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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/21/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,013 times Debate No: 7038
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Can someone point out the flaws so i can better my case and give me some ideas?
Thomas Jefferson: "I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its Constitution." I agree with this because I believe that Americans deserve the rights that are stated in the Constitution and nothing should be put above it. And therefore I negate the resolution

Resolved: The United States ought to submit to Jurisdiction of an international court design to prosecute Crimes against Humanity


C.A.H.- as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum, "murder, extermination, torture, rape, political, racial, or religious persecution and other inhumane acts reach the threshold of crimes against humanity only if they are part of a widespread or systematic practice. Isolated inhumane acts of this nature may constitute grave infringements of human rights, or depending on the circumstances, war crimes, but may fall short of falling into the category of crimes under discussion."

Jurisdiction: the right, power, or authority to administer justice by hearing and determining controversies

Submit: to give over or yield to the power or authority of another

International Court: Since the only International Court designed to prosecute C.A.H. is the ICC I will be using the ICC to define International Court.

Value: Independence- Independence puts the differences between different societies across the globe. In every world justice system it is necessary to give them independence from one another because of the change in them. And what may be tolerable may not be by others.

V.C. National Sovereignty- the U.S. constitution and Bill of Rights is what makes this country and its people, which make its power. By submitting to the ICC it is excepting a new court over it's own and devaluing the constitution therefore taking away the U.S. sovereignty.

Contention 1- By the U.S. giving itself to the ICC (submitting) it will lessen its own existence. The U.S. constitution was mainly made for the purpose of protecting the people of the nation first and the nation itself. By allowing the ICC to come in and have power and influence the U.S. is no longer by itself but a larger country. Its Constitution becomes void because there is a higher power, which goes to that court system which can then prosecute the U.S. citizens freely. Then their laws can take power over the laws of the U.S and endanger the United States.

Contention 2- The ICC is not properly structured.
A) The ICC does not try its defendants by a trial by jury. Instead, the trial is done in front of a panel of three judges. If a US citizen were to be tried under the ICC, he/she would lose basic fundamental rights given to them by the government. Therefore, the US government has a moral obligation not to join, since losing the citizens rights is not protecting the citizen.

B) Even American citizens who get tried can get tried again. The Fifth Amendment of the American constitution says "… nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb." Article 20 (3) of ICC says: Persons acquitted by a national court can be brought to trial again if the ICC concludes that the original trial was "conducted in a manner which, in the circumstance, was inconsistent with an intent to bring the person to justice." One purpose of American rules of trial evidence is to protect individual liberty, giving power to the purpose of the Bill of rights, which is designed to restrain governmental abuse. That results in the exclusion of evidence obtained illegally. But the ICC has lower standards for warrants and the legitimacy of evidence. Thus, a judgment of not guilty by an U.S. court because of illegally obtained or unreliable evidence might well be rejected by the ICC as being "inconsistent with an intent to bring the person concerned to justice", resulting in a second trial by the ICC using the very same evidence that had previously been rejected by the U.S. court because it was considered unreliable or illegal under our Bill of Rights.

In conclusion by giving away our jurisdiction, we our giving up our freedom.


I'm a bit confused here, but I'm supposed to just attack your case, right?


1.Independence bad
If we were all independent, we would exist in the theoretical "State of Nature" that Hobbes, Locke and russou said we formed societies to avoid.

2.Independence on the aff
The ICC does not hurt independence. I will show this through my argumentation on the second contention.

1.Sovereignty isn't a moral framework.
The Bill of rights, and the basic idea of sovereignty do not tell us what is moral, they simply tell us what is best for the United States. Although it may be prudent, it would not always be moral. (we could commit some terrible act to protect our sovereignty)

2.Doesn't de-value the constitution
Constitution allows treaties (which this is), and the ICC does not violate any constitutional rights. (again, I will show this at the end, under the second contention)

3.Sovereignty protected on aff
Crimes against humanity clearly violate the sovereignty of the individuals it is committed against, and in many cases the sovereignty of their home country. (see Hitler)

Also, if the United States government began to commit crimes against humanity against its own people, there would be nothing to stop them, they could hold power, and this would be a clear violation of the sovereignty of the citizens of the United States. If we submitted to this court, this could not happen because the court could step in to prevent such actions.

Contention 1)
1.The ICC is a court of last resort.
The ICC only tries criminals that are not getting a fair trial in their home country. Because we have a court system, the ICC would not try any criminals we did.

2.The constitution does not say that we can't have a higher power
The constitution simply lays down how we believe the law should run. Because all of our constitutional rights are upheld by the ICC, the constitution is not violated. (again, I'll put all that stuff under contention 2)

3.Having a higher power does not destroy countries.
We are already part of NATO, and G7/8. you can also look to the EU. Neither of these groups destroyed the country-ness of their members, and are seen almost universally as good. These groups force certain laws etc on their members, and yet, do not, as the neg claims destroy them.

Contention 2)
1.In the instance of CAH, we cannot have a jury of ones peers.
Although this is a law in the United States and most developed countries, such a law cannot and should not exist in an international court. If a criminal who commits a crime that the ICC is actually going to punish (CAH for this resolution), it is likely that ALL of their peers will have bias to one side. They will either get an overly harsh or overly lenient sentence.

2. Submission DOES protect citizens
Again, if the US government were to begin perpetrating CAH's, there would be nothing to prevent this from happening. Simply, the ICC protects us from our government. Furthermore, if a United States citizen was committing these crimes, we would want them tried, and, if you look to my first point, a jury of ones peers could not be impartial, and therefore, unjust.

1. Double Jeopardy is NOT allowed in the ICC
lets really read article 20: (copy-pasted from the Rome statute)
1.)No person shall be tried before the Court with respect to conduct which formed the basis of crimes for which the person has been convicted or acquitted by the Court.
2.)No person shall be tried by another court for a crime referred to in article 5 for which that person has already been convicted or acquitted by the Court.
3.) . No person who has been tried by another court for conduct also proscribed under article 6, 7 or 8 shall be tried by the Court with respect to the same conduct unless the proceedings in the other court:

(a) Were for the purpose of shielding the person concerned from criminal responsibility for crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court; or

(b) Otherwise were not conducted independently or impartially in accordance with the norms of due process recognized by international law and were conducted in a manner which, in the circumstances, was inconsistent with an intent to bring the person concerned to justice.

None of these parts allow double jeopardy. In fact article 20 is the article that BANS double jeopardy in the ICC.

A person can only be tried by the ICC after being tried by another court IF that court was simply shielding the criminal or was not impartial. (norms are how all the big countries do it, like us)

2.on evidence
According to the Rome statute (art 31) ground for excluding criminal responsibility includes Rules of Procedure and Evidence. And, guess who sets those... the members.

Also, they follow basic due process laws. (Article 64)

3.One question
There is one question that every neg should be asked; "has this ever happened, in the years the ICC has been in existence?"

The answer to this question: no. simply, this has never happened, and is not likely to in the future

4.Judges are fair (article 33)
A.part 3: The judges shall be chosen from among persons of high moral character, impartiality and integrity who possess the qualifications required in their respective States for appointment to the highest judicial offices
B.Part 6: Judges are elected by secret ballot, the persons elected to the Court shall be the 18 candidates who obtain the highest number of votes and a two-thirds majority of the States Parties present and voting.

C. No two judges may be nationals of the same State. A person who, for the purposes of membership of the Court, could be regarded as a national of more than one State shall be deemed to be a national of the State in which that person ordinarily exercises civil and political rights.

Finally, to conclude, group both his contentions:

Look to article 123 of the Rome statute. The Members can call for a meeting to amend the Rome statute at any time. They then vote on amendments. Because of this, the parts of the Rome statute that the neg has issue with (which I have shown Not to be flawed, but anyway) can be changed.

Basically, the Judges are fair, the rights of the accused are upheld, and the ICC does not violate the sovereignty or independence of its member nations.
Debate Round No. 1
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Bnesiba 8 years ago
I have found that on this topic, many (most) competitors have not actually read the Rome statute... (I don't blame them.. it's 123 articles, and really recursive...)

But alot of the claims that the ICC fails fall apart when one realises that alot of the things we claim the ICC doesn't protect are actually protected under the Rome statute.

Also, I don't know about your district, but in my district alot of affs are trying to pull "ICC not specified, therefore we need to look to a theoretical court" which would, if they won it, avoid all of your arguments.

I would reccomend adding a resolution analysis saying we should look to the ICC. (1. it's the only existing internat. court to punish CAH. 2. it's real, and allows for examples, don't know how hypo works 3. fear unlimited aff fiat, 4. etc)

Also, the value of independence is kinda sketchy b/c the us isn't completely independent, and complete independence leads to Hobbes's theoretical state of nature. (everyone for themselves, no one can produce b/c can't know if they will be able to hold land, etc. Humanity falls into violent state of perpetual war... etc.)

good luck in debate. :)
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