x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

International law needs broader view, says judge at Dubai talk

Lawyers and international law experts gather at the inaugural lecture for the newly opened Modern International Study Institute in Dubai.

DUBAI // International law has to embrace more legal traditions and cultures from around the world to be accepted universally, says a former member of the International Court of Justice.

Judge Abdul Gadire Koroma from Sierra Leone addressed an audience of lecturers, lawyers and international law experts last night in an inaugural lecture for the newly opened Modern International Study Institute in Knowledge Village.

Dr Koroma, a judge at the court from 1994 until February this year, said most practitioners of international law were European, and interpreted laws based on their regional backgrounds.

"Therefore, for international law to be truly international, people from different regional backgrounds should be practising it to bring their own perspectives to it," he said.

Dr Koroma cited the example of the recent EU Parliament resolution on human rights in the UAE as an example.

"The Arab League described the report as inaccurate and biased, and questioned the methods adopted by the European Parliament in dealing with such sensitive issues without even referring to the UAE's constitutional, executive, social and legal institutions," he said.

"This is an example of viewing the situation within their own context [without] taking into account the cultural context."

amustafa@thenational.ae