection of human rights led the Assembly to elect him as a member of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims in 2015. His invaluable contribution has continued as Chair of the Board since 2018."
Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji, President of the ICC also praised the commitment of Mr Michelini and said, “The depth of Mr Michelini’s commitment to all that the ICC stands for was second to none, and it touched all of us at the Court who had the opportunity to work and interact with him. The legacy of his devotion to the cause of justice as well as memories of his warm character will endure with us.”
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda joined in bereavement, “I extend my heartfelt condolences to Mr Michelini’s bereaved family for this immeasurable loss. This past Sunday, the field of international criminal justice has lost one of its greatest champions. Many of us have lost a cherished friend and colleague who always impressed by his candid and deep rooted devotion to the plight of victims of human rights violations. He will be sorely missed but his legacy will continue to inspire“.
ICC Registrar Peter Lewis echoed the commitment of Mr Michelini towards justice for victims and said, “It was my great privilege and pleasure to have worked with such an exceptional public servant. Felipe’s deep personal commitment to the victims of injustice shone through in everything he did and we who worked closely with him have lost a role model as well as a dear friend”.
Felipe Michelini fought tirelessly for human rights throughout his life and was a champion for justice for victims. During his time on the TFV Board of Directors, Felipe Michelini spoke of the TFV’s goals, noting, “There is no justice without reparations. Justice should not only be realised by ensuring victims’ voice are heard and through a conviction, but by providing a comprehensive reparations”.