Tuesday 17 Jul 2018 | 00:33 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 17 Jul 2018 | 00:33 | SYDNEY

Karadzic would have been safer here


Fergus Hanson


29 October 2009 15:19

Reading some of the coverage of the Radovan Karadzic trial you get the feeling there is a bit of implicit backslapping going on — isn't it great that the international community has stepped in and made sure that a high profile accused war criminal like Karadzic finally faces trial? 

But it's slightly ironic that many of the extraordinary crimes Karadzic is accused of could not be charged under existing Australian law.

Many countries have recognised this contradiction between actions abroad and those at home. The latest is the UK, with Justice Secretary Jack Straw publishing proposed amendments to the UK's legislative framework on Monday that would push UK jurisdiction over war crimes back to 1991 (the 'date from which the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia had jurisdiction to try offenses under the Tribunal's Statute').

As Straw put it: 'The trial of Radovan Karadzic is scheduled to begin in The Hague today, which serves as a reminder both of the appalling nature of these crimes, and that those who commit them should not escape justice.' Australia is still to catch on.

Photo by Flickr user Bogomir Doringer, used under a Creative Commons license.