THE HAGUE : In the United States and the wider world, seismic discussions are raging about the need to see justice done when fundamental human rights are violated.

This is no time for any government to exert coercion against an international court that was created to do justice where there is nowhere else to turn to for it.

But just recently, in the latest of an escalating series of attacks against the International Criminal Court [I.C.C.], President Trump's administration announced new acts of economic pressure against the court. Why?

Simply for doing its work by seeking to investigate allegations of war crimes committed in Afghanistan.

Allies of America, human rights organizations and bar associations - notably the European Union, France Germany and the American Bar Association - have expressed deep concern.

The bullying tactic has been defended as an effort to prevent American soldiers from being ''hauled''  up before the I.C.C.. arguing that America is able to prosecute its own military and intelligence personnel if they commit crimes abroad.

These acts of coercion and their premises are wrong, The I.C.C. is not intent on ''hauling'' Americans up to trial before it.

The real issue is whether investigations - and any resulting prosecution - may be conducted to examine allegations of violations committed mostly in Afghanistan by the Taliban, Afghan security personnel and, yes, United States security personnel while stationed in Afghanistan.

These investigations will focus only on events  in the territory of a member state that has joined the I.C.C. treaty, the Rome Statute. Unlike Afghanistan, the United States has not become a member state - so an I.C.C. investigation will be conducted on American soil without its consent. And the I.C.C. does not try countries.

I must emphasize that the I.C.C. is only a court of last resort.

It is only when questions of accountability for international crimes have remained unaddressed that international law allows the I.C.C. to intervene and ask those questions for the sake of the victims.

And in the case of Afghanistan, the I.C.C. has no specific desire to prosecute Americans.

The honor and serving of the latest operational research on I.C.C. and The World, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Chile Eboe-Osuji.


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!