find the latest legal job
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Legal Inhouse / Lawyer / Company Secretary
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Fantastic Company · Potential to be Part Time / Flexible Work Pattern
View details
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Australian lawyer’s arrest undermines ICC powers

Australian lawyer’s arrest undermines ICC powers

Libya’s failure to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the case of detained defence lawyer Melinda Taylor is damaging the court’s credibility, the president of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights has said.

Stephen Keim told Lawyers Weekly that “interference with the work of defence counsel is extremely counterproductive in terms of the long-term liability and reputation of the ICC”.

Taylor (pictured), who was appointed by the ICC, was arrested for an alleged breach of Libya’s national security after meeting with Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam in Libya.

She has been held by Libyan authorities in Zintan, around 180km south-west of the capital Tripoli, since 7 June along with three other ICC employees.

Taylor and her colleagues are supposed to have diplomatic immunity, claimed the ICC.

"These four international civil servants have immunity when on an official ICC mission," ICC president Sang-Hyun Song said in a statement calling for their immediate release.

According to a unanimous resolution of the United Nations Security Council, Libya has a legal obligation to fully cooperate with the ICC. This includes the respect of the legal regime imposed by the Rome Statute, which outlines the rights of the suspects to have privileged contacts with their lawyers.

“By detaining Taylor, the Libyan government is failing in its objective to achieve accountability for the alleged wrongdoing of past leaders,” said Keim, who admitted he was surprised by the announcement.

“To agree that someone be dealt with by the ICC and then prevent it from going about its duty is really regrettable and not in the interests of the new Libya,” he added.

Keim believes the ICC is the “way of the future” and would like to see all leaders accused of engaging in war crimes or crimes against humanity to be brought before the ICC.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) has also called for Taylor’s release, stating the Libyan government had no right to interfere, reported ABC Radio.

“We have to be giving a signal to the Libyan government that it’s unacceptable for any Australian lawyer, or any lawyer for that matter acting for their client, to be impeded in this way and treated in a way which is quite appalling,” said ALA national president Greg Barns.

Taylor is accused of trying to smuggle documents to Saif al-Islam from his former right-hand man, Mohammed Ismail, that had nothing to do with the case but could endanger Libya’s national security, a Libyan lawyer told ABC Radio.

Saif al-Islam has been in custody since his arrest in November 2011 following the uprising that saw his father removed from power and eventually killed.

The ICC wants Saif al-Islam to be tried for crimes against humanity that were allegedly committed while trying to put down last year’s uprising.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Australian lawyer’s arrest undermines ICC powers
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA welcomes religious freedom panel
06:04
LCA welcomes religious freedom panel
The Law Council of Australia says the establishment of a panel which will examine the human right to...
Law Society launched a new website, legal politics and lawmaking
06:00
Law Society launches project to engage young Aussies
The Law Society of NSW has launched a new website to engage young Australians in legal politics and ...
recognised for human rights work
06:00
LexisNexis executive recognised for human rights work
A LexisNexis executive has been announced as a finalist in a global awards program for women in busi...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...