July 4, 2002
This week's opening of the International Criminal Court in the Hague has been hailed as the biggest advance for human rights in a half-century. The celebration is premature: The court may succeed in holding war criminals to account, but without much in the way of democratic checks and balances it may also prosecute the innocent. A subset of that worry is the risk that the court may at some point be turned for political reasons against American service members, in which case it will constrain the Kosovo-style humanitarian interventions that human-rights groups rightly advocate.
December 4, 2012 |
She was a guest of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, but it wasn't royal connections that landed Philadelphia lawyer Enid H. Adler at the Hague. It was her years of work in helping to create a forum where others might seek justice. Adler's life as a teacher, journalist, and advocate for people fleeing persecution drove her to help establish the International Criminal Court, founded in 2002 for the prosecution of war crimes across the globe. Adler, semiretired and battling cancer, traveled to the Netherlands to take part in the official ceremonies last month marking the 10th anniversary of a permanent, independent, international court.
January 6, 2001
The civilized world must prosecute war criminals. Letting them off is morally wrong, and it foolishly welcomes future atrocities. That's why an international war-crimes tribunal, as endorsed by President Clinton on Dec. 31, makes sense. It shows that the world wants to go after wartime atrocities relentlessly, not just from time to time when it seems convenient. Since the prosecutions in Nuremberg and Tokyo after World War II, there have been only two other war-crimes tribunals - the ones targeted on Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
September 18, 2002
The Bush administration continues to treat the International Criminal Court as the enemy at a time when it could be a major asset in the war on terrorism. As an independent international judicial body, the ICC . . . makes prosecution of the likes of Osama bin Laden easier. . . . Yet, for more than a year, the White House tried to undercut court support.. . .The administration's hostility toward the ICC seems ideological, not practical. Efforts to remove itself from laws nearly the entire world accepts only serve to align the United States with pariah states.
April 6, 1991 |
Should a war crimes tribunal be convened so that Saddam Hussein and the members of his Revolutionary Command Council can be brought to justice? There is ample evidence that Hussein and his associates committed heinous crimes against the Kuwaiti people. And in launching their Scud missiles at Saudi and Israeli civilian populations, Hussein and his associates clearly violated the Hague and Geneva conventions on the laws of war. Likewise, there is growing evidence that U.S. prisoners of war were mistreated during interrogations - again in violation of the laws of war. A stringent United Nations Security Council resolution for a permanent cease-fire is clearly no substitute for the need to prosecute those guilty of war crimes.
July 30, 1998
It is an outrage that the United States is trying to hobble efforts to create an International Criminal Court with power to try cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The U.S. obsession is that such a court somehow, some day, might try a U.S. citizen. Forgive our heresy, but if an American did commit genocide, why not? Not many people have been falsely accused of trying to wipe out a race or ethnic group. Or are the people who say things like "Hitler didn't do it" to be taken seriously?
July 1, 1998 |
On the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the international community is finally taking the next step: creating a permanent international court to punish crimes against human rights. "This court will tell the worst violators that they can run, but they can't hide," said Mary Robinson, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights. "There will be a day of reckoning. " The world has gone some distance toward this goal by creating special tribunals to try those accused of genocide in Bosnia and Rwanda, the first such attempts since the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials of German and Japanese war criminals.
August 3, 2001 |
International treaties are out of favor with the Bush White House. Since taking office, the administration has withdrawn U.S. support for an array of agreements governing global warming, biological weapons, and creation of an international criminal court. It has also worked to water down a proposed pact limiting the sale of small-arms around the world. The administration insists it supports what these treaties seek to accomplish. It just objects to how they go about doing it. To be fair, nobody thinks the White House favors global warming or thugs toting biological weapons.
July 2, 2012 |
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - Ten years ago, the treaty that created the International Criminal Court came into force, creating the world's first permanent war-crimes tribunal. But as the anniversary is marked Sunday, allegations of state-sponsored atrocities in Syria are piling up and the court stands powerless to intervene, while the first person it indicted, Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, is still at large and his brutal militia, the Lord's Resistance Army, continues its reign of terror.
July 3, 2012 |
ZINTAN, Libya - Libya on Monday released four International Criminal Court staffers who had been held for nearly four weeks on allegations that they had shared documents that could harm national security with Moammar Gadhafi's imprisoned son, Seif al-Islam Gadhafi. As they were released, ICC President Sang-Hyun Song, a South Korean judge, apologized to the Libyan government and people for the incident and promised an investigation into the allegations. Song flew to Libya for the hand-over.