By Dr. Jan Römer


For over ten years, Malaysia—including governmental officials—had been steeped in discussions on the ratification of the Rome Statute. Eventually, on 4 March 2019, the Malaysian government notified the United Nations of its accession to the Rome Statute indicating that the decision would enter into force six months later. This caused a highly controversial debate in Malaysia among many stakeholders, particularly in view of the Rulers’ role as supreme commander of the armed forces and their immunity, and resulted in Malaysia’s withdrawal on 29 April 2019. The International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Moot Court1, co-organized by the International Islamic University Malaysia and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and held on 12-13 October 2019, offered a great opportunity to reassess Malaysia’s position on the Rome Statute and to draw a roadmap. Dr Mohd Hisham Mohd Kamal and Dr Fareed Mohd Hassan accepted the invitation to a panel chaired by Dr Jan Römer, ICRC Regional Legal Adviser for East Asia.

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