A letter to the International Herald Tribune (published on the New York Times website) has caught my attention. The author writes:
History shows that one corrupt regime is usually followed by another. This is so because corrupt countries are often given no chance to build up bureaucracies that can contain corruption. Hence, revolutions tend to be power struggles in which competing elites seek advantage, even though their motives might have been pure at the start.
A country like Tunisia would greatly benefit if there were an international tool that could fight corruption from outside a country. The world needs an international tribunal, like the International Criminal Court, that could make significant corruption an international crime, subject to prosecution.
After considering amendments to add to the Rome Statute the Crime of Terrorism and the Crime of Drug Trafficking, shall we imagine a “Crime of Corruption”?
The idea is amusing, but even for a partisan of international justice such as myself, I have to admit that I am more than skeptical and reluctant. As much as corruption can indeed gangrene a country and cause immeasurable harm to the population, I have a hard time imagining an international tribunal dealing with this, unless corruption has reached such heights that it amounts to crimes against humanity.
The struggle against corruption is best left to inter-state cooperation through organizations such as Interpol.