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Re: (FYI) Reuter: War Crimes Court Seen at the Hague by Next Year

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  • Mark!
    I agree with Norbert s comments. For the court to have jurisdiction over crimes yet to be committed seems to at least partially eliminate its raison d Ëtre.
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 31, 2001
      I agree with Norbert's comments. For the court to have jurisdiction
      over crimes yet to be committed seems to at least partially eliminate
      its raison d'�tre.

      On the other hand, I agree to some extent with the position of the
      United States (which, I'm sure, they will be pleased to hear) that there
      has to be some safeguards built into the system to prevent trumped up
      charges for political purposes and the possibility of the politicization
      of the court itself. One difficulty that I can envisage is the nature
      of the values established by the court; e.g. the court will likely be
      weighted in favor of common law/judeo/christian principles. There are
      other value systems throughout the world over whose adherents the court
      would purport to prevail.

      Thats my $0.02 worth.

      Mark L.

      Norbert Strade wrote:


      > *I don't understand this argument. Does it mean that crimes committed
      > between
      > the current ad-hoc courts on Ruanda and Ex-Yugoslavia and the start of
      > the ICC
      > won't be persecuted? Both the Ruanda and Ex-Y. courts were created
      > *after* most
      > of the crimes had happened (not to mention Nuremberg). So what's the
      > deal here?
      > To save the current Russian leadership from persecution in order to
      > get their
      > support for the ICC in exchange? N.S.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Norbert Strade
      Saturday March 31 11:27 AM ET War Crimes Court Seen at the Hague by Next Year By Gideon Long FORIO, Italy (Reuters) - An International Criminal Court (ICC)
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 31, 2001
        Saturday March 31 11:27 AM ET

        War Crimes Court Seen at the Hague by Next Year

        By Gideon Long

        FORIO, Italy (Reuters) - An International Criminal Court (ICC) capable of
        trying suspects on genocide and war crimes charges should be ready in the
        Hague by next year, one of its key advocates said on Saturday.

        But Philippe Kirsch, chairman of the ICC's preparatory commission and the
        driving force behind the court, told Reuters that it would not be able to try
        crimes committed prior to the court's creation.

        ``Asking states to approve a court which would have been able to look at past
        crimes would have been a pretty tall order,'' Kirsch said in an interview.*

        His comments came as former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, who has
        been indicted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal, was holed up in his Belgrade
        villa fighting off arrest on domestic charges of corruption and abuse of
        power.

        The U.N. court accuses Milosevic of crimes against humanity for atrocities
        alleged to have been committed against ethnic Albanians by forces under his
        command in Kosovo in 1999.

        The ICC will be a permanent court based in the Hague and would replace ad-hoc
        tribunals like those that have been set up to deal with crimes committed in
        Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

        It would have powers to try suspects on charges of genocide, war crimes,
        crimes against humanity and aggression, once that offence is satisfactorily
        defined.

        Gaining Momentum

        Canada's Kirsch, who spearheaded the approval of the court's founding statute
        at a conference in Rome in 1998, said the bid to put the ICC on its feet was
        gaining momentum.

        ``Twenty-nine countries have now ratified the statute which is more than four
        times the number that had done so a year ago,'' he said on the sidelines of a
        strategy meeting of the ICC's proponents.

        ``In March 2000, there were seven and now there are 29 so obviously there has
        been exponential progress. 139 countries have signed the statute which is the
        first step toward ratification so it seems clear that within a year or so the
        statute will have entered into force and the court will exist.''

        Sixty countries must ratify the statute for the court to come into being.

        Among those that have already done so are G7 powers Germany, Italy, France and
        Canada but the glaring absentee from the list is the United States, one of
        only seven countries including China and Libya, which voted against the
        statute in Rome.

        The United States did sign up at the end of last year -- one of the last acts
        of Bill Clinton's administration -- but is extremely unlikely to ratify the
        statute in its current form.

        U.S. Reviewing Its Position

        ``The new administration (of U.S. President Bush) is reviewing its own
        position vis a vis the court,'' Kirsch acknowledged.

        Washington's key concern is that U.S. soldiers on missions abroad could be
        made subject to politicized charges related to alleged offences committed in
        combat.

        It wants individual countries to have the final say over whether their
        citizens should stand trial.

        But Kirsch said that was unacceptable.

        ``Think of Yugoslavia, of Rwanda, of Cambodia, of Nazi Germany,'' he said.
        ``The people who committed and authorized those crimes were all agents of the
        state.

        ``If you put in a condition that says that to try a Serbian national you need
        the consent of Serbia, it's never going to happen. It would be to deprive the
        court of any strength.''

        He said the advantage of the ICC would be that it would act as a deterrent in
        a way which an ad-hoc tribunal, set up after crimes are committed, never
        could.
        ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        *I don't understand this argument. Does it mean that crimes committed between
        the current ad-hoc courts on Ruanda and Ex-Yugoslavia and the start of the ICC
        won't be persecuted? Both the Ruanda and Ex-Y. courts were created *after* most
        of the crimes had happened (not to mention Nuremberg). So what's the deal here?
        To save the current Russian leadership from persecution in order to get their
        support for the ICC in exchange? N.S.
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