No Universal Jurisdiction
Is Universal Jurisdiction going to be the New World Government?
Date: 10/21/2005 9:16:08 AM ( 16 y ) ... viewed 1089 times
Dear A-Letter Reader:
Since I'm headed for a nation, China, where the rule of law is a novel
concept, I got to thinking about how we Americans take our legal rights
too much for granted. At the moment we have a US government that seems
to have forgotten due process and equal protection, among other things,
that the Constitution guarantees.
Then there is the problem of creeping "universal jurisdiction." It
started with Chilean ex-dictator, Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who is back
in the news because his immunity against prosecutions as a Senator for
Life has been lifted by his nation's congress.
Pinochet was the military dictator/president of Chile from 1973 to
1990. His merits are debatable and, now a doddering 91-year-old,
serious charges are pending against him in Chile. His supporters say
he thwarted a Communist take over of his nation and applaud his
market policies that started rapid economic growth and prosperity.
Opponents charge that he destroyed Chile's democracy, killed and
tortured opponents and imposed policies that favored the wealthy
and hurt middle and low income people.
In 1999 Pinochet was arrested in England under a bogus warrant
issued by a Spanish judge. He was detained illegally for months by
the British Labour government after what was to be a short visit for
That a foreign judge could claim jurisdiction in another country,
bypassing that country's courts is a novel and dangerous theory.
Leftist "human rights" groups call it the "Pinochet precedent."
The idea is that the Left will decide before trial who they think
is guilty, then will use any device and sympathetic political "judges"
to "forum shop" for one who will indict and convict a foreigner when
his own country's judiciary will not.
Only a few days ago a leftist Spanish judge issued "international
arrest warrants" for three US Army soldiers on the grounds that they
had killed a Spanish reporter in Baghdad three years ago in the
shelling of a hotel during a fire-fight.
In recent years a Belgian court tried to arrest Israel's PM Ariel Sharon
charging him with an alleged massacre of Palestinian refugees in
Lebanon 20 years ago. Ex-US Sec. of State Henry Kissinger is reportedly
wary of traveling abroad because of demands he testify in foreign court
hearings relating to his tenure in government.
All this because left wing judges abuse an invented principle of "law"
they call "universal jurisdiction." In effect this means whatever these
activist judges want it to mean. Using fabricated legal concepts, they
presume to sit in judgement on anyone whose conduct displeases them.
Mr. Kissinger attacked this radical idea, saying legal principles
should not be used as weapons to settle old political scores.
Even in the US Supreme Court some liberal justices have quoted "foreign
law" to justify changing US laws and even interpret the US Constitution
as they see fit. To their credit, the Bush administration rejected the
jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court for these very reasons.
This court gives no protection against double jeopardy, allows secret
trials, and restricts rights of an accused to confront accusers. It
threatens to diminish US sovereignty and produce arbitrary, highly
If universal jurisdiction and/or the ICC are accepted it will be the end
of offshore financial freedom and privacy. Using the crackpot theories
of the OECD government tax collectors will pursue expatriate citizens
world-wide, with activist judges chasing down the accused quarry,
regardless of where they are or whether they have violated their home
The rule of law must start with the judges who correctly interpret the
law, without regard to political agendas.
That's the way it looks from here.
BOB BAUMAN, Editor
Add This Entry To Your CureZone Favorites!Print this page
Email this page