His Majesty King Hamad
Arab Court of Human Rights planned
Manama, February 26, 2013
Landmark talks that could pave the way for an Arab Court of Human Rights began in Bahrain yesterday.
The two-day event, at Gulf Hotel, is being chaired by Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, said a report in our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.
Arab League Secretary-General Dr Nabil El Araby, legal advisers and experts have gathered to study the plan.
It is based on a proposal by His Majesty King Hamad in November 2011 to establish an Arab Court of Human Rights.
Dr El Araby said such an institution would help answer calls for change, reforms and greater efforts to fight corruption as well as meet people's aspirations for social justice.
"This conference is being held during a defining moment for the Arab region, which stresses the need to promote joint Arab work and boost the role of the Arab League in preventing crisis and addressing damages resulting from human rights violations," he said.
"It is necessary to have regional agreements to come in line with signed international agreements on human rights."
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Shaikh Khalid said the conference was a big step towards implementing Bahrain's proposal. "It is an initial study of the mechanisms to be followed," he said.
The minister stressed the initiative was the first of its kind in the region.
"International examples such as the US and Africa will be discussed to study their experience," he said. "Issues such as how the court will receive cases and whether to give consultancy opinions or not will be raised."
Shaikh Khalid said the Arab court would not be directly linked to the United Nations and be an independent regional body.
"Bahrain has long been since golden times a haven of coexistence and human rights," he said. "This conference's recommendations will create a milestone in efforts to develop Arab system for human rights under the Arab League."
A series of recommendations will be issued by participants today for discussion in the next Arab League session taking place in Doha in March. – TradeArabia News Service