The Lecture and Forum on the International Criminal Court

Photo Credit: Satha Selvan Subramaniam, Senior Administrative Assistant.
Anusha Gopala Krishnan, Officer of the Bar Council’s Human Rights Committee
On 27 August 2019, the Bar Council Human Rights Committee (HRC) organised a lecture and forum on the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) Auditorium.

This event featured the relaunch of the Malaysian Chapter of the Coalition for the ICC (CICC Malaysia). The Honourable, Dato' Seri Utama Tengku Maimun binti Tuan Mat, Chief Justice of Malaysia, graced the event with her participation and presence. Honourable judges of the Federal Court, Court of Appeal, High Court and Judicial Commissioners, members of the diplomatic corporations, representatives from government agencies and civil societies, members of the Bar and members of the public were also in attendance.

Dato’ Abdul Fareed Abdul Gafoor, President of the Malaysian Bar and Roger Chan Weng Keng, Chairperson of the Human Rights Committee and Vice President of the Malaysian Bar, kick-started the event by welcoming the judges to deliver the lecture on the working of the ICC for the benefit of the Malaysian public.

Judge Chung Chang-ho, the keynote speaker, delivered a comprehensive lecture on the recent developments at the ICC which included:

  1. An overview of the ICC judicial process
  2. The importance of the pre-trial stage
  3. Evidence issues relating to the trial stage
  4. Introduction of important recent cases
  5. ICC reference to the European Convention on Human Rights
  6. Improving the efficiency of procedural and practical aspects of the process.

The lecture helped the attendees gain insight about the background, objectives and procedures of the ICC. During the lecture, Judge Chung Chang-ho mentioned that “the most heinous cases of crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes and crimes of aggression could be brought before the ICC.”

Upon the conclusion of the lecture, members of the Human Rights Committee conducted a short intervention to address the importance of Malaysia’s ratification to the Rome Statute of the ICC and urged civil society organisations and government agencies to sign up as members of the Malaysian Coalition for the ICC to help address Malaysia’s ratification

 The lecture was followed by a lively and fruitful Public Forum on the ICC and the panel comprised of the following esteemed speakers:

  1. Judge CHUNG Chang-ho, Judge at the ICC
  2. N Sivananthan, Counsel of the ICC; Member of the Malaysian Bar
  3. Muhammad Faisal Abdul Aziz, Secretary-General, Muslim Youth, Movement of Malaysia (“ABIM”)
  4. Firdaus Husni, Chief Human Rights, Strategist, Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (“MCCHR”)

Usha Kula, member of the Human Rights Committee Bar Council and CICC Malaysia was the Moderator for the Panel discussion and Q&A. The panellist shared their views about the importance and benefits of accession and ratification of the Rome Statute of the ICC. They advocated for wider engagement and dissemination of accurate information regarding the Rome Statute. In conclusion, most of the contentious issues pertaining to ICC and its workings were addressed and discussed at great depth to help stakeholders and members of the public stay well informed and to advocate others on the importance of this treaty and the benefit of acceding to the Rome Statute which governs the ICC.

More reports on the public forum can be found at the links below:

  1. https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/178961
  2. https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/178996
  3. https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/489726