10 Years International Crime Court: Towards World Law?

by hamilcarr 202 Replies latest social current

  • hillary_step


    I shall continue to waste my time reading this thread, because I like a lovely lively debate.

    lol....It always irks me when people, who do little or nothing to improve the lot of their community, criticize organizations like the ICC who are trying their best, often in impossibly difficult circumstances to help those who are suffering miserably and without a voice.

    The UN has unfairly been the brunt of neo-con ignorance for many years, and most XJW's carry a contempt for the organization picked up from shallow arguments recalled from the AWAKE! magazine. The UN has great weaknesses, as I have noted, but it is also a vehicle that in its history has proved itself a great benefit to millions of people who have been fed and protected by its Blue Berets.

    A very close friend of mine served in Yugoslavia with the UN and one day while driving alone, and unarmed in a UN jeep spotted two Serbians about to gun down a Croat. He stopped his jeep and physically placed himself between their guns and the Croat.... for THREE hours until they backed away. The Irish UN contingent were even more courageous and daily risked their lives in Yugoslavia to protect civilians and bring medicine, food and pyschiatric help to the locals. The Blue Beret needs to be respected in order for these courageous volunteers to have some authority where they are stationed. The sneering, from the safety of an office chair and keyboard, that we see on threads like this is disgusting imo.

    Some ICC lawyers have found their names on a hit-list, one has to have twenty-four hour protection, because the criminals that they have in their sights have singled them out for handling.

    To sneer and diminish the part that these people are playing to protect the more unfortunate in society is out of order.


  • hillary_step


    That "man" would never use that language against me in my presence.

    Of course I would. You have no idea who or what I am. If you think that a snotty nosed kid would intimidate me, you must learn the thumb in the left eye factor.

    If he did, I would be sorely tempted to knock sense into him.

    Well, you might try, but I fight dirty be warned.... and wear a cricket box...size small should do.

    You are a complete joke Burn. Grow up.


  • digderidoo

    I don't think we're going to be heading towards world law at all as some of the big players haven't signed up to it.


  • Crumpet


    Some ICC lawyers have found their names on a hit-list, one has to have twenty-four hour protection, because the criminals that they have in their sights have singled them out for handling.

    And likewise lawyers defending the human rights to freedom of speech and sanctuary against persecution for peaceful protesters or members of opposition parties, and who challenge the motivation of countries that claim to uphold these rights are victims of unwarranted pressure.

    A World Law arrangement can easily become a political monopoly whereby the market nonentities suffer and the wealthier corporate nations reap the greatest rewards.

    There has to be legitimate independence from the sort of economic and diplomatic strategies this kind of set up essentially could foster. It so easily could allow a faux-justice system to prevail, and simply become a large scale playground for market bullies to operate to the detriment of already struggling nations. Can it really work when there already exists such an imbalance of power that poorer countries have no economic weight to effectively object or challenge the proposals made by the ones with all the clout?

    It just seems that there is the potential to exploit existing inequalities under cover of an internationally united front. And who will be the impartial adjudicator when no one is completely neutral?

  • hillary_step


    It just seems that there is the potential to exploit existing inequalities under cover of an internationally united front. And who will be the impartial adjudicator when no one is completely neutral?

    Again an interesting question which further highlights the differences between the UN and the ICC.

    The member nations who attach themselves to the ICC attach themselves to uphold the legal requirements. It is basically a huge court of law operating under common constraints and whose brief is the application of international criminal law, especially with regard to war criminals, twelve of whom have already been indicted and those who are not already dead or in flight have been arrested. It is workable beacuse its focus is narrow, unlike the UN which has a huge and very different focus.

    Nations who refuse to join due to their internal agenda, the US, China, Russia, Cuba etc., are not exempt from feeling the effects of the ICC decisions, it is just that they refuse to hand over any persons found guilty in the ICC Court in the Hague, deeming that they will deal with their own citizens in their own way. The refuse to co-operate. Nations like Turkey, Yemen, etc. whose human rights record is close to despicable, are members and are bound by the ICC legal decisions. Hopefully, this will help them to clean house.

    Bear in mind that the ICC is barely sixty months old, and is very much a future organization and not a present. I wish it the best with its aims and ideals, as I do the UN.


  • zagor
    The citizens of my country should only be answerable to the government of my country, and not to any unelected extranational body with political motivations of its own.

    I myself do not support that my country enter this body. We have in the past formed ad hoc tribunals to address crimes. The Nuremberg trials spring to mind.

    Actually Nuremberg trials were headed by US of A and UK http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_Trials. I think world does need an international body precisely because of politics of individual countries that will always protect individuals who did dirty work in interest of that country. Under what you propose such people would be immune and free to do whatever they wish as long as what they did was in interest of that country. Just have a look at this video what judges have to listen to on daily basis. This is a short video from tribunal of one of Serbian leaders you can tone down and just read subs if you like but it will be enough to get a picture of what type of people usually end up on ICC. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTtWqwD_iEY

  • hamilcarr

    After a false start, eventually a good discussion.

    Thanks to Crumpet & hillary.

  • james_woods

    OK - a great discussion.

    What I have learned so far:

    a) Either the ICC is 5 years old or it is 10 years old. I am still not clear on this, irregardless of the title of the thread. Which is it?

    b) Either the ICC is a good thing (I.E. a better thing than the United Nations), or it is a Bad Thing - and being tarnished by the UN image. Which is it?

    c) The ICC has prosecuted just about 12 cases of international law in its time of existense - but I cannot recall a single one. Would someone remind me? (I may be from a simple little town in Texas, but if our Justice of the Peace had only done 12 cases in either 5 or 10 years, I think he would be up for re-election.)

    d) Either the ICC could be made analogous with actor Tom Cruise (while the U.N. would be an analogy of Sir John Giulgud), or it could possibly be the other way around. Either way would seem somehow vaguely ridiculous to me, but then - that's just me. So, can we just get an answer on which actor goes with which organization?

    e) Either the ICC has absolutely NO soveriegn power of its own (and that is a good thing), or it has no power of it's own (and that is a BAD THING). Which exactly is it - ?

    Just some simple questions from a skeptic on the concept of self-proclaimed global law and order.

  • BurnTheShips
  • BurnTheShips

    US State Department FAQ:


    Why does the U.S. think its people should be above the law?

    • The U.S. does not seek to put its people "above the law," rather we want to ensure that our nationals are dealt with by our system of laws and due process.
    • We as a nation believe in justice and the rule of law, and in accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, and have vigorously pursued the highest standards in this regard.
    • We accept the responsibility to investigate and prosecute our own citizens for such offenses should they occur. Our policy is to encourage states to pursue credible justice within their own institutions, consistent with their responsibilities as sovereign states.
    • We object, however, to the investigation or prosecution of our citizens by the ICC, whose jurisdiction we have not consented to and which lacks necessary safeguards to ensure against politically motivated investigations and prosecutions.

    Why are the protections provided for under the Rome Statute insufficient to meet U.S. concerns?

    • Under the Rome Statute, the ICC claims the authority to second guess the actions taken and the results reached by sovereign states with respect to the investigation and prosecution of crimes.
    • Even in cases in which the United States has appropriately exercised its responsibilities to investigate and/or prosecute in a particular case, the ICC prosecutor, with the approval of two judges from a three-judge panel, could still decide to initiate an ICC investigation or prosecution.
    • Such a decision by the ICC prosecutor would not be inconceivable. Features of the U.S. common law system, U.S. constitutional protections for criminal defendants, and the U.S. jury system are different than those that apply in most other countries. ICC prosecutors may not understand, or may disagree with the operation of these aspects of our system in particular cases. This could lead the ICC to deem actions taken by the U.S. to be inadequate and to prosecution of U.S. persons by the ICC.
    • We are also concerned that there are insufficient checks and balances on the authority of the ICC prosecutor and judges.
    • The Rome Statute creates a self-initiating prosecutor, answerable to no state or institution other than the Court itself. Without such an external check on the prosecutor, there is insufficient protection against politicized prosecutions or other abuses.

    How can the United States oppose prosecuting war criminals?

    • We do not oppose prosecuting war criminals. We have consistently led the effort to strengthen international justice and accountability.
    • The United States played a key role in the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and the Special Court in Sierra Leone.
    • Slobodan Milosevic is on trial for his crimes because a coalition of countries, led by the United States, not only gave political support to the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, but also supplemented that support in practical ways, in cooperation with the new leadership in Belgrade.
    • Foday Sankoh and his followers will be brought to justice for their crimes in Sierra Leone because the United States sponsored a Security Council resolution requesting the establishment of a Special Court of which we are a key supporter and the largest financial contributor.
    • We continue to hope that the United Nations and the Government of Cambodia can agree on a reliable, independent, and impartial structure for trial of the Khmer Rouge leaders.
    • We support the International Criminal Tribunal in Rwanda request for additional judges in order to speed the important work of the Tribunal. We recently announced a Rewards for Justice program on Central Africa with the goal of bringing to Arusha the authors of the Rwandan genocide who are still at large.
    • We believe that accountability is obtainable by primarily relying on national judicial systems and international tribunals established where appropriate by the Security Council within the framework of the UN Charter.

    The U.S. Government (USG) proposed agreement undercuts/attacks the ICC.

    • Our draft agreement is fully consistent with the Rome Statute. Article 98 of the Statute expressly contemplates such agreements.
    • During the UN Security Council debate on protections for peacekeepers from the ICC, countries that are leading proponents of the court urged us to make use of Article 98 agreements as a means of addressing our concerns about the court.

    There is the perception that the USG is focused only on protecting its own citizens while foreign citizens in the U.S. are subject to a harsh U.S. domestic penal code.

    • The U.S. is not seeking to exempt U.S. citizens who have been charged with a heinous crime. We simply believe that the national authorities should be responsible for handling these types of offenses. Appropriate punishment will be imposed on those U.S. citizens convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

    How would an unsuccessful bid to sign Article 98 agreements affect USG decisions regarding international peacekeeping operations?

    • The lack of Article 98 agreements would be factored into USG decision-making, and is one of a number of factors the USG would need to consider when deciding on a peacekeeping role. However, even restricting U.S. involvement in peacekeeping operations to countries where we have an Article 98 agreement would not address USG concerns because USG peacekeepers travel and could be subject to arrest in a third country, with whom we do not have an Article 98 agreement.

    What impact will Article 98 agreements have on existing Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs)?

    • None, because Article 98 solely concerns the surrender of individuals to the ICC. SOFAs govern the status of forces in a particular country. While criminal jurisdiction issues within the context of the host nation's laws are dealt with in SOFAs, there is no inherent conflict in signing an Article 98 agreement. Moreover, the Article 98 agreements we are seeking are not limited to protecting U.S. military and civilian employees of the Department of Defense and their dependents, as most SOFAs are, but will protect all US nationals. Therefore, the USG does not envision re-opening SOFAs solely for the purpose of obtaining protection from the ICC since U.S. military and civilian employees of the DOD and their dependents will be covered by the Article 98 agreements. However, if a SOFA is up for renewal, the USG might seek to incorporate language in the new SOFA to provide protection from the ICC, but the two types of agreements should not be confused.

    Why aren't existing SOFAs sufficient to provide the protections the U.S. seeks?

    • SOFAs generally cover only specified personnel, and do not cover all U.S. nationals. Because we aim to ensure that no U.S. nationals will be surrendered to the ICC, existing SOFAs do not provide sufficient protection.

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