Please join us at Noon on April 17 in Bowl 2, Robertson Hall, for a public lecture with Toby Cadman, on "Human Rights in the Developing World: The Implications of the International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh." This event is open to the public.
Mr. Cadman writes, "The lecture will focus on the toxic political grip exercised over all aspects of the International Crimes Tribunal and the complications that arise out of prioritizing speedy trials over fair trial rights. It will highlight the very dangerous precedent currently being set in the South Asia region by a signatory state to the Rome Statute of the ICC, the ICCPR and UDHR and what this means for the wider judicial community. There can be no challenge to the very notion that the conflict in what was East Pakistan experienced crimes of an 'international character' on a truly horrific scale. That being so, there is naturally a desire to bring an end to a culture of impunity that has existed since the emergence of Bangladesh as a sovereign nation following the cessation of hostilities. As an international lawyer who holds the notion of justice and accountability as paramount, it is my view that until those responsible are brought to account there can be no justice in Bangladesh and consequently it will continue, as a divided nation, to be haunted by the ghosts of its past. However, it is important to note, in this regard, and the statement has been repeatedly made over the course of the past twelve months, that striving for or opposing independence is not a crime. Prosecuting those persons who were legitimately defending the territorial sovereignty of Pakistan for little more than being on the losing side and advocating for the maintenance of Pakistan is irresponsible. Bringing an end to impunity requires a State to put in place a mechanism that brings all perpetrators of criminal conduct to justice through a process that recognizes fundamental standards of fair trial."
Toby Cadman is a British barrister and Counsel Member of 9 Bedford Row International, specializing in the area of international criminal law. He has focused particularly on war crimes, international terrorism, extradition and mutual legal assistance, judicial review, prison law and human rights law. He has appeared and been instructed in matters before the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh, the European Court of Human Rights, the Bosnian War Crimes Chamber and the UN Human Rights Committee.