With for a bill on accession to the Rome Statute, the ICC’s founding treaty, currently before its legislative assembly, the country is closer than ever to changing that.
El Salvador is the focus of our Campaign for Global Justice for October 2014.
In a letter to President Salvador Sánchez Cerén, the Coalition called on El Salvador’s executive to continue its commendable support for the accession bill, submitted to the assembly by former president Mauricio Funes last May.
“Over the past years, the international community has actively encouraged El Salvador to join the ICC, one of three Latin American states yet to have done so,” said Michelle Reyes Milk, regional coordinator for the Americas of the Coalition for the ICC. “Several states in the region, intergovernmental organizations such as the Organization of American States, the Union of South American Nations and the European Union, along with the ICC itself, have repeatedly called on El Salvador to accede to the Rome Statute, providing valuable technical support throughout.”
National and international civil society organizations have also given El Salvador technical support, including the Salvadorian Coalition for the ICC.
“We call on the legislative assembly to take concrete and expedite steps for El Salvador to become a state party to the Rome Statute without delay,” said Wilfredo Medrano, coordinator of the Salvadorian Coalition for the ICC. “The Rome Statute is an instrument that is compatible with the El Salvador constitution. There is no justification that stands in the way of a prompt accession and implementation into national law. El Salvador has the right to be a part of the globalization of international criminal justice, and this would signify an important step in the prevention of grave breaches of human rights and the fight against the most heinous crimes.”
We also underlined the importance of the adoption of implementing legislation that would incorporate the Rome Statute within Salvadorian national law.
“The adoption of domestic legislation that would allow El Salvador to exercise its primary jurisdiction for Rome Statute crimes, as well as provisions on cooperation with the Court, is crucial to the principle of complementarity, a key pillar of the ICC,” said Jelena Pia-Comella, deputy executive director for the Coalition for the ICC. “This principle, ultimately, underlines the primary jurisdiction of national courts in the investigation and prosecution of the gravest crimes under international law”.
Cuba, El Salvador and Nicaragua remain the only Latin American states yet to join the ICC.
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