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SPEAKING of RT, GREAT ARTICLE on the INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT in MONDAY’S RUSSIA TODAY!

Way back in the end of the Cold War, I speculated at first to myself and then to an occasional friend, that some day there would be more (religious) liberty in Russia than in the USA.  While I do not believe that day as come yet (in fact, far from it) this article in Russia Today is fascinating on the International Criminal Court:  ICC is the enemy of liberty

A few highlights:

Srdja Trifkovic, foreign affairs editor at the Chronicles magazine, doubts that the ICC is in any position to issue such demands. “It’s a very peculiar institution. It is outside any constitutional design. The prosecutor is effectively accountable to no one – and like in the Yugoslav war tribunal he answers to no superior executive power,” he told RT.

This lack of accountability creates scope for legal creativity which depends on the will of the political masters. “Ultimately it’s a political court,” Trifkovic argues.

“The ICC is the enemy of liberty as understood and practiced by the Western institutions since the Enlightenment onwards. The moral absolutism at the core of the ICC is immoral.”

I would disagree slightly with Mr. Trifkovic in that the immorality of the ICC is its lack of accountability to political institutions and that now international bodies that the United States did not join can place Americans in prison.  (Libya for example, did not ratify the ICC but that did not stop efforts to place Libyan leaders before that court!)  But his point is clear:  The ICC is a threat.  It also is a threat to effective prosecution of terrorists by the USA in foreign nations.  It is also a political prosecution – the winners prosecute the losers:

The view is supported by journalist Neil Clark who fears that what’s happening here is a political move to put more pressure on Damascus.

“If there are war crimes being committed on both sides, let’s prosecute both sides. All we’re getting again is talk about indicting President Assad and leading Syrian officials. It’s all wrong. If there’s evidence of war crimes against rebel commanders, let them be indicted,” he told RT.

“If we think back to 1999 – the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, in the height of that conflict there was the indictment issued against President Milosevic for war crimes. During the NATO bombardment of Libya there was the indictment against Colonel Gaddafi for war crimes. And I’m worried that this is part of a trend: that to increase pressure on Damascus, we’ll have an indictment on the Syrian government. And if people are committing war crimes they should answer for them – but it has to be applied equally.”

So, my thought is:  Until the USA decides to have a constitutionalist President, let’s hope Russia acts in its best interests:  Stop the ICC from prosecuting Syrians.

 


About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written seven scholarly legal articles and was an adjunct at T. C. Williams School of Law. (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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