Facing any accusation of misconduct at work is difficult, but allegations of sexual misconduct are particularly distressing. Such complaints not only have an impact on your professional life, but by their very nature can affect your personal and family life too.
“I put it to Ministers that they cannot be a little bit in favour of the death penalty”. So said Diane Abbott in the Commons on Tuesday. This was during an aggressive Q&A session which followed her urgent question to the Home Secretary asking for a statement clarifying the UK’s stance on the death penalty. The question was asked following the already infamous leaked letter written by the UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid to the US Attorney General Jeff Sessions in relation to the request from the US for evidence to assist with proceedings against Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, the remaining members of the Isis cell known as ‘The Beatles’.
This week marked 20 years since the signing of the Rome Statute, the international treaty that brought into existence the International Criminal Court (ICC), a court created to prosecute war crimes committed throughout the world. In the UK the anniversary went largely unnoticed; yet it deserves a nod of recognition by those who believe in justice and the fight against impunity. Moreover, it serves as a reminder that the UK can and should play its part by using its own universal jurisdiction (the ability to prosecute international crimes that have no connection to the UK) to investigate and prosecute those suspected of such crimes who are found in the UK.
The idea of an international court which could try political leaders for war crimes was first proposed following the First World War. That ambition was realised on 17 July 1998 with the signing of the Rome Statue leading to the formation of the International Criminal Court (“the ICC”), the first permanent international court tasked with trying the most serious international crimes.