Lawyers and civil society groups opposed to Harry Roque’s nomination have launched signature campaigns and written letters to the International Law Commission
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque greeted viewers of his regular press briefing on Monday, September 13 from New York, confirming rumors circulating over the weekend that he was in the United States.
“Narito po tayo ngayon sa New York dahil po magpipili po ng 34 na mga miyembro of the International Law Commission (ILC) of the United Nations miyembro,” he said.
(I am here in New York because the members of the United Nations are going to choose 34 members of the International Law Commission.)
Roque was nominated by the Duterte administration to be a member of the ILC, a UN body that helps develop legal rules and standards for adoption by UN member states. Membership of the ILC is considered a prestigious position among scholars of international law.
The ILC was established in 1947 by the United Nations General Assembly to undertake studies and make recommendations “for the purpose of… encouraging the progressive development of international law and its codification,” according to the commission’s website.
The election of new ILC members is scheduled for 12 November. But the sessions of the United Nations General Assembly begin on Tuesday, September 14.
If elected to the ILC, Roque said he would push for a treaty on vaccine equality between countries and for a treaty where countries recognize laws identifying countries’ territories and jurisdictions as conclusive. maritime consequences, even in the event of sea level rise caused by climate change.
But some groups are fiercely opposed to Roque’s eventual election to the CIT, even going so far as to write to representatives of UN member states to convince them not to vote for Duterte’s spokesman.
The Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), led by human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, wrote to the ILC on Sunday, September 12, “strongly opposing” Roque’s nomination.
“Mr. Roque does not have the qualifications for a seat on the commission. Although he has a law degree and has taught public international law, he is a political supporter who has actively demonstrated his contempt for the rule of law , with a particular interest in the commission, has undermined the supremacy of human rights and international law,” the group says.
They included a list of Roque’s public remarks that they believe make him unworthy of ILC membership. Those remarks include calling women’s rights groups “OA” (exaggeration) when they criticized Duterte for his sexist jokes and downplayed the president’s death threats.
FLAG regional coordinator Ted Te said the group had written to each member state.
The iDefend group also launched an online signature campaign calling for the rejection of Roque’s ILC offer.
Responding to those calls, Roque said the decision is ultimately up to member states. – Rappler.com