Systemic disappearances qualify as crimes against humanity in ICC, says Boyle

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 26 December 2012, 22:46 GMT]
The enforced disappearances of human beings that are widespread and systematic, such as the abductions of Tamils in the NorthEast including the midnight abduction of 28-year-old Mrs Soundararajan Sivamalar in Uduvil, Jaffna, on Christmas eve by Sri Lanka's Terrorism Division, are a Crime against Humanity under the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court (ICC), Professor Boyle of the University of Illinois College of Law said. "So if Gotobhaya travels to an ICC Member State, it might be possible to get him prosecuted in the visiting country under its domestic implementing legislation for the Rome Statute," Boyle said.

Spokesperson for Tamils Against Genocide (TAG), a US-based activist group said, "While we are fighting to overturn the protection given to the primary genocidaire, Mahinda Rajapakse, by the United States Department of State under the extra-legal and discretionary application of the doctrine of Head of State Immunity, we will not have a similar issue with sibling Gotabhaya Rajakapakse, when he travels to a ICC signatory state," TAG said.

Boyle added, "under the ICC Rome Statute, it is a requirement that member states enact domestic implementing legislation making ICC Rome Statute Crimes domestic crimes as well. Hence it might be possible to prosecute Gotobaya under these domestic ICC Crimes even if the ICC does not have jurisdiction.

"This is how the objectors scared President Bush out of traveling to Switzerland by demanding his prosecution if he showed up there under their domestic implementing legislation for the ICC even though the USA is not a party to the Rome Statute," Boyle added.

Most of Europe now has domestic implementing legislation for the ICC. International Criminal Court Act No. 41, 2002 facilitates compliance by Australia with obligations under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and for related purposes.


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