Issues of the Draft Convention on the Criminal Accountability of United Nations Officials and Experts on Mission
This chapter addresses the Draft Convention on the Criminal Accountability of UN Officials and Experts on Mission as drafted by the Group of Legal Experts at the end of 2006. The Draft Convention arose out of a mandate given by the UN Secretary-General to the Group of Legal Experts. The mandate was to determine how to ensure accountability of UN staff and experts on mission with respect to criminal acts committed in peacekeeping operations. The need for examination of such issues arose from the incidences of sexual abuse and exploitation that have been committed by peacekeeping personnel in recent years. Ultimately, ensuring accountability for criminal misconduct by peacekeepers is a question of jurisdiction. The Group's main recommendation is that jurisdictional priority be given to the host state, and this is echoed in the text of the Draft Convention. The Group states the aim of the convention to be the creation of "conditions which make it easier for any applicable immunity to be waived, without prejudice to the rights of the alleged offender". The draft convention "sets out obligations on the part of States parties to take measures to investigate, arrest, prosecute and extradite offenders and to render mutual legal assistance [and] to protect the rights of victims". Taking into account that this is only a first draft of a potential convention, there are many questions that arise, some of which will be addressed by this paper. Such questions include: What would a convention achieve that other UN rules and regulations would not? What are the strengths and the limitations of the Draft Convention? How can the effectiveness of the Draft Convention in preventing and prosecuting criminal conduct by peacekeepers, in particular sexual abuse and exploitation, be maximised? Will a convention solve the current problem of impunity for peacekeeping criminal misconduct?
International Law and Armed Conflict: Challenges in the 21st Century
Human Rights Law
International Law (excl. International Trade Law)