An Oral Statement to the 48th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council from the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)
We wish to bring to the attention of the Human Rights Council that a serious undermining of the rule of law is happening in several countries of Asia such as the Philippines, Cambodia, Nepal, and Bangladesh that indicate the patterns similar to those mentioned by the High Commissioner for Human Rights in reports on Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
Undermining of the criminal justice mechanisms leads to rapid and sharp decline of rule of law and the fair trial in a radical way. Arbitrary selections for non-investigation of crimes or conduct of investigation failing to meet the professional standards create climates of direct or indirect encouragement to crimes. When the criminal investigations fail, the prosecutorial and judicial functions are also put into jeopardy. In the context where serious organised crimes are committed this leads to encouragement of multiple crimes that remain unresolved mysteries. A climate of scepticism is created about the possibility of achieving justice at all. The result is the withdrawal of public confidence in the systems of justice and the systems of rule of law, in general.
The UN Human Rights Bodies need to recognise that recommending the States to “investigate and prosecute the offenders of human rights” is an unrealisable demand so long as the whole criminal justice framework is being undermined. The UN Human Rights System should pay greater attention to the realisation of Article 2 of the UN Covenant on ICCPR and the Goal 16 of the SDG, which requires access to justice through functional public institutions.
Thank you, Madam President.
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