Playing hot potato politics last week, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Chief Prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow tried to pass off all those irritating genocide cases he must deal with to the East African Court for Justice. The East African Court for Justice said thanks, but we really don’t like genocide cases that much:
“[Taking the cases] would give us a problem because the role of the East African Court of Justice is defined within the parameters of the EAC, so its jurisdiction is within the treaty and pronouncing itself on matters within the treaty,” Mwapachu told The New Times in an interview.
You know Jallow is getting desperate when he tries to tries to unload his ICTR cases onto a court with absolutely no jurisdiction to handle genocide cases. And, reasonably so.
This is because Jallow’s position is political, not legal. As such, he has been bombarded by human rights organizations to take up RPF cases while walking a tightrope in order to not piss off Rwanda and donor countries. He has been faced with funding cuts and his court’s closure date has been pushed back 3 times. At the same time, he’s overseen 1 billion USD of spending, or 25 million USD for each judgment; something that makes advocates of ‘Give-The-Money-To-Rwandans-Instead’ cringe. And, what do you know, it’s kind of hard to effectively prosecute genocidaires.
So, Jallow’s job kind of really sucks right now and as the ICTR approaches it’s closure date of December 2010, it’s not going to get any better.
But, look on the bright side: the East African Court for Justice that nobody has ever heard of got some media attention.