At the crossroads of the rule of law: Malaysia must confront challenges to international and domestic justice now — Steven Thiru

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY STEVEN THIRU

President of the Malaysian Bar Steven Thiru - Picture by MMO/Saw Siow Feng

President of the Malaysian Bar Steven Thiru – Picture by MMO/Saw Siow Feng

JULY 16 — Tomorrow, July 17, 2015, marks the Day of International Criminal Justice, which commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute on July 17, 1998, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Rome Statute seeks to protect people from genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression, and the ICC has proven itself to be an effective mechanism to address international crimes.

In this regard, the first-year anniversary of the shooting down of MH17 on July 17, 2014, serves to focus efforts to bring the perpetrators of an international crime to justice. It also raises the question of how, and where, they are to be prosecuted once they are apprehended.

Efforts are ongoing this week at the United Nations Security Council in New York to gather support for Malaysia’s proposal to establish an international tribunal to prosecute those responsible for the downing of MH17 over eastern Ukraine last year.[1] This will see the participation of the Netherlands, Australia, Britain and the Ukraine, who are all members of the Joint Investigation Team.

The Malaysian Bar supports the principle that the perpetrators of this heinous act must be brought to justice. However, the government has not explained why it has chosen the route of an ad hoc international tribunal instead of the well-established ICC system. Read more