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WORLD JUSTICE DAY: TIME TO REVISIT ROME STATUTE

Saturday July 17 2021

Today, July 17, is World Day for International Justice on which to “promote international criminal justice,” and also “support the work of the International Criminal Court” (ICC), an international tribunal based in The Hague, Holland.

ICC became operational on July 1, 2002 as the first – and, so far, the only – permanent international court with jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute people suspected of committing genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and (since 2018) the crime of ‘aggression.’

Basically, ICC was/is intended to complement national judicial systems – and, as such, it may exercise its jurisdiction only in situations where national authorities are unable or unwilling to do so.

And, as provided for in the Rome Statute of July 17, 1998, ICC may only investigate and prosecute crimes committed within its (currently 139) member states; crimes committed by nationals of its member states, or crimes in situations referred to it by the UN Security Council. Also sometimes referred to as ‘Day of International Criminal Justice’ – or, simply, as ‘International Justice Day’ – July 17 of each succeeding year is the day on which the world ‘recognises’ the fast-emerging system of international criminal justice.

However, the International Justice Day that’s marked on July 17 must not be confused with the World Day of Social Justice/Social Justice Equality Day, marked on February 20 to promote social justice.

‘Social Justice’ here includes efforts to tackle poverty, unemployment, human rights, gender inequality, exclusion and social protection issues.

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If truth must be told, the ICC is viewed with some misgivings, including its lack of effective enforcement mechanisms against state parties that refuse to cooperate with it in seeking to ensure equitable dispensation of justice worldwide.

Therefore, ways and means must be found to make ICC a truly independent, credible and functionally effective tribunal to end heinous crimes across the world – and, so, make bona fide international justice a reality on the ground.


‘HAPPY PLAYERS RECRUITING’

Football clubs in the Mainland Tanzania’s Vodacom Premier League (VPL) have started registering players for the 2021/2022 league season.

The clubs are also in the process of dropping players they will not need for the new league.

This is, therefore, a time when clubs must be most astute in deciding which of its former players are to be dropped from their teams, and which new ones deserve taking on-board.

This is even more so regarding premier clubs like Simba, Yanga, Azam and Biashara-Mara, which need to strengthen their squads in readiness for the VPL, and also for continental club championships. While Simba and Yanga will feature in the African Champions League, Azam and Biashara-Mara will do so in the African Confederation Cup. It so happens that, while some Tanzanian clubs have qualified to play in the continental football championships, none of them has ever won a continental trophy.

Club leaders must, therefore, bear this anomaly in mind – and recruit the best of the best in new players so as to excel in future tournaments. For these, the leaders must heed advice from their coaches, the technical bench and other bona fide stakeholders/well-wishers.

Finally, we say ‘Happy Players Recruiting’ - wishing all football clubs in the country prudent recruiting of players for the next soccer season.