Minister opens International Criminal Court Workshop

Thursday, 06 March 2014:

Justice Minister Judith Collins has officially opened a workshop for participants from Asia and the Pacific to discuss the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Auckland today.

The Rome Statute is an international treaty that establishes the international criminal court which was set up to prosecute individuals accused of genocide and other international crimes such as crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Ms Collins says the universality of the Rome Statute is an important goal and represents a way in which Pacific States can demonstrate their commitment to accountability and the international rule of law.

"The best starting point for considering domestic justice or international criminal justice is the rule of law - everyone is subject to the law, and the law must serve everyone," Ms Collins says.

"Perpetrators of the most serious international crimes - war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide - should not be able to escape accountability and evade international justice.

"Through membership to the International Criminal Court, countries demonstrate their commitment to accountability and the rule of law. Widespread adoption of the Rome Statute can also help to prevent serious international crimes in the future.

The Workshop provides participants from Asia and the Pacific with information so they can make an informed decision on ratification of the Rome Statute and the 2010 Kampala Amendments on the crime of aggression.

The Workshop will also provide an opportunity to discuss some of the challenges that are currently facing the ICC.

Participants at the Workshop include President of the International Criminal Court Judge Song and the Secretary-General of the Forum Secretariat (and former judge of the ICC) Tuiloma Neroni Slade.

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