Special Correspondent

ICC will benefit from India’s jurists, says coordinator

VISAKHAPATNAM: India, which is a regional leader in South Asia, has a responsibility to support international rule of law and justice and it should demonstrate it by joining the International Criminal Court (ICC), based in The Hague, Netherlands, said ICC-India coordinator Soumya Uma in the city on Friday. Addressing a seminar on ICC and its relevance to India under the auspices of ICC-India campaign and the Andhra University Law Department, she said India should also ratify some key human rights conventions, such as torture and enforced disappearances. The ICC would benefit from India’s jurists and jurisprudence and suspects who might commit ICC crimes in India and escape to other countries could be made accountable through cooperation among ICC member States. Besides India would be sending a message to the international community that it was fully capable of domestically prosecuting for ICC crimes, and has nothing to fear from the ICC; and Indian lawyers would be able to participate in and contribute to the functioning of the ICC, the court of last resort.

Global court

ICC, which has a membership of 106 countries and which is the only permanent global court capable of trying individuals accused of the most serious of crimes under the international law, was set up in July 2002 to promote democracy in human rights. The ICC would prosecute only individuals and not States on crimes like genocide, war crimes and crime against humanity that include murder, rape, torture and enslavement.

Ms. Soumya stressed that India should join the ICC as many perpetrators of international crimes, particularly communal violence, were escaping from the clutches of law through the legal loop holes.

However she mentioned that ICC did not support death penalty for any crime.

AU Law Department Dean R. Venkata Rao hoped that India would realise its mistake of not joining the ICC and a day would come when it would join ICC and strengthen the efforts taken world over to prevent crimes against humanity and uphold rule of law.