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  •  Tutu recently pushed for the continued development (4+ / 0-)

    of international law so that when a country will not prosecute its own, as has occurred under Obama, there will be remedy for other parts of humanity:

    The Jurist
     Wednesday, October 03, 2012
    International Justice: Tutu's Push for Reform
    In the aftermath of the trial, a plethora of cases were presented to the Belgian prosecutors. These included criminal complaints against former US President George H. W. Bush, former US Vice President Dick Cheney, former US Secretary of State Colin Powell and retired General Norman Schwarzkopf — all for alleged crimes committed during the first Gulf War. Additionally, there were several legal complaints filed against numerous government officials, including Augusto Pinochet, Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein and Yasser Arafat. You can imagine the trepidation that these governments felt at the thought of a foreign government being able to prosecute their former leaders. Thus, the US took action and pressured the Belgians into amending the law, going so far as to threaten the removal of NATO headquarters from Brussels. According to the amended law, Belgian courts can now only proceed if the case involves a Belgian citizen — either in regards to the nationality of the defendant and/or the victim. In short, the Belgian law is no longer predicated on universal jurisdiction but extraterritorial jurisdiction, as are most ICC cases.

    So what does this tell us about Tutu's call for prosecution of these former leaders? It tells us that he is trying to find a solution to the core problem of international criminal justice: the lack of objectivity. While Tutu's call shows the inability of the international community to currently overcome this problem, this is not a cause for dismay amongst the international justice advocates. One need only look at the evolution of humanitarian law over the past century to gain perspective. The international system has come a long way from Nuremberg and Tokyo, and the creation of an ICC and prosecutions by domestic governments shows promise for the future. Tutu is simply pushing for further change and advancement that may one day come in the form of a truly universal system of justice. His comments should be praised and the system should continue to evolve.

    Eric Leonard is the Henkel Family Chair in International Affairs at Shenandoah University. His primary areas of expertise are global politics, foreign policy, human rights, humanitarian law and political philosophy. He has published several articles and is the author of The Onset of Global Governance: International Relations Theory and the International Criminal Court.

    Suggested citation: Eric Leonard, International Justice: Tutu's Push for Reform, JURIST - Hotline, October 3, 2012, .

    Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

    by divineorder on Thu Nov 01, 2012 at 05:13:51 PM PDT

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