Justice Hassan B. Jallow, Prosecutor of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), delivered a keynote speech yesterday on the topic “Towards a Multilateral Treaty for Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition for Domestic Prosecution of Atrocity Crimes”. The keynote speech was delivered at a side event organized by Argentina, Belgium, The Netherlands and Slovenia during the Fourteenth Session of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court (ICC), held in The Hague from 18 to 26 November 2015.

Prosecutor Jallow expressed his strong support for a multilateral treaty on mutual legal assistance and extradition for the domestic prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. He stated that “it would form an essential building block for a sustainable and truly global system of international criminal justice, ensuring that the legacy of the ICTR and ICTY and the hybrid tribunals extends far beyond what has been achieved by these ad hoc tribunals.”

Prosecutor Jallow noted that the domestic prosecution of atrocity crimes has become fundamental to accountability and indispensable to the global struggle against impunity. He added that effective state cooperation remains critical in successfully prosecuting atrocity crimes at a domestic level, and that a multilateral treaty on mutual legal assistance and extradition is crucial to facilitating this cooperation.

Prosecutor Jallow concluded by urging the international community to support the treaty as a key element in this global effort, expressing readiness and willingness of the MICT Office of the Prosecutor to work with the sponsoring states on this very important project.

The Multilateral Treaty for Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition for Domestic Prosecution of Atrocity Crimes at the moment has 48 supporting states.