Vanuatu is a potential haven for war criminals fleeing justice for their crimes, because the Vanuatu Parliament has not enacted national legislation that provides universal jurisdiction over genocide and other crimes against humanity, according to a new Amnesty International report (PDF, 1.1Mb):
Although Vanuatu’s ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (the Rome Statute) on 2 December 2011 was a positive step, it is concerning that the country has not yet given the Rome Statute full effect in national law, including by providing universal jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Vanuatu’s national legislation currently provides for universal jurisdiction over war crimes in limited circumstances and an arguably restricted form of crime against humanity. The definitions of these crimes fall far short of the standard set by international law. Vanuatu’s national legislation does not provide for universal jurisdiction over other crimes under international law, including genocide.
Vanuatu legislators, do we really want war criminals arriving on our shores so they can have impunity for their crimes?