Monday, February 13, 2012

'Nuff said

(Taking context-optional note of thought-provoking quotes)

'Or, more precisely, let the citizens of Caricom know that they do not subscribe to such a judicial position as surfaced in Haiti which makes a mockery of institutionalised commitment to observance of international conventions governing crimes against humanity.'

-- Columnist Rickey Singh, in a Jamaica Observer op-ed criticizing a Haitian's judge's January 30 decision to dismiss as beyond a national statute of limitations claims against former ruler Jean Claude Duvalier -- as IntLawGrrls have posted here, here, here, and here, a ruler known as "Baby Doc" since he's the son of Haiti's prior dictator. Singh's op-ed draws a line between that decision and statements in which the current President of Haiti (flag above left) expressed a desire to "'think about the future'" rather than the past. As Singh notes, citing this Los Angeles Times editorial, the dismissal of claims conflicts with international abolition of limitations periods for crimes against humanity, contained in treaties to which Haiti and other member states of CARICOM (flag at right), the Caribbean Community and Common Market, belong. It's to be noted that not all such treaties can be at play: doesn't appear from this ratifications list that Haiti, let alone other Caribbean states, can be counted as members of the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. And Haiti's not a member of the International Criminal Court. The obligation's not explicit in a treaty to which Haiti is a state party, the American Convention on Human Rights, either. Rather, Human Rights Watch has derived the obligation from "decisions of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, by whose judgments Haiti is legally bound."

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