Thursday, 29 December 2011

International Criminal Justice and its Relationship with National Courts

Two recent developments highlight some of the interesting relationships between international criminal justice institutions and national legal systems.
Yesterday, a Dutch Court ruled that three witnesses who had travelled to The Hague to testify in the Katanga trial have the right to apply for refugee status in the Netherlands. The ruling reverses an earlier decision made by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service but confirms decisions issued by the Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court released a few months ago and discussed on this blog.
Meanwhile, in Paris, the French government has refused to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in its attempts to arrest Florence Hartmann, who has been convicted of contempt of court. The French authorities took the view that they are required by virtue of the Security Council resolution to cooperate in apprehending persons suspected of committing international crimes but that they have no duty as regards administrative matters like contempt. As permanent members of the Security Council and therefore godfathers of the Tribunal, I suppose they ought to know.
According to the New York Times, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry in Paris, said that it would be impossible for France to fulfill the request because judicial agreements between France and the Tribunal do not apply to offenses sich as contempt of court.
What is the next step? I suppose the Tribunal should report France to the Security Council for non-compliance. I wonder what will happen then.

1 comment:

anni said...

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