Currently there is no Universally recognised Global Criminal Court!!!....There is a Partial International Criminal Court, which came into effect in 2002, after 60 states who signed the Rome Statute of 1998 ratified there signatures. So far 108 countries or states have signed up to this system(109 as of 1/9/09 when Chile finally becomes a member after ratification), but membership is voluntary and the major superpowers seem to have opted out of the process in favour of their own vested interests and lobby groups. So although the http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr has been law for over 60 years, it is only admissible in countries where national Justice systems recognise it when it suits them to do so. We have no independent judicial accountability process. The best that can be said is that there is an international Criminal Court, Permanently centred in The Hague, but even this seems to be a piecemeal court, where defences are often heard that those accused do not recognise the legitimacy of the court to even hear the cases set before it. This is due in no small way to the permanent members on the United Nations security council having the right to veto any litigation or judicial declaration made by this or any other international body.
This Came back to Bite the international community hard after the Clinton Administrations decision, even though he did sign but never ratified the Rome statute of 1998, on the Dec. 31, 2000. An act that was done apparently to ensure that the US did not stand in the way of the principles of that court, without necessarily having to abide by its decisions. When the Bush administration decided to 'unsign', if that can be done!, the failure of consensus was made all too apparent. The following American Administration simply ran roughshod over the UN resolutions, assembly, and will of the international community, and of course there was NO recourse to any judicial independent body. So of course War Criminals, and the like are able to run amok, siphoning funds, committing acts of international terror or worse, companies, countries, ect can do exactly the same things of course....and they do, because at the end of the day, there is no final accountability process that can deal with the legislation already in place at the UN.
The UN can pass all the laws it wishes, but if it cannot back them up with an independent judiciary, they are hamstrung. They, as in OUR international representatives on the ONLY Global body of mass representation, are beholden to wishes and whims of the permanent security council, and as we have seen only too clearly demonstrated in the last 8 years, if a member state that sits on that permanent security council has a vested interest that is not in accordance with the wishes of the assembly proper, they simply veto any action. So in fact Justice itself becomes so watered down in order to play ball with the competing interests on this council that it is almost not justice at all.
What is required is an INDEPENDENT world court, that has an accountable process and enforceable mandate, in every major capital in every country in the world, so that the 'wild west' scenario that presently exists is tempered by TRUE Justice, based upon the excellent legislation that was drafted in constitutional form in the inception of the United Nations proper after the end of the last world war. Every member nation at that time ratified those protocols, in fact every member nation would and should have made the creation of a World Court a very real actuality at the turn of the millennium. Sadly with the advent of the Unilateralist agenda of the Bushites, and the subsequent letter to the U.N. 5/7/02, the Bush administration neutralised its adherence to the Clinton signature of 2000 in relation to the ICC. It would be as well for the current administration to take to heart the edict "America is part of the World, the World is not a part of America".
Now it could well be that the Clinton Administration was expecting Arafat to accept the camp David proposal with Barak, where a viable Independent Palestinian state would have become a member of the World community, living alongside Israel, thereby avoiding any liturgical hangover, in fact why Arafat did not accept a deal that would have assured 99% of all his demands, is to this day a mystery to every commentator both in the Arab World and the world entire. Had he done so, the next move may well have been to re-propose the Implementation of a World Court, with the Palestinian thorn removed from the World Body. This did not happen however, and my bet is that the Democrats were counting on a Gore victory to move that process closer to completion, hoping to ratify the signature with a passage through the senate later in Gores administration.
Sadly given Hanging chads, and disenfranchised voters, and other voting irregularities as well as a supreme court decision that also is not understood to this day, the entire process broke down, and we have had to wait 8 long years to even contemplate this question again. The Palestinian people have also had to wait, when they could have had , schools, employment, industry, housing, hospitals, a flag...in short a NATION!, and the fact that they are to this day in such dire circumstance rests almost entirely in the hands of a left wing revolutionary, who couldn't put his gun down and lead his people to the promised land under the banner of PEACE when the opportunity finally arrived.
So No Judicial Accountability process means we live in a global community and reality that mirrors in no small way the wild west, before federal marshals and a universal system of justice was put in place, that protected the rights of all people fairly and impartially, against the vested interests of powerful others, whether they be individuals, corporations, or states operating within the Global community with impunity.
There are many instances which highlight the dreadful state of affairs with this international piecemeal approach. a Unified standard of Justice functioning within the accountability procedures of a United World Court and Criminal Court, would go some way if not completely in closing once and for all those loopholes, But of course there are some pretty powerful bodies that simply do not want one, because they know it would be the end of the 'free for all and all for me brigade'!....Global corporations who get cheap resources from corrupt regimes they keep in power so as to ensure a monopoly position, and maximise their profits in a Global Capitalist free for all. Trillions!!!!....and of course those corrupt regimes do the most horrendous things in order to maintain their positions and the funds that are siphoned their way....keeping there populations oppressed for personal profit. it will only stop with a global accountability process that is both transparent and freely available for all, and has an actionable mandate. Torture, oppression of women, child labour, enforced poverty, orchestrated famine and drought, WAR!....these will only begin to desist in the face of the dream espoused by our forefathers, that today still lives in our hearts, IF we are bold enough to take that step towards a Universal Code of Justice that is enforceable through a World Court.
Donald Devine sets out why it was that The Clinton administration may have baulked, and why possibly the other members of the Security council may well also have used their veto's to scupper the proposal of a World Court, although as an addendum, it is interesting to note that some of those permanent members of the UN Security Council are among the 108 states that ratified their membership to the Rome Statute (namely Great Britain and France).
Sadly Donald Devine did not take his argument to its obvious logical conclusion, whereby the execution of judicial awards and Global Court decisions would be actionable and take precedent over the self serving national interests and vested judiciary, in cases where International Justice was applicable. The Police forces of those states, would be duty bound to comply to the decisions rendered by this International court. In fact the already good statutes that have been rendered through the United Nations in the form of Human Rights legislation would be admissible in Local Courts and form the basis of the law, upon which regional laws would colour the cultural peculiarities of each state or region. So the questions posed and the quandaries that were touted by Kissinger 8 years ago, and re-established by Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration recently, http://www.globalpolicy.org/international-justice/the-international-criminal-court/us-opposition-to-the-icc/48027.html, that led to the American reticence are in fact answered fully upon closer inspection. http://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/163/28202.html#about
It must be the fact that in Cases of International Justice, that ones own internal justice system should defer or at least mirror the principles upon which this Universal Justice is being metered out. The Principle of Justice is a continuous state, an immutable and unchangeable reality and ideology. It is not one thing here and another thing there. Justice is not that which JUST IS!....it is a universal equality in the face of truth. That does not change from country to country, region to region, person to person. It is an Immutable principle of fact, and therefore NO country should fear the collaborative creation of a Universal system of Justice, for it is created in order to protect each country and person within and without those borders, fairly and impartially in the face of the universal reality of Truth under one wholly understood and functionally mandated principle of Justice.
Those who Fear it, seek to protect their interests because they have some Knowledge of their own INJUSTICE in the face of this truth. No coercion, obfuscation, or confabulation of lies can hide the fact that if one seeks the rule of Justice one seeks it for ALL men, equitably, impartially and fairly. Not just those within the confines of ones own state. If one does not, then this is because the Justice that exists within the borders of ones own state or mind is not Justice at all, it is a concocted confabulation of partial truths framed within a deceitful set of laws to ensure a superiority in the face of opposition. It is not a striving for Equality, it is a gambit for superiority. This is not Justice, this is mere brinkmanship.
A separate arm of enforcement could be constructed and maintained to ensure that this accountability procedure had powerful gravitas, much like a Federal Police force operates already. In fact a Greatly Funded Interpol, could do this job IF it was both given the mandate and the Funding to secure just such a procedure. Local Justices empowered with a Universal Declaration and statute of Justice could render extraditions a thing of the past, and a pool of Impartial Judges could easily be created to try cases of a Particularly sensitive nature.
This leads to the ultimate question.....where does the funding come from?....
As a planet, we make about 33 trillion dollars as a Global Product each fiscal year. The great cry that preceded the American revolution "No Taxation without Representation"....could find itself turned around for the benefit of all, for a simple procedure of goods and sales tax on each financial transaction, could see every project, not just that of the World court funded in total. "No Representation without Taxation", would ensure that not only would a system of global accountability be properly funded, allowing for universal representation and access for all, but that all the current projects on the books at the UN, ie: aids programs, world parks, universal water access, the eradication of poverty, universal housing, et al would be funded to such a degree that every issue at hand could be quickly and radically dealt with for the benefit of the globe entire.
One such way in which this can be achieved is through a 10% goods and sales tax, put through the World Bank. This would ensure an annual Budget for the United Nations in excess of 3 Trillion dollars a year. This figure would ensure Freedom, and Justice for every man, woman, and Child on this planet, and would allow for the mandate constructed and ratified by every nation on the planet on December 10 1948 to finally become a reality.
The fact is, it may well be the case already that by NOT adopting a system similar to this, each ratifying member state of the Global Union, has fallen foul of the very statutes contained within the declaration itself(article 28), and therefore are complicit in breaking the very law they signed up to at that auspicious moment, where all peoples on the planet finally recognised that they must at least attempt to create a global society where "Right triumphs over, and makes Might" and avoid the desperate pitfalls of a law of the Jungle scenario as it exists in the current Climate.
The UN's current fiscal annual Budget is about 27 Billion dollars, that's about 4 dollars for each person on the planet. This is a ridiculous state of affairs. If it is in fact the case that a Global system of Justice and freedom, and basic necessities are to be afforded to all people on the planet then you simply have to fund that wish. There is no free lunch! We all know you only get what you pay for. In the attempt to supply universal fresh water across the globe alone, it is estimated that between 12-15 billion dollars a year, for the next 15 years, will be required to ensure that happens, but that's with a static population base and with current resource availability, both of which are fluctuating.
With a Global and Transparent system of Representation, Justice, and funding in place these projects could and would be functional and occasioned in VERY SHORT ORDER. An annual budget increase from 27 billion (http://www.globalpolicy.org/un-finance.html), to 3000 billion per year would ensure the execution of the mandate.
Surely it is time, that a proposal such as this was at very least debated, and indeed voted upon on a global scale. a massive global democratic vote, that allowed each person to voice there opinion, before or after the ratification of a World Court would allow the people of the world to be heard in a way they simply are not being heard at present. This might well be a core requirement of The United Nations, to initiate a GLOBAL referenda to ask this question.
Wouldn't you like to see the end of war?.....the end of the necessity of armed and violent struggle in favour of a free and impartial system of Global Justice that defended every man, Woman, and child from the ravages of the powerful and the vested. The question posed is whether we the people hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, should it not be the case that a system be formally accepted and run that holds this truth to account.
email: Richard Michael Parker