Tag Archives: icc

Try Hugo Chavez in the ICC

Colombia: Latin America tries to defuse escalating crisis | csmonitor.com

Colombian President Álvaro Uribe said Tuesday that his government would ask the International Criminal Court to try Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez for financing and supporting Colombia’s main rebel group.

While the International Criminal Court is neither free nor independent from the United Nations , it and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights both provide forums where the President of Venezuela can be tried, and spend the rest of his life languishing in prison.

Now, to actually get Mr. Chavez in custody…

Barnett Wrong on International Criminal Court "Independence" from the United Nations

Note: This is part of a series of reviews for Blueprint for Action. The introduction and table of contents are also available.

Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,” copyright United Nations, last updated 21 February 2001, http://www.un.org/law/icc/statute/romefra.htm.

Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating,” by Thomas Barnett, 20 October 2005, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0399153128/102-4292267-8637755?v=glance [author blog]

The International Criminal Court, an intergovernmental organization that has refused to promise not to prosecute Americans, is an important part of Dr. Barnett’s “

It features in his sixth stage of “successfully processing politically bankrupt states”

6. The final step in the process would involve the criminal prosecution of the indicted / apprehended parties in the International Criminal Court (ICC) located in The Hague, Netherlands (52)

And while Barnett argues for American, and International Peacekeeper, immunity from ICC prosecution

My prediction is this: While the U.S. Leviathan [blitzkrieg] force will never come under the purview of the ICC — because it will remain deeply embedded in military law — the far more internationalized SysAdmin [peacekeeper] force, including U.S. components, must reach some blanket-clause protection regarding its activities in the Gap. The reality is that the ICC was not set up to prosecute the “crimes” of peacekeepers and Core military personnel intervening inside the Gap, but rather to extend the Core’s principles of war crimes into the Gap and, in this way, provide some sense of international consequence for what in these chronic civil wars, long-running terrorist campaigns, and brutal dictatorships. (68)

He assures us the ICC won’t be complicated by entanglements with the United Nations:

Moving on to the last of the six pieces in this A-Z system, I personally place a strong emphasis on funneling any “suspects” we pick up in this process toward the International Criminal Court, an institution that is both free and independent of the UN system as was recently set up specifically to target individuals for prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity, and related war crimes. (67)

To make sure his point is clear, Barnett later reiterates his suggestion

As for the trials, prisoners will need to be funneled toward the International Criminal Court, which is perfect for this sort of thing. But again, the Untied States, plus the Core group as a whole, would need to reach some direct modus vivendi with the court, and if that didn’t work, the group would simply need to set up its own. But my guess is that the ICC would jump at the chance to be accredited in this additional manner, because so long as the United States considers it more of a threat to its ruling making than avenue for rule sharing with the rest of the Core, the ICC will remain vastly underutilized. And no, that wouldn’t get us in bed uncomfortably with the UN, because the ICC is independent of the UN. (132)

Hmmm… regular readers of tdaxp may recall a note from International Law & Organization which seems to contradict this…

UNSC can vote to delay ICC proceedings for 1 year, renewable

So what does the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court say about this? What does the ICC say about its relationship with the UN?

The States Parties to this Statute, … Determined to these ends and for the sake of present and future generations, to establish an independent permanent International Criminal Court in relationship with the United Nations system, with jurisdiction over the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, (Preamble)

Hmmm… that’s a little vague… and it does say “permanent”

The United Nations can refer cases to the International Criminal Court:

The Court may exercise its jurisdiction with respect to a crime referred to in article 5 in accordance with the provisions of this Statute if: … A situation in which one or more of such crimes appears to have been committed is referred to the Prosecutor by the Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations (Article XIII(b)).

And, like my notes said, can delay prosecutions… indefinitely

No investigation or prosecution may be commenced or proceeded with under this Statute for a period of 12 months after the Security Council, in a resolution adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, has requested the Court to that effect; that request may be renewed by the Council under the same conditions. (Article XVI)

The treaty also mentions special roles for the SecretaryGeneral, the General Assembly, and other UN organs, but the Security Council’s power to start and stop prosecution hardly makes the ICC “free and independent of the UN system” or even just “independent of the UN.”

Except maybe in UN speech.

I am disappointed in Barnett’s misleading statements. Perhaps he did not read the ICC treaty and has not read any good summaries of it. Or he very selectively used one word in the (non-binding) Preamble, “independent,” while ignoring the substantial dependency of the ICC outlined in the treaty itself.

Courts and International Justice

Courts and International Justice
– big expansion of international courts since ’93 (ICTY in 93, ICTR for 94, ICC more recently, plus mixed courts, plus Iraqi courts)
– international criminal courts tries individuals, not states
– “adjudication linked to international norms”

Expectations of International Criminal Courts
– deter atrocities in the future
– catharsis (look at dramatic history — how was catharsis created in Greece? trials? doesn’t the tragedy create its own catharsis?) (student piont: for victims or the West?)
– punish (exact justice)
– information gathering
– further develop Law (but why should Law be developed? as an end in itself?!?)
– Peace (no justice, no peace as descriptive… but justice not part of liberal tripod, so if this isn’t Realist or Liberal, is this just a constructivist argument?)

but — in South Africa, Guatemala, and El Salvador, Truth commissions operated instead of Courts
– Sierra Leon has both a Truth commission and a UN/local hybrid court system

Big Cheese: “There have been clarifications of international law come out of the ICTY and ICTY”

BC: Some “have said genocide is driven by such irrational beliefs, international courts may be ineffective deterence”
my thought: or is it that international law just is so weak?

BC: It is clear that some leaders, during peacetime, do worry about international law. But that doesn’t mean that a Rumsfeld won’t authorize torture.

In Rwanda, “big fish” tried in ICTR with no death penalty, but lower-level guys are tried in Rwandan courts and can get the death penalty

These courts are Chapter VII — enforcement actions — so even when states ask for international courts, they can substantially reduce sovereignty.

BC: I would say I’m not sure it’s a bad idea to have these courts imposed on societies… It’s probably a good thing to impose an international regime on the Balkans, for shock value.

[Imperialism — the first controversial thing he’s said that I agree with 🙂 for you, Curzon, Younghusband, and Chirol ]

student Q: Is there a need for an International Bar Association, to help states that have destroyed legal systems?
— part of Barnett’s A-Z Ruleset for Processing Politically Bankrupt States

BC: ICTY “created for wrong reasons; created for political reasons”

international law as a battlespace /helping/ the West? just PR or entable Seam states?

Downsides of Courts
– overriding state sovereignty and national culture
– may impeed negotiations (so UNSC can vote to delay ICC proceedings for 1 year, renewable)

BC: In the Balkans, in the ’90s, Milosevic was both the arsonist and the fire-fighter
– similar to TPMB saying Iran has a veto in Iraq?

for ICC, there is no rule that requires any prosecution — all ICC prosecutions are political (same for Attornies General generally)

student comment: the fear of giving the alleged a platform leads down the dangerous road of state-sponsored disappearances

– typically defined by bilaterial treaties
– tax haven countries typically don’t have them
– a list of “common crimes” is defined, where both countries agree to extradite
– so-called “political crimes” typically aren’t included
– (this caused US/UK trouble when Northern Irish fled to Boston)
– typically, US wants confidence in that country’s justice system first
– however, some crimes (hijacking of airplanes) require extradition or trial by treaty
– in some cases there is a duty to cooperate with ICTY, ICTR, …

Alverez Marchein
– Mexican doctor helped keep DEA agent alive to torture him longer
– US paid bounty hunters to kidnap Marchein
– OOPS! wrong guy (hmmm…)

Regional International Law & Organization

US rationally calculates how much any given international or regional organization helps or harms it, especially economic

BC: You can’t have a Gramscian analysis without a discusison of economic ideals
– does this imply that we are trying to evolve international organizations?
– Why do analysts use Rationalism instead of Baynesianism?

Hagland: “Americans never make good realists”
– excludes European immigrants such as Kissinger
– big exception: Nixon
– “America is unable to resist the siren song of Crusading on behalf of ideals that besmirch rather than enoble the country’s geopolitical soul”
multilateralism as the “extension of American politics to the farther shores of two American oceans”
– while US attempts to act rationally, American belief in American divinely-given exceptionalism gets in the way… but more rationalism would make things fine
– Hagland: Nato “not a community of values,” but a security alliance (takes it to a “higher, but not more relevent, plane”) — (so does this imply not real international law?) — that is, NATO not pro-democracy but pro-US/Canada/UK/Germany/etc

random gripe: why do some American students refer to Americans as “them,” not “us”?

BC: “I would argue that it was not until 1981 that uniteralism would refurse with a vengence… and it was doctrinal unilateralism, not constrained by rationalism or whether we needed allies or not… During the Cold Wars we tied outselves to NATO”

Another good phrase: “Much of Europe represents a post-Westphalian governance”.. (or is it just Federal?)