Poll question: Guantanamo: Is the SCOTUS trying to head off a World Court Drama?
Guantanamo prisoners' advocates hail Supreme Court Reuters, UK - 3 hours ago LONDON (Reuters) - Advocates for Guantanamo Bay detainees have hailed the US Supreme Court's decision to examine the prisoners' cases for the first time, but ... http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackageArticle.jhtml?type=...
In paticular the new ICC...
... To take over when national criminal justice institutions are unwilling or unable to act
"Crimes under international law by their very nature often require the direct or indirect participation of a number of individuals at least some of whom are in positions of governmental authority or military command." -- Report of the International Law Commission, 1996
Nations agree that criminals should normally be brought to justice by national institutions. But in times of conflict, whether internal or international, such national institutions are often either unwilling or unable to act, usually for one of two reasons. Governments often lack the political will to prosecute their own citizens, or even high-level officials, as was the case in the former Yugoslavia. Or national institutions may have collapsed, as in the case of Rwanda.
... To deter future war criminals
"From now on, all potential warlords must know that, depending on how a conflict develops, there might be established an international tribunal before which those will be brought who violate the laws of war and humanitarian law. . . . Everyone must now be presumed to know the contents of the most basic provisions of international criminal law; the defence that the suspects were not aware of the law will not be permissible." -- Hans Corell, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs
Most perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity throughout history have gone unpunished. In spite of the military tribunals following the Second World War and the two recent ad hoc international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda, the same holds true for the twentieth century. That being said, it is reasonable to conclude that most perpetrators of such atrocities have believed that their crimes would go unpunished. Effective deterrence is a primary objective of those working to establish the international criminal court. Once it is clear that the international community will no longer tolerate such monstrous acts without assigning responsibility and meting outappropriate punishment -- to heads of State and commanding officers as well as to the lowliest soldiers in the field or militia recruits -- it is hoped that those who would incite a genocide; embark on a campaign of ethnic cleansing; murder, rape and brutalize civilians caught in an armed conflict; or use children for barbarous medical experiments will no longer find willing helpers.
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