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Resolved: The United States ought to submit to the jurisdiction of an international court designed t

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/29/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,294 times Debate No: 6688
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
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Because joining an international court brings justice to perpetrators of crimes against humanity, I stand in affirmation.

Resolved: The United States ought to submit to the jurisdiction of an international court designed to prosecute crimes against humanity.

I render the following definitions for clarification purposes:

Ought- used to express justice, moral rightness

Jurisdiction- A government's general power to exercise authority over all persons and things within its territory; A court's power to decide a case or issue a decree.

Prosecute- To commence and carry out a legal action; To institute and pursue a criminal action against a person.

Crimes against humanity- particularly odious offences in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings. They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government policy (although the perpetrators need not identify themselves with this policy) or of a wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a de facto authority. However, 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. (Rome Statute definition).

Before I begin my case for this resolution, it is important to observe two important characteristics of this resolution.

First, I am only defending the acceptance of international jurisdiction for crimes against humanity-the largest and most heinous of crimes. I am not defending the use of international courts to handle all or even most cases.

Second, I am defending the principle that the United States ought to accept the jurisdiction of an international court, not defending the design of any particular international court. I am not defending the specific institutions of the International Criminal Court (ICC) or any specific institution. The resolution leaves the design of the court as an open question and focuses, instead, only on the nature of international jurisdiction.

With these observations in mind, my case will demonstrate that our nation joining an international court can achieve justice by protecting human rights.

It is important, first, to define why the United States should join an international court. I do that through my value of moral obligation. Moral obligation is defined as an obligation arising out of considerations of right and wrong. That makes the highest value in the round the achievement of the obligations of the United States. We now need a method to compare competing obligations, such as those potentially faced in the resolution. My criterion provides such a method to resolve conflicts between obligations. The United States is obligated to chase whichever obligation is most fundamental when considering two competing obligations. For example, I am legally obligated to obey speed limits and morally obligated to get an injured friend to the hospital. If the injury is dire, I would prioritize my moral obligation over my legal obligation and speed to the hospital.

The most fundamental obligation of the United States is to protect human rights. This is the best criterion for the round simply because the Declaration of Independence states that the United States is morally obliged to. The rights that the Declaration of Independence entitles American citizens existed before the United States and before any political authority. What remains for my case it to show that the United States acceptance of international jurisdiction in matters of crimes against humanity will best respect human rights.

Contention 1: The United States is morally obligated to eliminate crimes against humanity.

Many international issues are notorious, but crimes against humanity are accepted internationally as being universally wrong. Because the nature of these crimes are dreadfully heinous, they must be prevented and prosecuted.

Sub Point A: International jurisdiction would be effective in preventing crimes against humanity. The formulation of international jurisdiction has an independent, effective element that allows crimes against humanity to be efficiently prosecuted. Enforcement power, combined with deterrence will make an international court a reliable source of prosecution. This reliable source of prosecution would protect the people of the United States and the rest of the world from crimes against humanity.

Sub Point B: Since the support of the United States is necessary to make an International court effective, the U.S. is morally obligated to support it as an extension of its obligation to prosecute crimes against humanity. Without the support of the U.S., the rest of the world will view the court as being unproductive and useless.

Sub Point C: The United States not joining international jurisdiction will the violate human rights of the world's inhabitants which includes U.S. citizens as well. If we allow crimes against humanity to continue to happen, it will eventually be our demise.

Contention 2: US action is necessary to prevent atrocities.

The United States is considered by the global community, a hegemony. Many countries look to the United States as an older sibling. In other words, other countries look at America with a "magnifying glass" looking at everything they do. Joining international jurisdiction makes America look good in the sense that they care about their citizens as well as the Earth's citizens. Their caring ness is displayed by joining the fight and hopefully future deterrence of crimes against humanity. The United States is morally obligated to protect its citizens from these atrocious crimes. David J. Scheiffer, Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes furthers: "The U.S. representative, Ambassador Peter Burleigh, confirmed that, "The United States shares Canada's desire to bring international attention to the new character of armed conflict, in which civilians - including humanitarian workers - are often not simply random, incidental victims of conflict, but its very targets. We must work together," Ambassador Burleigh said, "to find ways to halt this trend. We must strive to strengthen international protection of civilians, recognizing that the Council's task of maintaining peace and security can extend to the protection of individuals as well." Ambassador Burleigh, on behalf of the United States, welcomed the Security Council's reaffirmation in its Presidential statement on February 12th of "the need for the international community to assist and protect civilian populations affected by armed conflict; of the need for all parties concerned to ensure the safety of civilians and to guarantee the unimpeded and safe access of United Nations and other humanitarian personnel to those in need; of the obligation of all states to comply strictly with their obligations under international law; and of the need to bring to justice individuals who target civilians, as such, in armed conflict, or who otherwise commit offenses under international humanitarian and human rights law." So as you can see the America in the end is morally obliged to protect its citizens. The best way to do that according to America's own Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes as well as an U.S. representative is to join in on international efforts to fight crimes against humanity. The best way to join in on international efforts is to submit to international jurisdiction.

Because the United States is morally obligated to protect its citizens human right, you affirm.


I negate the resolution Resolved: The United States ought to submit to the jurisdiction of an international court designed to prosecute crimes against humanity.

Observation One: Definitions
Submit-to yield oneself to the power or authority of another

Value-Global Security-Global Security consists of the measures taken by nations to ensure mutual survival and safety. Without global security the world would be in a chaotic state in which war would be everywhere. This would ultimately lead to the human race's extinction and thus it is necessary for diplomacy to take place to ensure this value is upheld. Both sides of the resolution are ultimately arguing which option will maintain global security best so it is only logical to value it.

Criterion- U.S. Hegemony
A hegemon is defined as a power that is capable of defeating any other nations opposing it in a time of war. It has a powerful political influence over other nations. It is not a pure power dominance, but the nation also has social interactions with other nations, unlike an empire.
We must negate the resolution because right now the US is considered a hegemon. The U.S. can accomplish anything that an International Court designed to prosecute Crimes Against Humanity can with more success and faster, and having the ability to stop these crimes before they begin with deterrence. Not even China will engage the U.S. because of its power. The negative upholds Global Security better because the U.S. can accomplish what the court would set out to do, faster, and more successfully.
This value and criterion is fair because when we uphold my criterion the U.S. can be the peace-keeping force of the world, so we attain a state of global security since the world is safer.

Contention One: United States hegemony has substantial benefits to international relations
A)The US becoming a power in world politics has prevented many conflicts from beginning, and helped to bring numerous other conflicts to an end. If the United States were to withdraw its powers as a peace-keeper conflicts would erupt in areas such as Taiwan and China. China would attack Taiwan should America withdraw its support and opt-out of its mutual-protection treaty with Taiwan. Without America's active intervention brutal civil wars like the one in Somalia will propagate throughout the world, and genocides such as the one in Rwanda will continue, and others similar to it will even occur.
Thayer '06
"Even Beijing is intimidated by the U.S. and refrains from openly challenging U.S. power. So it is likely to refrain from testing the U.S. directly for the foreseeable future because China�€™s power benefits, as we shall see, from the international order U.S. hegemony creates."
This card provides sufficient proof that the U.S. has the influence to stop conflicts with other nations such as China.
B)The Consequences resulting from the US withdrawing its power as a hegemon would be dire.
The US withdrawing its power as a hegemont would have the effect of abolishing the police force of a large city. With no peace-keeping force in place there would be no organized society and people would lose trust in one another. Society would fall back to that of the state of nature. Which is what one must avoid to ensure global security; you cannot acquire global security in a world where no nation is willing to trust another.
When we negate the resolution the US utilizes its powers as a hegemon to not only stop crimes against humanity, but to prevent others from occurring because other nations will not oppose the U.S.'s strength.

Contention Two: The U.S. Utilizing its influence as a hegemony accomplishes the task of attaining Global Security better than an International Court.
Schmitt ˜06
"The U.S. and the West face a new threat- WMDs in the hands of terrorists-and, whether we like it or not, no power other than the U.S. has the capacity or can provide the decisive leadership required to handle this and other critical global security issues. With the absence of American primacy, international order would quickly return to disorder."

This card provides sufficient proof that the U.S. is the sole power capable of stopping terrorism and other global threats which an international court proposed by the resolution would be aimed at combating.
The U.S. has the largest military budget in the world, its military forces provide more than enough power to find and bring any offenders to justice that the Aff would promote prosecuting in an international court. The Aff proposes putting the U.S. in a court designed to prosecute these crimes, bringing the U.S. to the same international level as other nations, international politics are in a state of anarchy without a form of government, and because a court would put all of these nations on equal standing it would not change much of anything. There has to be an authority in power over the smaller nations to ensure that conduct is peaceful between them.

In conclusion you must vote for the negative on the grounds that a vote for the affirmative is a vote for degrading society to the State of Nature. Since both sides of the resolution are ultimately striving for global security the affirmative fails to deliver as the State of Nature is a state in which no man will trust another, and violence will erupt. No long-term cooperation can occur in this state. Therefore the negative achieves global security on a much greater scale because it utilizes the United States' status as a hegemon and its influence on other nations to police the world, ensuring no violent conflicts erupt.

On to my opponent's case.

My opponent values moral obligation, while we are "morally obligated to stop crimes against humanity" the negative provides substantial proof that we need to negate to do so. When we affirm we bring the U.S. down from the level of influence it has, as it will be on the same field as other nations. When we negate we allow the U.S. to use its influence to not only stop crimes against humanity, but to keep them from occurring to begin with as referenced by both my Scheffer '06 and Schmitt '06 cards.

My opponents' criterion is the Declaration of Independence. Once again I can prove that the U.S. exercising its hegemony can accomplish exactly what the aff wishes to accomplish, faster and more efficiently through the use of the influience U.S. hegemony provides.
Contention 1:
My opponent believes that the U.S. is morally obligated to eliminate crimes against humanity.
I agree to the fact that the U.S. should eliminate crimes against humanity, however when we affirm the resolution we do not achieve this. My Subpoint B on contention 2 states that the U.S. losing its power as a hegemon has the effect of removing the police force from a large city. We cause more problems when we affirm because the U.S. loses its hegemony, which gives us the power to stop conflicts even before they begin.
This same argument applies to my opponent's subpoint A.
Regarding my opponent's subpoint B, if the U.S. is required to make the court effective, then there's no changes made. Right now the U.S. is the leading superpower, if this is the case then when we affirm the only difference is that the U.S. has less influence, which as I have proven is detrimental to international society.
My opponent lacks a warrant for his C) so the point is moot. The U.S. is capable of stopping Crimes Against Humanity without joining the court.
Contention 2:
If the U.S. action is necessary to prevent atrocities, then you must negate! A vote for the affirmative would simply be using the U.S. in the same way the neg proposes, but the U.S. would lose its status as a hegemon because it'd be on the same regulations as other nations. The U.S.'s defense budget is what gives it its power.
So in conclusion you must vote for the negative as a vote for the aff is a vote for degrading international relations into a state of anarchy.
Debate Round No. 1


I am going to go NC-AC

Value: Global security is achieved better by affirming. By submitting to international jurisdcition you prevent crimes against humanity. When you prevent crimes against humanity, you are protecting society from these mass atrocities. My opponent provides no bright line between value and criterion. You are indeed securing the citizens of the world by affirming. Therefore the aff beter uphold global security.

Criterion: We both agree U.S. is hegemon, but my opponent's definition of hegemon seems flawled. According to hegemony is defined as leadership; predominance. So because i am the first to render a definition that comes from a source of hegemony for the round you must look past his invalid definition of hegemony and look to mine. Hegemonial status would actually increase by joining international jurisdcition. The U.S. is currently not well like by the international community, because other countries believe we live above human rights laws. So to increase hegemonial stauts wouls should join international jurisdiction and let other countries see we care about the citizens of the international community.

Contention 1 and Contention 2: I render the lone valid definition of hegemony therefore both contentions must be looked past, because they comply to his definition not mine.

Now to my case:

My value, contention 1, and contention 2 all stand because my opponent attacks them with hege based attacks. As stated previously I have laready taken down anything hege stated by neg.

Criterion: My criterion is protecting human rights. Since my opponent attakcs Declartion of Independence my cirterion of protecting human rights is extended across the flow. The U.S. is morally obliged to protect human rights and the can achieve this obligation by submitting to interntaional jurisdcition.

What it boils down to is that we can save more lives, maximize soft power, minimze hard power, fulfill obligation to protect our citizen's rights as well as the rest of the world's inhabitants rights, increase hegemonial status, and maintain national sovereignty all by affirming. Therefore, you should affirm.


My opponent states that we are achieving global security on a higher level by affirming. However my opponent gives absolutely no warrant to this argument, so we cannot base a victor off of that. The negative achieves global security better because it allows the U.S. to simply utilize its influence as is to achieve anything an international court would be aimed at solving, faster, and more efficiently. Since my opponent and I both agree that the U.S. is a hegemony, however when we submit to the international court, hegemony is lost. Because we would be forced to conform to the regulations of this court, we would no longer be an authority. Which is exactly what a hegemon is, so we'd lose a large chunk of our influence, in order to attain the same exact goal.

My opponent states that my definition of a hegemon is flawed and gives no warrant as to why it is, then my opponent provides a definition that is simply cited from My definition of hegemony comes from "Joseph, Jonathan (2002), Hegemony: a realist analysis". My opponent tries to invalidate my entire case by stating that my definition is flawed, and therefore it cannot be looked to. Yet once again my opponent provides no warrants to this argument, and no real impact for if we do look towards my definition of a hegemony for the round. So my opponent's singular argument against my entire case is moot because of the lack of a warrant.

Regarding my opponent's criterion of the Declaration of Independence: My opponent states that we are "morally obliged to protect human rights". This doesn't quite apply to the argument that I make stating that we can achieve this better by negating, and my opponent's singular argument against anything regarding such has been that my "Definition of hegemony is flawed". However since this argument is not warranted, nor does it have an impact to look towards my definition, we have no reason to not look to my definition or any reason as to why it is "flawed" as my opponent states.

Voting issues for the round include the fact that the only argument my opponent has against my entire case is a warrantless claim that my definition of hegemony is flawed, on top of that it contains no impacts. So you must look to the negative because the affirmative was unable to defend his own case or attack mine with anything besides cross-applying the warrantless argument that my definition is flawed.

My opponent's value of moral obligation supports by value of global security, because if we're looking to moral obligation solely, we're then "morally obligated" to do what is best to make the globe secure, which in this case would be the United States taking charge because it can even stop conflicts before they begin.

My opponent never refutes either of the cards in my case, neither the Thayer or the Schmitt ones. These still stand because they're solid proof that U.S. hegemony works. My opponent concedes that it is effective, thus we must negate because on the affirmative we bring the U.S. to the same level as other nations through the use of an international court, so we lose our biggest advantage over other nations that instead of submitting to the same regulations, we could simply be the peace-maker to begin with.

When we affirm we lose military power, and because the U.S.'s hard power creates the U.S.'s soft power we sacrifice all influence that we maintain when we negate.

You must also vote negative because all of my opponent's arguments against me have gone without warrant or impact, so my opponent never refutes my case in a valid manner, thus my entire case still stands.

For these reasons I urge a vote in negation of the resolution.
Debate Round No. 2


I am going straight ref NC after extending my opponents arguments on the AC.

First an overview - Based off the ICC all the impacts of the ICC would happen in the Neg world because the jurisdiction of the ICC extends into non signitory nations meaning that all my opponents arguments are nonunique because all his impacts will happen in both worlds. In terms of military intervention, even if we dont sign the ICC into legitimacy, it still has the power to try a US soldier IF the act was commited in a signitory nation or against a signitory citizen or against someone envoking article 12. This means that all my opponents impacts about decreasing the United States Hage take place IN BOTH WORLDS.

Moreover the ICC is never going to prosecute the US. Jack Goldsmith
"There are many other bases for prosecution of U.S. officials. Nonetheless, the ICC's procedural safeguards, when combined with the threat of U.S. retaliation, make it unlikely that a U.S. official will actually end up in the ICC dock."
This means that my opponents impacts are further mitigated since the US will never appear on the Dock of the ICC

At this point the AFF gains all of the negative impacts and meets them the EXACT SAME as the Negative. This means that all that i need to do at this point is prove there will be a CHANCE that i can increase hege. Moreover the Negative never provides why his advocacy is competitive with the AC in the sense that we can do both intervention and the ICC. Never provides competitiveness so he can not win since there is no offense on the AC which means risk of offense would win me the round.

Insofar as the International community views us badly and joining the ICC would make them feel a tiny bit better you affirm. Moreover the Negative has the burden to prove we ought not join since the goal of the institution is a moral ends and not joining means we are not trying for a moral end or at least have another objective. Thus if the NC provides no offence you affirm.
Finally, the US increases hege.
1. Not joining the ICC means the US holds a double standard and is further seen as illegit. We prosecute foreigners and send them to Guantanamo but don't allow foreign prosecution of ourselves. The ICC is the solution.
2. ICC Increases Hedge because the US is seen as a legitimate actor. When the US joins the institution joined by almost all international actors and is seen to uphold international standards, hedge power increases.
3. Not only does not submitting to the ICC fail to prevent the prosecution of soldiers but it also hurts national security interests. Dr. Bahman Naraghi furthers

No only does it fail to do what it purportedly intend to do, that is to protect American service personnel from being prosecuted at the ICC, it also inhibits and impedes national security interests and foreign policy. "The American Sevicemembers Protection act can do nothing to cure some of the fundamental defects in the Rome Treaty. However what the ASPA does do is interfere with the US's ability to assist in the identification, apprehension, detention and trial of persons accused of committing violations of international and human rights laws.

Thus you can never negate

Finally to preempt negative argumentation
these arguments are not abusive for bieng new because the negative has the second speech meaning the negative can refute all my points - there is no reason why i am bieng unfair. Moreover you can not decide the round on who was bieng fair or not because Debate is about which argument is more correct in terms of substance, an argument like fairness does not mean that a certain argument is true or untrue. For example if i won barney was better than elmo, you would not vote for me on the issue of the ICC. Finally there are no rules about new arguments in any kind of debate handbook. the only binding rules i read are the terms of use at the begging of me signing the agreement to join. This means that there is no reason not to accept these arguments Ive provided.


FlamingSheep forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by DHDebate 6 years ago
Voting fail.
Posted by StDebateJ 9 years ago
I'm goin 2 Harvard. We leave tomorrow
Posted by FlamingSheep 9 years ago
Unfortunately, no. I'm a bit preoccupied. Getting ready for state and National Qualifiers.
Posted by Metz 9 years ago
Flaming are you going to be at Berkely this weekend?
Posted by FlamingSheep 9 years ago
I'm a West Coast debater, so, no. Unfortunately. I'd like to see if I can get our school to go to Harvard one year, I hear it's a great tournament.
Posted by StDebateJ 9 years ago
Have u been to glenbrooks, harvard, emory, minneapple, etc.
Posted by FlamingSheep 9 years ago
Just a local one up here in Utah. Lone Peak High School hosts one. It's nothing that commendable really, we just went in hopes to win the 3A Sweeps Trophy that's 4 feet high. We did. Competition wasn't too strong.

Come to think of it, competition in Utah is really weak once you've been to tournaments like Golden Desert and Stanford.
Posted by StDebateJ 9 years ago
thats cool. what tourney?
Posted by FlamingSheep 9 years ago
I forfeited to keep things on tab with standard LD rounds. That, and I had a tournament over the weekend.
Posted by StDebateJ 9 years ago
sorry the ICC things accidentally got switched over wrong. should be international jurisdiction
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