The Sri Lankan government will eventually be held accountable for the massacre of between 40,000 and 70,000 Tamil men, women and children in the first five months of 2009 < http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=79&artid=32247 >. Crimes that fall under the category of jus
cogens are a ‘category’ or legal status of a crime that rises to the level
of internationally recognizable as a crime that cannot be violated by any
country in the world. These are war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity
and prohibitions on slavery. This “Higher law” may not be violated by any country and its complicity is a duty, not an optional right. That duty is to prosecute or extradite to a jurisdiction that has the capacity to do so. The duty is known as obligatio erga omnes, which means obligations or rights toward all. This is a legal implication as a result of a jus cogens crime.
There is a United Nations Rome Statute, the principle of complementarity, is a safeguard to protect a nation’s sovereignty. This renders a case inadmissible to the International Criminal Court if the case is under investigation by the state with jurisdiction for this particular case. Complementarity allows for jurisdiction
by the International Criminal Court in cases where the state with jurisdiction
fails in their duty, e.g. unable or unwilling to proceed with an investigation,
or when the investigation is conducted in bad faith; which is what I have been
arguing in blogs regarding the Amanda Knox case in Italy.
Jurisprudence excludes ‘moral right’s in countries like the United States and South Asian Countries, but moral rights are a part of jurisprudence in Germany, France and other European countries. These statutes, which incorporate moral rights, give additional legal opportunities to bring to justice, violators of human rights.
Many scholars believe the Sri Lankan government will eventually be held accountable as they have had high ranking officials going on record stating they would not proceed with an investigation, which presumes the likelihood of an investigation in bad faith, should they acquiesce to fend off public pressure, as a result of these statements.
There have been so many opportunities to implement International Human Rights Law and bring justice to the so many who have perished because of its breech. I am sickened by reading of the scale of evil that continues to exist in our world and the unbelievably slow pace at rescuing those in harms way. When will the collective body of the citizens of th world finally say enough is enough and demand that EVERY nation be held accountable, swiftly, for breeches in crimes categorized as a jus cogens, at the very least?