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Thailand has a chance if Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva can stop the killings

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An International Criminal Court inquiry has recently found that crimes against humanity may have been committed during a bloody crackdown on protesters in Guinea back in 2009. The ICC is investigating human rights situation in Kenya, Uganda, the Congo, and the Central African Republic.

Even though Thailand is not presently a party to the statute of the ICC, Thailand may become a party in the future and the ICC would certainly have jurisdiction over Thai nationals then. Crimes against humanity have no statute of limitations. It is also important to note that the ICC can also exercise jurisdiction over nationals of a nonstate party to its statute once the United Nations Security Council has referred the case to it. The case in point is the situation in Darfur, Sudan.

Leaving the ICC aside, Abhisit will also have to be mindful of the doctrine of universal jurisdiction. This is a doctrine under international law that enables any national court, in any country in the world, to claim criminal jurisdiction to prosecute a person whose alleged crimes, such as crimes against humanity, were committed outside the territory of the prosecuting country, regardless of the person’s nationality or country of residence.

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