THE world marks each year World Day for International Justice also referred to as Day of International Criminal Justice or International Justice Day on July 17.
This is the date the Rome Statute, which established the International Criminal Court (ICC), was adopted.
On June 1, 2010 at the Review Conference of the Rome Statute in Kampala, Uganda, the Assembly of States Parties decided to mark July 17 as Day of International Criminal Justice.
Since then States Parties have been marking this day every year.
The day reminds us the importance of continuing the fight against impunity and bringing about justice for the victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
In light of this, International Residue Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism) President Judge Carmel Agius, Prosecutor Serge Brammertz and Registrar Abubaccar Tambadou have expressed their intent to end impunity across the world.
“This is a day to reaffirm our unwavering commitment to dispensing justice and upholding the rule of law. Despite the notable achievements of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Residue Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism), significant work remains to be done at both national and international levels to bring an end to impunity,” reads part of the Mechanism principals’ joint statement.
When we mark International Criminal Justice Day we reflect also our own situation to see how much we uphold access to justice and the rule of law.
The United Republic of Tanzania is a party to the Rome Statute since August 20, 2002.
Worldwide, 123 countries are parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, out of them 33 are African States, 19 are Asia-Pacific States, 18 are from Eastern Europe, 28 are from Latin American and Caribbean States and 25 are from Western European and other states.
The tracking, arrest and prosecution of the remaining fugitives still wanted for trial by the ICTR is a priority of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals.
States Parties to the Rome Statute have the obligation to cooperate with the Mechanism when the whereabouts of any fugitive or fugitives so that they are known and be done to justice.
We call on States Parties to the Rome Statute to fulfil their obligations so that justice may not only be done, but also be manifestly done.
We strongly believe that ‘where there’s justice there’s true peace’ in the same way as we believe ‘where’s a will there’s a way’.
As it is often said, ‘think globally and act locally’ Tanzania too is committed to seeing access to justice for all becomes a reality and abides by the rule of law. All reforms made in the judiciary of Tanzania are directed towards this end.