The Instigator
resolutionsmasher
Con (against)
Winning
38 Points
The Contender
LightC
Pro (for)
Losing
16 Points

The US ought to submit to the jurisdiction of an international court designed to prosecute CAH.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 10 votes the winner is...
resolutionsmasher
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/24/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,693 times Debate No: 7081
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (10)

 

resolutionsmasher

Con

This debate needs to be executed in a traditional LD style in this order:
Round 1: No arguments made (begins in round 2) Contender introduces one's self
Round 2: AFF gives case, NEG gives case and attacks aff case
Round 3: AFF attacks neg case and rebuild own case, NEG rebuilds case and gives final observations
Round 4: AFF gives final observations and key voting issues, NEG gives key voting issues

I am looking for an opponent willing to follow above rules and also willing to critique my case with a helpful eye rather than a useless flaming reprieve that I cannot benefit from.
Thank You and Good arguing.
LightC

Pro

Hi, I am LightC, aka Cirro. So yeah, lets have a good LD debate ^^
Debate Round No. 1
resolutionsmasher

Con

Let's Begin.

"When making decisions, the United States ultimately has to consider what is best for its citizens, and then the world. The U.S. was founded to create a free land for those who resided within it. It is the duty of the government to make sure that its people remain safe at all times." Because I agree with this statement made by Franklin Roosevelt I must negate the following resolution.

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

To clarify in today's debate the negative will offer definitions of key terms and phrases from Merriam-Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary.
Ought: to be bound in duty or by moral obligation.
To submit: to yield oneself to the authority or will of another.
Crimes against humanity: murder, extermination, enslavement, and other inhumane acts committed against civilian populations, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.

The negative will value human rights in today's debate. Human Rights are the Paramount Human Value and thus are intrinsically valuable. Without Human Rights any society ceases to be legitimate and humanity itself will degrade into a Hobbesian state of nature. As you will see in my contentions the ICC's unchecked power will prevent it from properly upholding human rights. There is no way an unchecked international institution can properly uphold human rights.
The negative criterion in today's debate will be Cosmopolitanism. Cosmopolitanism is the view that one's primary moral obligations are directed to all human beings and political arrangements should faithfully reflect this universal moral obligation. As I will show in my case an International Court cannot protect human rights in any nation due to its basically unchecked power. Thus the US has a duty to all mankind through Cosmopolitanism that requires it to not enter the world court and in the end do a service to all humanity.

The negative will offer the following three contentions in today's debate:
Contention 1: The ICC's Unchecked Power Leads to Abuse.
Contention 2: The ICC Fails Because it Ignores Local Context.
Contention 3: Hybrid Courts are Better than the ICC

Now back to my first contention. The ICC's Unchecked Power Leads to Abuse. Sub Point A: The ICC Has No Checks and Balances. C.T. Cline writes in "Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems" : The ICC is an institution that lacks checks and balances. The court combines investigation, prosecution, trial, and appeal. It is monolithic and beyond the control of the citizenry or of any counteracting governmental branch. It is not subject to direct U.N. Security Council oversight, as are the other tribunals such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, which the United States supports. Moreover, the court interprets its own charter with no meaningful external review. There is no meaningful outside control to curb or rein in possible excesses. This concept is foreign to Americans because the U.S. system of government is founded on the principle of checks and balances, with each branch of government--legislative, executive, judicial--fulfilling a role. Congress passes the laws, the executive enforces the laws, and the courts interpret the laws. Sub Point B: Unchecked Power Leads to Abuse. Cline continues: More than 200 years ago, the American founding fathers believed that unchecked power was open to abuse. Writing in the Federalist Papers, James Madison [explains] "It may be a reflection on human nature," he wrote, "that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?" Americans mindful of the shortcomings of human nature may find a "super court" standing supreme and unaccountable at the pinnacle of international judgment worrisome and unacceptable. One must look to examples of dictators, like Saddam Hussein. Their unchecked power leads to rights deprivations, atrocious acts and unnecessary violence. While I am not comparing the ICC to a dictator, we have empirical evidence that unchecked power leads to abuse.

On to my second contention. The ICC Fails Because it Ignores Local Context. Etelle Higgonet, from the Human Rights Watch writes: The ICC will face linguistic and cultural obstacles in reaching out to local audiences, and may need to rely on entities better able to connect to local populations. The ICC Statute places an emphasis on outreach, for instance, in its provision for the possibility of the Court sitting regionally. Although the ICC's seat is in The Hague, Article 3 of the Rome Statute allows for the ICC to move to another seat in certain circumstances, presumably to the country or region where the atrocities took place. From the perspective of most people in post-atrocity countries, the ICC will probably remain mysterious: staffed by foreigners, working in a distant land, in languages that few understand, and applying previously unheard-of laws. Notwithstanding provisions in the ICC Statute on stronger victim participation and Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo's stated commitment to communicate with concerned populations, the ICC could appear even more like a deus ex machina than the ad hoc tribunals, yet further removed from local realities.

And now for my final contention. Hybrid Courts are Better than the ICC. Higgonet continues: The paper's central thesis is that hybrids draw upon both the strengths of international justice and the benefits of local prosecutions. On one hand, hybrids can harness the credibility of international law and the legitimacy of international institutions, which can lend hybrid courts a degree of authority as a fair mechanism for holding perpetrators accountable. On the other hand, hybrids can be structured to tap into domestic expertise, connect with local populations, and rebuild national judicial systems, creating a training ground for rule of law values. They also avoid the staggering costs of purely international courts. By integrating local norms, hybrid courts can bring culturally adapted justice to the people that international courts purport to serve but cannot reach; they can bridge the divide between remote, wealthy international jurists and third world victims of war crimes.

Therefore I urge a negative ballot.
LightC

Pro

LightC forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
resolutionsmasher

Con

My opponent has failed to bring an argument to the table so that I may debate him. If he doesn't do so soon I am by default the automatic victor in this debate.
LightC

Pro

I affirm: The US ought to submit to the jurisdiction of an international court designed to prosecute crimes against humanity

For clarity I would like to offer the following definitions:

1.Jurisdiction: area of legal power
2.Ought to: should
3.Crimes against humanity: 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.

For analysis of the resolution I offer the following observations:

1.The affirmative burden is to prove that the US ought to submit. In turn the negative burden is to prove that we ought not to submit.
2.The definition and use of ought in the resolution implies that there is a benefit if the US joins. For example, I ought to brush me teeth because by doing so it has health and dental benefits.
3. For the purpose of clarity, the international court specified in this resolution will be the ICC, the international criminal court.

The affirmative values Propoer US Policy.

Link: Resolution asks the question: What the Us ought to do. Thus we msut value this foremost.

The value of proper US Policy is achieved by the criterion of Protecting Americans. US Policy = Protecting Americans

Contention I: Submitting to the ICC Helps Protect Americans

A.Increasing US Protection Against Frivolous Prosecutions.

Gary Dempsey, member of the war-crimes tribunal explains "For starters, there is the issue of the court's jurisdiction, which is unprecedented. In fact, the treaty's proponents have given the court the legal authority to try citizens of nations that haven't even ratified the document. As State Department spokesman James Rubin explains, "Never before has a treaty put itself over those who have not been included in it." What the treaty says is that even if the United States doesn't ratify the agreement, its citizens can be brought before the court as long as the nation in which alleged crimes took place has ratified the treaty. In other words, American troops stationed in foreign lands could find themselves arrested and prosecuted by the ICC." Essentially, by not joining the US is still vulnerable to prosecutions, thus it is more beneficial to join, then to remain out.

B.Ability to Enact Policy.

David Scheffer, ambassador on war-crimes issues, explains "The attitude of judges, prosecutors, and other staff of the ICC towards the United States and its official personnel would be more positive if the United States is a signatory than if the United States is either not a signatory or opposed to the ICC Treaty. This is a critical factor in protecting U.S. interests and discouraging legal action against U.S. personnel. The same principle applies to many other governments that would hesitate to initiate actions against U.S. personnel if the United States is a signatory moving towards ratification. Any such action against U.S. personnel might derail U.S. ratification - a consequence that would not be in the interest of most States Parties. Furthermore, joining gives the US the ability to recruit administrators, prosecutors and judges which would ultimately give the US the ability to influence and decide policy decisions in the ICC."

[Rebuttal]

V: Human Rights

--> I have 2 responses:

1. He never once tells you what human rights are, thus there is no way to value a undefined term.
2. Proper US Policy is superior because I provide a clear inherent link, whereas my opponenet does not.

VC: Cosmopolitanism

--> He argues that ones moral obligation is to all human kind.

1. not once did he make a link between morality and the resolution.
2. I would argue that the affirmative better supports this because the affirmative is making one unviersal forum in which the international body can come for assistance.

C1 - Abuse

A. No Checks and Balances

--> I have 2 responses:

1. This is actually a reason to join because the ICC has an internal check, called the body of nations. Thus, the Us ought to join as a mechanism of check on the court.
2. Cross-apply my contention I where I argue that the only way to influence policy decisions is if we join. Basically the member states are the check.

B. Unchecked power leads to abuse

--> I have already stated that its member states are its check.

C2 - Local Context

--> My opponent fails horribly on this point. The majority of crimes agaisnt humanity are done from the national government down agaisnt local entities, e.g. the Holocaust. Why would the locals be agaisnt foreign help, if they are the targets of a genocide, etc? The ICC is a necessary mechanism to protect local contexts agaisnt oppressive regimes.

C3 - Hybrid Courts

--> The affirmative is not agaisnt hybrid courts. My opponent is assuming uncondtionality on my side. Affirming does not mean that hybrid courts would not be used, rather affirming gives another option to the international community. Essentially affirming is more desirable because affirming leads to more chooses, whereas the neg paralyzes itself. Thus turn this point.
Debate Round No. 3
resolutionsmasher

Con

I will begin by attacking my opponent's case and then rebuilding my own.

The first fallacy that my opponent presents is his definition of crimes against humanity. Simply put, there can be only one true definition of this due to the fact of a world wide agreement on the issue. The UN and the Geneva Convention (both approved by 100% of all nations in existence) have defined CAH as I have in my case. This is known as the Nuremberg definition of Crimes Against Humanity, referring to the Nazi Nuremberg Trials after World War II.

Next are his observations of the resolution. I accept the first that he places on both himself and myself. I agree with the second because I will prove the resolution wrong (as is my burden) and that the US has no benefit from joining an international court and that there are benefits from not doing so. The third, however, the third is incorrect. While the ICC will be refereed to many times in this debate, the debate is not limited to the ICC because the resolution does not specify as such.

My opponent's value was that of proper US policy which he doesn't define but instead says that must be valued above all else in this debate. I refute this by saying that we cannot value this. The proper US policy is what is questionable in this debate. We are deciding whether or not joining the ICC or any other international court is proper policy. So my opponent has provide you with a questionable value in this debate.

My opponent's criterion in this debate is protecting Americans which he gives no explanation of. Since I prove in my case that not joining the ICC or any other international court is what's best for Americans, his criterion works better for my case rather than his.

My opponents first contention states this: Submitting to the ICC Helps Protect Americans. The ICC's bias and ineffective frame and standard procedure does not provide for the protection of Americans. His first sub-point basically states that the ICC is hostile towards citizens of nations from outside its sphere of influence and that we must therefore join it for its protection. This is the horrible logic that allowed tyrants like Hitler to gain power. If the ICC has an unfair amount of control over other nations then this is cause for its destruction not its uplifting. This idea of appeasement rather than doing what's right is how Hitler was able to gain so much power in Europe and allowed him to start World War II. His second sub-point states that the ICC has a tendency to move more in favor of a member nation than in favor of a non-member nation. If such bias policy has been applied to the ICC then again I must say that this is reason to stop the ICC rather than join it.

I will now rebuild my own case.

He attacked my value by saying that I do not define human rights. I refute this by saying that it is a general term that shouldn't require a definition, but since my opponent requires it here it is:
"...all men are endowed with certain inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." -Declaration of Independence-
There is your definition. There is no arguing that this isn't the proper definition seeing as it is one of our most sacred documents as a nation. By not joining the ICC or any other international court these rights are valued and therefore Americans are protected as my opponent's criterion states.

He attacked my criterion by saying that I didn't link it to the resolution and that it fits his case better than mine. I did link it to the resolution in my definition of the word ought: to be bound in duty or by MORAL OBLIGATION. My opponent has failed to put two and two together and link it on his own. Now as to the fallacy that it works better for his case, I addressed the fact that his case (contention) actually showed how the US shouldn't join so as to protect all mankind rather than joining so my criterion works better for my case in all actuality.

He attacked my first sub-point by saying that we should join the ICC so as to create a check on it. This is impossible. Doing so would mean controlling the ICC and not submitting to it and therefore doesn't apply to the resolution. Remember that we don't join excessively powerful institutions but instead stop them.
He attacked my second sub-point by saying he has shown how it's member states are its check and I have already shown how this check isn't effective and that joining won't fix its fallacies.

My opponent mis-interpreted my second contention. I didn't imply that we should allow the government on trial a say in its verdict, but instead state that the international court cannot properly include the culture in the affected area in said verdict. Since my opponent didn't provide a proper attack, this contention flows through.

My opponent fails to see the key aspects of a hybrid court form my third contention. A hybrid court is temporary and therefore cannot be submitted to on an international basis but only when it applies to the US. Therefore since "the affirmative is not against hybrid courts" he agrees unconditionally with my case thereby losing this debate.

In conclusion I offer the following observation: My opponent has not met the burden of proof that he has placed upon himself and in all actuality assists me in meeting the burden of proof that he set on me and that I have then won this debate on his grounds.

This concludes my input for this debate. I strongly urge a negative vote. Thank You.
LightC

Pro

LightC forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by resolutionsmasher 8 years ago
resolutionsmasher
Niether of us did so the field is even.
Posted by Angrypants66 8 years ago
Angrypants66
Well your winning now but seriously how can someone vote for someone who didn't post in two rounds..?
Posted by resolutionsmasher 8 years ago
resolutionsmasher
Not saying it isn't. Just saying it isn't the only one.
Why is it that I'm losing and he's the one who wouldn't finish the round??
Posted by rougeagent21 8 years ago
rougeagent21
hey smasher, I was agreeing with you. just fyi though, a war crime is a crime against humanity
Posted by resolutionsmasher 8 years ago
resolutionsmasher
Really dude, I'm getting sick of this whole you won't post thing. you got like 20 minutes to post or I'm pissed.
Posted by resolutionsmasher 8 years ago
resolutionsmasher
You can't bring it down to only war crimes. It does say "Crimes Against Humanity".
Posted by rougeagent21 8 years ago
rougeagent21
the ICC violates national security. do you know how it defines a war crime? our military would be reduced to nil.
Posted by resolutionsmasher 8 years ago
resolutionsmasher
Oops your're right.
I guess We'll have to reverse the traditional LD format allowing NEG to give case first and AFF the first attack
Posted by TheRaven 8 years ago
TheRaven
If you want to do traditional LD style, you will have to ignore the Con in round 2, won't you?
Posted by Johnicle 8 years ago
Johnicle
I'm not gay if that's what you mean... lol
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Vote Placed by Angrypants66 8 years ago
Angrypants66
resolutionsmasherLightCTied
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