[JURIST] The Bangladesh Cabinet [official website] on Monday ratified the Rome Statute [text] of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. The ratification [BDnews24 report] will not aid in the nation's pending war crimes trials for the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] against Pakistan [JURIST news archive], as the ICC can only prosecute crimes that took place on or after the date the statute took effect in 2002. However, ratification of the statute requires countries to update their own laws to reflect the provisions of the statute. Bangladesh's 1971 war crimes trials will take place under the recently amended International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973 [text].
Last month, the Bangladeshi government announced [JURIST report] that the prosecutors and investigators for the country's war crimes tribunal should be appointed in March. The tribunal will be used to conduct fair and transparent trials for those accused of war crimes during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. In July, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina [BBC profile] to improve war crimes laws [JURIST report] to bring justice to victims of the 1971 war. Last April, the UN agreed to advise [JURIST report] the Bangladeshi government on the organization and operation of the tribunal.