Assembly likely to re-ratify UN anti-corruption convention

That Bhutan could not be sued in the International Court of Justice is the Article that needs a re-visit  

UNCAC: The National Assembly is expected to re-deliberate the UN Convention Against Corruption once more after the National Council expressed reservation on Article 66 of the convention pertaining to “dispute settlement.”

The Article states that States Parties may refer a dispute to the International Court of Justice. However, member countries signatory to the convention can have the option not to sue or be sued in the international court, rights to which the Council wants to reserve for Bhutan. “This can be done through expression of reservation,” he said.

Deputy Chairperson of the Council’s legislative committee and Samtse’s councilor, Sangay Kandu said, “This is allowed by Article 66 of the convention.”

One of the National Assembly MPs, Ritu Raj Chhetri said the House has accepted the Council’s recommendations in principle and that the Assembly is most likely to ratify the Council’s recommendation.  “We have already held a preliminary meeting,” he said.

MP Ritu Raj Chhetri said if the Assembly agreed on the Council’s recommendation, there was no need for the convention to reach a joint siting. “The Assembly is expected to endorse the Council’s recommendation,” he said.

Bhutan signed the convention on September 2005 during the 60th UN General Assembly and the National Assembly ratified it during its 5th session.

Among other significant clauses, the convention provides for extradition between the States Parties. The convention is considered an important tool to minimize corruption practices through prevention of corruption, criminalization and law enforcement measures, international cooperation and exchange of technical assistance and information on corruption.

Within Bhutan, the ratification of UNCAC is expected to complement the already existing mechanisms and laws and hence build an effective system of governance.

On extradition, the convention also states that a State Party that makes extradition conditional on the existence of a treaty receives a request for extradition from another State Party with which it has no extradition treaty, it may consider this Convention the legal basis for extradition in respect of any offence to which this article applies.

Extradition shall be subject to the conditions provided for by the domestic law of the requested State Party or by applicable extradition treaties. States Parties may consider entering into bilateral or multilateral agreements or arrangements on the transfer to their territory of persons sentenced to imprisonment or other forms of deprivation of liberty for offences established in accordance with this Convention in order that they may complete their sentences there.

MB Subba

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