Time for Thailand to join the international criminal court
Sat, Jan 22, 2011
The Nation/Asia News Network
On behalf of the presidency and all 18 judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC), I would like to convey good wishes to the people of Thailand. This week I have the pleasure of visiting this beautiful country as a participant in an international conference about the ICC.
The ICC is an independent, permanent court that was set up to end impunity for the most serious crimes of international concern, such as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.
The ICC is the result of long-lasting efforts by the international community to put an end to the kind of unimaginable atrocities that have plagued humankind for far too long. The ICC is based on a treaty, the
The ICC is not a substitute for national justice systems. Under the
The ICC is a court of last resort, which can try individuals suspected of being responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes only when a country's national justice system is unable or unwilling to do so.
Therefore the ICC is a kind of safety net that provides additional assurances of accountability for the gravest crimes of concern to humanity, thereby also contributing to the prevention of future atrocities.
The ICC is a neutral, judicial and non-political body that observes the highest standards of fairness and due process in all of its activities. It is not part of the United Nations system but the two organisations cooperate on many issues.
The ICC is based on the principle of full respect for the sovereignty of states and it is solely the decision of each nation whether to join the ICC or not. The court's membership is constantly growing and currently numbers 114 states parties from the five regions of the world.
The states parties represent diverse legal and religious traditions as well as many different constitutional systems such as republics, federations and monarchies. This geographic, cultural and political diversity demonstrates the truly international nature of the ICC.
Thailand has a progressive record of joining international legal treaties, including 9 out of the 11 core international human rights treaties.
Last month I was delighted to notice that a high-level delegation represented
By taking the next step of ratifying the Statute,
The next elections for the prosecutor and six posts of judges will take place in 2012, so now would be an excellent time to join the ICC to shape its future development and make it even more global than it is now.
In the meantime, the time is ripe for the
Following the good example of many Asian nations where the
This would be an important measure for
Several Asian countries, including
I am certain that not only the 114 states parties, but also the court itself, would be delighted to welcome
Dr Jur. H. C. Hans-Peter Kaul is vice-president of the International Court of Justice. He is in Bangkok to speak at a seminar co-organised by Thammasat University and the German Embassy on "Human Rights and the ICC", and on Monday 24 will meet Ambassador of the EU, Mr David Lipman, and actual representative of the EU presidency, Hungarian Ambassador, Mr Tomjai Denes, to discuss the present state of affairs of the ratification process of the ICC Statute in Thailand.
ภาพและข่าวการชุมนุมคนเสื้อแดง 23 ม.ค. 54 จากสำนักข่าว AFP และ Reuters