Canadian human rights jurist visits Prague

The former head of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, Louise Arbour, was in Prague on Monday attempting to garner support for the establishement of a permanent court to rule upon war crimes and abuses of human rights. Peter Smith has this report:

During the visit Louise Arbour - now a member of Canadian Supreme Court - met up with a number of foreign office and judicial officials, as well as the former Freedom Union leader Jan Ruml. Ruml is also a willing campaigner for the establishment of a permanent war-crimes tribunal, and is eager to see the Czech Republic take the lead and become the first Central European nation to ratify the UN charter.

Later in the day, Mrs. Arbour had a meeting with the Czech justice minister, Otakar Motejl, where both of them reaffirmed their belief that the International Court in the Hague had demonstrated that the feasibility and the effectiveness of any permanent future body.

I spoke to Mrs. Arbour during a seminar at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, asking her first if the establishment of an international court would truly act as an effective deterant to any future war-crimes and human rights abuses.