ICC Changes the Rules

Can justice be negotiated? In the case of a visible, head-of-state trial for the President of Kenya, the answer appears to be yes:

After intense bargaining among the 122 countries that adhere to the court, the decision was: Bend, but up to a point. The assembly of nations that oversees the court has agreed to special rules for any defendant who performs “extraordinary public duties at the highest national level.”

via International Criminal Court Wrestles With Applying Law, or Bending – NYTimes.com.

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3 thoughts on “ICC Changes the Rules

  1. trawson7 says:

    I have mixed feelings on this. The United States is obviously very interested in upholding diplomacy and the traditions that accompany it, and as an American, I agree. Our own history is full of examples in which the U.S. government publicly supported knowingly-brutal regimes in hopes of maintaining a certain level of stability (and particularly avoiding the fall of these regimes to communism). However, should exceptions be made to something like the ICC and its jurisdiction? I think I disagree. The way one country deals with another is separate and entirely different from how a supranational organization- with a goal of enforcing some sense of international law- should deal with those under its jurisdiction. Leaders of countries often have the resources available to them to commit significant crimes against humanity (as is suspected of the leaders of Kenya), and they should be equally as accountable as the rest of us are to the ICC.

  2. I agree with the sentiment expressed above. The whole point of the ICC was to create definitions for universally agreed upon crimes in order to assign punishment to the commission of these deeds. The overarching idea is that all people are equal before the law and, especially when it comes to crimes of this magnitude, that there are no exceptions. To create exceptions or bend the rules for an individual simply because he or she is in a position of power creates a dangerous precedent and, more importantly, denies the heinous nature of the crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC. his is not a place for politics, it is a place for justice.

  3. I agree with the above sentiments. Ideally, the ICC should have never made any concessions to the leaders of Kenya, and the ICC should be above politics. Unfortunately, however, it is not above the workings of the political system. I am saddened that the ICC made the concessions, but I feel that the achievements made with evidence and witnesses are even more important. It is more important to achieve the successful prosecution of these terrible men than to not make a few concessions.

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