The Debate in the Sixth Committee on the Obligation to Extradite or Prosecute (Aut Dedere Aut Judicare)

UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY, SIXTH COMMITTEE (LXVIII Session), DEBATE ON THE REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL LAW COMMISSION ON THE WORK OF ITS SIXTY-FIFTH SESSION (UN Doc. A/68/10), 4 NOVEMBER 2013.

On 4 November 2013, during the debate in the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly on the Report of the International Law Commission, the Italian delegate, Mr Mauro Politi, submitted the comments of his delegation on the work conducted by the ILC on the “Obligation to Extradite or Prosecute (aut dedere aut judicare)”. He stated:

we wish to praise the work conducted within the Working Group chaired by Mr. K. Kittichaisaree and reflected in Annex A to this year’s report. In the Annex, a number of important aspects of the topics are summarized and underlined, particularly in light of the 2012 judgement of the International Court of Justice in the case of “Questions relating to the Obligation to Prosecute or Extradite” (Belgium v. Senegal).

Various elements in the Annex are of great relevance for the future work of the Commission. Firstly, the strict connection between the obligation to extradite or prosecute with the States’ duties to cooperate in the fight against impunity. Secondly, the review of the different types of provisions in multilateral instruments containing the formula “aut dedere aut judicare”, with special emphasis on the separate opinion of Judge Yusuf in the said ICJ judgement. Thirdly, the identification of gaps in the present conventional regime related to the obligation to extradite or prosecute. Moreover, the Annex contains a detailed reading of the 2012 judgement in Belgium v. Senegal with regard to the implementation of the duty to extradite or prosecute, including through the alternative of surrendering a suspect of grave international crimes to a competent international criminal tribunal.

Mr. Chairman,

We remain convinced of the usefulness of the work of the Commission on the topic of the obligation to extradite or prosecute. This normative mechanism, which is rooted in a long-standing tradition of conventional instruments to combat the most serious crimes, is in fact aimed at filling the lacunae that may allow those responsible for these crimes to escape prosecution and punishment. We look forward to further progress in the ILC’s analysis of the issues involved.

 

 

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