On the occasion of the Day of International Criminal Justice, the facilitator of The Hague Working Group on Strategic Planning, Ambassador Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzé (Bolivia), and the Hague Institute for Global Justice hosted a seminar on “Global Justice from a Regional Perspective”.
The international community has increasingly addressed the challenge of impunity in diverse ways. From ad hoc Tribunals, such as the ICTR and the ICTY, to hybrid and specialized national courts, such as the East Timor Tribunal and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. The latest development is the ICC, governed by the Rome Statute, the first permanent, international criminal court established to end impunity for perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.
The founders of The Rome Statute did not anticipate a role for regional courts to exercise criminal jurisdiction over crimes that would otherwise be tried by the ICC or domestically. However, geographical proximity as well as shared values and cultural heritage could promote greater cooperation at the regional level in the fight against impunity. Regional institutions have often become the implementation mechanisms of choice when dealing with human rights violations. Examples of such institutions include the European Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights or the African Court on Human and People’s Rights.
The panel discussion addressed the issue of regionalization of international criminal law and justice, its desirability, and feasibility. It also addressed whether regional courts undermine the ICC and that of national judicial systems by fragmenting and weakening international criminal law.
The seminar featured a keynote address by Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, President of the International Criminal Court, followed by a public panel discussion moderated by His Excellency, Mr. Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzé, Ambassador of Bolivia:
- Ambassador David Scheffer – U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Expert on United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials
- Ms. Michelle Jarvis – OTP Deputy to the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
- Mr. Matthew Carlson – Senior Legal Officer at the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT)
- Ms. Ana Cristina Rodríguez Pineda – Chef de Cabinet of the President at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
The seminar was followed by a lunch reception.
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