DFA chief says Sen. Miriam meets requirements of an ICC judge

October 5, 2011 10:06 pm 

MANILA, Oct. 5 — Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario expressed the government’s full support to Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s candidacy as judge for the International Criminal Court (ICC).

At the luncheon he hosted for the senator at the Diamond Hotel on Wednesday, Del Rosario lauded Santiago's achievements as a legal expert and her impressive academic record in international law.

“Dr. Santiago realized and understood the need to establish an international court that would try individuals accused of the most egregious of crimes committed on a scale that is widespread and systematic. This life-long belief stems from her respect for the rule of law and, more importantly, the understanding that the rule of law finds its most potent expression in international law,” he said.

“I believe that all of you will agree that a candidate for judge of the ICC must have the requisite educational background, professional experience and a keen understanding of the issues that pertain to the Court. Dr. Santiago has all this,” he added.

Santiago, del Rosario said, fulfills the requirements of paragraph 3(a) of Article 36 of the Rome Statute, being a person of high moral character, impartiality, and integrity who possesses the qualifications required by Philippine law for appointment to the highest judicial office.

Santiago has established competence in international humanitarian law and human rights law and extensive experience in a professional legal capacity which is of relevance to the judicial work of the Court.

Her impressive academic record includes a Doctor of Juridical Science degree obtained from the University of Michigan, where she was a Barbour Scholar and DeWitt Fellow. She was also a Visiting Law Fellow at Oxford University and a Visiting Fellow at the Lauterpacht Research Centre for International Law at Cambridge University.

Likewise, Santiago is a highly regarded member of the academe, being a professorial lecturer on constitutional and international law at the University of the Philippines-College of Law for 12 years and has authored numerous books on these topics that are still being used today in law schools throughout the Philippines. Additionally, she has had a distinguished career in all three branches of government as a judge, cabinet member, and legislator

The ICC is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. It came into being on 1 July 2002, the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, entered into force, and it can only prosecute crimes committed on or after that date.

The Court's official seat is in The Hague, Netherlands, but its proceedings may take place anywhere in the world.

As of September 2011, 118 states are states parties to the Statute of the Court, including all of South America, nearly all of Europe and roughly half the countries in Africa. For the Philippines, the 117th state party, the Statute will enter into force on November 1, 2011. (PNA)

DCT/FFC/FPV

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