Czech Republic commits to international justice
The Czech Republic finally ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court on Tuesday. The ratification follows more than 10 years of campaigning by Amnesty International Czech Republic and other civil society groups, "Amnesty International welcomes this important step committing the Czech Republic to international justice and working to end impunity for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes," said Christopher Keith Hall, Senior Legal Adviser on International Justice. The Czech Republic becomes the 110th state to ratify the Rome Statute. Significantly, the ratification means that all 27 EU member states are now states parties to the Rome Statute. The EU joins South American states that completed their regional support for the Court when Chile ratified on 29 June thus year. "Step by step, country by country, the impunity gaps that have denied justice to untold numbers of victims of these horrific crimes are being closed," said Christopher Keith Hall, Senior Legal Adviser on International Justice. However, the organization expressed concern about the number of countries that have ratified the Rome Statute but have not yet fulfilled their commitments to the Court. Many countries that have ratified have yet to implement the Rome Statute into national law or to enter into supplementary agreements with the Court on privileges and immunities, victim relocation and enforcement of sentences. "Ratification is a major step, but only a first step," said Christopher Hall. "In particular, national law reform is vital to ensure that the Czech Republic can cooperate fully with the Court and that its national courts can fulfil their obligations to prosecute cases of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes."