On Thursday, James Stewart, deputy prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), voiced concern over government-led modifications to the Colombian Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP).
“Colombia has put in place an innovative, complex and ambitious system designed to ensure accountability as part of the implementation of the peace agreement,” Stewart stated, months ago, about the JEP.
The deputy prosecutor expressed concern about plans to form a special chamber to deal with military war crimes and the JEP’s lacking ability to implement penalties to commanders’ responsible for the crimes of their subordinates, according to Colombia Reports.
Fatou Bensouda, The Hague’s chief prosecutor, had previously expressed that if Colombia’s JEP did not try generals and colonels for crimes, committed by them and reported as militia crimes, the Court would request their extradition.
The Colombian government has communicated that special treatment for the military is justified since it will help, “balance the charges of the policemen and members of the military who have fought for the institutionality,” according to Minister for the Interior, Nancy Patricia Gutierrez.
The JEP was developed as a mechanism of the peace agreement between ex-President Juan Manual Santos’ government and the now-defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colomba (FARC), in 2016.
Its specific purpose has been to seek justice for the victims of conflict, including reparation, criminal offensives, acknowledgment of culpability and prevention of future crimes.