Friday, August 19, 2005

United States and International Criminal Court

International Criminal Court is made up of Assembly of States Parties. Assembly of States Parties consists of one representative from each state that ratifies the International Criminal Court. Assembly of States Parties elect 18 judges that serve 9 year terms. The judges serve in one of three chambers: 1) Pretrial Chamber; consisting of "not less than six judges," 2) Trial Chamber; consisting of "not less than six judges," and 3) Appeals Chamber; consisting of "not less than four judges and the Presidency." The Presidency consists of a President and two Vice Presidents elected by the 18 judges.

Pretrial Chamber may be carried out by three judges assigned to a particular case or by any one of the three judges assigned to a particular case. Pretrial Chamber functions include ruling on jurisdiction, issuing warrants, issuing subpoenas, determining issues of jurisdiction, determining issues of admissibility, and similar jurisdictional matters.

Trial Chamber functions include hearing and deciding the cases brought before them without a jury.

Assembly of States Parties elect Office of the Prosecutor that serve 9 year term. Prosecutor, Deputy, and Office of the Prosecutor are responsible for investigating and bringing person or persons accused of an International Criminal Court Crime or Crimes such as "the crime of genocide; crimes against humanity; war crimes; and the crime of aggression."

International Criminal Court Crime or Crimes are also defined to include: "murder," "extermination," "enslavement," "deportation," "forcible transfer of populations without grounds permitted under international law," "torture," "rape," "enforced prostitution," "sexual slavery," "forced pregnancy," "enforced sterilization," "persecution against any identifiable group," "apartheid," and "other inhumane acts of a similar character."

"The crime of genocide; crimes against humanity; war crimes" are each defined in separate articles of International Criminal Court. "The crime of aggression" is not mentioned again and not defined by International Criminal Court. "The crime of aggression" is to be set by Commission to Establish an International Criminal Court by "proposals for a provision on aggression, including the definition and elements of crimes of aggression and the conditions under which the International Criminal Court shall exercise its jurisdiction." United States objected to this provision declaring only U.N. Security Council can act on matters of aggression under Article VII of the U.N. Charter.

Assembly of States Parties "shall cooperate with Office of the Prosecutor," "conform national laws to meet the requirements of the International Criminal Court," "use national police powers and facilities to capture individuals," and "confiscate property when directed to do so by Office of the Prosecutor." Non participating state or states may enter into an ad hoc agreement to participate on a case by case basis. Non cooperative state or states will be referred to Assembly of States Parties and to U.N. Security Council. No definition set for Assembly of States Parties and U.N. Security Council to do in the event of non cooperative state or states.

International Criminal Court can set sentences of up to 30 years and life in prison sentences. International Criminal Court can confiscate assets of any kind. Assembly of States Parties agree to use national police powers and facilities to enforce the International Criminal Court judgment or judgments.

United States proposed Office of the Prosecutor be limited by requiring the specific approval of the state or states in which an investigation would occur, was not approved.

United States proposed U.N. Security Council approve all investigations, was not approved. Such a proposal would have allowed the United States to use veto power to block prosecution of United States citizen or citizens. A compromise allows the U.N. Security Council the ability to delay any investigation by 12 months. United States is not able to block investigation or investigations of United States citizen or citizens. Veto power can only delay. United States citizen or citizens on foreign soil, military or civilian, cannot be protected by United States from investigation, arrest, detention, asset confiscation, conviction, and imprisonment by International Criminal Court.

United States Constitution and United States Bill of Rights would be suspended if brought before International Criminal Court. International Criminal Court endangers constitutional protections such as "prohibition against double jeopardy," "right to trial by an impartial jury," and "right of the accused to confront the witnesses against him."

International Criminal Court is to be financed through assessment of participating states on the same basis of their assessment to the U.N.. International Criminal Court can confiscate property and assets of the accused and convert those assets to International Criminal Court resources upon conviction. International Criminal Court can accept gifts and contributions from any nation, organization, corporation, and individual which is forbidden for U.N. by U.N. Charter. International Criminal Court also has a trust fund to compensate victims and power to set amounts for such compensation.

International Criminal Court has, is, and will develop new and wide rules that only must be approved by Assembly of States Parties. New and wide rules can only be amended after seven years and require a two thirds majority of Assembly of States Parties.

Too early to speculate about the impact International Criminal Court will have on United States and state or states. Certain observers of International Criminal Court make clear that many of the states that voted for International Criminal Court expect to use International Criminal Court to attack United States and United States citizen or citizens. The official newspaper for International Criminal Court, TerraViva, accused President Bush of committing "the single worst blood bath of the war against Iraq" and accused President Clinton of "genocide because of the economic embargo against Iraq." What is clear about International Criminal Court is world has the legal instrument to attack the United States for crimes of defending and spreading governance, development, and democracy as understood by the United States Constitution, United States Bill of Rights, and United States.

President of United States, United States Senate, and United States House of Representatives have sufficient grounds to refuse to ratify and to fund the International Criminal Court. If United States ratify the International Criminal Court, open a Pandora's Box of arbitrary and politicized justice.

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