ICC: International Justice Day 17 July 2011
July 17, 2011 - This Sunday, July 17, 2011, marks the 13th International Justice Day, commemorating the adoption of the Rome Statute, the document that established the International Criminal Court.
Melissa Kaplan, Deputy Director of Government Relations at Citizens for Global Solutions and Coordinator of the Washington Working Group on the International Criminal Court (WICC) said,
"On this day, we mark the world community's establishment of a permanent international court of accountability for the most heinous of crimes, including genocide, crimes against humanity, aggression, and war crimes. We urge all nations committed to justice to continue their support of the International Criminal Court."
As we remember this day, it is important to reflect on the state of international justice. With recent addition of Tunisia, there are currently 116 nations that are member states party to the Rome Statute, and the list of nations who believe in supporting international criminal justice keeps expanding. The Philippines, Malaysia, Cape Verde, and Maldives are close to ratifying the treaty to accept the Court's jurisdiction. read more>>>
International justice system blossoms
No longer can war criminals expect amnesty 'for the sake of peace', no longer are victims asked to forget.
17 Jul 2011 - As we acknowledge International Justice Day on July 17, calls for accountability for human rights abuses resound across the globe, from Cairo to Washington, from Bogota to Kinshasa, from Srebrenica to Colombo. The demands for justice are today a driving force of social change and popular revolutions, and their reach now extends to those at the highest levels of power. Those leaders have, from time immemorial, been deemed untouchable and often afforded immunity in furtive and shabby deals that shielded them from prosecution "for the sake of peace". That day is passing.
The notion that impunity for mass atrocities and severe human rights violations is acceptable has been shattered, largely due to the accelerating development of international justice over the past two decades. While there are legitimate debates about the performance and capacity of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and ad hoc tribunals (and they have yet to live up to their promises in terms of their of impact on affected communities), it is nonetheless beyond dispute that international justice plays an increasingly important role in our rapidly changing world.
The most visible impact of these courts and tribunals comes from their power to directly investigate and prosecute political and military leaders who are usually beyond the reach of national courts. The arrest of Slobodan Milosevic in 2001 marked the beginning of a new era in which it is now possible to arrest high-level figures, setting the stage for the ICC to issue arrest warrants for Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan, and Muammar Gadhafi, the president of Libya.
They join a lengthening line of leaders from Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Liberia and other countries who have found that impunity for serious crimes is rapidly eroding. read more>>>