Bahrain base ‘likely for Arab rights court’
Manama, February 27, 2013
Bahrain could become the headquarters of a proposed Arab Court of Human Rights, which could be running within a year, said a senior government official.
It will lobby officials to host the landmark body, Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa was quoted as saying in our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.
He was speaking on the sidelines of a two-day conference to discuss plans to create the court, which ended at the Gulf Hotel yesterday.
Arab League Secretary-General Dr Nabil El Araby, legal advisers and experts also attended.
Shaikh Khalid told the GDN that Arab countries would be obligated to implement the court's rulings.
"The Arab court will take an advisory or obligatory role or both," he said. "It will not be criminal. The court will be monitoring human rights cases in the Arab world."
Shaikh Khalid said it would have a similar role to the European Court of Human Rights, located in Strasbourg, France. "However, the court will focus on the Arab region," he said.
"How it will function with the presence of the African Court of Human Rights, where some Arab countries are located and are members of it, still needs to be addressed."
A series of recommendations were issued at the conclusion of the conference, which will be raised at next month's Arab League summit in Doha.
They include forming a high-level committee of legal experts representing Arab league member states to draft a constituent charter or protocol.
It also stressed the importance of all Arab countries ratifying the Arab Human Rights charter.
Dr El Araby said the conference had been a huge step forward. "It is a quantum leap in dealing with human rights issues and a push toward developing Arab societies," he said.
The establishment of the court is based on a proposal made by His Majesty King Hamad in November 2011. – TradeArabia News Service