The Flailing International Criminal Court


The Continuing Fall of Global Government

In the final months of 2016 South Africa, Gambia, Burundi, and now Russia have all begun the process of withdrawing from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

For those who are unfamiliar with the ICC, it is an international judicial body seated in The Hague, in the Netherlands. The ICC is charged with the task of prosecuting individuals guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity, and various other war crimes.

It is a grand idealistic institution in the minds of many, no doubt, but an ideal is all it should have ever been.

Now, its piecemeal dismantling may bring it all crashing down – for the betterment of all.

I must start by being frank in not ignoring or sugar coating the fact, that the reasons behind the exodus of the member states listed above are far from innocent. All of them are nations where human rights violations occur; and by exiting the court, in the short run, the national governments may very well protect themselves.

Yet, in the long run, as Martin Luther King Jr. told us, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” So rest assured, the fall of the ICC would not end the march towards justice for these oppressive nations; it would simply force other better channels for change to be embraced.

For westernized nations, where individual rights are for the most part protected by codified law, the costs of membership far outweigh the benefits.

Brett D. Schaefer (Senior Research Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs at The Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom) made this point clear in his plea to the Clinton administration back in 1998, stating:

“The ICC would be empowered to investigate, try, and punish certain crimes, such as war crimes and crimes against humanity. Currently, nation-states have primary responsibility for prosecuting these crimes. In exceptional cases, they have been addressed through ad hoc tribunals set up by the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council. Ad hoc tribunals are set up for specific crimes and given prescribed authority, which prevents them from expanding their original mandate. The ICC, by contrast, would have greater autonomy and powers to investigate and prosecute suspected crimes. This unprecedented power could affect profoundly the rights guaranteed every American by the U.S. Constitution and threaten the ability of the United States to engage in military action to protect its national security interests.”

 This is not just something that could theoretically happen, either.

The ICC has targeted the free nations of the world before. Just look to their treatment of Israel – the lone bastion of liberal democracy in the Middle East.

They have empowered Palestine (run largely by Hamas and other Islamic fundamentalists who place no value on human rights) by continually allowing them to lodge complaints, with no regard to their hypocrisy.

In other words, the ICC is a sham that is not protecting the nations,  or people, who uphold the values they themselves adhere to.

So, try to look at the silver lining on what might at first have seemed to be the darkest of storm clouds smothering out the humanitarian sunlight.

There is a silver lining; one that brings forth a chance of resurrecting the power of national documents like the American constitution and the Bill of Rights, a magnum opus of the Age of Reason.

it also brings the hope for struggling outposts of freedom like Israel, to have one less weapon able to be used against them.

We have a chance to return to a state of being, similar to the way things were before such documents and nations were weakened by an excesses of what may once have been well- meaning; but has now become dangerous and inept global governance.

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Bric Butler