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This report is particularly disturbing about the International Criminal Court.


That’s right; victims of sexual abuse by priests have asked the International Criminal Court to bring up certain Vatican officials on trial for crimes against humanity:

Human rights lawyers and victims of clergy sexual abuse filed a complaint on Tuesday urging the International Criminal Court in The Hague to investigate and prosecute Pope Benedict XVI and three top Vatican officials for crimes against humanity for what they described as abetting and covering up the rape and sexual assault of children by priests.

This kind of complaint is utterly frivolous and baseless.  The Holy See is not a signatory to the ICC (neither is the US nor is Libya!) and thus the actions of the high level Vatican officials are beyond the jurisdiction of the Court (absent perhaps a referral by the Security Council) and not subject to trial.

It also strains credulity for the scandal (and it is a terrible scandal!) to be a crime against humanity.  It is not like the Vatican officials ordered the abuse or openly supported it.  But, the Times reports some think the Court may hear the case:

Experts in international law said the sexual abuse of minors by Roman Catholic priests was sufficiently heinous and widespread to be taken to the court.

But at least one dissenting opinion.

Mark Ellis, executive director of the International Bar Association, which is based in London, said he thought that the court would open a preliminary investigation to determine whether it has jurisdiction — and that it would probably conclude that it did not.

“Crimes against humanity means acts that are committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population,” Mr. Ellis said. “What you’re looking at is really a policy, in which the government or the authorities are planning the attack.”

I can assure you there is only one way to protect people from the ICC; do away with it.  It is not necessary, its power source is dubious, and it is dangerous to US interests and sovereignty.  The US should consider finding every way to hinder its work and speed the day for the abolition of the ICC.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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