By Kelisiana Thynne and Fiona Barnaby

Malaysia recently withdrew its accession to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court citing constitutional and judicial concerns. This article discusses these concerns and the possible implications of the Rome Statute on Malaysia’s implementation of international and domestic criminal justice. Beginning with a brief summary of existing Malaysian law dealing with international crimes and an overview of the main crimes under the Rome Statute, the article analyses the outcome of accession or otherwise on Malaysia. The article considers elements that could already be put in place in Malaysian law while Malaysia again considers whether to embark on the road to eventual accession to the Rome Statute. Several concerns such as the position of the United States and sovereign immunity have consistently been raised as barriers to Malaysia’s accession to the Rome Statute. These issues are discussed with reference to different States’ approaches to this challenge. Possible options available to Malaysia apart from accession to the Rome Statute are also outlined.

Keywords: Asia-Pacific, international humanitarial law, international criminal law, Rome Statute, International Criminal Court.

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