Malaysia and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
Keywords:International Criminal Court, Rome Statute, YDPA, Head of State, Commander in Chief
Through its founding treaty, the Rome Statute, the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has received support and opposition from many countries. Despite working toward universal ratification or accession to the Rome Statute, Signatories and State Parties to the Rome Statute have decided not to ratify and withdraw from being Member States due to, among other reasons, the issue of immunity and criminal responsibility of the Head of State, which are not in line with their respective Constitution, particularly by Malaysia. As such, this study analyzes the position of immunity of the Head of State as well as the criminal responsibility of a military commander under international law, particularly under the Rome Statute and the Malaysian Constitution. Based on doctrinal analysis, this study argues that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, as the Malaysian Head of State and the Commander-in-Chief of the Malaysian Armed Forces, has immunity before the national court and, thus, will be highly exposed to ICC jurisdiction because the complementary principle under the Rome Statute cannot be implemented. This study concludes that being a part of the ICC Membership is untimely for Malaysia without the reconciliation of these contradictions.
Agreement between the Government of Sierra Leone and the UN pursuant to UNSC Res 1315 (14 August 2000) UN Doc S/RES/1315
Agreement by the Government of the United States of America, the Provisional Government of the French Republic, the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for the Prosecution and Punishment of the Major War Criminals of the European Axis, (signed at London on 8 August 1945, with Charter of the International Military Tribunal, entered into force 8 August 1945)
Arrangement between the UN General Assembly and the Cambodian Government pursuant to UNGA Res 57/228 (February 27, 2003) UN Doc A/RES/57/228
Armed Forces Act 1972 [Act 77] (Malaysia)
Assembly of State Parties, Report of the Bureau on the Plan of Action of the Assembly of States Parties for Achieving Universality and Full Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (November 10, 2016) ASP Doc ICC-ASP-15/19
Assembly of State Parties, Report of the Working Group on Amendments (December 7, 2014) ASP Doc ICC-ASP/13/31
Assembly of the AU, Decision on the Progress Report of the Commission on the Implementation of the Decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC)AU Doc Assembly/AU/13(XXII) in Assembly of the AU, ‘Decisions and Declaration’ (22nd Ordinary Session, January 30-31,2014) AU Doc Assembly/AU/Dec.493(XXII)
Anand, R P. “The Role of Individual and Dissenting Opinions in International Adjudication.” Int’l & Comp LQ14 (July 1965): 788.
Badar, Mohamed Elewa. “From the Nuremberg Charter to the Rome Statute: Defining the Elements of Crimes Against Humanity.” San Diego Int’l LJ5 (2004): 73.
Bari, Abdul Aziz. “British Westminster System in Asia-The Malaysian Variation.” US-China L Rev4 (2007): 1.
Bosch, William J. Judgment on Nuremberg: American Attitudes Toward the Major German War-Crime Trials. North Carolina UP, 1970.
Colonial Office, Report of the Federation of Malaya Consitutional Commission 1957(Her Majestiy’s Stationery Office 1957)
Charter of the United Nations (24 October 1945) 1 UNTS XVI
Dadrian, Vahakn N. “The Documentation of the World War I Armenian Massacres in the Proceedings of the Turkish Military Tribunal.” Int’l J Mid E Stud23 (1991): 549.
Glueck, Sheldon. “War Criminals -Their Prosecution and Punishment -The Record of History.” Law Guild Rev 5 (1945): 1.
Harding, Andrew J. “Monarchy and the Prerogative in Malaysia.” Malaya L Rev28 (1986): 345.
Hickling, R. H. “The Prerogative in Malaysia.” Malaya L Rev17 (1975): 207.
ILC, Immunity of State Officials from Foreign Criminal Jurisdiction: Text of the Draft Articles Provisionally Adopted by the Drafting Committee at the Sixty-Seventh Session (29 July 2015) UN Doc A/CN4/L865
ILC, Principles of International Law Recognized in theCharter of the Nürnberg Tribunal and in the Judgment of the Tribunal, With Commentaries, vol II (UNYBILC 1950)
ILC, Report of the ILC on the Work of its 63rd Session: Draft Resolution by the Sixth Committee (November 8, 2011) (UN GAOR, 66th Session) UN Doc A/C.6/66/L.26
ILC, Report of the International Law Commission on the Works of Its 65th Session UN Doc A/68/10
Informal Expert Paper, The Principle of Complementarity in Practice (2003) ICC Doc ICC-01/05-01/08-721-Anx9
Johnson, Deborah A, and Anthony Milner. “Westminster Implanted: The Malaysian Experience.” In Westminster Legacies: Democracy And Responsible Government In Asia And The Pacific, edited by Haig Patapan, John Wanna, and Patrick Moray Weller. UNSW Press, 2005.
Jones, David Seth. “Resolving the Constitutional Question of the Malaysian King and Rulers.” Asian Journal of Political Science3, no. 1(June 1995): 13.
Kalshoven, Frits, and Liesbeth Zegveld. Constraints on the Waging of War: An Introduction To International Humanitarian Law. 4th ed. CUP, 2011.
Law No. 1/011 of 30 August 2003 on Ratification by the Republic of Burundi of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted in Rome on July 17, 1998 (Burundi) / Loi No. 1/011 Du 30 Août 2003 Portant Ratification Par La République Du Burundi
Low, Eunice. “Southeast Asia.” In The George Hicks Collection, edited by Eunice Low. Brill, 2016.
Mesyuarat Khas (July 23, 2014) Bil. 1, DR 23.07.2014
Milner, Anthony. “‘Identity Monarchy’: Interrogating Heritage for a Divided Malaysia.” Southeast Asian Study (2012): 191.
Mohamed, Ashgar Ali Ali. “Dissenting Opinion: The Voice of the Future.” MLJ4 (July 2016): lxiii.
Mullis, Tony R. “Douglas MacArthur.”In Generals of the Army -Marshall, MacArthur, Eisenhower, Arnold, Bradley, edited by James H. Willbanks. Kentucky UP, 2013.
Nazri, Nurnazida. “The Discretionary Functions of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong: A Conceptual Approach.” MLJ1 (2014): cxxvi.
Office, Colonial. Report of the Federation of Malaya Consitutional Commission 1957. London: Her Majestiy’s Stationery Office, 1957.
Penyata Rasmi Parlimen Malaysia -Dewan Rakyat: Parlimen Ketiga Belas, Penggal Keempat, Mesyuarat Ketiga (November 9, 2016) Bil. 44, DR 9.11.2016
Penyata Rasmi Parlimen Malaysia -Dewan Rakyat: Parlimen Ketiga Belas, Penggal Keempat, Mesyuarat Ketiga (November 8, 2016) Bil. 43, DR 8.11.2016
Penyata Rasmi Parlimen Malaysia -Dewan Rakyat: Parlimen Kedua Belas, Penggal Kelima,
PenyataRasmi Parlimen Malaysia -Dewan Rakyat: Parlimen Kedua Belas, Penggal Ketiga, Mesyuarat Ketiga (November 1, 2010) Bil. 62, DR.01.11.2010
Prott, Lyndel V. “The Style of Judgment in the International Court of Justice.” Aust YBIL5 (n.d.): 75–90.
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (adopted 17 July 1998, entered into force July 1, 2002) 2187 UNTS 3
Sadat, Leila Nadya. “Crimes Against Humanity in the Modern Age.” AJIL107 (2013): 334.
Sayapin, Sergey. The Crime of Aggression In International Criminal Law: Historical Development, Comparative Analysis and Present State. T.M.C. Asser Press, 2014.
Schabas, William A. Genocide In International Law: The Crimes of Crimes. 2nd ed. CUP, 2009.
Schabas,William A. “International Crimes.” In Routledge Handbook of International Law, edited by David Armstrong. Routledge, 2009.
Shah, Dian A. H. “Constitutionalising Multiple Pluralities in Malaysia. Pluralist Constitutions in Southeast Asia.” In Constitutionalism In Asia: Pluralist Constitutions in Southeast Asia, edited by Jackyln L Neo and Bui Ngok Son. Hart Publishing, 2019.
Shah, Nazrin. The Monarchy in Contemporary Malaysia. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2004.
Simm, Gabrielle. “Paris Peoples’ Tribunal and the Istanbul Trials: Archives of the Armenian Genocide.” LJIL 29, no. 1(March 2016): 245-268.
Special Proclamation by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers at Tokyo (January 19, 1946); Charter dated January 19, 1946; Amended Charter dated April 26,1946 -Tribunal established January 19, 1946 (done in Tokyo on January 19, 1946). Hereafter,the IMTFE Charter
Special Rapporteur Roman Kolodkin, Third Report (May 24, 2011) UN Doc A/CN.4/646Special Rapporteur Roman Kolodkin, Second Report (June 10,2010) UN Doc A/CN.4/631
Special Rapporteur Roman Kolodkin, Preliminary Report (May 29, 2008) UN Doc A/CN.4//601
“The Official Portal of Parliament of Malaysia,” n.d.
The 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia (As Amended by the First Amendment of 1999, the Second Amendment of 2000, the Third Amendment of 2001 and the Fourth Amendment of 2002)
The Constitution of Brunei Darussalam -Constitutional Matter I -Constitution of Brunei Darussalam (1984 Edition)
The Constitution of Lao PDR (As Amended May 6,2003)
The Constitution of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (As Amended in 2011)
The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia (1993) As Amended in 2008
The Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2550 (2007)
The Constitution of the Republic of Korea (As Amended October 29,1987)
The Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Chapter Const) (Original Enactments: S 1/63) Revised Edition 1999 (July1,1999) Consolidation -Version in Force from 1/10/2015
The Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (2008)
The Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam 1992 (As Amended 28 November 2013)
The Malaysian Federal Constitution (As at August 10, 2018)
The Statute of the International Court of Justice
“United Nations Member States,” n.d.
United Nations, Depositary Notification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of July 17, 1998 -Burundi: Withdrawal (October 28, 2016) UN Doc C.N.805.2016.TREATIES-XVIII.10
United Nations, Depositary Notification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of July 17, 1998 -Gambia: Withdrawal of Notification of Withdrawal (February 16, 2017) UN Doc C.N.62.2017.TREATIES-XVIII.10
United Nations, Depositary Notification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of July 17, 1998 -Israel: Notification (August 28,2002) UN Doc C.N.894.2002.TREATIES-35
United Nations, Depositary Notification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of July 17,1998 -Kenya: Proposal of Amendments (March 14, 2014) UN Doc C.N.1026.2013.TREATIES-XVIII.10
United Nations, Depositary Notification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of 17 July 1998 –Kiribati: Accession (November 26, 2019) UN Doc C.N.595.2019.TREATIES-XVIII.10
United Nations, Depositary Notification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of 17 July 1998 –Malaysia: Accession(March 4, 2019) UN Doc C.N.69.2019.TREATIES-XVIII.10
United Nations, Depositary Notification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of July 17, 1998 –Malaysia: Withdrawal of the Instrument of Accession(May 15, 2019) UN Doc C.N.185.2019.TREATIES-XVIII.10
United Nations, Depositary Notification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of July 17, 1998 –Philippines: Withdrawal(March 17, 2018) UN Doc C.N.138.2018.TREATIES-XVIII.10
United Nations, Depositary Notification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of July 17, 1998 -South Africa: Withdrawal of Notification of Withdrawal (7 March 2017) C.N.121.2017.TREATIES-XVIII.10
United Nations, Depositary Notification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of July 17, 1998 -Sudan: Notification (August 27,2008) UN Doc C.N.612.2008.TREATIES-6
United Nations, Depositary Notification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of July 17, 1998 -Russian Federation: Communication (November 30, 2016) UN Doc C.N.886.2016.TREATIES-XVIII.10
United Nations, Depositary Notification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of July 17, 1998 -
United States of America: Communication (May 6, 2002) UN Doc C.N.434.2002.TREATIES-21
UNGA Res 95(I) (December 11, 1946) UN Doc A/RES/95(I)
UNGA Res 68/112 (December 18, 2013) UN Doc A/RES/68/112
UNSC Res 827 (May 25, 1993) UN Doc S/RES/827.
UNSC Res 955 (November 8, 1994) UN Doc S/RES/955.
UNTAET Reg No 2000/15 on the Establishment of Panels with Exclusive Jurisdiction over Serious Criminal Offence (June 6, 2000) UN Doc UNTAET/REG/2000/15
United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, Final Documents: Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and Final Act of the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court [With an Annex Containing the Resolutions Adopted by the Conference], vol I (Rome, June 15-July 17,1998) UN Doc A/CONF.183/13
United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, Summary Records of the Plenary Meetings and ofthe Meetings of the Committee of the Whole, vol II (Rome, June 15-July 17,1998) UN Doc A/CONF.183/13
Ying, Kuek Chee. “When Obiter Dictum and Minority View Become Ratio Decidendi.” MLJ3 (2015): i.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Brawijaya Law Journal : Journal of Legal Studies
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.