The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) says Malawi should take advantage of the existing political climate to domesticate the Rome Statutes that establish the International Criminal Court (ICC).
CHRR information and communications officer Luke Tembo made the call during an International Criminal Justice consultative forum on the compliance and respect for the ICC decisions and request in Kenya last week.
In a statement made available to The Nation, Tembo said the prevailing political atmosphere in the country is conducive to consolidating strides that have been made in respecting the Rome Statutes.
“Malawi has become a Rome Statutes compliant model in this part of Africa through the bold stand it took in giving up the right to host the AU summit because we could not allow President Omar Al Bashir to come again to Malawi. We need to legally consolidate this milestone,” said Tembo.
He told the forum of civil society organisations in Africa that there is need to harmonise the prevailing domestic laws in Malawi with the articles of the Rome Statutes, especially the Immunities and Privileges Act.
Kenyaâ€™s executive director of International Commission for Jurist, George Kegoro, said the civil society in Africa should take advantage of prevailing windows of political good will in a number of countries to legally consolidate the operations of the ICC in the continent.
Malawi signed the Rome Statutes on March 3 1999 and went ahead to ratify it on September 19 2002. The Bingu wa Mutharika regime used the Immunities and Privileges Act to decline to arrest indicted Al Bashir and hosted the ICC wanted Sudanese leader in October 2011.
President Joyce Bandaâ€™s government forced the Africa Union (AU) to shift the summit to Addis Ababa from Lilongwe after Malawi indicated that it could host Al Bashir again.