The Instigator
melton1123
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
rougeagent21
Con (against)
Winning
28 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: 2/12/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,246 times Debate No: 6898
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (4)

 

melton1123

Pro

All men are by nature equal, made all of the same Earth by one Workman; and however we deceive ourselves, as dear unto God is the poor peasant as the mighty prince."
Because I agree with this quote by Plato I must affirm today's resolution.

I offer the following definitions for today's debate:
ought- should but not necessarily will; implies moral obligation.
submit- to yield to the will of another.
jurisdiction- power of the court to decide a matter in controversy and presupposes the existence of a duly constituted court with control over the subject matter and parties.
international court- a court extending or transcending international boundaries.
prosecute- a judicial process formally finding a defendant guilty or not guilty.
crimes against humanity- according to the statute of Rome, any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack on any population of persons with knowledge of the attack: extermination, enslavement, severe deprivation of physical liberties, torture, forced prostitution, forced sterilization, persecution against political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, or religious groups and other inhumane acts intentionally causing great harm or injury to body or mind.

my value for today's debate is justice. justice can be defined as fairness or moral rightness. moral rightness can be defined as conforming to a standard of right behavior.

my value criterion for today's debate is upholding individual rights. we all are born with certain unalienable rights that cannot be violated or taken away regardless of the situation or circumstance.

contention I- ALL HUMANS ARE BORN WITH CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS. according to john Locke, man is born with three natural rights: life, liberty, and property. Locke states these rights remain with us until death. in addition, the united nation's declaration on human rights states: "whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal an inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world, whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people." therefore, it is imperative that the united states submit to an international court designed to prosecute crimes against humanity not only to exact justice but to protect the rights of each individual.

Contention II- PEOPLE ARE ENDS IN THEMSELVES AND SHOULD THEREFORE NEVER BE DENIED A CHANCE OR OPPORTUNITY IN LIFE. according to Kant, "because of their rational nature, people are ends in themselves and not just a means to an end." this means that due to our rational nature and ability to reason, humans are ends in themselves and their very lives should be upheld and valued. john David, professor of philosophy at the university of Florida, says, "human beings, because they alone are rational and capable of high moral achievement, have a dignity and worth of their own which it is wrong to transgress." if human life and worth are to be valued so highly and if crimes against humanity strip away these rights then why is the united states not already a part of an international court prosecuting crimes against humanity? by submitting we not only further validate our morals and just nature, we take a step towards exacting justice on those who commit such heinous acts.

Contention III- THE BEST WAY TO REDUCE CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, UPHOLD THE RIGHTS OF EACH INDIVIDUAL, AND EXACT JUSTICE IS TO JOIN AN INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL DESIGNED TO PROSECUTE CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY. justice is a huge priority in the united states, crimes against humanity are a great injustice, and the best way to achieve justice and protect the rights of each individual is to join an international court. by joining such a court we would be protecting the rights of each individual citizen and thereby ensuring that justice is maintained and served.
rougeagent21

Con

As a brief road map, I will first state my own case, and then move on to neutralize my opponent's.

Resolved: "The United States ought to submit to the jurisdiction of an international court designed to prosecute crimes against humanity." As I will show you, the idea of an international court would not be beneficial to the United States. Because the United States would be better off without submitting to the jurisdiction of an international court, I must negate.

As a quick observation before I enter my case: The US has a moral obligation to its citizens first, and then the world. The US has a contract with its citizens. The US has agreed to protect and serve the citizens. Because the US has such a contract, the US has a moral obligation to protect and serve its citizens. We don't have a contract with the rest of the world saying we will serve them and protect them. Therefore, the citizens of the US come first.

I accept all of my opponent's definitions, except for his definition of justice. I will explain why when I attack his case.
My value for this round will also be that of justice. Justice is the quality of being just; equitable, and moral right. The ultimate result of any action taken by the US should uphold justice, as it is what we strive for.

My value criterion will be upholding a moral, constitutional obligation to our citizens. This is just because a country must first establish rights for its own citizens, before trying to help others. This brings me to my first contention.

Contention 1: US Citizens will lose rights if we adhere to an international court.
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. This is unconstitutional, and hypocritical. This hypocrisy is unjust, and does not uphold our moral obligation. Therefore, the US government has a moral obligation not to join, since losing the citizens rights is not protecting the citizen.
US citizens have a right to a public and speedy trial. The ICC takes a horrendously long time to actually try those accused. In fact, the standard time leading to a hearing is 5 years. The US Constitution grants the citizens the right to a fair and speedy trial. Again, this would be hypocritical, and unconstitutional.

Contention 2: Counter plan. The Alien Torts Claims Act is a piece of legislation passed in the US that allows for citizens of the US to be tried in the US, domestically, under INTERNATIONAL LAW. This means that a citizen who commits a crime against humanity will be able to be tried on US soil, with all their rights, but under international law, so that they will still be held accountable for their actions. ATCA is a much better alternative to the ICC, since we still protect our citizens, and we don't lose vital fundamental rights given to the citizens. It holds ALL benefits of an international court, but while still adhering to our constitution and protecting our citizen's rights. There are NO benefits of the ICC, or any other international court, that are not exercised in the ATCA.
As I have shown, an international court would not fare well for the United States. We must uphold justice, protect our citizen's rights, and adhere to our constitution. Because an international court in unconstitutional, I stand in absolute negation of today's resolution.

Now to attack my opponent's case.

First of all, my opponent offers a faulty core value. He uses circular reasoning, which is logical fallacy, to define justice.
He says justice can be defined as moral rightness, and moral rightness is a standard of right behavior. I then offer up my own definition. As I will show you, the negative case provides for the most justice.

His criterion is upholding individual rights. He defines this as "life, liberty, and property." (I would like to point out that he says we have these rights until death. So...we have the right to life until we die? I can kill someone, and its ok since they are dead? Just like to point this out...) As his first contention is essentially the same as his criterion, please cross-apply my attack on the criterion to his first contention. Now, I agree that rights are important. I am all for protecting them. However, my opponent never shows WHY an international court can protect these. How is it capable? I have given the ATCA, which DOES protect human rights. (It also protects them constitutionally) His criterion and contention one actually flow into the negative case, since the negative better protects individual rights. Now on to his second contention.

In his contention two, my opponent says that no one should be denied a chance in life. Again, I agree. My opponent however does not show why not submitting would violate the right to a chance. Once again, the negative honors this value, therefore his contention two also falls. Now to contention three:

This contention states, again, that we must uphold rights, and the best way to do this is by submitting to an international court. HE DOES NOT SAY WHY, SIMPLY THAT IT IS. He gives no warrant to this, no evidence, and this contention also falls. I have given the ATCA, whis is proven, and constitutional. Because the negative has a legit core value and criterion, a firm and constitutional case, and the affirmative has none of these, I stand in absolute negation of the resolution. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
melton1123

Pro

I will start by defending my own case then move on to attack my opponents.

My opponent attacks my value of justice by saying that I use a circular reasoning which is fallacy in itself and that his negative argument better upholds the definition of justice. He goes on to say he will offer up his own definition of justice and attack my value, but he never really gives you a clear cut reason why my value should fall and flow to the negative side therefore he must agree, in part, with my value.

My opponent attacks my criterion by saying that in my right to life argument I made it seem as though you could kill someone and not be guilty because of my definition of individual rights. I say we have the right to life and I mean that we have the right until death takes it away. In saying this I mean that only death itself and no one or nothing else can take the right to life away.

My opponent attacks my first contention by saying that I don't state why an international court is important in human rights. He also agrees with me that protecting human rights is important. An international court serves as another check and balance on the government to prevent anyone from committing crimes against humanity. By doing this it is protecting human rights and thereby upholding my contention.

My opponent attacks my second contention by saying that I once again do not prove how not submitting would violate the right to a chance in life. He also once again agrees with my argument that a chance in life is important. By not submitting we are allowing government agencies, like the president who can exonerate himself, go unchecked. This is serving as another check and balance to our government like anything else.

My opponent attacks my third contention by saying I give no warrant to why we must submit. I must counter by saying that we must submit in order to exact justice and protect the rights of each individual. This should be warrant enough, the protection of rights and morals and the administration of justice should be warrant enough to make us join this international court.

In his value, my opponent defines justice as "the quality of being just; equitable, and moral right." He then goes on to say that any actions taken by the US should uphold justice. If we are upholding something "morally right" as his definition states then why are we not joining an international court designed to prosecute crimes against humanity? It isn't just to allow these things to go on and in not joining we do allow crimes against humanity to continue occuring. Because of these things his value falls.

In his value criterion, my opponent states that we must uphold a moral obligation to our citizens. Do we not have an obligation to our citizens to make sure that their government is not committing crimes against humanity? Yes, we do. Because of this it is impossible for my opponent to tell you that we are not making the moral descision by joining an international court.

In contention I, my opponent states that citizens will lose rights if we adhere to an international court. It has been proven that as the years progress, the rights granted by international courts are improving. My opponent cites the ICC in his case. I will tell you that the ICC now allows its defendants to confront their accuser. The ICC also follows the statute of Rome which states that you are guaranteed a speedy trial.

In contention 2, my opponent tries to use the ATCA as an alternative. Sure the ATCA allows citizens to be tried on US soil under international law, but this is not the point of this debate. If we were debating over whether it was morally correct to try US citizens outside of the US then this would apply. But we are debating about the fact that we should add an international court as another check and balance to prevent our governement and our citizens from committing crimes against humanity. My opponent states that there are no benefits of an international court or the ICC which are not excercised in the ATCA. From the statement I have just made about the international court serving as another check and balance to exact justice, I think we can all see that my opponent is completly wrong about his entire contention 2.
rougeagent21

Con

I will begin by quickly defending my own case, and then move on to my opponent's.

My opponent attacks my value saying that if we don't submit, we will not be just because we wouldn't prosecute crimes against humanity. I have nothing elaborate to say about this, except that it is 100% false. We DO prosecute crimes against humanity, and we do constitutionally. (See ATCA, which I will defend shortly) Because we prosecute these atrocious crimes justly, and constitutionally, the negative case provides for justice.

My opponent mis-understands my criterion. I am saying that if we join an international court, our citizens will lose rights. Again, this is unconstitutional. How are we protecting our citizens' rights if we give them away so flagrantly?

My opponent says that rights granted by international courts are improving. This may be the case, but is not good enough. Even if we were to give away JUST ONE of our rights, we would be unconstitutional, and hypocritical. How is a country just if we do not adhere to the very document our country was based on?

My opponent says my contention two is irrelevant, and completely wrong. I don't see where my opponent is coming from. It is completely relevant, because it provides a safe alternative to any international court. We don't need an international court. He says we do for the checks and balances. WE HAVE OUR OWN CHECKS AND BALANCES. We have established our own, which we believe to be just. Who are we to let any other country put checks on us?

With my case still standing firmly, I now attack my opponent's case.

As a quick observation, my opponent does not respond to my point that international courts (such as the ICC) are unconstitutional. This means he must agree. Please keep this in mind while you are reviewing his case.

I attacked his value previously, and he says "I didn't give a clear cut reason why his value should fall..." Here's one for you: If we adhere to an international court, we would be doing injustice to our citizens BY TAKING AWAY THEIR RIGHTS! How is that for clear cut?

My opponent also mis-understands my attack on his criterion. He only tries to defend the little note in parentheses. Here is my attack: We undermine individual rights if we adhere to an international court. This is contradictory to my opponent's case, and DOES flow into mine. With both his value and criterion destroyed, his case has NO foundation. His case means nothing, and needs no further attacks. But, for the sake of the onlooker's clarification on who won this debate, I will continue to attack his contentions.

I have already attacked my opponent's contentions. He tried to defend his first one (which is THE SAME THING AS HIS CRITERION) by saying that an international court provides for a check and balance. WE DON'T NEED ANOTHER CHECK. The US has created checks and balances that we believe to be just. How dare any other country or court try to hold down the great nation of the United States with another "check".

He defends his second contention the exact same way. We don't need another check! We would be giving up our national sovereignty to others in order to achieve something we already have: Just, constitutional protection of our citizens' rights.

In an attempt to defend his third contention, my opponent gives a "warrant" which says that an international court protects rights of the individual. I think my opponent mis-understands the word warrant. It means cold, hard evidence, not a pie-in-the-sky idea. He gives NO evidence to counter my own. Therefore, his contention three also falls.

So, the affirmative has NO value, NO criterion, and NO case. Because the negative has all of these, backed by the United States Constitution, I urge a negative ballot. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
melton1123

Pro

melton1123 forfeited this round.
rougeagent21

Con

Once again, my arguments have been fully upheld, while his have completely fallen. He has also forfeited the last round. The US ought NOT submit to an international court designed to prosecute crimes against humanity.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by rougeagent21 8 years ago
rougeagent21
ok meespr, i see where your coming from. sorry, i misunderstood you. but ya, i agree.
Posted by rougeagent21 8 years ago
rougeagent21
hey man, you should get on so we can debate! where are you?
Posted by rougeagent21 8 years ago
rougeagent21
i agree, although with less colorful words. we owe them didley.
Posted by meespr 8 years ago
meespr
Besides, what obligation do we have to report anything to any international apparatus? Almost zero. We don't owe them d*** and it's about time that it's recognized.
Posted by meespr 8 years ago
meespr
I only said that it should first be conducted in domestic courts. If there is a mistrial or no satisfactory results come from a domestic trial, then proceed to the international court. Crimes that occur inside the confines of one country are not the business of the international community.
Posted by meespr 8 years ago
meespr
Did I say that? No.
Posted by rougeagent21 8 years ago
rougeagent21
thats ridiculous to say that mistrials can only happen in a nation-specific court. just because it is international doesn't mean it is always right. it actually increases the chance of a mistrial, since there are different nations with their own interests in mind.
Posted by rougeagent21 8 years ago
rougeagent21
so you are saying that there aren't mistrials in an international court?
Posted by meespr 8 years ago
meespr
Something that should only be prosecuted by an international court in the case of a mistrial in a domestic court.
Posted by Epicism 8 years ago
Epicism
Crimes against Humanity
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by resolutionsmasher 8 years ago
resolutionsmasher
melton1123rougeagent21Tied
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Vote Placed by vorxxox 8 years ago
vorxxox
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Vote Placed by TFranklin62 8 years ago
TFranklin62
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Vote Placed by rougeagent21 8 years ago
rougeagent21
melton1123rougeagent21Tied
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