Torsten Otto on 28 Dec 2000 01:07:02 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Treaty for the new International Criminal Court

Christian Hansson schrieb:

> Hi everyone!
> Apologies to my Norwegian friends for sending this in English. I don't
> usually send "junkmail" to my friends, but I will make an exeption. First of
> all, I really do consider this issue important, and second this is the main
> issue my organization is working on these days, and I thought you might be
> interested. :)
> If you care about global justice and Human Rights then this email is very
> important and very urgent. The organization I work for, the World Federalist
> Association and Amnesty International are waging a campaign to get Bill
> Clinton to sign the Treaty for the new International Criminal Court. He has
> to sign before the December 31st. deadline.
> Anything you can do would be great - including emailing Bill Clinton at
> and passing this on all your friends in the next
> week! We only have until December 31st to make this happen!!! There's a Q&A
> about it below, but call me at 1-800-WFA-0123 or send me an email at
> if you have any questions!
> Enjoy, and thanks for your help!
> :) Christian W. Hansson
> ------------
> Copy and pass on:
> The U.S. is once again a world deadbeat on human rights, not practicing what
> it preaches! Our government is still opposing the creation of a global court
> to put the world's worst war criminals in jail!! The President has STILL NOT
> signed the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court (ICC), and if
> he doesn't by DECEMBER 31, the game is all over, folks!
> If Bill's signature is not on the dotted line by the end of the year, the
> U.S. will have to sign and ratify at the SAME TIME (virtually impossible!)
> and our country's credibility on human rights is SHOT!
> WE NEED YOUR HELP! We're launching an all-out, full-court press for the
> Signature on the Treaty by the end of the year!!
> ∑ The American Bar Association strongly supports signature of the ICC
> Statute
> ∑ Amnesty International and the World Federalists are pushing Clinton to
> sign the ICC Statute as part of his Presidential Legacy
> ∑ The Washington Working Group on the ICC has defeated anti-ICC legislation
> in the both the Senate and House and is organizing a massive press
> conference on December 19, 2000 outside the Holocaust Museum in Washington,
> DC
> 1. Contact President Clinton! The most effective is to write a letter and
> send it by snail mail. Use the sample letter below or make one up yourself.
> Send it to the President at
> William Jefferson Clinton
> President of the United States
> The White House
> 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
> Washington, DC 20500
> Or why not call President Clinton at 202-456-1414 and tell him that you want
> him to sign the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court before the
> December 31 deadline. You can also email Clinton at
> 2. Sign a petition! Go to
>$5 and sign it!
> 3. Organize a petition drive! Download information and a petition of your
> own from! Get every group (human rights, business, church, etc,
> etc) to come out in support of defending America's leadership on human
> rights and justice! Download YOUR petition from
> !!
> --------------------
> Sample letter:
> Dear President Clinton,
> Fifty years ago, the U.S. led the world in the prosecution of Nazi war
> criminals at Nuremberg. And just two years ago, you promised the
> genocide survivors of Rwanda that the U.S. would work to see that
> an International Criminal Court (ICC) would be created to "make it
> clear to all those who would commit such acts in the future that they
> too must answer for their acts." Today, our position on the ICC and
> refusal to sign the statute threatens to betray that legacy.
> I strongly support the establishment of the ICC and request that you
> sign the Statute as it stands now, with all the protections included for
> American soldiers. Unless you sign the Statute before December
> 31, 2000, America will stand alone, outside the community of
> nations standing for justice and human rights. Let us not allow the
> world's worst criminals to escape punishment for the most heinous
> crimes.
> You have a choice to leave a legacy of justice and fighting genocide
> - or a legacy of broken promises. Demonstrate American leadership
> for global justice today, defend America's credibility and sign the
> Statute of the International Criminal Court!
> Sincerely,
> Your Name
> Address
> City, State, Zip Code
> (Be sure to put your name and address on the letter!)
> ----------------------
> Q. What is the International Criminal Court (ICC)?
> The ICC will be a permanent court that will investigate and bring to justice
> individuals who commit the most serious violations of international
> humanitarian law, namely war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
> Unlike the International Court of Justice in The Hague (a.k.a., the World
> Court), in which only states can bring suits against one another, the ICC
> will have the capacity to try individuals. The ICC will be created on the
> basis of the Rome Statute, a treaty adopted in Rome on July 17, 1998 at the
> United Nations diplomatic conference.
> Q. When will the ICC be created?
> The ICC will enter into force once sixty states have ratified the Rome
> Statute. As of December 7, 2000 24 have ratified and 118 States have signed
> the Rome Statute. Seventeen out of nineteen NATO states have signed the
> treaty and five have already ratified, including Security Council member
> France. Most observers expect the court to come into existence within the
> next two or three years.
> Q. How will the ICC function?
> The Court will be composed of 18 Judges, an independent Office of the
> Prosecutor, and the Office of the Registrar. Judges and the Prosecutor will
> be elected by the representatives of the member-states to the ICC in the
> Assembly of State Parties, who will be able to remove Judges and Prosecutors
> who do not meet the high standards of performance demanded by the Statute.
> The ICC's jurisdiction can be triggered by member States, the United Nations
> Security Council or by the Prosecutor on his/her own initiative. The ICC,
> however, will not supplant national jurisdiction. It will only be able take
> action in situations where national courts are either unwilling or unable to
> investigate or prosecute alleged war criminals.
> Q. Why do we need an ICC for such criminals? Why can't domestic courts do
> it?
> Unfortunately in some countries, as a result of conflict and social and
> political collapse, courts are not capable of dealing with these types of
> crimes or of providing a fair trial. Moreover, the ease of international
> movement means states need to cooperate to capture and punish criminals.
> Finally, some countries capable of trying war criminals and perpetrators of
> mass crimes have political problems in doing so or in handing them over to
> another nation. The ICC would give these nations another option.
> Q. Why can't we just have more ad-hoc tribunals, like in Yugoslavia and
> Rwanda?
> The ICC is being created in part because the ad-hoc tribunals demonstrated
> the need for a permanent court of this kind. It takes enormous amounts of
> time and money to set up ad-hoc tribunals, and the delay in their creation
> means that evidence gets destroyed and those responsible remain at large.
> Moreover, the creation of a permanent court will have a deterrent effect on
> future war criminals. Finally, once the ICC exists, it is extremely unlikely
> that the Security Council will authorize the creation of any more ad-hoc
> tribunals.
> Q. Will the ICC threaten the sovereignty of democratic countries like the
> United States?
> The ICC will not supplant U.S. courts. U.S. authorities still have the first
> opportunity to carry out investigations and prosecutions, and the ICC cannot
> intervene when genuine proceedings have been undertaken. The ICC remains as
> a vigilant observer ready to take action wherever national courts are unable
> or unwilling to investigate or prosecute transgressors. At the same time,
> the ICC Statute contains numerous checks and balances applicable at every
> stage of proceedings to ensure that the ICC operates in a credible and
> responsible manner. In addition, the jurisdiction of the ICC is carefully
> limited to the most serious crimes against international law recognized by
> the international community.
> Q. Will the ICC initiate frivolous prosecutions?
> The ICC Statute contains many checks and balances to screen out frivolous
> proceedings. For example, allegations must be assessed by the Prosecutor to
> determine whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed. The Prosecutor
> cannot initiate an investigation without review and approval from a
> pre-trial chamber of three judges. The suspect and interested states have
> the right to challenge investigation and to challenge the jurisdiction of
> the ICC over the matter.
> Q. Can the Court try Americans?
> Americans arrested abroad for committing a crime are already subject to
> prosecution by other countries. Thus, being tried in foreign courts is not a
> new development. In the highly unlikely event of an American being arrested
> abroad for war crimes, in many cases a trial in the ICC would be fairer,
> because US negotiators fought hard and won strong protections for the
> accused in the Court's procedures. In addition, under the principle of
> complementarity, the ICC would only intervene when the U.S. does not
> undertake a good faith effort to investigate or prosecute. In practical
> terms, it is highly unlikely that the American judicial system would be
> unwilling or unable to try a case.
> Q. How do we know that the ICC will conduct fair trials and that its judges
> will be qualified?
> The ICC Statute contains numerous provisions to ensure that its procedures
> are carried out in accordance with recognized international standards of
> justice and guarantees of due process and fair trial. These rights are
> protected not only in trial and appeal procedures but also during
> investigations. Judges must meet criteria of professional competence,
> integrity and experience in relevant areas of law, and must be elected by a
> two-thirds majority of States Parties to the ICC Statute. The Statute also
> has provisions allowing for disqualification of judges in
> conflict-of-interest situations, and procedures for removal from office in
> exceptional cases of serious misconduct.
> Q. Will the Court's trials be fair by American standards?
> Yes. The U.S. Government has taken great pains to require that the accused
> receive a fair trial and be accorded the due process of law. The Rome
> statute defines the rights of the accused in accordance with the rights
> guaranteed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and
> the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which the US is a party. They
> include the presumption of innocence, the right to counsel, the right to
> confront one's accusers, and the right to a speedy trial. Of course, there
> are other concepts of due process than the U.S. version and, in some areas
> of the statute, concepts from other legal systems may be used.
> Q. How will the U.S. benefit by participating in the Court?
> By enforcing international law in a fair and consistent manner, the ICC
> would serve to deter future war crimes and crimes against humanity, and
> therefore lessen the necessity for U.S. intervention in such cases as Kosovo
> and the Sierra Leone. Moreover, the US will benefit from remaining engaged
> even as a non-State Party, as we can continue to participate in negotiations
> setting up the court. Even after the court comes into existence, as a
> non-State Party we would benefit from cooperating with the court to
> prosecute individuals who commit war crimes against Americans.
> For more information on the International Criminal Court, please visit the
> following web-sites:
> The International Coalition for the International Criminal Court: A
> comprehensive source of information on the ICC, with documents from
> governments, NGOs, and the UN.
> World Federalist Association's ICC site: Contains the latest updates
> on the US position and activities on the ICC, along with background
> material and action alerts.
> The official United Nations web-site for the International Criminal Court
> Human Rights Watch's page on their ICC campaign.
> Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights ICC campaign page.

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