Statement by the office of Lord Avebury, Vice-Chair, Parliamentary Human Rights Group
June 24, 2010
War Crimes trials should comply with international standards
At the request of the All-Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group (PHRG), the War Crimes Committee of the International Bar Association (IBA) examined the compatibility with international standards of the legislation under which the government of
A seminar was held on June 24 in Committee Room 3 of the House of Lords to discuss the IBA report, and the High Commissioner finally sent his government’s comments on June 21. He was unable to attend the seminar or to send a representative.
The main speakers were:
Khandker Mahbub Hossain, President of Supreme Court Bar Association of
Christopher Keith Hall, Senior Legal Adviser, International Justice Project, Amnesty International
Toby Cadman, International Bar Association
 The International War Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973, as amended by the Act of 2009
Yesterday I wrote to the High Commissioner asking him to convey the IBA's offer to his government. Clearly its in the interest of the government, as well as the victims of the war crimes, that the law under which the trials are held is above criticism.
Yesterday I spoke in a three-hour debate on Latin America in the House, see www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldhansrd/text/100624-0006.htm. In these timed debates, members are asked to keep within a certain number of minutes calculated by dividing the time available by the number of speakers, and on this occasion that worked out at 11 minutes. It can be difficult if you have too much or too little material, and on such a huge subject I had to confine my remarks to cuts in our embassies, and the situation in Peru and Colombia.
On the surgery front, I have some tests coming up to see whether my heart and lungs are able to withstand the two operations - a bit awkward if they aren't! - and a meeting with the head of vascular surgery on July 8.