Vital UK support for International Court

Amnesty International has long campaigned for the creation of such a court because it will end the effective immunity from prosecution currently enjoyed by people alleged to have committed torture , political murders, genocide or deliberately attacking civilians during armed conflict.

At present the states to which suspects belong, the states to which they may travel and the states in which the crimes were committed are often unwilling or unable to bring suspects before a court of law.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

'Without an International Criminal Court there can be no justice for the victims of many of the worst crimes imaginable and no hope of deterring those who would contemplate such crimes.

'As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a country of great influence within the international community, the full support of the UK for the Court is vital to its success. Enough parliamentary time must now be made for ratification in the next parliamentary session.'

Two real measures of the extent of the UK Government's commitment to the Court will be whether the draft legislation published today:

- includes provision for the surrender of suspects of any nationality to the Court

- and does not take out the so called ‘licence to kill' - opting out from the Court's jurisdiction for war crimes committed by a UK national for seven years.

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