Monday, June 21, 2004

The US and the World Criminal Court

This will be a quick filler post. Sorry I'm late.

I just read that, once again, the US Government is seeking to exempt itself from prosecution under the World Criminal court. I just want to say that I have mixed feelings on this issue.

On the one hand, this is typical of anybody that has the upper hand. It is very easy for a person to say "Of course people ought to be held accountable for their evil deeds... unless it's me, of course." It is a reprehensible thing to do, to be involved in the creation of a court of law, but then do anything necessary to ensure that this law applies only to ones neighbors, and not to oneself. What conclusion can we reach but that the US expects to use the court as a weapon, and not to allow it to function as an instrument of justice?

Then again, how exactly are the members of the World Criminal Court chosen? What are their interests? One thing that can be sure is that international institutions are not democratic institutions, nor are they responsible to democratic institutions in any real sense. Will this institution actually prosecute genuine human rights abuses wherever they are found? Or is it an irresponsible body that will act only when the interests of its members are served--which are not necessarily the interests of all humankind?

In a slipshod system of international law, I think it is only reasonable for any soverign body to opt out of this system if they choose. Now, if only our own makers of foreign policy weren't total hypocrites where this concept is concerned...

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