Laws Governing ICT BD

In 1973, Bangladesh Parliament passed the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act providing for the ‘detention, prosecution and punishment of persons for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other crimes under international law.’ On 25th March 2010, the Government constituted the International Crimes Tribunal comprising of two Judges of the High Court Division and a retired District Judge. In response to widespread criticism regarding the failure of the 1973 Act to comply with international standards, Parliament amended the Act in 2009 providing that the Tribunal ‘shall be independent in the exercise of its judicial functions and shall ensure fair trial.’ However, these changes fall far short of the recommendations that have been made by numerous human rights organizations in the interests of a fair trial.(see below for the full text of the said Act)

Section 22 of the Act provides for framing of Rules of Procedure by the Tribunal. On 15th July 2010, the Tribunal framed the International Crimes Tribunal Rules of Procedure 2010. The Rules were amended on 25th October 2010 and 28th June 2011. The amended Rules have been criticized for failing to incorporate minimum procedural safeguards necessary for a fair trial.
The Act and the amended Rules of Procedure have been subjected to trenchant criticism by the Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the International Centre for Transitional Justice for failing to incorporate the minimum procedural safeguards essential for a fair trial. In particular, the restrictions imposed by the Tribunal on the rights of audience of foreign lawyers have been criticized by various quarters. Such restrictions are indicative of the Tribunal’s apprehensions of being exposed as incompetent and inexperienced by renowned war crimes experts. (See below for the full text of the said Rules of Procedure)

The ICC Elements of Crime have been included in this page (see below) in view of the absence of any definition of the crimes under section 3 of the Act. It is widely accepted that section 3 of the 1973 Act merely provides a list of the crimes for which persons may be punished, but does not set out the ingredients of the offence. Unless the accused persons are aware of the elements of the crimes, in the commission of which they are being implicated, they will be deprived of a fair and effective opportunity of putting forward their defence. Trying the accused persons for undefined crimes is repugnant to universally recognised norms of fair trial. Although neither the Act nor the Rules have made express provisions for the applicability of the ICC Elements of Crimes, it is expected that the Tribunal will seek guidance from the ICC Elements of Crimes in order to determine the liability of the accused persons.

International Crimes (Tribunal) Ac 1973 as amended on 2009

Rules of Procedure for International Crimes Tribunal, Bangladesh

International Criminal Court- Elements of Crime


One Response to “Laws Governing ICT BD”

  1. K.M.Hasan November 18, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Will Bangladesh War Crimes Tribunal continue if the present government change?

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