The human rights group Amnesty International is calling on Russia, China and the United States to join the International Criminal Court -- the only independent permanent court with the authority to try genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
In its annual "State Of The World's Human Rights" report, Amnesty also called on India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey to sign up for the court.
Amnesty said 2009 was a landmark year for international justice because the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur region.
But Claudio Cordone, Amnesty International's interim head, said justice often remains elusive because many governments continue to hold themselves above the law or to protect their political allies instead of handing them over to face trial -- circumstances that create what Cordone called a "global justice gap."
"Powerful governments, despite their rhetoric -- they often speak about the importance of human rights and fighting impunity -- and when it comes to the crunch, then they actually apply double standards," Cordone said.
compiled from agency reports