New York, 3 June 2022 (TDI): The UN Security Council discussed accountability and justice, which require the implementation of stringent laws for violations of international laws, including genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
During the discussion, the President of the UN’s highest court, the UN Human Rights Chief, Michelle Bachelet emphasized the adoption of the convention to ‘prevent and punish crimes against humanity.’
Meanwhile, the General Assembly also reviewed a draft developed by the International Law Commission.
The President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Judge Joan E. Donoghue, said that adopting a convention on crimes against humanity would be one way to promote accountability for violations of some fundamental obligations in international law.
She emphasized the need for accountability and justice for restoring peace and prosperity. Judge Joan was talking through a videoconference from The Hague, in the Netherlands, where the Court is based.
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In addition, she said that the convention would enhance the Court’s jurisdictions to settle disputes and emphasize courts to convince governments that it has the authority to proceed.
According to the convention, ICJ can consider and counter any claims if both parties recognize its jurisdiction. Also, She listed genocide and racial discrimination as cases on which jurisdiction is limited.
Framework for the Convention on Accountability and Justice
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, underscored the adoption of a convention to address crimes against humanity would fill a significant gap in the current international framework and facilitate international cooperation in this area.
Consequently, she stressed enhancing the normative and institutional framework to strengthen the legal basis for accountability and justice efforts. She joined the Council meeting from Geneva.
Subsequently, She emphasized ratifying relevant treaties by all States to provide the basis of accountability and justice. She also encouraged the States to accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICC in the common interest of the entire international community.
She stressed the need for the UN Security Council’s support to conduct an impartial investigation, justice, and accountability efforts.
In addition, she suggested putting victims at the heart of decision-making. She said that “this is not only the right thing to do” to acknowledge the victims.
Above all, it helps to identify and address the conditions that have led to severe violations in the first place, she remarked.
Measures against Aggression
Oxford University Professor Dapo Akande said that the convention’s adoption would ensure that the framework for punishing crimes against humanity is similar to that concerning genocide and war crimes.
To clarify, he also stated that the focus of the accountability measures is incomplete as the fourth international crime, aggression, is not addressed.
He stressed ratifying amendments on the crimes of charge to enable ICC to exercise jurisdiction over the supreme international crimes.