10 Years International Crime Court: Towards World Law?

by hamilcarr 202 Replies latest social current

  • james_woods

    Interesting link, but I start to think that it really doesn't matter around here, BTS. There seems to be (with some "world government" lovers) a devotion to a foreign body that they have not felt since their days as Jehovah's Witnesses. Also amazing considering that some have taken great pains to try to separate their love for the ICC with a love of the U.N.

    Sad really - I guess there is a personality quirk which makes people love the idea of an extra-national system of law & order, (and if they admitted it to themselves), government. When they were JWs, this was "theocracy". Now that they are caught up with the various left-wing agendas, it is "good world government, good world law".

    In both cases, the psychology is that they feel frustration with the world as it is, and want to be empowered toward molding it to their desires by a fantastical outside higher power. In both cases, great cost, failure, and disappointment inevitably results.

  • hamilcarr
    Interesting link

    What did you find particularly interesting

    since it's a rather voluminous link...

    and very libertarian.

  • hamilcarr

    It's been a long time coming but a change is gonna come ...

    International Court Begins First Trial


    PARIS — More than six years after opening its doors, the International Criminal Court in The Hague began its first trial Monday, as Thomas Lubanga, a former Congolese warlord, took his seat in the dock facing a crowded court and public gallery.

    Supporters of the court have hailed the long-awaited trial as a momentous step for the tribunal, created to try large-scale human rights violations, while critics contend it has been far too long in coming. Mr. Lubanga was brought to The Hague almost three years ago and his case has moved in fits and starts. Now, both sides see the trial as the institution’s first full-scale test, one that will be closely watched by lawyers and human rights activists the world over.

    Mr. Lubanga, 48, once the leader of a powerful and violent militia, is accused of war crimes, including commandeering children under the age of 15 and sending them into war to maim and kill. He pleaded not guilty to the crimes, which prosecutors said occurred in 2002-2003 during ethnic fighting in the Ituri region of Eastern Congo.

    Turf wars within the court, bitter legal squabbles and irritation among the trial judges had almost torpedoed the case. Last July, as the trial was about to start, judges put a halt to the proceedings, citing legal and strategic errors by the prosecution, and said Mr. Lubanga should be set free, though he was ultimately kept in custody. The judges said the prosecution’s handling of evidence amounted to “wholesale and serious abuse” of the process and ruled that at that point a fair trial was not possible.

    Now that the judges have given their green light and errors have been redressed, Mr. Lubanga will be tried by three international judges — from Britain, Costa Rica and Bolivia — in a process that is expected to last until the end of this year.

    One question now being asked in The Hague is whether the Obama administration will re-establish links with the court. The Clinton administration signed the 1998 treaty establishing the court on its last days in office, but President Bush ordered the signature withdrawn, leaving the United States as the only major Western power not to join as a court member.

    Operating independently from the United Nations, the court now has 108 member countries. Its mandate is to try large-scale war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in countries that are unwilling or unable to punish perpetrators themselves. Unlike the temporary tribunals set up to try crimes in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Cambodia, the International Criminal Court is permanent.

    Prosecutors will start their case against Mr. Lubanga by calling on more than 30 witnesses, nine of them young men and women who were themselves former child soldiers.

    At the height of the conflict in Ituri in 2003, as many as 30,000 young boys and girls were believed to be part of the militia forces, prosecutors say. Many were abducted, while others joined in exchange for food, drugs and weapons.

    In his opening statement on Monday, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the chief prosecutor for the court, said Mr. Lubanga’s militia included children, some as young as 9 years old, who were used as cooks, cleaners, spies, scouts and sexual slaves. They were ordered to kill, pillage and rape, and they were often killed and raped themselves.

    Congolese human rights groups say that Mr. Lubanga is by no means the most senior commander responsible for the widespread killing in the Congo’s ethnic conflicts, but he became available to the court after he was arrested in 2005 during an investigation into the killing of United Nations peacekeepers in Congo. Two other Congolese militia leaders, rivals of Mr. Lubanga, are in the court’s custody and awaiting trial. At least one other arrest warrant is still outstanding. Prosecutors have also filed charges against war crimes suspects in Sudan, Uganda and the Central African Republic, but they have only four suspects in custody.

    Court officials said that for the Lubanga trial, monitors had been set up at different sites in Congo so that people could follow the court proceedings far away in The Hague via videostream.

    The case is making use of a new step in international law, namely allowing victims to play a direct role in the trial and be represented by their own lawyers, who can make statements, bring witnesses and ask questions in court. A group of 93 victims is participating in this case. Defining this new role for the victims and their lawyers has set off much debate and also caused delay in pre-trial proceedings.


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