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n Journal for Juridical Science - Prosecuting the main perpetrators of international crimes in Eritrea : possibilities under international law

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Abstract

A growing international consensus has emerged in the last few decades on the need to prosecute egregious violations of international law. In this regard, the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is seen as a landmark development in the global protection of international human rights and humanitarian law standards. Since its independence in 1991, Eritrea has experienced heinous violations of international law. The violations amount to international core crimes, as defined by the ICC Statute and customary international law. These include crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. There are consistent reports, as well as documentary and testimonial evidence from reliable sources on this. Accordingly, a number of high-ranking government officials may be reasonably suspected of involvement in the perpetration of international crimes in Eritrea. However, Eritrea is not a state party to the ICC Statute and this means that many of the international crimes perpetrated in the country may not fall under the jurisdiction of the ICC. On the other hand, violations are continuing with impunity, as there are no effective domestic remedies to rectify the problem, giving rise to the need for immediate intervention by the international community. The article discusses the legal implications of the ICC Statute with regard to international crimes committed in Eritrea before and after the coming into effect of the Statute. Drawing on the latest developments of international criminal law, it explores possible options for the prosecution of the main perpetrators of international crimes pursuant to Security Council referral as stipulated under article 13(b) of the ICC Statute.


'n Groeiende internasionale konsensus het ontstaan oor die afgelope paar dekades betreffende die noodsaak om growwe skendings van die internasionale reg te vervolg. In hierdie opsig word die instelling van die Internasionale Strafhof (ISH) gesien as 'n mylpaal in die globale beskerming van internasionale standaarde met betrekking tot menseregte en die humanitêre reg. Sedert onafhanklikwording in 1991, het Eritrea gruwelike skendings van die internasionale reg beleef. Die skendings kom neer op internasionale kernmisdade, soos gedefinieer deur die ISH-statuut en die internasionale gewoontereg. Dit sluit misdade teen die mensdom, oorlogsmisdade en die misdaad van aggressie in. Daar is aanhoudende berigte, sowel as dokumentêre en getuiebewyse van betroubare bronne hieroor. Gevolglik kan 'n aantal hoë regeringsamptenare redelikerwys van betrokkenheid by die pleging van internasionale misdade in Eritrea verdink word. Eritrea is egter nie 'n staatsparty tot die ISH-statuut nie en dit beteken gevolglik dat baie van die internasionale misdade wat in die land gepleeg is nie onder die jurisdiksie van die ISH val nie. Aan die ander kant vind die skendings straffeloos plaas, aangesien daar geen effektiewe plaaslike remedies bestaan om die probleem reg te stel nie, wat die noodsaak van onmiddellike ingryping deur die internasionale gemeenskap onderstreep. Die artikel bespreek die regsimplikasies van die ISH-statuut met betrekking tot die internasionale misdade wat in Eritrea voor en na die inwerkingtreding van die Statuut gepleeg is. Met verwysing na die nuutste ontwikkelings in die internasionale reg, word moontlike opsies vir die vervolging van die hoof plegers van internasionale misdade, volgend op 'n verwysing van die Veiligheidsraad, soos bepaal ingevolge artikel 13(b) van die ISH-statuut, bespreek.

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/content/juridic/33/2/EJC55603
2008-12-01
2016-12-05
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