Campaign for Good Governance (CGG) recently concluded a consultation on justice and impunity at its Tengbeh Town office in Freetown.
The consultation was one of series of programmes to honour the international Day of Justice.
Mr Abdul Rahim Kamara of Manifesto 99 made a presentation on the background to the ‘Rome Statue’ and operations of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
He explained that, “the ICC was born as a result of the unimagined atrocities perpetrated on mankind by mankind throughout the world”. He emphasised that the ICC had been established “to put an end to impunity.”
Mr Kamara explicated that, “the ICC is a permanent institution which is meant for those who commit crimes against humanity”, pointing out that “the court could not try anybody on aggression as what constitutes aggression has not yet been defined by the court”.
He explained that 120 state parties on 17 July 1998 adopted the Rome Statute in Rome, adding that the adoption of the Rome Statute by these countries created the ICC.
Mr Kamara explained that, “the date of the adoption of the Rome Statue is what is honoured as World Justice Day…the ICC came to force on 1 July 2002 when 60 parties ratified the document.”
He pointed out that the ICC was not setup to supplant national jurisdiction but was there to complement its efforts.
On justice and impunity, lawyer Alpha Sesay explained about what some war victims might perceive as justice. In his well delivered exposé, he noted that some victims might want symbolic recognition for their loved ones lost during the war, while others would prefer retribution (justice) or reparations for siblings.
Recommendations were made at the end of the consultation to address the issue of impunity and a caution statement to all political parties as the August 11 elections approached.