Archive for December, 2010
Those pesky American neo-cons have done it again!
As Peter Spiro writes over at Opinio Juris, the oh-so-very-conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation has published a new “report,” or rather “pamphlet” – to use the term adequately used by Peter Spiro – on American Sovereignty and why it is important.
The Report is presented on what appears to be (I have to admit I am not a regular visitor) the in-house Heritage Foundation blog, ‘The Foundry’. The author of the post, Anna Leutheuser, presents the purpose of the report: to raise the alarm about American sovereignty “under attack”:
As Groves illustrates, our sovereignty is still under attack today, though through less overt means: “International organizations and courts seek to reshape the international system. Nations are to give up their sovereignty and be governed by a ‘global consensus.’ Independent, sovereign nations will be replaced by ‘Transnational’ organizations that reject national sovereignty.” This trend is evident everywhere, and will not be halted without a renewed attachment to the idea of American sovereignty.
Oh, dear. And check out the cover of the report of Uncle Sam tied down like Gulliver by the Lilliputians (I’m guessing that’s the evil foreigners trying to force treaties down the United States’ unwilling throat…):
For those who are looking for it, the link to watch the ICC Prosecutor’s Press Conference regarding the investigations and prosecutions in the situation in Kenya is the following: http://livestream.xs4all.nl/icc5.asx
The ICC website seems to be down at the moment of writing, but hopefully they’ll get it fixed within the 8 next minutes.
UPDATE: The ICC website is still down, but the livestream is alive and kicking.
UPDATE II: At 12.34 CET, the conference is now over.
UPDATE III: For those who missed the Conference but wish to listen to it nonetheless, RNW has made it available at the following address: http://www.rnw.nl/international-justice/article/ocampo-names-kenyan-suspects.
From the ICC website (emphasis being, as always, mine):
ICC Prosecutor: alleged war crimes in the territory of the Republic of Korea under preliminary examination
The Office of the Prosecutor has received communications alleging that North Korean forces committed war crimes in the territory of the Republic of Korea. The Prosecutor of the ICC, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, confirmed that the Office has opened a preliminary examination to evaluate if some incidents constitute war crimes under the jurisdiction of the Court. They are:
- the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island on the 23 November 2010 which resulted in the killing of South Korean marines and civilians and the injury of many others; and
- the sinking of a South Korean warship, the Cheonan, hit by a torpedo allegedly fired from a North Korean submarine on 26 March 2010, which resulted in the death of 46 persons.
The Republic of Korea has been a State Party to the Rome Statute since 13 November 2002. As such, the ICC has jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide possibly committed on the territory of the Republic of Korea or by its nationals since 1st February 2003, date on which the Statute entered into force in the Republic of Korea.
This, in combination with the recent Wikileaks regarding China’s readiness to drop the North Korean regime could make for an interesting situation to follow in Korea. The ICC as an instrument of justice, contributing to the reunification of the two Koreas?
Let’s not quite go beyond ourselves yet, but hey, why not? Read the rest of this entry »
This is a guest post by my good friend and journalist Mélanie Gouby, who is currently in the Kivus, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Being aware of her views on the Bemba Trial, I asked her if she would be willing to write a guest post for The International Jurist to share them and perhaps begin a discussion on the latest ICC trial. She readily accepted, and made time in what I know to be a very busy schedule to write the post in the briefest delays, for which I am very grateful.
You can read more of Mélanie Gouby’s work on her blog, Going with the Wind (Facebook page here), recently nominated in the Best New Blog category for the 2010 Aid Blog Awards. You can also follow her on Twitter @Melaniegouby.
The scales of the atrocities committed in central Africa over the last two decades is unmatched by any other conflict since World War Two, if only in the number of deaths. The Democratic Republic of Congo in particular has seen millions of people being massacred, raped, maimed, dying of diseases in insalubrious refugees camps and losing everything that made them human beings. Congo is an ongoing genocide. The reasons to the never-ending violence, devastating in a country already striped to the bones, are numerous. From the conveniently illegal mineral trade to the political factions trying to get their share of power, there is not one solution to end it. But there is one demand that unite all Congolese people: Justice. Read the rest of this entry »
I came across this interesting piece of information today: France pressed U.S. on Khadr as Ottawa stood silent: WikiLeaks. According to this article:
France’s foreign minister asked the United States to consider releasing Omar Khadr from Guantanamo Bay even though the Harper government adamantly refused to intervene, according to leaked U.S. diplomatic cables.
The memo, released by WikiLeaks, shows that Bernard Kouchner, who was French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s foreign minister until three weeks ago, personally asked U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to review the case in a meeting in February of 2009.
Oddly enough, France, a country which has, to my knowledge, no relation whatsoever with Mr. Omar Khadr, tried to plead his case before the American authorities even though the country of Mr. Khadr’s nationality, Canada, refused to.
Aside from the oddity of it all, that’s not really what made me jump to the ceiling. It turns out – and I do realize I’m about seven years late into this debate – that Mr. Khadr was “arrested” on the battlefield in Afghanistan, wounded, at age 15:
The Pentagon said that after a July 2002 attack by U.S. forces on a suspected al-Qaeda compound, Khadr threw a grenade that killed one soldier, Sgt. Christopher Speer, and wounded another.
Khadr was 15 at the time. His defence team argued that their client was a child soldier and should be treated as a victim.
No kidding. I have heard of the Khadr case, like everyone else, for a long time, but bizarrely enough, that piece of information had escaped me until today. Read the rest of this entry »