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  • Philip Jessup proposed the idea of a transnational law course. His vision of the subject was broad, including public and private international law; state and non-state actors; business, administrative, and political affairs; as well as negotiation and litigation. Inspired by his idea, TLB is only constrained by its pursuit to address all law transcending national frontiers.

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November 10, 2006



I really agree with what you suggest about the US fears of the ICC being unjustified. The court's jurisdiction is such that all the US would have to do is say they are making a good faith effort to investigate the charges. Justice Richard Goldstone (former chief prosecutor for ITCY and ITCR) spoke to my school last week and discussed the political nature of international criminal justice. He said that Clint Williamson, the relatively new U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, has no animosity towards the ICC and that cited the decision in June by the US to abstain to the UN vote referring Darfur to the ICC. Hopefully the US will continue on this course and eventually come full circle. I believe the US has realized it cannot ignore the ICC anymore, as it is continuing to build credibility and appears to be on the road to success.

John Dermody

Just wanted to comment on a couple of things in the post and perhaps get into a larger discussion, although not a new one, on the capacity of the ICC.

A couple of quick notes. The Taylor case has little to do with the ICC. The Special Court for Sierra Leone is renting the ICC facilities (at a very steep price), but that is the extent of their collaboration. The ICC has no jurisdiction over Taylor and the trial will be conducted by Special Court personell under Special Court Authority.

Also interesting to note that the Special Court jurisprudence significantly clarified the norms toward child soldiers. The ICC case agaisnt Lubanga clearly shows the evolution of international norms towards individual criminal responsibility for recruiting child soldiers.

The Lubanga case can cut both ways as to the effectiveness of the ICC. Like Tadic case at the ICTY, Lubanga is not the biggest fish, but represents a situation where the ICC has a suspect in custody and can be effective. He was referred by the DRC and there is a high likelihood of success.

However, the Lubanga case was not the first case referred by a state party. The Uganda situation was the first instance of a state referral and the lack of progress with that case may indicate a more tenuous future for the ICC.

There has also been some frustration in DRC with the pace of the case against Lubanga. Ironically, this has lead to DRC adopting a more active approach towards trying war crimes cases domestically. So the complimentarity goal of the ICC has been furthered not by the ICC's effectiveness but, rather, by the inefficieny of its first case.

John Turner

It doesn't matter if any American is convicted by the court. It will be a constant anti-american propoganda machine. People will file constant charges with no fear of punishment for abuse of process.

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