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MikeGodsell
22nd Oct 2004, 12:12
"The UN & International Justice" main points from the UN Association Wales conference at Aberystwyth Sat 16th Oct.


Hi Everyone

An exciting and inspiring day with, for this PPRUNE participant, a feeling that slowly things are moving towards a safer and more just World.

MAIN POINTS: What's happening Now.....

Human rights violations, torture / genocide / armed conflict both international & domestic / repression / occupation / invasion / you name it, it's still happening. But the ICJ [International Court of Justice] is up and running and is being used more frequently.

A body of law IHRL, [international human rights law]and IHL [international humanitarian law] exists, is being used, and is being enlarged and improved continually.

Tribunals dealing with Kosovo, East Timor, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, and others, are conducted using a hybrid of international law and local law. The results have been less than perfect for conflict resolution, but the greatest contribution has been to international criminal law itself.

The ICJ is a court where States may go to resolve conflicts. It is therefore in a sense "passive"and does not seek out wrong-doers, moreover only nation states can bring cases before the court.


Which brings us to the ICC [international criminal court] and what could happen in the not too distant future....


The ICC came into existence in April 2002, since when more than 60 countries have deposited ratification's at the UN.


The ICC has big teeth! It genuinely frightens the USA, even though the ICC is non-retrospective and will only consider jurisdiction from 1st July 2002. So Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Korea, Viet-Nam, shelling refugee camps in Lebanon, shooting down civil airliners, and all the other "fun" things the Americans have done up to July 2002 will be exempt.


The ICC is a World court, it has theoretical precedence over all other courts including the US supreme court.

It prosecutes INDIVIDUALS; soldiers, pilots, kidnappers, bombers, lying leaders, dictators, policemen, and anyone who obeys orders knowing them to be wrong.

It deals with genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and aggression.


The ICC Prosecutor is INDEPENDENT of any other country or organisation.

The ICC prosecutor can ACTIVELY SEEK OUT wrong-doers.

ICC jurisdiction is limited to citizens of ratified countries, and my impression is that at the moment it is keeping a low profile so as to eventually get the USA on board.

However American actions in Afghanistan, and Iraq come within the remit of ICC, and American opposition has taken the form of "unsigning" treaties, withholding aid from ratifying countries, and the American Servicemembers Protection Act [US soldiers can kill anyone in any place without being tried in a "foreign" country]

The position of British forces acting under American military leaders in Iraq is particularly interesting. A British soldier ordered to fire on civilians by an American officer, would have to weigh up the possibility of a court-marshal if he refused to obey, or a trial in the ICC if he killed Iraqi civilians.


While the prospect of a World court, and of all counties adopting international law is an exciting prospect, however remote it's achievement may be. Someone at the Aberystwyth conference (probably me!) had the cynicism to ask "What happens if the Americans decide to ratify the ICC and then attempt to take over as in the UN security council"? In other words, how do we ensure that a future World government, with international law, and the ICC & ICJ, are and continue to be forces for good, and not new forms of human oppression?

All the best

Mike Godsell UNA Wales Executive Committee member and PPRUNer.










:)

Send Clowns
22nd Oct 2004, 12:31
ICC independent? Naive in the extreme. Nothing is independent. No man is an island. Everything is subject to some outside political interference. The UN, sponsor of the ICC, has particular political problems, particularly the strange superposition of heavy left-wing influence and too much authority with totalitarian regimes. When compared to the justice systems of a democratic nation, the latter must be the casesimply because the UN does not recognise the difference between democracy and totalitarianism.

You are already showing the bias. It is simply because naive people like you would consider prosecutions for acts of war, such as the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and the Korean and Vietnam war (the actual involvement in the war, as opposed to any individual action within the Vietnam war), that the US does not accept the ICC. They feared politically-inspired prosecution, and it seems the fears were justified. The US has shown that it is willing to prosecute its own wrong-doers, as it should, and punish them. Why then should we subject them to political "justice"?

I am glad I am no longer a British serviceman. I would wish to leave. How can we accept jurisdiction over our serviceman, secnd guessing of their judgement in the field by lawyers in their arm chairs, working for a court that is set up by an organisation that has a representative from Zimbabwe on its human rights committee? It is a farce. The UN has been made into a powerless object of ridicule by corruption and by the political manipulation of countries that don't care about the resulting suffering.

Flying Lawyer
22nd Oct 2004, 13:11
The UN has been made into a powerless object of ridicule .......... by the political manipulation of countries that don't care about the resulting suffering. I agree. As an admirer of America and most things American, I really wish they wouldn't do that.

airship
22nd Oct 2004, 13:43
For many of us in old Europe, the point that some of our Heads of State enjoy an immunity from prosecution to various degrees is an extremely sore point. To know that the USA wants a blanket immunity for all of its' 300 million citizens almost beggars belief. After all, the ICC is based at the Hague. Not in some 3rd World dictatorship or undefined territory like Guantanamo. :confused:

Mr Chips
22nd Oct 2004, 13:47
I'm with Send Clowns on this one. Your paragraph

The ICC has big teeth! It genuinely frightens the USA, even though the ICC is non-retrospective and will only consider jurisdiction from 1st July 2002. So Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Korea, Viet-Nam, shelling refugee camps in Lebanon, shooting down civil airliners, and all the other "fun" things the Americans have done up to July 2002 will be exempt.
shows an incredible level of bias against the USA. Now, i don't know if it is your personal bias, or that of the ICC, but either way, it doesn't suggest "Independent" to me..

... now, what was the actual point of your post???

Capt.KAOS
22nd Oct 2004, 14:03
Mr.Chips, I believe your quote referred to the phrase "It genuinely frightens the USA" and not to the whole ICC. It merely shows your bias.

Tribunals dealing with Kosovo, East Timor, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Don't see any anti US bias here? Do you?

pigboat
22nd Oct 2004, 14:12
..What happens if the Americans decide to ratify the ICC and then take over as in the UN security council...

No problem, just start another court. There are lots of marsupials in Oz.

Mr Chips
22nd Oct 2004, 14:13
Errr, no Capt Kaos, I don't see any anti american bias in the samll portion you quoted. Nor do I see any mention of ICC involvement in those tribunals....
Tribunals dealing with Kosovo, East Timor, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, and others, are conducted using a hybrid of international law and local law.

I DO see anti American bias in the part that I quoted - and it may be merely the bias of the author rtaher than of the ICC, which is what I stated. Allow me to quote one line again

and all the other "fun" things the Americans have done up to July 2002

Tell me that there is no anti Americanism in that phrase

airship
22nd Oct 2004, 14:35
Tell me that there is no anti Americanism in that phrase Perhaps the author merely wished to stress immoral acts in general as opposed to solely American acts...but as this thread concerns the USA's opposition to the ICC...? I stand to be corrected if the two words cannot be associated, at least from time to time and in context... :confused:

Mr Chips
22nd Oct 2004, 14:43
Airship I was struggling to work out what this thread was actually about... :confused:

I'm not sure what you mean about two words etc etc... butthe author appears to have let an awful lot of Anti America bias slip in...

In my opinion

Onan the Clumsy
22nd Oct 2004, 14:58
And they're off...


Time for a merge? :zzz:

airship
22nd Oct 2004, 15:03
Mr. Chips, the 2 words I had in mind were immoral. And American. Don't accuse me of trying to use the 2 in the same sentence! :O

I jumped to the conclusion that the thread concerned the USA's obstinate refusal to submit to the ICC. But I have been known to be wrong.

The topic-starter does have a certain bias admittedly. But once factored-in, there is no reason that should have any further effect on this discussion. On the basis of the efficient markets theory etc. ;)

There must be a fair few countries out there who haven't signed up for the ICC either. Do we know who they are?

Buster Hyman
22nd Oct 2004, 15:11
My previous company has had dealings with the ICJ. Very hard to get a gig at the UN, but they got in. A colleague was in the presence of Milosevic...sent shivers up her spine! Now they are doing some work for Saddams trial. Fascinating stuff!:ok:

But, IMHO, the ICJ will be as benign as the UN in general, unless it can get some teeth. :(

airship
22nd Oct 2004, 15:41
The UN today, as some see it...
https://webspace.utexas.edu/jchughes/www/september01/julia_toothless_grin.jpg

What Buster Hyman has in mind...
http://www.jtssharksteeth.com/Test/images/gws1.JPG :O

Buster Hyman
22nd Oct 2004, 15:46
http://www.gamingforums.com/images/smilies/pleased.gif

However...I'm not sure which one frightens me the most!!! http://www.click-smilies.de/sammlung0304/sprachlos/speechless-smiley-040.gif

airship
22nd Oct 2004, 16:05
I think I know what Buster Hyman means. Whilst the Great Whites are in severe decline today, babies continue to proliferate. And it's only a question of time before one of these toothless creatures turns into another Adolf...or worse:{

Capt.KAOS
22nd Oct 2004, 16:31
Exactly my point Mr.Chips, apparently everybody eventually will find what he's looking for?

46Driver
22nd Oct 2004, 16:41
You are not going to find much support for this idea in America, however if you would like to make more of the undecided vote Republican this would be an excellent way of achieving it.

You could always post this on www.flightinfo.com and watch this American orientated forum explode.....

Chaffers
22nd Oct 2004, 19:41
Chavvers

Feel free to join this discussion when you are capable of expressing your views without being offensive to other contributors and without abusive language.

StbdD
22nd Oct 2004, 20:31
Unscientific google results:
There are approx 193 countries in the world.
139 signed the Rome agreement.
97 have ratified it.

Of the 10 most populous countries in the world, 2 have ratified the agreement, 3 signed but haven't ratified, 5 have done neither (as of 24 Sept). Those unratified countries have a total population of approx 3,467,050,900.

(Ratified = R, Signed = S, Neither = N)
N - China
N - India
S - United States
N - Indonesia
R - Brazil
N - Pakistan
S - Russia
N - Bangladesh
R - Nigeria
N - Japan

airship
22nd Oct 2004, 20:51
Perhaps I was hoping forlornly to see that there were 3 groups of countries in that list: the good guys, the bad guys and the others (good guys, waiting for the right moment?).

I didn't think that the ICC would have posed such problems. Surely most of us can agree on what constitutes a serious crime? And if I understand the principles, the ICC can only intervene if the signatory country does not choose to judge the individual in its' own courts.

It's a little like taxation don't you think? The loopholes exist, not to benefit the vast majority of taxpayers, but the minority who have the freedom to live wherever it is most profitable for them. Hence offshore tax-havens. Unfortunetly, the same facilities also benefit corrupt politicians, fraudsters and the mafia.

It's a strange World innit?! :yuk:

flapsforty
22nd Oct 2004, 21:46
Thanks to this thread I have realised that I know far less about the ICJ than I thought I did.
Much information and food for thought here (http://www.icj-cij.org/icjwww/igeneralinformation/icjgnnot.html).
Mr Godsell, with my lack of factual knowledge I feel not qualified to opine about the merit of the ICJ. What I can say is that I respect the fact that you are willing to use your time and energy on what you percieve as a way forward for mankind.


It's part of the human condition to disagree on the best way to achieve a goal, but I think and hope we can all agree on the virtue of eradicating human rights violations, torture / genocide / armed conflict both international & domestic / repression / occupation / invasion.

Heavy sh!t for a friday night; off for a drink and some R&R. :)

Davaar
22nd Oct 2004, 22:45
Ms Forty, do not thank him too much.

You and the link you give address the ICJ, but he does not, not more than incidentally. His tale is of the ICC, and his -- Surprise! anti-American -- speculations:
_____________________________

Godsell: "Which brings us to the ICC [international criminal court] and what could happen in the not too distant future...."
_____________________________

I could quote him paragraph by paragraph, and comment on his quotations. Here are a few:
__________________________

Godsell: "The ICC has big teeth ... It genuinely frightens the USA"

"So Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Korea, Viet-Nam, shelling refugee camps in Lebanon, shooting down civil airliners, and all the other "fun" things the Americans have done up to July 2002 will be exempt. "
___________________________

There have been many fun things over the past 65 years. There was the British officer having German seamen machine-gunned in the water, and went on to an honoured retirement.

The British government handing over British-decorated white Russian and other allies to the Soviets for execution.

Funny thing, the Brits could have had courts-martial over these, didn't need Nuremberg or the ICC, but did not.
___________________________
Godsell: "The ICC is a World court, it has theoretical precedence over all other courts including the US supreme court."
___________________________

Who says?
___________________________

Godsell: "The ICC Prosecutor is INDEPENDENT of any other country or organisation."

"The ICC prosecutor can ACTIVELY SEEK OUT wrong-doers.
___________________________

Yeah. Any doubts on how the selection of "wrong-doers" will be organised. If you have any, read on:
___________________________
Godsell: "Someone at the Aberystwyth conference (probably me!) had the cynicism to ask

"What happens if the Americans decide to ratify the ICC and then attempt to take over as in the UN security council"? In other words, how do we ensure that a future World government, with international law, and the ICC & ICJ, are and continue to be forces for good, and not new forms of human oppression?"
____________________________

I was not at the meeting at Aberystwyth, but surely Mr Godsell knows for a fact whether or not he was the "someone" ("probably me") who spoke there with his multiple contingencies and loaded premises:

1. What happens if the Americans decide to ratify the ICC? [If 1];
2. [The Americans] then attempt to take [it] over? [If 2 on If 1]
3. As in the UN security council [What does he have in mind?][Whatever 3 on If 2 on If 1]
4. How do we ensure? [Who is "we"? Is we He? Or is we "someone"?] [Who and what 4 on Whatever 3 on If 2 on If 1]
5. That a future World government [Which government is that likely to be?] Whichever 5 on Who and what 4 on Whatever 3 on If 2 on If 1]
6. With international law, and the ICC & ICJ, [quite a bit here: Public International Law, whatever that is; ICC [his hobbyhorse]; and ICJ [quite different][and so on];
7. Are and continue to be forces for good [i.e., unlike the Americans]; and
8. Not new forms of human oppression [i.e., like the Americans]

And that is all in one paragraph. Come off it Godsell, were you the bold speaker, with or without (!)? I think you know. Why so coy?

MikeGodsell
23rd Oct 2004, 10:31
Hmm
I dropped this post into the J.B. pool hoping some new fish would bite. They did!

From the UN Charter: We the PEOPLES of the United Nations determined
To Save Succeeding Generations from the scourge of War.

In Europe, I see PEOPLE dropping old left / right politics in favour of a new right / wrong view.

At the University of Aberystwyth I listened spellbound as two “drop dead gorgeous” foreign law students debated (in fluent English & Welsh) on the UN & International Justice. My American contacts confirm that similar debate is happening among informed young people in the US. In a few years these youngsters will be running things God willing.

My anti American bias is self evident, but is based on the absolute conviction that killing people is not the best way of changing their point of view. Sadly the USA continues to use organised violence for political ends, and as ever violence breeds violence ad nauseum!

Here in Wales there is a long pacifist tradition. The Welsh Centre for International Affairs and the UN ASSN. are housed in the ancient Temple of Peace in the centre of Cardiff. The Centre’s 31st Anniversary lecture, on the UN’s role, will be given by a Welshman Sir Emyr Jones Parry UK Permanent Representative to the UN. Another Welshman John Humphreys is the scourge of politicians on BBC radio 4.

The UN is the ONLY game in town. No other organisation has any hope of civilising humanity before environmental catastrophe MAKES us all co-operate.

The UN needs to change, and it actually listens to the debates and opinions expressed by it’s associations all over the World. My purpose in posting here is to get some of you lot to contribute. Thanks for doing so.

Cheers
Mike Godsell.

Solid Rust Twotter
23rd Oct 2004, 10:51
I've worked with the UN all over the world and all I see is a toothless PC talk shop staffed by career catastrophe tourists.

All the talk is of ending war/genocide/torture and the like and instilling human rights/peace/justice while actively encouraging people like Bashir, Mugabe and their ilk to remain members.

Sickening!

Of course, that's only my point of view.....

Flying Lawyer
23rd Oct 2004, 11:45
Davaar
I thought our Mod's comments were entirely reasonable.
I agree it's a great pity MG allowed his anti-American bias to distract from what would otherwise have been an informative post about the ICJ and the ICC. They were bound to provoke a reaction; the extreme response from Send Clowns didn't take long to arrive - and I responded to that. ;)

That said, you are being harsh on MG. Your 8 point lawyer's analysis of two sentences was cleverly done, but it was wholly artificial. Whether or not you agree with his concerns, he expressed them perfectly clearly.
An international court can only work (1) if states agree to it and (2) having agreed, if states then abide by its decisions even when they disagree with them.
Unlike MG, I have a pro-American bias but, given America's track record at the UN (eg Use of veto to prevent any criticism of one state in particular) and towards the UN (eg invading Iraq), I am concerned how America would cope with (2).

Many people sneer at the UN, and it obviously has many shortcomings, but the UN and international courts are still the best hope we've got of achieving world peace and reducing atrocities throughout the world. America using its might as a 'world policeman' is an alternative, but the welfare of small states would then depend upon the political bias and party political interests of the Administration in office rather than upon the majority decision of a larger number of states.
Are you in favour of either an ICJ or an ICC?
You appear to think the selection of wrong-doers to be placed before the ICC would be unfair. Does the list of cases heard or pending before the ICJ suggest unfair selection? (See Flaps' link for pending cases.)



(Edit)

MG
Just read your latest post. It seems that Davaar was right and I was over generous to you. I naively thought you were starting an interesting discussion about the UN and the value of international courts, rather than dropping anti-American comments into the pool in the hope that people would bite. Well, they've bitten.
Shame - it could have been an interesting discussion, but good discussions depend upon people being prepared to consider opposing arguments and exchanging views. Exchanging biases isn't my idea of a good discussion.


Solid Rust Twotter
What do you suggest as a better alternative?

Chaffers
23rd Oct 2004, 18:32
I went to university in Aberystwyth and attended a similar conference in Cambridge. As I said in my previous post, deleted by flaps *, it was a pointless exercise in debating club theory with most people there having little or no clue about international politics.

Naturally it attracted the luvvies who thought they might change the world over a weekend's pointless debating, however the standard on show was pitifully low.

At best an interesting insight into how groupthink and the rule of committee, particularly as applied to the format of UN resolutions, lead to wooly thinking.

Only interesting thing that happened on my weekend was getting a good shag.

The name's Chaffers by the way....


* Flaps didn't delete your previous post.
I did, as the first Mod to see it.
Heliport

MikeGodsell
23rd Oct 2004, 18:39
Flying Lawyer
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I naively thought you were starting an interesting discussion about the UN and the value of international courts, rather than dropping anti-American comments into the pool in the hope that people would bite
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I intended the former:) But could not resist the latter:(

As stated in my post, the UN is the only game in town, and if it is to succeed it needs to change. There are a lot of clever people on this forum, their constructive views could help with that.

........and maybe I need to look at my biases more closely!

Mike Godsell

Solid Rust Twotter
23rd Oct 2004, 19:23
FL

Perhaps not tiptoeing around the world's problem child leaders in case they take offence would be a good start.

Once again, just my opinion......

Davaar
24th Oct 2004, 03:56
Flying Lawyer, I merely suggested Ms Flaps be cautious, and indeed Mr Godsell later wrote:
_____________________________
“I intended the former [discussion]. But could not resist the latter [American bashing]”
_____________________________
He had not been quite straight; but Ms Forty had been. She looked to the ICJ; he in a fog to the ICC.

I do not, with respect, think my 8 points were artificial. I tried to separate the wheat from the chaff, the attempts to confuse, from the simple question.

Mr Godsell, Without your gloss, which I accept, I should have thought (i) you wrote what you meant, (ii) you meant it to confuse, and (iii) you succeeded.

Flying asks me:
_____________________________
“Are you in favour of either an ICJ or an ICC?”
_____________________________

That is a legitimate question, in fact two, on: (i) ICJ and (ii) ICC.

Ms Flaps considered the ICJ.

Mr Godsell the ICC.

Flying writes:
_____________________________
“You appear to think the selection of wrong-doers to be placed before the ICC would be unfair. Does the list of cases heard or pending before the ICJ suggest unfair selection? (See Flaps' link for pending cases.”
_____________________________

Ms Flaps’ list for the ICJ is not relevant to the ICC.

Many people do “sneer” at the UN. Let us rather say “criticise”. Are they right?

Mr Godsell does not like what “the US” did in Korea. Do not veterans wear both a national and a UN campaign medal?

Then:
________________________________
“...... the UN is the only game in town .....
________________________________

It may be the only game you all like, but not the only game in town. What of Dr Mugabe’s game. Saddam Hussein’s game.
Then:
________________________________
“......but the UN and international courts are still the best hope we've got of achieving world peace and reducing atrocities throughout the world
________________________________
That is a position, not a truth.
Then:
________________________________
“America ...............as a 'world policeman' is an alternative, but ................ small states would then depend upon the political bias and party political interests of the Administration ....”
______________________________________

This does not state an alternative; but “an alternative but”, raised to be destroyed with one self-serving argument. Will not:
________________________________
“the majority decision of a larger number of states”
_________________________________
gives a veto to tiny states, under influence?
What of the ICJ? I am no expert in Public International Law. I do recall reading recently (it may have been Austin) that Public International Law is pretty much hot air.
What I remember of Public International Law is the Corfu Channel case. An RN ship was mined; damages sought; lawyers paid; damages awarded; never paid; everyone was happy at the Rule of Law. This, I thought, is not for me.
Now the ICC. Someone mentioned nasty Mr Milsosevic. So... How is his prosecution going? Not so well, I read. Not so much of the abundant evidence.
In charge of an office at my Alma Mater was a retired British colonel. Turned out I live in Canada. “That’s a relief!” “What do you mean?”. I got, unprovoked, the standard British anti-American diatribe. Just like Mr Godsell. No, I do not trust the kind of people I believe would control the ICC process.
A colleague told me of targets in Korea: “We did things we should not have done”. An RAF officer, in his cups, told me how he had shot down his own No1, and why. I believed them both, still do, and my reflection was: “Thank God I was not in their place”.
At Nuremberg, I have read, they took doctored evidence
Then:
__________________________________
An international court can only work (1) if states agree to it and (2) having agreed, if states then abide by its decisions even when they disagree with them.
__________________________________

Yes, but that is two questions:
(1) Does a state wish to have the court in the first place. The US does not want to have the ICC.
(2) will the court work even if the participant states “having agreed, ....then abide by its decisions even when they disagree with them.”

Send Clowns would not put himself under orders only to have some (as Mr Godsell himself is) pacifist say: “Off to Brussels!; You shouldn’t really have dropped those bombs on Hamburg/Dresden/ the Ruhr. Good luck!”.

Clowns’ response seems reasonable to me.

I do not understand that war in Kosovo. Wars used to be for interests (bad), and now they are for morality (good) Whose morality? Ours, of course, the good kind.

Do not allow those Serbs to massacre the minority [xxxxx] oppressed Kosovars. By Jingo, we stopped that. Now who looks after the new minority non-[xxxxx] oppressed Kosovars? No one, I gather.

Bar Association; judges; clients wish to reduce law courts. It is called “Alternative Dispute Resolution” or “ADR”. Better, cheaper, faster, less formal, more equitable. FAR cheaper. Mr Godsell’s “drop dead gorgeous” foreign law students will make courts proliferate.

One man puts his life at risk, drops everything to head for the jungle, the mountains, or the desert, to fight and eat scraps. Another floats around libraries and law courts.

The state says to the first: “Take thousands of chaps to be wet, cold/hot, hungry, tired, scared of being shot in the back or front, control them, there’s a good fellow. Kill the other crowd, but nicely”.

Something goes wrong. If that first chap is in charge, he is court-martialled, in the US and in the UK.

Now Mr Godsell wants to have him tried by judges appointed from the second type of chap or from “drop dead gorgeous” foreign law students with big mouths, on first class per diem, expenses, refreshers plus overseas allowance, none ever under fire or even in a damp trench.

It is not unlike the “pilot” argument we meet here. Make a flight across the ice-floes or the Greenland ice-cap and the photographs do not cock an ear to the engine or focus an eye on the de-icing boots. The pilot does. How are the drop dead gorgeous foreign law students lawyers to know what should have been done better than the man who was there?

Kipling tells of a young British officer (“YBO”) in India. A private soldier (“PS”) in his platoon annoys him, and he commits the unforgivable sin of striking the man. Career-ending. More Will Come of This.

YBO despairs. Shoot himself? Resign? Confess to the colonel? Ask for a court-martial? He would be convicted, of course, and out of the army; the regiment would be disgraced; and all would still leave the personal affront unsatisfied.

He decides what to do. He remarks that he is going out for a long walk, far from camp, to a secluded spot, in civilian clothes, unarmed and alone. He states when. ALONE (Do you HEAR?). There will be no witnesses.

At the appointed spot YBO meets, by chance, the PS and they settle the matter with fists. The End.

Would a court-martial have been better? As a lawyer I must say: “Of course it would.” A chief petty officer had a black eye. I made gentle inquiry of another as to the cause: “Let’s just say, Sir, he was talking when he should have been listening”.
Sober contributors here are sometimes sceptical of judges and courts and lawyers. I am too.

So: Am I in favour of (a) the ICJ? or
(b) the ICC?

(a) Probably Yes. It does little harm, and provides some good jobs and fees;
(b) No.

MikeGodsell
24th Oct 2004, 10:14
DAVAAR

Part of your post is incomprehensible to me. I am a non-lawyer trying to deal with legal matters.

As for the British war crimes you mention. They and many others would come under ICC remit if retrospective. British actions in Northern Ireland, French in Algeria, Australians in Aboriginal lands, Japan in China, etc. etc ……. . no nation has clean hands but the individuals who carried out atrocities in the name of.. “Duty”, “Patriotism”, “Freedom”, “Religion”, or whatever excuse was current at the time, are probably now dead. The ICC has to start somewhere, and a line was drawn in July 2002.
To prosecute individuals requires proof and evidence, which is not going to be easy to obtain. Indeed seeking out evidence might be extremely dangerous both for the ICC prosecutors and witnesses.
Like others posting here I see the possibility of yet another talking shop, yet the potential of the ICC is enormous if it can get to work as intended.

Mike Godsell

Flying Lawyer
24th Oct 2004, 12:26
Davaar
I've already conceded you were right re MG's anti-American bias, and that I was over-generous and naive.
That said, I still share Flaps' respect for 'people who are willing to use their time and energy on what they perceive as a way forward for mankind', recognising (as Flaps did) that people may disagree on the best way to achieve a goal, but hoping (as Flaps did) we all agree the ultimate goal is the eradication of "human rights violations, torture / genocide / armed conflict both international & domestic / repression / occupation / invasion."

We'll have to agree to disagree over whether your 8 point analysis was harsh. I agree what was posed as a single question contained more than one question, and included a premise which was itself controversial. Lawyers aren't permitted to ask such questions in court, but MG is clearly not a lawyer and this is an informal discussion.

My statement about the UN and international courts being our best hope for world peace was, as you say, a 'position not a truth.'
I assume all our contributions are expressions of opinion, unless expressly claimed to be facts.

I'm sorry I didn't express my 'America - world policeman' point clearly. Informal discussion again! ;)
Leaving aside the status quo which I think is unacceptable, the alternatives seem to be either a formal 'world' body (with teeth) or a superpower using its might as an unofficial 'world policeman.' I favour the 'world body' alternative because, although the member states would inevitably have different political views/agendas, the majority decision would prevail. The serious disadvantage of the superpower alternative is that its actions would be determined by the political views/interests of the party holding office at any given time.
At one time, I would have been reasonably content for America as the world's only superpower to act as 'world policeman' - assuming it was prepared to do so. The single biggest factor which has changed my mind is America's conduct in the Israel-Palestine dispute. It could have used its might and financial influence to act as a genuinely neutral buffer/mediator between the warring sides but, instead, has taken sides whilst pretending to act as a mediator.
Even with its shortcomings, the 'superpower' alternative would be better than the status quo, but not as good as the 'world body' alternative.

MG
It's not necessary (or even desirable IMHO) to make contributions in JB discussions with the same degree of care a lawyer must in court but, you do seem to have an unusual affection for the scattergun and aversion to the rifle.
Your key points seem to be (a) that you favour an improved and strengthened UN, (b) that you’re in favour of the ICC and (b) that you consider America’s stance re the ICC is wrong.
In making those points, you’ve ranged from making extreme anti-American comments, via pacifist tradition in Wales (as if it’s a majority view, or peculiar to Wales, when it’s neither) via John Humphrys as the ‘scourge of politicians’ (wholly irrelevant, and no scourge of New Labour politicians) via Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Korea, Viet-Nam, Lebanon, Northern Ireland, Algeria, Aboriginal lands, Japan and China when, as you correctly point out, the ICC has drawn a line at 2002!
The more extraneous material you include, the more likely it is that people will either miss or ignore your main point and respond to an extraneous point with which they disagree.

Wino
24th Oct 2004, 12:43
FL,

As the Son of a Lawyer and someone who does enjoy a great debate every now and then, I am starting to wonder if many of the world's problems aren't infact caused by TOO MANY lawyers. (look at the desperate need for Tort Reform in the USA).

So somehow the idea of adding yet another layer of lawyers over the tops of all the lawyers out there now seams to be non beneficial. I am reminded of the hitchikers guide to the galaxy and the crashed ship full of phone sterilizers....

As to MG and his alledged AntiAmerican bias.

Remember this is the clown that flew the "Mission" over US B52 bases during the Afghan conflict. Frankly they should have shot him down... In this day and age with terrorism a real threat it was a VERY silly move on his part, and shooting down someone intentionally harrassing military carrying out a warfighting mission might possibly been defensible, and certainly would have been satisfying...

Cheers
wino

Flying Lawyer
24th Oct 2004, 13:35
You could be right about too many lawyers, Wino :)

For info - in case anyone's interested
The International Court of Justice is a civil tribunal which deals mainly with disputes between states and doesn’t have criminal jurisdiction over individuals. It’s the main judicial arm of the UN.
The International Criminal Court is intended to deal with individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. It can only act when countries are unable or unwilling to prosecute. It’s independent of the UN.

To date, 97 countries are States Parties to the International Criminal Court. Out of them 26 are African Countries, 11 are from Asia, 15 are from Eastern Europe, 19 are from Latin America and the Caribbean, and 26 are from Western Europe and other states.

Afghanistan
Albania
Andorra
Antigua and Barbuda
Argentina
Australia
Austria

Barbados
Belgium
Belize
Benin
Bolivia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Botswana
Brazil
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso
Burundi

Cambodia
Canada
Central African Republic
Colombia
Congo
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cyprus

Democratic Republic of Congo
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominica

Ecuador
Estonia

Fiji
Finland
France

Gabon
Gambia
Georgia
Germany
Ghana
Greece
Guinea
Guyana

Honduras
Hungary

Iceland
Ireland
Italy

Jordan

Latvia
Lesotho
Liberia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg

Malawi
Mali
Malta
Marshall Islands
Mauritius
Mongolia

Namibia
Nauru
Netherlands
New Zealand
Niger
Nigeria
Norway

Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Poland
Portugal

Republic of Korea
Romania

Saint Vincent and The Grenadines
Samoa
San Marino
Senegal
Serbia and Montenegro
Sierra Leone
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Africa
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland

Tajikistan
Tanzania
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Timor-Leste
Trinidad and Tobago

Uganda
United Kingdom
Uruguay

Venezuela

Zambia


Apart from the USA, do any other absences stand out?

States which might not welcome outside scrutiny of their military actions?

MikeGodsell
24th Oct 2004, 15:13
WINO

Actually it was Fairford, 1st day of Iraq war and Greenpeace beat me to it with their hot-air balloon. Yes it was very silly.

Flying Lawyer

Steep learning curve for me. Will attempt to use a smaller scatter gun!:ok:

MG

Davaar
24th Oct 2004, 16:51
Flying Lawyer, I did expect and I do accept your reproach. I was trying to catch up on the Godsell irrelevancies and perversions.

My substantive point was that Ms Flaps be cautious, for she was addressing the ICJ and Mr Godsell the ICC.

Am I in favour of the ICC? No.

The purpose of written pleadings (this is not for you, FL, but for Mr Godsell) is to exclude the irrelevant and immaterial, to include the relevant and material, and to formulate succinctly the question in issue.

To help in those, pleadings are “adjusted” between counsel and if necessary the court. Some, like MrGodsell, use them to confuse. That is why a reply to Mr Godsell has to be so involved. Such a reply, I now realise, is beyond my skills.

The domestic criminal courts administer the King’s (Commonwealth’s; People’s) Peace. The executive says: “Be good. Do not kill, wound, steal, cheat, or be naughty”. The legislature and judicature say: “Here are the rules”.

In war, the executive says: "Vis-a-vis that other lot forget those silly rules. Kill! Wound! Steal! Destroy! Here are the tools. Go to it. You may not like it, but be hard”.

Mr Godsell says, after the fact, “Mr Soldier, you killed too many and I shall put you on trial. I shall make up the rules, good rules, my very own, and I shall prosecute and adjudicate. By the way, Are you American? Just asking.”

Politics often apply, though, even in domestic tribunals; and at Nuremberg the Soviet judges well knew who deserved credit for the Katyn massacre (their own mates, not the Germans or even the Americans), but the Germans got the blame; “I’ve got the foreman’s job at last”.

At the end of WW2, there was debate about the top Germans. Kill them on capture? Run show trials? Let's run with the show trials. That was a choice. Should Jodl have been hanged? Or Schaukel? Why did Speer escape? Did not Goering really and truly make attempts to head off the war? What deals were done behind the scenes? I asked how the prosecution is making out against Mr Milosovic. He is guilty: we all know that, do we not? Guilty of what? Guilty of something.

It is a perversion to make lawyers the tools of politics, and impertinence of sweet sad lawyers from the Justice department to run whole systems over those who were shot at. That is true even in courts-martial. Read "The Caine Mutiny" for an insight.

I can well imagine conditions in which I would shoot prisoners or torture (or better still, have someone else do it). Anyone who says he would not has not been there, or has limited imagination. Just my opinion of course but, unlike Mr Godsell and his drop dead beautiful lady lawyers, I am not trying create a bureaucracy of the smug.

Wino
24th Oct 2004, 18:05
Flying Lawyer,

I also notice several of the absenses, but at first glance ALSO notice that some of those countries that are absent seam to provide the bulk of peace keeping forces for the UN.

I could see why those countries wouldn't want to be victims of a political action against them later, whilst doing the bidding of the UN.

Once you get past the usualy condemnation of America and Israel, look at the list of absenses and think about recent actions with peace keepers that were actually shooting zones.

The ICC would ironically possibly be the deathknell of the UN. If you can't get peace keeping troops, then we out to just rename it the League of Nations and be done with it.



Cheers
Wino

Bronx
24th Oct 2004, 20:49
Hey Wino, it ain't difficult to work out why Israel don't want the ICC, but I don't understand your other point.

The countries that have been the core of UN peacekeeping operations historically are Australia, Canada, Denmark, Fiji, Finland, India, Ireland, Italy, Norway and Sweden. Canada and Fiji have been part of all or most all peacekeeping ops.
Bangladesh, Ghana, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa have sent troops in recent years and since the Cold War ended, eastern powers especially Poland and the Czech Republic have started helping.

Of all those only Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and the Czech Republic haven't signed up yet so it don't look like there's much danger of the UN running out of peacekeeping troops. :confused:

StbdD
25th Oct 2004, 03:46
In September of 2004 there were 54,200 UN Peacekeeping troops. 32,232 came from countries which have not ratified the Rome Accords (ICC).

The largest contributors of troops were:

Pakistan - 8936
Bangladesh - 8219
Nigeria - 3588
Ethiopia - 3445
Ghana - 3320
India - 3044
Nepal - 2614
South Africa - 2514
United States - 2489
Jordan - 2067

of which only Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa have ratified the Accord.

The true test of the ICC will come when the first Peacekeeper from a ratifying country gets hauled in front of the ICC. That of course will only happen after his country has investigated and declined to prosecute (for whatever reason).

It doesn't take too much imagination to foresee the impact of such an event on a sitting government and its military. Forget any more Peacekeeper contributions and maybe cross their name off the list of ICC member states. (You don't get screwed if you don't put yourself at risk by contributing troops or being a member state). Or prepare for sham trials if the country doesn't want to make waves.

No worries though, only "bad" people will be called before the ICC as they are totally unbiased and will never act based on the politics of its member states, media spin, PC or funding sources. Besides, it's not like they are charging the state, just the poor schmuck on the pointy end.

I believe that it may eventually get very difficult to find countries willing to provide Peacekeeper troops for the UN.

A couple of issues I found interesting regarding the Court are the fact that the Court will specifically exclude terrorism cases and that the court will be funded "by assessed contributions made by States Parties and by voluntary contributions from Governments, international organizations, individuals, corporations and other entities".

So, we have a Court which by charter goes after individuals, not states, but it won't go after terrorists. So much for solving the Guantanamo issues. Nice one UN.

Now if I was to form a supposedly unbaised, independent body I think the primary sources of funding I would specifically exclude would be "international organizations, individuals, corporations" but I'm probably biased.

All figures and quotes from the UN and ICC websites.

pigboat
25th Oct 2004, 04:30
Will suicide bombing be a crime under the ICC? Before anyone says how will the ICC prosecute the suicide bomber, how about the party (ies) who claim the credit for the action?

Flying Lawyer
25th Oct 2004, 08:30
"Besides, it's not like they are charging the state, just the poor schmuck on the pointy end."
Poor schmucks like Pol Pot and Slobodan Milosevic?

The presence of International tribunals has never presented a barrier to military action. America deployed thousands of troops to Bosnia and Kosovo, even though the area is under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY). There have been no complaints that the ICTY has operated irresponsibly despite there being fewer safeguards than the ICC and no requirement to defer to the decisions of national courts.

It's often said that an estimated 174 million people were killed in genocides and mass murders last century. I have no idea how accurate that figure is but, even if it's wildly out, would anyone deny that there is a serious problem which we as a world need to address?
The purpose of the ICC is to hold accountable and bring to justice individuals responsible for mass murder, genocide, and war crimes.
Countries which join the ICC are simply allowing an international court to prosecute certain crimes committed on their territory rather than conducting these trials themselves which they are currently entitled to do.

The ICC has only just begun its work and is currently investigating alleged atrocities committed in:
The Democratic Republic of Congo (allegations include widespread and systematic rape, use of child soldiers, ethnically-targeted massacres, intentional attacks on peacekeepers and aid workers, and cruel treatment of civilians, ranging from torture to mutilation to acts of cannibalism.)
Uganda (allegations that the LRA has abducted more than 20,000 children, forcing them to fight, carry out hard labor, and serve as sex slaves to commanders). This was referred to the ICC by the President of Uganda.

It's worth looking at some of the governments which are reluctant to expose their leaders to prosecution by joining the Court: Burma, China, Cuba, Iraq, Israel, Libya, North Korea and Pakistan.
Coincidence or common thread?


____________

StbdD
All the crimes with which the ICC can deal are strictly defined. The reason 'terrorism' has not yet been included as a as a specific offence is that the members states have not yet been able to reach agreement on a definition. You may find that surprising; I don't. One man's terrorist, another man's freedom fighter. etc

Omark44
25th Oct 2004, 13:18
"Hey Wino, it ain't difficult to work out why Israel don't want the ICC, but I don't understand your other point."



How true Bronx why would Israel want to put their head on the block when their major adversary chooses not to?

Send Clowns
25th Oct 2004, 13:58
Godsell

You have already told us exactly why the US cannot accept jurisdiction of the ICC over her citizens. You have stated that US citizens should be/have been prosecuted for certain acts of war not in contravention of any rules of war, acts commited in wars forced upon the USA or her allies, whereby the US was attacked or asked to defend sovereign governments. You are not alone: there have been attempts to prosecute US politicians and military leaders for similar "offenses" within the more left-leaning European "justice systems" (the ones that ignore paedophiles and corrupt officials, and arrest journalists for exposing corruption). The common thread is that these attempts are also by anti-American pacifists, who, like you, believe that war must be avoided at all costs, even at risk of later war.

I suspect you don't even see the problem that people just like you place in front of the US.

Do you realise there are decent people who genuinely believe that the best, most humane choice is to march to war? I, myself, believe that pure pacifism is wrong. I believe it is a self-indulgent, naive, dangerous philosophy. All that is needed for the triumph of evil is that the good sit back and congratulate themselves on being so good (to paraphrase a little). Humanity is worth fighting for, and if we don't then the dictators will win every time. To fight, we need to let our warriors fight without the concern that they will be second-guessed by armchair critics and those ideologically opposed to war, and prosecuted for legitimate acts of war, for decisions that were in hindsight unfortunate or for very human mistakes.

Notice that the current US system is very willing to prosecute those that break the Geneva conventions. Why fix it if it ain't broken?

Your insistence that the UN is "...the only game in town..." and vital to humanity is presented completely without argument to sustain it, let alone explain how a corrupt organisation that supports evil despots and terrorist states in favour of political attacks on democratic states can possibly save mankind.

An international criminal court is a great idea. The problem is it is run by fallible people. They not only have their own political aims like your left-wing pacifism, but they have also tend to go for the easy targets. These are those that don't need the court, where any reasonable case would be prosecuted anyway.

Flying Lawyer

Hardly extreme! All I said was that I could understand why the US felt the ICC would be anti-American, that it would never be independent as nothing is, and that the UN was corrupt. Barely news even at the moment, and no solid refuting of any of my argument has been put forward.

I perceive the way forward for mankind to be strong democracies, with fierce armies willing to defend freedom. Hence I joined Her Maj's RN, and gave my time for that. Had I been asked to fight, I would have been happy to face British justice, knowing that prosecution is unlikely to be based on politics (although lack of prosecution may be). I shudder at the idea of being subject to naive like Godsell.

Capt.KAOS
25th Oct 2004, 15:03
99% of the modern soldiers are pretty much ok, however rarely do they have the complete picture. It's the politicians (many of them who dodged the service) and the 4-star generals who misuse them. They use the mostly patriotic idealistic driven yet gullible soldiers (like clowns) who sincerely believe anything their Great Leader tells them for his own agenda.

UN of course is far from perfect, however it's the only International Platform where things can be done multi-nationally. Instead of breaking it down, the US, as the Most Powerful Nation on Earth, might be more constructive and lead it to a better Organisation. However, like Kyoto, this would not be directly in the interest of the US and therefore it will never happen, at least not under Team Bush.

ORAC
25th Oct 2004, 15:16
"however it's the only International Platform where things can be done multi-nationally".

Rubbish. There are plenty of other ways. I might point out, for example, the NATO operations in the Balkans where the UN was not brought in because it was known the Russians would veto anything put forward. But there are many other forms of bi and multi-lateral forums such as the OAU or Commonwealth.

The UN is not, and should not, be the be-all and end-all of international cooperation.

StbdD
25th Oct 2004, 15:21
FL

I was actually thinking about the soldier which the first political show trial crucifies rather than Pol Pot who would be outside the remit of the Court. However, I do take your point that that isn't the stated intent for the Court.

As to the terrorism - no terrorism issue, I don't find their apparent aimpoint surprising at all. However, as this Court will apparently not address one of the major issues of our time, one which happens to have a disproportionate effect on some of the non-ratifying countries, supporters of the Court should not be surprised when those countries balk at signing on the dotted line. They have apparently done the risk vs. gain calculation and the ICC came up wanting.

"One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter" - Well that's the whole point isn't it? I'm sure the person leading a genocidal action is seen as being in the right by someone or he wouldn't be able to do it (read "freedom fighter"). The difference between him and the man who bombs a bus is what? Scale?

Your coincidental grouping of countries is emotive. Pakistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, U.S. and Jordan. What do they have in common? They are non-ratifiers and are major providers of Peacekeeping troops (more specifically soldiers carrying weapons in dangerous places with a likelyhood of having to use them) and are therefore more at risk to the political whims of the member states of the Court. You imply that the reason is that they have something to hide, I suggest another explanation is that they disagree with the approach and are most at risk if it goes astray.

I haven't done the maths but how many of the worlds people are actually represented by governments who ratified the ICC? As 8 of the top 10 most populous countries are non-ratifiers that may be a clue. A strong case might be made that the ICC isn't representative of the desires of the majority of mankind at the moment. If they chose to enforce those desires by non-ratification I suggest that is their right. The UN isn't the world government and can't force this down the throats of those who disagree just because they think they are "right". To paraphrase your quote: One mans ICC is another mans kangaroo court.

Being anti-ICC in its current form is a far cry from being pro-genocide.

ORAC
25th Oct 2004, 15:34
Davaar:

"The state says to the first: “Take thousands of chaps to be wet, cold/hot, hungry, tired, scared of being shot in the back or front, control them, there’s a good fellow. Kill the other crowd, but nicely”.

Something goes wrong. If that first chap is in charge, he is court-martialled, in the US and in the UK.

Now Mr Godsell wants to have him tried by judges appointed from the second type of chap or from “drop dead gorgeous” foreign law students with big mouths, on first class per diem, expenses, refreshers plus overseas allowance, none ever under fire or even in a damp trench."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alas, if only were so.

UK soldier on Iraq murder charge (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/3634624.stm)

Capt.KAOS
25th Oct 2004, 15:59
Bollox ORAC. NATO, Commonwealth are hardly an International World Platform and are dominated by the North Atlantic Partners.

Flying Lawyer
25th Oct 2004, 18:11
Send Clowns
Arguing the pros and cons of the ICC on the basis of MG's views of the sort of cases the ICC should try seems to me to be a pointless exercise. FWIW, I think you both hold very extreme views even though you both claim to hold reasoned views based on a balanced assessment of the 'facts' - MG in his antipathy towards America and you in your antipathy towards the UN. Maybe neither of you is extreme; I'm only offering an opinion which may be wrong.

MG chose to tell us he's a pacifist. You're not, nor am I. But pacifism has nothing to do with the pros and cons of the ICC, nor with the work it's intended to carry out.

I'm not sure what you mean by "no solid refuting of any of my argument has been put forward." You made some assertions about the UN as if they were self-evident truths. I don't accept they are, and disagree with your assertions. I don't agree the UN is corrupt. I agree it's often manipulated by some of its member countries and, although I'm generally pro-America, I think America is one of the worst offenders by its use of the veto.

I follow your argument that the ICC can never be truly independent. I disagree because, even if individual member states do have their own political agendas, I don't think it follows that the court as a body would be politically motivated. But, even if you're right, why do you think one country trying its own leader(s) would be more independent than a group made up of representatives from many countries?
The UK and US (and many other countries) may well conduct investigations and any ensuing trial fairly, but what about those countries which wouldn't? Isn't the advantage of the ICC that all signatory countries (including those which wouldn't) agree to scrutiny by an international body?

StbdD
If you consider a good test of whether something is in the interests of mankind is to add up the populations represented by the governments which are in favour and against, you may be right. But, is that a good test? (Apologies for expressing myself in a clumsy way - hope the point is clear.)

Omark44
Following your logic, the UK and Australia (for example) shouldn't be signatories because Iraq isn't.
If a state's political and military leaders haven't since July 2002, and don't intend in the future, to commit genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes, then IMHO it makes no difference whether their main adversary is a signatory.
It seems as though you think a country should keep the option of committing atrocities in case its adversary does. It's a point of view; certainly not mine.

BillHicksRules
25th Oct 2004, 19:58
Dear all,

To add my tuppence worth to this rather heated debate I have to say that I am proud of the UK for its ratification of the treaty. I find myself impressed by the current Labour government for doing this. This is an unsusual state for me as I pretty much dislike most of the rest of their actions.

It shows that we are as a nation prepared to act in accordance with international law in combat and if someone does not then we will either prosecute them ourselves or pass them on to a higher authority.

Cheers

BHR

Davaar
25th Oct 2004, 22:59
Pass it on to:
_______________________
a higher authority.
_______________________

This makes Britain a subordinate authority. Okay, then.

MikeGodsell
25th Oct 2004, 23:07
SEND CLOWNS
I walked up Mt Tumbledown in the Falklands, just after the war. A lot of young soldiers died there. To me it seemed brutish, obscene and terribly sad. Had you been with me you would probably have seen heroism, and valour, but perhaps felt a great sadness also.

But these were warriors trained to fight and die…. no problems with the ICC there.

A mother picks up her smashed child from the ruins of the family home.
A teenage girl is shot in the head by a passing bullet.
The man loading a stretcher into a UN truck is killed “by mistake”.
Youngsters dancing in a disco are bombed into a bloody pulp.
Incredibly accurate “smart” weapons bomb a supermarket.

Are these the actions of warriors or of crazy insane psychopaths?

I say again the UN is the ONLY hope to stop this madness, and the ICC is a step in that direction.

MG

Bronx
25th Oct 2004, 23:08
I perceive the way forward for mankind to be strong democracies, with fierce armies willing to defend freedom. Hence I joined Her Maj's RN, and gave my time for that.
So it wasn't the idea of being in the military and seeing the world you liked Clowns?
What a loada pretentious crap. :rolleyes:

ORAC
26th Oct 2004, 07:24
Bollox ORAC. NATO, Commonwealth are hardly an International World Platform and are dominated by the North Atlantic Partners

There, I am afraid, we must disagree on all grounds.

NATO is multi-national and does, increasingly, present a world platform, as in Afghanistan for instance. It also not "dominated" by any one member, being an organisation working only when in unanimity, all members possessing a veto.

As to the Commonwealth, I am at a loss to understand how you can claim it is not a world platform and incredulous that you can claim it is dominated by the North Atlantic partners!

I suppose you would also disregard the WTO, ITU, ICAO and other, non-military, non-UN, multi-national organisations?

I repeat, the UN is not the, "only International Platform where things can be done multi-nationally". Not only is not the only platform, in many areas it has neither authority, responsibility, or expertise. The UN is just one international organisation amongst many, set up to perform a limited set of tasks within a limited remit.

Bronx
26th Oct 2004, 07:55
I'm incredulous that you didn't understand Capt K meant international organizations in the context of this discussion.

WTO, ITU and ICAO? :rolleyes:

ORAC
26th Oct 2004, 08:27
When the context is courts I would think that organisations such as the WTO are entirely in context. As do the left wing if the number of riots they stir up against it when it holds meetings such as in Seattle.....

Capt.KAOS
26th Oct 2004, 09:09
You're hanging on straws here, ORAC. Why not include the International Red Cross? The Olympics? Miss Universe? OPEC?

The NATO and the Commonwealth fossile are only limited interest organisations for a certain group of allies, hardly a "World Platform".

The US/UK put the invasion of Iraq before the SC of the UN in order to get the World's recognition (well...Bliar wanted it...). Powell made his infamous pre-war speech before the UN, nowhere else.

Buster Hyman
26th Oct 2004, 09:26
Picking up on pigboats suggestion about suicide bombers, I wonder if all the major religious leaders were approached to submit their condemnation of this atrocity, how would that go down? For example, if the Pope came out & condemned the act as "satanic" (just an example) under the UN's ICC, then they could posthumously declare the bomber to be "shamed" by the ICC & the world community. A simple declaration indeed, but how would it harm the breeding grounds of this terrorism, if their respected leaders condemn their acts in a very public way?

Just a thought....:confused:

Send Clowns
26th Oct 2004, 13:12
FL

Pacifism has a lot to do with the ICC. The reason is that in the past pacifists have tried to have people prosecuted for acts within war for which they should not be prosecuted.

The UN has been found to be corrupt in its dealings with the oil-for-food programme. Further to that, the inclusion of representatives from countries such as Zimbabwe on important committees which should be criticising the actions of such countries, such as the human-rights committee, is corrupt. You may disagree - I did not say that my opinion was unassailable. What I said was that you have not written anything to refute that, you have simply stated that you disagree.

America is a democracy. If the US uses a veto, it does so representing 250 million people. If China or Russia does so, neither of which can reasonably be called democracies, this is representing the head of state and his small number of advisors and ministers.

Who decides the terms of reference for the ICC? Who decides on the membership, the judiciary? Who decides what is a crime? Who decides which incidents to investigate or prosecute? Wher do the personnel come from?

Mr Godsell

The Falklands was, at times, a nasty, viscious fight, it was unpleasant and unfortunate. I entirely agree that it was brutish, obscene, and terribly sad. That does not preclude honour, valour and self-sacrifice. However you must think not only of the immediate consequences of the decision to fight, but also the further consequences and the consequences of deciding not to fight. Had we allowed a nasty dictator to get away with blatantly taking territory then the whole world would have become a less safe place. That is beyond the local effects on a British civilian population. The consequences of war led to the freeing of the Argentine population from a fascist state, and democratic elections.

Note the conflict brings up another reason to resist the ICC. There were calls from some quarters for prosecutions for the sinking of the Belgrano. That would have been terribly unjust.

Some of the rest of the cases you put are exactly what I mean. You would wish to prosecute for them. That would create extreme extra danger for fighting forces as over-caution limits effectiveness of operations, and create dreadful injustices. These incidents can be the very unfortunate consequences of war. If you accept that war is sometimes the best of a series of poor choices, and I think even you would accept that the second world war was such a case therefore this is true, then you cannot prosecute people for its unfortunate consequences. 'Colateral damage' is an unfortunate term as it is so impersonal, but it is accurate and I think that almost every combatant in forces of free states knows it is personal to someone, and tries to minimise it. It cannot be eliminated.

They are nothing to do with psychopathology or madness. To suggest they are proclaims your ignorance of combat. This is not a good position from which to judge the actions of combatants, as you seek to do in your arguments here.

Other cases are nothing to do with war. I am not sure why you put them, as I don't know of any state that has bombed a disco as part of a combat, except through the intermediary of a sponsored terrorist group. That is the role of local justice systems, not the ICC.

The UN is not the only hope. You keep saying it, have failed to even attempt to justify it except by assertion. It could be a great hope, if it gave less emphasis to corrupt totalitarian regimes and was less ridden with nations using votes for their own political purposes. Perhaps if its officials weren't taking bribes off states that it is supposed to be punishing, or even if something was done about it when this was discovered, then it may be more effective in this role.

As it is, justice systems of free, democratic states are, nowadays, fairly good at prosecuting the cases that deserve such in their own forces, at least those that come to light, i.e. all those that the ICC could ever prosecute. The totalitarian states are so unlikely to actually allow the ICC to prosecute the people that should really be prosecuted that I think it is a fig leaf to cover our impotence. It will make it look like we are doing something, while doing no more than the specially-constituted courts that are already working on cases such as the Balkan debacle (another of the UN's conspicuous failures!).

Bronx

No it wasn't. Don't be such a judgemental, arrogant little stirer. You don't know me. For which I can be grateful, I suppose.

BHR

Why does this say we are prepared to act in accordance with international law any more than, say, investigating our own crimes?

You have not answered any of the gaping flaws in the ICC. You have not addressed the effect this will have on safety of UK soldiers in operations, and on the willingness of either (i) future governments putting UK soldiers in peace-keeping missions, a role putting them especially at high risk of prosecution or (ii) people actually joining a UK military that allows its soldiers' actions in the field to be second-guessed by lawyers in comfortable offices.

You are, in effect, saying this makes you feel comforted, so it is good.

Why can we not police our own forces? Why abdicate responsibility to another organisation, whose fairness we cannot yet judge? British justice is not perfect, but I cannot think of a jursisdiction I would prefer.

Heliport
26th Oct 2004, 14:16
SendClowns

Who decides the terms of reference for the ICC?
Who decides on the membership, the judiciary?
Who decides what is a crime?
Who decides which incidents to investigate or prosecute?
Where do the personnel come from?

For someone with such strong views on the ICC, you don't seem to know much. ;)

Here you go ....... ICC website (http://www.icc-cpi.int/home.html&l=en)

panda-k-bear
26th Oct 2004, 14:30
Unfortunately for us all, there are times when there is no option but war. WWII was just one of those cases - I'm sure Mr Godsell would not have wanted to fly to Berlin to ask for Mr Hitler's resignation adn to be put on trial, nor I uggest, would he have been able to fly to Japan after Pear Harbor and demand the same.

How would you stand on that, by the way Mr Godsell? How would you propose that you would force a major power to give up its leadership with first defeating them in war? You were the one who mentioned the atomic weapons in 1945 way back in your original posting. Did the means justify the ends? Did that action also keep the peace for the next 50 years?

Having said all of that, whilst I personally believe that Afghanistan needed to be, erm, rearranged in a manner of spoeaking, I don't believe Iraq did. But would I prosecute individual soldiers for the behaviour of their political masters (for ultimately that is what would happen) - no I would not!

When the UN gets some teeth, then perhaps it will be effective. Up to now, it's not even teething.

Capt.KAOS
26th Oct 2004, 14:38
It could be a great hope, if it gave less emphasis to corrupt totalitarian regimes If you look at the history of the British Empire and US corporation with dubious corrupt totalitarian regimes, this is typically calling the kettle black...

UN is far from perfect, however no reason to distroy and humiliate it deliberately like Team Bush did.

panda-k-bear, you're beating a dead horse. Already covered this a zillion times (eh Wino?). Did Germany have weapon inspectors, for instance?
When the UN gets some teeth, then perhaps it will be effective. Up to now, it's not even teething. Thanks to Uncle Sam...

MikeGodsell
27th Oct 2004, 00:06
This thread is about the UN, and the UN is about stopping wars. The ICC aims to prosecute the worst behaviour in armed conflict, and put a “lid on the boiling pot”... perhaps it may succeed.

But what is making the pot boil?

Another debate, another time!

thanks to everyone
:) MG

airship
27th Oct 2004, 00:12
Why are we waiting? III, III, we want III! :rolleyes:

West Coast
27th Oct 2004, 05:18
"Thanks to Uncle Sam"

The UN has been worthless for far longer than Bush has been President. He simply called it for what is.

The "yeah its got problems but its the best we have going attitude" is a lousy excuse for accepting its mediocre at best
performance.

Be just as happy if the US wasn't in it.

Buster Hyman
27th Oct 2004, 06:05
Be just as happy if the US wasn't in it.
And that's just it, isn't it! When you are playing the role of Global Sherriff, you don't really need or respect a "weaker" organisations policy or doctrines. Why should you?

Now, if China started taking a more active role in world events, what would the position of the USA be? Ignore them if it doesn't interfere with US interests, or challenge their right to be taking on such a role? Would that provide a role for the UN that the USA would recognise?:confused:

Flying Lawyer
27th Oct 2004, 09:07
West Coast The "yeah its got problems but its the best we have going attitude" is a lousy excuse for accepting its mediocre at best performance. I don't think anyone's suggested that.
IMHO, the UN is the best hope we have of achieving world peace, stopping atrocities etc and we certainly should not accept its "mediocre at best performance." However, as with any other organisation made up of constituent parts, it can only be as strong as its members make it.
For as long as powerful states which don't need the UN are determined to do their own thing regardless of the wishes and interests of smaller states, picking and choosing if/when they respect UN decisions etc, using their power of veto to stop resolutions for their own political ends then, I agree, the UN will never be really effective and not as effective as it could be.

I think there's force in Capt K's "Thanks to Uncle Sam..." comment, but agree with you the problem goes back further than Bush. I also readily concede that Britain's recent conduct is no better.

If you're only concerned about America's interests, then I can understand why you'd be just as happy if America wasn't in it. America doesn't need the UN - but lots of smaller states do.

Capt.KAOS
27th Oct 2004, 10:18
The "yeah its got problems but its the best we have going attitude" is a lousy excuse for accepting its mediocre at best And what a success Team Bush's performance in Iraq is. It's not even mediocre, it's all-out lousy. See how far you get with "guts" politics and shooting from the hip... :rolleyes:

Now, if China started taking a more active role in world events, what would the position of the USA be? Ignore them if it doesn't interfere with US interests, or challenge their right to be taking on such a role? Would that provide a role for the UN that the USA would recognise? U.S.-China relations may soon become more confrontational. Read (http://www.uscc.gov/) this recent report from the bipartisan congressional commission studying China policy. Their message reflects the early Bush administration position that China is not a strategic partner, the position of previous administrations, but rather a strategic competitor. The U.S.-China Review Commission calls for the White House to toughen its China policy. The near unanimous report, Clinton's undersecretary of commerce is the lone dissenter, revives concerns about China's economic and military ascendancy. Among other things, the report warns that a growing reliance on Chinese imports might eventually "undermine the U.S. defense base."


FL, couldn't have said it better (which I didnt..)