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Yemen: Legal experts discuss humanitarian law and ICC Statute

13-01-2004 News Release 04/01

The ICRC delegation in Yemen held a workshop on international humanitarian law in cooperation with the country's Supreme Institute of Justice from 4 to 6 January in Sana'a.

For three days, 44 judges and public prosecutors attended lectures and discussed the rules and regulations set by the international community to alleviate the suffering of war victims and to limit the use of force in armed conflict.

" Humanitarian law is a fascinating subject, " said Jarrah Bileed, a participant who works for the office of the public prosecutor in Sana'a. " At the time of my law studies, it was not yet an issue of particular concern. "

The workshop focused among other things on the International Criminal Court (ICC), a particularly topical issue. In 2003, following discussions involving the Yemeni parliament, the national commission on humanitarian law and the ICRC, the Council of Ministers had issued a decree to ratify the ICC's 1998 Rome Statute. The decree is currently under discussion in the parliament.

The workshop dealt not only with the statute and mechanisms of the new international court, but also with its practical implications. " Once a country has ratified the Rome Statute, its judges will play a crucial role in the instrument's implementation, " said Sherif Atlam, regional coordinator for the ICRC's Advisory Service in Cairo.

The ICRC, present in Yemen since the 1962 civil war, runs a series of programmes to promote knowledge of humanitarian law, its incorporation into domestic law and its inclusion in teaching and training courses given by schools, universities and the armed and police forces.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Ronald Ofteringer, ICRC Sana'a, tel. ++9671 44 87 22  

 Florian Westphal, ICRC Geneva, tel. ++41 22 730 29 30