The Instigator
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The Contender
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7 Points

Resolved: The United States ought to submit to an international court designed to prosecute CAH.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/8/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 930 times Debate No: 6823
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




I don't really want to debate but could someone review my case and refute it to see if I've got any flaws and such and if so, offer me any ideas?

I stand in negation of the resolution

I offer the following definitions taken from Black's Law Dictionary

Submit: A yielding to the authority of will of another

Jurisdiction: A government's general power to exercise authority over all persons and things within its territory

Crimes against Humanity: Int'l law. A brutal crime that is not an isolated incident but that involves large and systematic actions often cloaked with official authority, and that shocks the conscience of humankind. • Among the specific crimes that fall within this category are mass murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts perpetrated against a population, whether in wartime or not

I offer the following observations:

1.The resolution states an international court but it doesn't necessarily name an existing one such as the ICC or the ICJ. It doesn't specify any name and the negation believes that when the resolution states "an international court," it could even be a hypothetical international body of justice.
2.The resolution doesn't state the name of an international court but it doesn't mean one cannot use the ICC or ICJ as international bodies as examples as to what is considered an international court designed to prosecute crimes against humanity.

Value and Criterion: The value of the negation is world peace. World peace can only be accomplished if the United States remains as the independent world peace keeper, this brings the negation's criterion to the status quo' of the United States. We must look at the current situation of the United States. Currently, the United States has troops stationed around the world to do military operations to keep the peace in places that need them. Submitting would only jeopardize the United States' mission because the United States would no longer be considered the world police, meaning it can no longer provide peace-keeping forces around the world so we must retain our status quo as world police to be able to accomplish world peace.

I offer my first contention: Submitting to an international court delays world peace
Subpoint A – The United States has military forces stationed around the world to prevent possible conflicts. U.S. forces are stationed in places like South Korea, Bosnia, and Kosovo to prevent any further genocides or crimes against humanity. By submitting to an international court, it would prevent the United States from doing its job as the world police because an international court would be able to closely monitor US actions and will be able to prevent the United States from keeping the peace or stopping further deaths in places like Kosovo.
Subpoint B – The United States can better protect human rights and prevent further crimes against humanity than an international court. The United States has been able to prevent further conflict between the Koreas and "ethnic cleansing" in Bosnia. The United States has basically been able to uphold the peace in these war torn countries. Now the question is: By submitting to an international court, would the United States still be able to keep the peace in these countries? By submitting, the U.S. basically loses its position of world police and would be forced to cooperate with other countries on these issues rather than working by itself or being the head of the operation with other countries. The United States has already proven that things have worked out when the United States was in charge. The United States commanded NATO and its own military forces in Bosnia and also commanded UN forces and its own military forces in South Korea. An international court would simply limit U.S. power, forcing the U.S. to comply with the demands of weaker countries and preventing it from doing its job as the world police.

I offer my second contention: An international court warrants no benefits for the U.S.
Subpoint A – An international court lacks enforcement and therefore it needs the power of the United States. However, the United States does not need an international body interfering with its operations. Submitting to an international court would only open vulnerability for the United States to other countries because an international court would only allow other countries to carefully scrutinize U.S. actions. An international court provides no benefit to the United States and it even infringes upon the powers of the U.S. Without the United States, an international court can accomplish little to nothing.
Subpoint B – The benefits are small for the United States. Saying that an international court will somehow improve US image is preposterous because basically, the world needs the United States, therefore, it shouldn't care about how the world views it if the world still needs it. Saying that an international court promotes world peace through internationalism is also preposterous. Submitting to an international court forces the U.S. to comply with weaker countries. Submitting to an international court clearly warrants no benefit for the United States, rather it provides more problems for the U.S so therefore, the United States must retain its status quo of world police by not submitting to an international court.


Hello Alexa, I will gladly answer some of your arguments, you said clearly that you didn't really want to debate it the case however I have found that probably the best way to get a rigorous review is to have an honest debate and acknowledge mistakes or leaps of logic which may have happened.

SO in the interest of helping you I will try to show some logical errors or counter arguments which might exist (but people can vote to see if you can overcome what arguements I might make :D).

I will first start on your case and then answer your arguments immediately afterward.

I accept your definitions only with caveats.

Both the definition of Submit and the definition of Jurisdiction are acceptable for law but not for the debate we are embarking on. For instance are you saying to yield authority means that we will blindly accept any ruling handed down by a court?
I would say that I yield to the authority of the courts in the USA (where I am from) with the inherent knowledge that I have an appeals process and the system of government to help protect me from poor rulings. While most people yield to the court it is understood that this giving away of power is conditional. As long as the US is yielding its sovereignty to a system with an appeals court and other review bodies in a similar fashion to what is held here in the US (and most developed nations) I will accept this definition otherwise I would ask for a clearer definition.

So far so good, I agree with your observations.

***Value and Criterion***
When we get to your value we stumble right back onto a definition issue.
When you propose the value of world peace I must believe that you mean world peace is: a complete cessation of war. If I am correct I hate to say this but War isn't as clear as you seem to think it is, at what point does fighting become war? Are you saying that your value is the absolute absence of violence in all its forms from the face of the Earth? Or are you saying that the cessation of fighting where the death toll is more than 100,000 people?

I will propose this definition of war from by Colonel Andrei Demurenko and Professor Alexander Nikitin in their article
Basic Terminology and Concepts in International Peacekeeping Operations: An Analytical Review (

"War. Several hundred definitions exist for the concept of "war." From this profusion of definitions the most important for our purposes are those describing the missions and goals for using an armed force during the course of a war. Therefore, we will understand war to mean conflict between the armed forces of two or more states or coalitions, with this conflict being conducted in order to achieve certain political goals. In a war (and this is a fundamental characteristic of "classic" wars), armed forces are intended for:
* defeat and elimination of the enemy's armed forces and the command systems which control them;
* destruction of the military-economic and economic potential of a state, as well as such other material elements of a state's power that allow it to wage armed combat (THIS IS IMPORTANT, many people don't define war as destroying the economic ability of your enemy, but their definition does)
* seizure and occupation of part or all of a given territory.

As long as we accept this idea of war then we need to stop all civil wars, as well as tribal conflict as that falls under the definition...

At this point we can already see how it seems as though your value is impossible to attain! (we see why defining is so important, and hard)

Furthermore the achievement of world peace can be easily gained by the desolation of the Earth,

So I would counter your value with one of my own: The Practice of Moral Warfare.
Now the philosophy behind Moral Warfare spans back around 2000 years and has a myriad of writers, so in order to keep this moving along I will give you a quick and dirty definition of what moral warfare consists of from (

1. For defensive purposes only [this includes defensive purposes for allies-Mdal]
2. Never for personal gain.
3. ONLY as a last resort and ALL efforts to bring about peace are exhausted.
4. The innocent must be immune from harm.
5. War must be as quick and as swift as possible.
6. Attaining PEACE must be the primary goal.

Okee dokee with the definitions out of the way and a value obtained, lets see how we are going to measure how we attained this value (AKA the criterion).
I propose Utilitarianism in its most basic form, we will both see which of our cases will achieve the greatest good for the greatest amount of people. (There are a ton of arguments for and against Utilitarianism however since there wasn't a real criterion suggested I am just putting it out there to get this debate movin, if you want to have a criterion debate I will defend it in later rounds)

Lets get to your Case and Chief (from this point on I will act like I am addressing a Judge or a jury like you do in an actual debate round or classroom)
In subpoint A, Alexa makes the claim that the US forces are stationed around the world to prevent possible conflict. I went to the trouble to find where our forces are on the missions according to global (a non profit organization focused on accurate military related information so that debates such as ours can be based on accurate data) and suffice it to say that while we are in the locations of Korea, Bosnia and Kosovo as deterrent and peacekeeping it is important to note that we are only there after we the US went to war (in the case of Bosnia and Kosovo we did so with many allies).
This note Brings me to my first BIG POINT (you can see how big it is already, it is in the counter point area)
In subpoint b you claim that the US would be less efficient than the court in upholding human rights around the world and stopping violent agents committing human rights abuses.

***Counter point 1, to contention 1 subpoint a and b***
This counter point starts out by point out a simple fact: Alexa is assuming (without any clearly stated reason) that the US's powers to act will be severely limited by the court. This is an overarching assumption, courts in practice do not stop you from acting, they only investigate those actions and ascertain if they were legal or illegal. This is an important point...if the courts have a good faith effort of fairness (as we must assume they will be or this entire debate becomes violently unbalanced) than the US's hegemonic action is not halted, on the contrary we will become the world police force which Alexa likes so much in truth. Police officers answer to courts, they must answer for their actions. Why should the US be exception in this case?

***Counter point 2, to contention 2 subpoint a and b***
To subpoint a: Yes we are submitting to the court, we will even enforces their fair efforts. Your harm of this (or all I could find) seems to be that we are now subject to scrutiny. Why is this negative? Since when is scrutiny and answering for your actions a negative?

To Subpoint b: The US will only agree to a court with laws which it agrees with and would support, which is why I opted for the value of the practice of Moral warfare something which the US has publicly agreed with and practices. This encompasses the rules I stated earlier as well as the rules set down by the Geneva Conventions, if these rules to inhibit our power then we should be cheering...laws restricting killing innocents restrict my freedoms but it does so for the sake of others, this is positive and universally understood and respected why do these restrictions suddenly become untenable if we are talking about a nation?
Debate Round No. 1


alexla forfeited this round.


Mdal forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


alexla forfeited this round.


Mdal forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Mikirta 8 years ago
Your value does not and will not uphold the negation's stance in this resolution. Not only can it be valued better on the affirmation, the affirmation, if they choose, can turn around and say that world peace is a paradox. This resolution does not talk about providing peace, this resolution talks about stopping crimes against humanity and they will say that is the purpose of the international court.

If you do choose, however, to keep your value, I think your main warrant for your value should be on how the negation can still proved World peace without submitting. One of my arguments that stood strong by this was the differences between submitting and cooperating. We can participate without sacrificing our jurisdiction. So the Us keeps it's sovereignty and we still promote World peace.

If you have any more questions I would be happy to send you my cases on this resolution. I am done with them anyway. ^_^

Good Luck!!!!!
Posted by Mdal 8 years ago
Didn't read these before hand, but I agree with most of what has been posted...Alexa if you just want help with this case, I honestly believe "mock" debating online would be useful for you (and look at how much I already wrote...sweet lord, I think I used up all of my available characters...sheesh).

I look forward to a response.
Posted by SportsGuru 8 years ago
(This is the beginning)
I am not only not debating this topic, but I am not doing LD at the moment, so I will leave the in-round critiques to someone who has debated this topic. However, since the purpose of this is to critique, not debate, I hope no one will mind me putting my rebuttals in the comment section. Feel free to rebut as you want.

Definitions: fine

Observations: I would change these into something saying we HAVE to look at the ICC. (You could say: Otherwise, the aff can create a theoretically perfect court which gives neg no ground in the round) That way, you have solid, direct ground to attack, the ICC itself. I would think this would be more advantageous to the Neg. Personally, I will use the ICC since that is the only real world example we have when attacking/critiquing your case.

Value and Value Criterion: Personally, I do not like these, but moving on. First, there is no provided reason why we should prefer world peace more than any other value. Moreover, world peace is not happening now, in fact since the beginning of World War II, there has been a war every day in some part of the world. Since the Neg is advocating inaction (not joining), logically can't access its value. Your VC is way too vague. Events happen every day that change the status of the United States (ex. The economic recession changed the status of the US economy). So, not joining does NOT preserve the status quo, meaning the Neg cannot access its value criterion. Even if it were something like, keeping US forces abroad to stop war or something like that, as already stated, there has not been a day in over 60 years without war. US peacekeeping methods have not worked in the past and Neg provides no warrant as to why they will in the future. So even if Neg were able to access its value criterion, it still would not be able to access its value because its VC does not link. Irregardless, joining the ICC does not prevent the US from being the world police force
Posted by SportsGuru 8 years ago
Contention 1

Sub-point A: See my attack on the value criterion. As long as the US is not committing crimes against humanity, the ICC does not have the jurisdiction to intervene. And if we are, that is all the more reason to join,

Sub-point B: This falls because sub-point A falls. ICC does not prevent the US being world police

Contention 2

Sub-point A: We are only scrutinized when it comes to crimes against humanity. So either A we are not committing crimes against humanity and we won't be scrutinized or B we ARE committing crimes against humanity which is all the more reason to join. And this really does not fit in this section organization wise.

Sub-point B: The 1st part concerning US image: Image is important; if we are hated enough, war will happen, and considering the technology we have. It will most likely grow into nuclear war. Regardless of whether or not you think the world SHOULD care about US policies, it does and this fact has to be considered in this debate. You provide no warrant that joining the ICC won't promote world peace through internationalism. An Aff case would provide the benefits for the US joining and my attacks on you Value and VC finish off the rest of this contention.
Posted by alexla 8 years ago
Just have refutes please, I'm not planning on debating so if you do accept, please provide a refute in maybe some hints as to what I can do to improve. Thanks.
Posted by TheRaven 8 years ago
So, if I accept this, do you want me to offer a case in affirmation as well, or just refute yours and then thats it?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Mdal 8 years ago
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