Wednesday, 31 May 2006
International Criminal Court Bill 2003: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage.
Tom Parlon (Minister of State, Department of Finance; Laois-Offaly, Progressive Democrats)
The current wording gives the Minister flexibility as to the conditions he wishes to attach to the transmission of evidence to the ICC. The Minister may well require the return of such material following the conclusion of proceedings before the ICC. However, there may also be cases where there is no occasion to require the return of the material and the subsection provides that flexibility. In contrast, the Deputy's amendment would require the return of all material regardless of whether we wanted it back.
The issue of human remains is a very sensitive one and I fully agree that the feelings and requirements of the next of kin should be respected at all times. There can be no question but that the State would act honourably in such cases and would arrange for the reburial of the remains as required. However, I think it is very unlikely that human remains would ever be transmitted to the ICC from the State. The autopsy on the remains would take place in the State and if the ICC needed any further examination of the remains it is far more likely that it would send experts over to the State rather than request that the remains be sent to The Hague.
While I have no objection to the principle behind the amendment, the current wording of the subsection provides the necessary flexibility. Accordingly, I do not propose to accept the amendment.