Minister In Favour Of An International Criminal Court

  • Paul East
Attorney-General

Attorney-General, Paul East, says Labour's foreign affairs spokesman, Mike Moore, is quite wrong to suggest in a recent article (Sunday Star Times 16/2/97) that New Zealand has shown no enthusiasm for the idea of establishing an international criminal court.

"As a former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of External Relations and Trade Mr Moore should be well aware that New Zealand representatives to the United Nations have frequently advocated the importance of such a court and indicated that the Government would welcome its establishment.

"For many years, I have personally supported the setting up of an international court that would deal with such crimes as genocide, terrorism, violations of human rights and other crimes which transcend national boundaries.

"People accused of terrorist acts, for example, would be tried by an independent tribunal, free of any question of political bias that inevitably confronts domestic courts attempting to deal with the same crime.

"Obviously Mr Moore has not been following this issue very closely. If he had been he would know that worldwide support for an international criminal court is growing and a United Nations committee is meeting regularly to consider this issue. New Zealand will continue to make its voice heard before the UN and is giving this issue a high priority," said Mr East.