Monday, July 22, 2024

Zambia cautions against abuse of International Criminal Court to selective prosecute cases


Mr Muki Phiri, First Secretary for Legal at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia to the United Nations (UN) delivering Zambia's statement on Universal Jurisdiction in New York.
Mr Muki Phiri, First Secretary for Legal at the Permanent Mission of
the Republic of Zambia to the United Nations (UN) delivering Zambia’s
statement on Universal Jurisdiction in New York.

Zambia has raised a red flag at the United Nations (UN) against the inconsistent and unpredictable manner in which Universal Jurisdiction is being applied which is causing friction among several Member States.

Zambia has said it is concerned with the application of Universal Jurisdiction especially when such a jurisdiction would appear to be motivated by political considerations.
Muki Phiri, Zambia First Secretary for Legal Affairs to the United Nations said Zambia’s concern is that there seem to be acts of abuse of the international legal process in which some countries have become the target of Universal Jurisdiction.

Mr Phiri has cautioned that the continuous selective prosecution of individuals for alleged Universal Jurisdiction crimes could be globally counter-productive with a potential to undermine the overall fight against impunity.

He told the UN that the question of whether sitting Heads of State and Government or high level officials should be subject to prosecution at the International Criminal Court (ICC) or special tribunals of other territories has remained unresolved partly due to the unpredictable manner the Universal Jurisdiction is being applied.

Delivering Zambia’s statement at the ongoing 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the Scope and Application of the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction, Mr Phiri stated the need to clearly establish the relationship between the Rome Statute and the application Universal Jurisdiction to escape abuse of the international law.

“The continuous selective prosecution of individuals for alleged Universal Jurisdiction crimes may prove counter-productive and has the potential to undermine the overall fight against impunity.

The question of whether sitting Heads of State and Government and high level officials may be subject to prosecution in the International Criminal Court (ICC) or special tribunals of other countries even when a country is not a State Party to the Rome Statute remain unresolved.

Zambia therefore is concerned with the inconsistent and unpredictable manner in which the Universal Jurisdiction has been applied which has caused friction among Member States,” Mr Phiri said.

Mr noted that it is universally agreed that, where specific criteria are satisfied in the application of Universal Jurisdiction, serious crimes clearly prohibited by international law should attract Universal Jurisdiction under customary international law.

He explained that Universal Jurisdiction seeks to promote global accountability by bringing perpetrators to justice as nations are under obligation to punish or repress serious violations to avoid respective territories from being used as de facto safe havens for perpetrators of crimes.

Mr Phri observed that Zambia is conscious that the international community cannot rely on mere goodwill of States to guarantee the prosecution of perpetrators of crimes such as genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity hence the need for the universal application of international law.

He stated that crimes such as genocide, slavery and torture are of exceptional gravity and required appropriate legal framework that would compel Member States to either extradite or prosecute.

Mr Phiri said it should therefore not be mandatory that Member State should ensure the domestication of relevant treaties or enactment to the expansion of Universal Jurisdiction statutes.

He told the UN that Zambia has ratified and domesticated a number of Treaties such as the SADC Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance, the SADC Treaty of Extradition and the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crimes among others.


  1. The Team led up by president Lungu stole the show and stood up to the United Nations members.

    The zambia delegation we the highlight and raised pertaining world issues and gain proved that President Lungu is a smartest african President and after leaving office in 2026 would make a good UN General Secretary.



    • Why so much talk about icc under pf? I never heard any government official talk about this court during kk, chiluba, mwanawasa, bwezani, Have noticed that they are 2 types of pf cadres, 1.the uncouth thuggish intercity type whose only purpose in life is only to instill fear and make any coward succumb to pf, they feed only on scraps falling from the high table, 2. The coward pf cadre, like njimbu, sharon, thorn in a.. etc, solely a pf cadre out of fear, forcefully made to love pf by the uncouth njombaz.

    • Bwanas – this train is not stopping for no one – consistent, inconsistent universal jurisdiction, it is written in cast iron for this present government.

      The UN will joyfully not listen to you just like when the president ECL expressed concern about how no African country is on the security council. To do what? LoL- laughable really, African cant be trusted for now most expecially when the present government and ECL look at themselves in the mirror.

      Africa is not ready and the president should have raised neither the security council inclusion of African nations and the unpredictability application of inconsistent universal jurisdiction.

      Why are you concerned about this when you are not even concerned about simple public order act and fiscal management?

      Only animals do such,…

    • Mushota ……’Stole he show !’ oh my foot .The guy can even talk properly and runs away at 70 miles when asked for an interview . We know you support him because this guy has slammed the brakes on your uncles courts cases .

    • Please come out of her. This is written in Revelation I hope CHILDISH H-understands together with his little worshipers.

  2. PF is now worried Lungu might be targeted Bu ICC. The injustice prevailing in Zambia cannot be overlooked sir. Lungu azaende pamodzi na Kampyongo. They have to reverse the Turkish course they are taking. Ask Lungu what happened to Hitler. It’s a lesson that can never be forgotten.

  3. Well just look closer at home ,the court system was abused in Zambia to hound Rupiah Banda and even South Africa refused to hand over his son bcoz there was clear lack of due process. In the end no charges were instituted bcoz it was political abuse of court system to “fix ” opponents.

  4. If Zambia is a sovereign state, worry abut your citizen first.

    ICC is no brainer when you treat your citizen with some regard, and no one is above the law.

  5. if there will be genocide in zambia you ask for ICC to try perpetrators. Mosho wrote to ICC over Namwala issue.. The ICC ignore it becasue they saw there was no basis……. the real culprit is in power…….
    Zambians are not fools…………….. great image is built on the rule of law……… you have nothing to fear when you observe human rights…. Bostwana is a shining example and it does not support rogue states whose preoccupation is too criticise western contries.
    let us do our homework before we condemn the ICC

  6. Making noise for nothing ba PF , No one is listening…look at how you deported tendyi biti against all international norms of a law abiding country ?

    PF must be worried about lungu facing international embezzlement charges for abusing donner aid and other goodwill monies given to Zambia …….how can a president who’s country relies on international aid and goodwill to survive justify buying a presidential luxury jet when 80 % of his citizens wallow in unemployment and poverty ??

  7. I do not like Lungu and his crooks (their day in a Zambian court will come one day), but I agree the ICC is selective in its prosecution.

  8. Of the critical issues we have to worry about, why worry about ICC. What is the real issue behind this worried face?

  9. Abusers of the International Laws are the ones accusing ICC to be selective.

    Mr. Phiri, why are you silent about AU Court on Human and Peoples Rights, COMESSA Court or SADEC Court? What happened? Still in a “pipeline” and awaiting ratification after fruitless negotiations lasting decades?

    Just look at Zambian Human Rights Commission. Toothless, incompetent and with mandate to ignore government abuse.


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