It’s about damn time. But now that retaliation has been threatened, what does that mean? Rock throwing? Angry words? Most likely more genocide, but since that is ongoing anyway, WTF?
What? Above ICC jurisdiction?
Who does he think he is, president of the US?
[quote=“Jaboney”]What? Above ICC jurisdiction?
Who does he think he is, president of the US?[/quote]
Jaboney, before Bush’s first term, this would of really pissed me off!!
But now I might have to agree with you.
But I would say, “Who does he think he is, Cheney?”
Hope Obama can do better.
Well, I didn’t see Sudan on the Assembly list, so maybe he has a point.
Anyway, what’s the point of prosecuting him if nobody’s going to actually go down there and get him?
And who’s Geno, anyway?
[quote=“Jaboney”]What? Above ICC jurisdiction?
Who does he think he is, president of the US?[/quote]
Jurisdiction? Come, on, your wife or daughter is being raped and your worried about jurisdiction? Hell no. Kill the bastards. Why hasn’t the world community intervened before now?
1.) Not many give a shit
2.) this region of the world carrries no signifcance to other countries - ie - no oil
3.) A certain amount of prefudice. - After all, they are black and how much money will the world spend to solve so called “black problems”
4.) There are only a limited number of problems that the world should have to solve.
5.) Africans have done this behavior throught history. Why do we care?
Let me assure you that if these same incident happened in your home town, you would have a gun in hand and lividity in personality. Me too!
I think Jaboney was trying to make a sarcastic point about the current U.S. president, not that it has much relevance.
For my part, I think the when the ICC carries out these “trials” of people who don’t recognize it’s authority, aren’t present, and, if “convicted,” won’t actually be punished in any way, the court is confirming that it is nothing more than a mockery. They may as well skip the formalities and just declare him to be a big bully.
As for real intervention, if the European countries that run this so-called court really care about what’s going on down there, why don’t they find some troops to send in and sort it out. Or would they rather sit back and let the U.S. do it, as usual?
This sending U.N tropps into an area to solve the many problems that arise means “The U.S. should DO something about this.” That means U.S. tax dollars or money borrowed, mostly from China, at the cost of my children’s future. Right now every child born in the U.S. is faced with a 30,000 dollar debt. I think it’s damn time for other countries to step up to the plate. Then when some missile goes astray and kills some collaterals, I can stop caring about the whiners who critisize my country for caring and trying to do something. Hell, if the AU doesn’t give a crap, why should I? But . . . . I do.
[quote=“redandy”]I think Jaboney was trying to make a sarcastic point about the current U.S. president, not that it has much relevance. [/quote]No, my sarcasm isn’t limited to the current president. Clinton put off signing on to the ICC for a year and a half before signing up at the last moment on Dec. 31, 2000, and never sent it to Congress for ratification. The reason? The mechanism was flawed and did not offer substantial protections to US personnel. That, and he could embarrass Bush by dumping it in his lap to “unsign”.
Following the conclusion of WWII, the British were all for summary execution of high-level Nazi officials, but the US took the lead in demanding that they be dealt with with something other than victor’s justice. That led to the Nuremberg Trials, planted the seeds for international tribunals, and was entirely proper. 50-odd years later, the US took the position that it would only sign on to the ICC if every other member state signed a bilateral agreement with the US to exempt Americans from the Court’s jurisdiction. That assertion of exceptionalism represents a sad about face from the post-War leadership so publicly on display.
The following seems to be available only on a cached page, so I’m quoting it at length.
[quote=“UN Association of the US”]
Comparison of the Clinton and Bush Administration Positions on the International Criminal Court
"In signing (the Rome Statute)…we are not abandoning our concerns about significant flaws in the Treaty…The US should have the chance to observe and assess the functioning of the court, over time, before choosing to become under its jurisdiction. I will not, and do not recommend that my successor, submit the Treaty to the Senate for advice and consent until our fundamental concerns are satisfied."
Former President Bill Clinton in his statement upon signing the Rome Statute, December 31, 2000
"We should isolate and ignore the ICC. Specifically, I propose for United States policy-I have got a title for it…I call it the Three Noes: no financial support, directly or indirectly; no collaboration; and no further negotiations with other governments to improve the Statute…This approach is likely to maximize the chances that the ICC will wither and collapse, which should be our objective."
John Bolton, currently Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security and head of the administration’s ICC team, remarks made to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, July 23, 1998.
US Administration Opposition to the ICC
Although the United States participated in the advancement of international criminal law from the Nuremburg trials to the ad hoc tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, neither the Bush nor the Clinton administrations have supported US ratification of the International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute. Despite their similar reluctance to bind the US to the ICC, their respective approaches towards the Court have been vastly different. Whereas the Clinton administration participated fully in all negotiating sessions in an effort to retain US influence over the process, the Bush administration is not participating in any way in the formation of the Court and is doing everything possible to destroy it before it begins investigating its first case.
Clinton Administration Policy Toward the ICC
* Supported the creation of the ICC in principle. * Conditioned US ratification of the Rome Statute on special concessions and protective measures for US nationals. * After failing to secure immunity for US nationals, made an unsuccessful attempt to limit the jurisdiction of the Court to cases that had been referred to it by the Security Council, and therefore to interpose the US veto power as a check on the Court's power. * Voted against the adoption of the Rome Statute in Rome on July 18, 1998, but continued to participate fully in all subsequent negotiations. * Signed the Rome Statute on December 31, 2000, but said that it would not recommend that its successor send it to the Senate because of "significant flaws." * Said that "[s]ignature will enhance our ability to further protect US officials from unfounded charges and to achieve the human rights and accountability objectives of the ICC. In fact, in negotiations following the Rome Conference, we have worked effectively to develop procedures that limit the likelihood of politicized prosecutions. For example, US civilian and military negotiators helped to ensure greater precision in the definitions of crimes within the Court's jurisdiction."
Bush Administration Policy Toward the ICC
* Strongly hostile to the Court due to ideological opposition to an international court that the US doesn't completely control. * Withdrew the US from all ICC negotiations after April 1, 2001. * Nullified the Clinton administration signature on the Rome Statute on May 6, 2002. * Refuses to participate in the Assembly of States Parties as an observer state, unlike every other major non-state party, including Japan, China, Russia and Israel. * Signed into law the American Servicemembers Protection Act (ASPA), which, subject to broad presidential waiver authority, purports to prevent the US from cooperating with the ICC, authorizes the US to use all necessary means to free US personnel detained by the Court, mandates the withdrawal of military training and assistance from countries (except major allies) that join the ICC, and requires the US to withdraw from major peacekeeping operations unless US personnel receive immunity from the ICC. * Conducting a vigorous campaign to pressure states to conclude bilateral agreements preventing the surrender of US nationals to the Court or face the cessation of US funded military aid under the ASPA, as well as unrelated funding. Affected states include NATO accession countries, members of the "coalition of the willing" in Iraq, countries that provide peacekeepers to help maintain regional security in Africa, and countries that are key partners in the fight against global terrorism and drug trafficking. * Using the US position on the Security Council to undermine the ICC by, on the one hand, carving out jurisdictional exceptions for peacekeepers and, on the other hand, challenging the inclusion of all constructive references to the Court. For example, even after the UN bombing in Baghdad, refused to allow language recognizing the ICC's criminalization of attacks against humanitarian aid workers as war crimes to be included in a resolution on that topic. * Refuses to join any consensus resolution in the UN General Assembly recognizing the existence of the ICC.[/quote]
I believe that globalization and the 20th Century’s history have demonstrated the need to turn the page on Westphalian isolationism. Having the US on the same side as the Sudan in such issues is anything but helpful. More leadership of the kind shown following WW2 is what’s needed.
A list of who has signed is available here.
Yeah…its Bushs’ fault…
Just came across this item about Sudan and the ICC charges:
(it is from a blog)
[quote]‘Sudan warns of ‘disastrous’ consequences if president is indicted’: Maybe They’ll Start A Slaughter In Darfur
[i]"CAIRO, Egypt - An indictment of Sudan’s president for war crimes in
Darfur would be “disastrous” for the region and could affect
humanitarian organizations working there, a Sudanese government
spokesman said Saturday.
Mahjoub Fadul Badry told the Arabiyah news channel that if the International Criminal Court sought to indict Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, it would be a violation of the country's sovereignty and would have consequences. "If an international organization or the organizations working in the humanitarian field are behind such an indictment of the head of state, our symbol of national sovereignty, then no-one should expect us to turn our left cheek," said Badry. He didn't specify what actions might be taken but there are fears the charges could provoke reprisals against international aid workers and the UN-African Union peacekeepers that are already experiencing difficulties in doing their work. The prosecutor of the ICC is expected to seek an arrest warrant Monday charging Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir with orchestrating violence in Darfur that has left hundreds of thousands of people dead since 2003. Sudan, meanwhile, has asked for an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers ahead of the expected indictment, according to Arab League spokesman Abdel Aleem el-Abyad Saturday. Arab League chief Amr Moussa, who is currently in Paris, is making phone calls to Arab foreign ministers set up the meeting. [Naturally, the Arab League members are beside themselves. The idea that Arab regimes and leaders might be held accountable for indiscriminate murders, racism and genocide is an intolerable notion- emp- SC&A] The court, based in The Hague, Netherlands, said the prosecutor will present evidence of war crimes in Darfur to judges Monday and one or more new suspects would be named. Court officials refused to identify any of the potential new suspects. The court's prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo of Argentina, has clearly indicated that he's aiming for the top leadership of the Sudanese government, accusing them of sponsoring the janjaweed militias who have unleashed a reign of terror on the country's Darfur region."[/i]
Up to 300,000 people have died since the conflict began in early 2003.
Actually, over the last two and a half decades, there have been between 2-3 million killed. A deliberate policy of genocide against Christians has been most effective.
There are virtually none left in Sudan.
Sigfried, Carl and Alfred[/quote]
Jaboney, I’m inclined to agree with Clinton and Bush. Why on earth should they submit their citizens to a court that apparentely believes it can pluck names out of any conflict between nations or within a nation, and then try them with or without their consent, whether they’re present or not, whether their country has submitted to jurisiction or not, whether they have any connection whatsoever with the tribunal or not. Frankly, I find it ridiculous, this court isn’t settling a war crimes dispute, it’s simply naming good guys and bad guys. Thank goodness it doesn’t have the backing of anyone committed enough to actually enforce it’s orders.
Now, if the Nations who want to try these people want to go down there and sort things out, that’s another story. But you don’t get to just set yourself up as the decider unless the parties ask you too or you put some real effort into resolving it.
I’m puzzled. How do you think such a court should operate, and why do you (if, indeed, you do) believe that this court is plucking out names at random?
“…this court isn’t setting a war crimes dispute…” No. mediation isn’t a part of its mandate. Trying the accused to sort out the bad guys is.
“…you don’t get to just set yourself up as the decider unless the parties ask you too or you put some real effort into resolving it.” What do you mean, “resolving it”? As for putting in real effort, you disagree that this is the case? I’m pretty sure that the court wasn’t pulled out of a hat. And while a number of the parties appearing in the dock, such as Charles Taylor, may not agree to be tried in that forum, that’s also an issue (or not) in national courts; Saddam never recognized the legitimacy of the court that tried him.
Sorry, redandy, I’m genuinely puzzled by your post. Care to enlighten me?
Ineffective? Without the means of putting him in the dock? Maybe.
Been going on long enough though… nice to see some action, even if it’s just enough to keep him holed up in country.
[quote=“BBC: US Sec. State Colin Powell: 9 Sept. 2004”]Mr Powell blamed the government of Sudan and pro-government Arab Janjaweed militias for the killings.
“We concluded that genocide has been committed in Darfur and that the government of Sudan and the Janjaweed bear responsibility and genocide may still be occurring,” Mr Powell said.
Mr Powell’s conclusion is based on evidence collected by state department investigators, who interviewed more than 1,800 refugees.
Their testimonies, Mr Powell said, showed a pattern of violence which was co-ordinated, not random. [/quote]
[url=http://tw.forumosa.com/t/its-a-hobbesian-world-after-all/20045/1 rebel turned VP killed in helicopter crash: 2 Aug. 2005[/url]
[quote=“NYT: 14 July 2008”]The prosecutor at the International Criminal Court on Monday formally requested an arrest warrant for Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity committed during the last five years of bloodshed in his country’s Darfur region.
Announcing the request, the prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, said that Mr. Bashir “masterminded and implemented” a plan to destroy the three main ethnic groups in Darfur, the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa.
“His motives were largely political,” the prosecutor said. “His alibi was a ‘counterinsurgency. His intent was genocide.”
Mr. Moreno-Ocampo, of Argentina, charged that, having failed to defeat a rebellion, the Sudanese president turned against civilians. “Al-Bashir organized the destitution, insecurity and harassment of the survivors,” he said. “He did not need bullets. He used other weapons: rapes, hunger and fear. As efficient, but silent.” [/quote]
No worries, if anything I’d say our previous dialogues have shown we tend to approach these things from different angles. Anyway, I know I’ve been a little slow, (darn real life) but here’s my response:
Basically I have three concerns about the ICC and it’s procedures. One is that I’m not certain I consider the basis of the court’s authority to be valid. Second is that I have serious doubts about whether the criminal procedure used by the court is satisfactory. Third is a practical point, that convicting someone you don’t have any actual control over seems to be just pointless. If any resident international lawyers can correct my understanding, please feel free.
Lets start with basic authority:
My understanding is that the court was created by a treaty signed by 106 countries, which do not include Sudan or the United States. The court, however, purports to have jurisdiction over crimes committed by the United States officials within the borders of other non-signatory countries, and in this case over Sudanese persons (“officials,” if they deserve the term) over matters that occurred within Sudan, against citizens of Sudan.
Now, my understanding of jurisdiction is that there has to be some nexis between the supposed crimes and the authority that prosecutes them. Of course different countries have different theories about what precisely qualifies as sufficient, but all would agree that there has to be either consent by the person on trial, or some minimal amount of connection that justifies the prosecution’s interest. For instance, France could arguably have a sufficient nexis for jurisdiction over crimes committed by French persons, or crimes committed on French soil, or crimes against French persons abroad, or crimes that substantially affect property interests of France or it’s people. There are other examples which aren’t entirely clear – perhaps when a country ousts the existing government and sets up another one, which tries the ousted President – but even in that case there is some connection because the country doing the prosecuting has also taken on responsibility for governing the country in question.
(The only real exception I can think of is piracy, which historically could be tried by any country, but they were a threat to all nations and tended to operate on the high seas, going in and out of everyone’s territorial jurisdiction)
Now, the ICC’s jurisdiction is established by treaty which created it. My question though is whether the jurisdiction established is within the power of the countries forming the treaty. The terms of the treaty cannot extend the collective powers of the nations forming the treaty. In essence, countries forming a treaty can’t create powers by treaty which they otherwise would not have. For instance, if Germany and France by treaty decided to dump their toxic waste in a public park in England, it would be in effect invalid unless England also consented, because France and Germany have no power over public land in England. The same logic applies to jurisdiction. A treaty cannot create jurisdiction that isn’t germane to the countries forming the treaty. Unless one of the 106 signatory countries somehow has jurisdiction over the events taking place in Sudan, (which is possible, but not evident from what I’ve read so far), I don’t see how the ICC gets jurisdiction.
Now, moving on to my second point
The right of an accused to confront his accused is among the most fundamental concepts in the Anglo-American legal tradition. It’s so fundamental that a trial without the accused’s presence is essentially no trial at all. I can see a pretty good case for saying it would even be Unconstitutional for an American court to cede any power to try American citizens to a court that doesn’t recognize this principle. Yet, if the ICC continues to prosecute the Sudanese President without first extracting him, that is exactly what the court is doing, and if such practices can be done to Sudanese citizens, why not American ones? (in fact I think the ICC has already done this to a few Americans). Moreover, it seems to me to be a really dangerous precedent for future trials. In this case it may be pretty clear that the Sudanese President is guilty of all manner of crimes and human rights violations, but it won’t always be that clear.
I’d hate for people to get used to the idea that a person can already be considered guilty by a court before he’s ever brought in to have his say.
Also, this isn’t just for the defendant’s sake. Frequently when someone’s really guilty of this sort of thing, the most compelling proof is the person’s own behavior in court. Why deny someone like this the chance to really show the world their guilt?
My third point is basically a practical one in that I don’t see how convicting the guy actually stops anything. Frankly, it may just convince him that you don’t plan on taking action. After all, if you were serious about intervening you’d apprehend him and then try him, not vice versa. Why not first put an end to the genocide and then hold a trial? Put the horse before the cart, so to speak, and you’ll get better results.
Ahhh, gotcha. Thanks.
Human Rights Watch (if you’re willing to believe their interpretation) addresses most of these issues here and here. (There’s also a side-by-side comparison of aspects of the Rome Statute establishing the ICC and the US Constitution here.)
On the first point, the court is not claiming to have jurisdiction over non-signatories. In order for the ICC to take up an issue, one of the countries must be a signatory, or the issue must be referred to the ICC by the UN Security Council (over which the US enjoys a veto). It is also a court of last resort, so the US – or any other state – gets first crack at a good faith investigation/ trial.
Second point: trials in absentia, are out under Article 63.
Third: trial and enforcement are huge issues. Investigating and publicly charging a head of state are preliminaries to that, but they’re also effective means of publicly condemning – in the strongest terms – the worse criminals, and of ensuring that political expediency and self-interest won’t later allow states to let murderous bastards off the hook. Investigations and standing public charges may not prevent further bad acts by those charged, but the naming and shaming alone may be enough to dissuade others, elsewhere, from engaging in future bad acts.
I agree that it’d be better to first act decisively to end the genocide, but we’ve been waiting a long time and nothing’s happened. This, at the very least, has the virtue of being better than nothing.
Thanks for the info, Jaboney, it makes for much easier reading than the actual statutes and procedures of the court I was working through.
I’m not entirely in agreement with the HRW interpretation, but I am perhaps a little less hostile than I was earlier. I’m still not entirely sure I agree with all the jurisdicitonal issues, but I’ll keep looking in to it. I’m also not sure I’ll ever be convinced that a trial in absentia is the way to go.
Anyway, I guess if the political will to actually intervene can’t be mustered, this is better than nothing, if the reasons you stated hold up.
People who support the ICC should ask themselves who it would spend time prosecuting. I suspect they’d be quite happy to see it prosecute Bush or Cheney, but what about Clinton or Obama? Or US military personnel in a Black Hawk down type situation? The fact is that big chunks of the world are governed by vicious dictatorships which whip up hatred of the US and its allies to distract their people’s attention from the fact that they have no power and little food. Lots of other countries hate the US because of simple jealousy, and they’ll all press for the ICC to harass the US regardless of who runs it. That won’t change just because a Democrat is in the White House and places like Sudan and its backers will respond to ICC trials of their politicians by trying to start trials agains US personnel.
Essentially it will be like the UN - it wil spend its time attacking the US, Israel and ignore the much more serious crimes of anti US dictatorships. Plus like the UN it will be totally inefffective at actually doing anything to enforce its rules. If you want to stop the genocide in Darfur, you need to convince a few governments to actually use their militaries to kill some of the people doing it. Except of course that they now have to worry about their soldiers getting prosecuted by the ICC. Or hell, stop being a chickenhawk and head over there with an AK47 and do it yourself.
[quote=“Jaboney”]What? Above ICC jurisdiction?
Who does he think he is, president of the US?[/quote]
Are either the US or Sudan party to the treaty? While the Sudanese government is disusting, if they are not party to the treaty creating the Court, their jurisdiction in this matter is dubious at best.
So Sudan’s position is:
How dare you accuse of killing so many people. It’s outrageous. If you don’t stop this unfounded accusation, we will be forced to kill (more) people to show you who’s really boss. So stop it!