• Written By Chaitanyesh Rudracharya
  • Last Modified 19-07-2022

World Day for International Justice: Meaning, Significance

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World Day for International Justice: Every year, the World Day for International Justice is observed on July 17. It is held to promote the rights of victims and to recognise the robust growth of the international criminal justice system. 

The day also stresses the importance of rendering justice to victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and those who continue to victimise others with impunity. 

World Day for International Justice: The Rome Statute

The Rome Statute is an international treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC). It was adopted on July 17, 1998 in Italy. Till date, 123 states are party to the treaty. 

It is to commemorate this day that the World Day of International Justice is held on July 17. The Rome Statute recognises four crimes which are genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. 

With respect to these international crimes, the ICC has the power to investigate and prosecute perpetrators. And it jumps into action where the state is unable or even unwilling to protect the rights of people. However, one should note that the ICC doesn’t substitute international courts but takes into cognizance the hesitation of the state in not bringing criminals to justice and does the needful. 

Also Read: World Refugee Day

Notable Cases dealt by ICC 

Here are a few cases which the ICC has dealt with: 

  1. The Libya Case: The ICC took over the civilian killings case during the Arab Spring protests, in 2011. It had even issued arrest warrants against Gadaffi, the then leader of Libya, his son and brother-in-law. However, Gadaffi died and his son has still not been arrested as the court doesn’t try any individuals till they are present in court. So the case, as of date, remains stuck. 
  1. The Sudan case: With respect to alleged war crimes, rapes and torture and other serious crimes in Sudan, the ICC had issued arrest warrants against Omar Al Bashir, the head of state of Sudan. However, Omar has evaded arrest for several years now. He is presently under arrest by Sudanese army. But there is no certainty that he will be extradited. 
  1. Crimes related to Rohingyas and war crimes in Afghanistan: The issue of persecution against Rohingyas in 2019 was investigated by the ICC. The subjugation led to the displacement of thousands of Rohingyas from Myanmar to Bangladesh. An investigation is also being carried out into war crimes committed in Afghanistan since 2003. But reports add that the investigation has not been smooth. 

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How To Mark the Day More Effectively

It is needless to say that the World Day for International Justice holds a lot of significance in creating more awareness about the rights of victims and how individuals act with total disdain and impunity in relation to international crimes like genocide etc. 

Several countries across the globe take part in the event with the aim to make the planet more just and fair. Mass media, with its tremendous potential, is used to promulgate messages of justice, fairness and the rights of victims against any sort of perpetration and subjugation. Newspapers, TV channels organise bespoke programmes highlighting specific crimes like genocide, violence against women, among others. 

As concerned citizens, we too can take part in the event by writing blogs, holding seminars and educating people on the crimes that are perpetrated against humanity. 

The day can also be seen as an opportunity to warn perpetrators against committing crimes against humanity and the eventual punishment they have to face.  

We hope this article on World Day for International Justice helped you understand the importance of empowering victims and the need to educate them on their rights. For more such informative articles, keep visiting Embibe

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