The Instigator
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7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
7 Points

US ought to submit to the jurisdiction of an IC designed to prosecute crimes against humanity

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/10/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 691 times Debate No: 6868
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this is not a real debate can u just post ur rebuttla s and comment to make this better thanks
I offer the following definitions to clarify the framework for the round:

"To prosecute" is to bring legal action for redress or punishment for a crime or violation for a law; a crime against humanity is an atrocity that is against a large number of people.; jurisdiction is the power or right to exercise authority; Submit is defined as a yield to governance or authority; International Court is defined as a court extending across over transcending national boundaries, The preceding definitions are from Merriam Webster's Dictionary.

I have an important observation regarding the resolution:

Since the resolution suggests an international court, it would be okay for the use of the International Criminal Court as an example because the ICC acts as the international court in the current world, and our debate must be grounded in the real world. This topic is one regarding international affairs and geopolitics, and as such, we need to take the status quo into account.
However, this doesn't mean that I am bound to the ICC that exists right now, since the resolution gives a hypothetical, if there are a few implementation problems with the ICC that exists right now, its okay since the general principle is just.

My value premise is Justice because the purpose of any criminal system is it in the US or an international system such as the international criminal court, aim to achieve justice. Justice is defined as giving each their due. This raises the question of what people are due, which brings me to my value criterion of protecting human rights, including freedom and life.
Prefer my criterion because:
1-Giving each their due requires that individuals are allowed to pursue their own happiness because innocent people aren't due to be harmed. The freedom of individual decision must be protected by stopping things that would limit such freedom.
2-People form society to protect their own human worth. That is why they give the right to punish to the governments in the first place. This allows for people to freely exercise their freedoms without worrying about threats to their humanity. Thus a just society would minimize rights violations.
3-A state of security, or freedom, is a prerequisite to exercising any side-constraints, so minimizing violence, which is part of protecting rights precedes any theory of ethics.

My first contention is that If the U.S were to join the ICC then, the ICC can protect the lives of Americans. If the ICC can protect the lives of the American people then the ICC fulfills the values of justice and by saving lives and protecting the rights of humans. ICC has established these laws so that any country in the world could agree that any person commit such a crime that everyone would agree on that argument so human rights are never lost. If Human rights are never lost then the US can join a criminal court. Because Justice is being achieved and at the same time our global standings are improving as a peace keeping nation we can join the ICC.

Ken Roth explains that the International Criminal Court is also in America's interest because it can help save the lives of our soldiers. In recent years, the most common reason for deploying American troops overseas has been to stop precisely the kind of slaughter and bloodshed that the court is designed to prevent. When genocide strikes, when crimes against humanity spread, when war crimes are committed, the United States, as the world's most powerful nation, has rightfully felt a duty to do what it can to stop the killing. Knowing the danger of these missions, knowing the risks that our brave young soldiers must run, we nonetheless have resolved as a nation to stand with victims against their tormentors. By helping to deter tomorrow's tyrants, the International Criminal Court [a court] will reduce the necessity of deploying American soldiers to stop their slaughter. That will mean fewer dangerous assignments for our armed forces and fewer young American lives at risk.

Contention 2 = The US helped to create the International Court. If the US were the ones who helped and supported the International courts, then the laws of the ICC must some what equivalent to the laws of the US. If the laws of the ICC are equivalent to the US then justice is still being served and Human rights can still be protected.

Paul Marquardt, a noted commentator on the constitutionality of the ICC, argues the ICC is not an extension of the United States government, especially since the ICC will operate under its own laws and protocols from the authority of the entire international community. If the ICC is not considered an extension of the United States, but rather a separate foreign entity, the institutional and possibly the protection concerns of the Constitution are diminished.

He writes,
The United States claims to be afraid that the ICC, in its prosecutions, will not protect the constitutional rights of American citizens, nor has any obligation to do so. However, this fear is facially without merit, for the Rome Statute contains essentially every constitutional protection to which a citizen of the United States is entitled. A comparison of every constitutional provision with every ICC provision is completely unnecessary, because a list of the rights bestowed upon individuals under the ICC reveals that the fears of the United States are groundless. Individuals under ICC jurisdiction are presumed innocent until proven guilty, are entitled to a speedy and public trial, are given access to assistance of counsel, possess the right against self incrimination, have the right to a written statement of charges against them, can cross-examine adverse witnesses, can call their own witnesses, have a right against double jeopardy, cannot be searched or seized without warrant, possess the right to be present at their trial and can exclude any evidence that is proven to have been obtained illegally. The only major difference between the rights awarded to criminal defendants in the United States and those given to defendants under the ICC is that under the ICC, there is a Trial Chamber composed of judges who decide guilt or innocence by a majority.

Therefore, an ICC would protect the constitutional rights of US citizens.

In fact, the main argument for why we wouldn't be expected to join an ICC is the constitutionality issue, but even that is not true. The Constitution allows an ICC.
Johan vander Vyver writes,
There is nothing in the Constitution that would seem to forbid the United States to agree to an international tribunal, whether sitting in the United States or elsewhere, that would apply international law to acts committed by individuals in the United States, including U.S. citizens and residents. It would be international law that governed their acts and that was being applied by the international tribunal; international judicial power which the tribunal was exercising; international punishment that was imposed and executed by international authority. The tribunal would not be exercising governmental authority of the United States but the authority of the international community, of a group of nations of which the United States was but one, and acting in the same capacity as other states, not as the territorial sovereign.

Contention 3: The ICC would do a better job of prosecuting crimes against humanity than the US would. By joining the ICC the US would yield their ability to prosecute criminals on a very large scale levels such as the people involved with genocide. The US has proven the inability to deal with crimes against humanity properly multiple times. One such time was when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The US response was to put all Japanese Americans in interment camps and a large suspicion of all Japanese descendent. This was done a


Sure, I don't mind helping you out on this issue.
First, you seem to be a bit confused on the jurisdictional reach of the ICC. The ICC only intervenes in cases where "all local remedies have been exhausted" (From Switzerland v. U.S.). In that case, the Swiss government appealed to the ICJ (which has similar jurisdictional rules with the exception of standing) because a Swiss company had been waiting for 10 years for the case to be heard in all possible venues in the U.S. The ICJ ruled that all possible local remedies had not been exhausted, and the ICJ did not rule that the Swiss government was directly impacted enough for the ICJ to have direct jurisdiction. Therefore, to say that the ICC would be "better" at prosecuting war criminals in the U.S. is to suppose that the U.S. court system is incapable of providing a just sentence to said war criminals, which is clearly negated by the fact that the U.S. legal system has historically been upheld by the ICJ as a just system.

To claim that the ICC could save American lives is a bit shortsighted as well. The ICC is a court system, and as such, does not have executive power. Someone must still be the executive actor that brings the war criminals to the ICC, and the United States, although failing at times, has occasionally fulfilled that role, which places soldiers at risk, but serves the greater good of bringing war criminals to justice. Further, the U.S. has traditionally had no qualms about delivering war criminals to the ICC when working alongside the U.N. or NATO. All that submitting to ICC rule would do is make American citizens who were charged with crimes against humanity subject to the rulings of the Court. Therefore, submitting to the ICC would not save any American soldier's life.

The second contention is that the ICC will not violate any U.S. citizen's Constitutional Rights. However, this is not entirely true. First, my opponent is correct that the ICC does not operate on a jury of one's peers system. Rather, a panel of professional judges weighs the evidence and decides the fate of the defendants. This is modeled off of the Central European judicial system rather than the Anglo-American system, and therefore is open for scrutiny from a Constitutional perspective. The 6th Amendment of the Bill of Rights states that
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
Therefore, the ICC is in direct contradiction to the Bill of Rights and, thus, is a flagrant violation of the Constitutional Rights of U.S. citizens.
Not only is the ICC's judgment process in violation of the 6th Amendment, the ICC also models itself off of the Central European judicial system by admitting hearsay evidence. It has been codified into the Anglo-American rules of evidence that hearsay is inadmissible (it should be noted that the reason hearsay is allowed at the ICC is because a professional panel of judges is better able to distinguish between relevant hearsay and irrelevant unlike a jury of one's peers). Thus, the ICC would trample the judicial right of an American citizen to the exclusion of hearsay evidence.

Therefore, the only reason that the U.S. should submit to the rule of the ICC is if
1) The world community believed that justice could not be reached in the domestic judicial system of the U.S.
2) The United States wished to relinquish the Constitutionally guaranteed rights of its citizens; AND if the U.S. desired to change the types of evidence that are considered admissible.

I hope this helps a bit. If you are looking for a good solid source on this subject, there are some good chapters in Malcolm N. Shaw's "International Law." It's a pretty dense beefy book, but it is well organized, so you should be able to find what you are looking for specifically.
Debate Round No. 1


kingbrown forfeited this round.


Next round please.
Debate Round No. 2


kingbrown forfeited this round.


dtclark2188 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by dtclark2188 8 years ago
Let me know if you have any other questions. I'm happy to help.
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