Monday, June 17, 2002

Lots of guff floating around about whether Oz should sign up to the International Criminal Court. Liberals in the conservative Coalition Government want it bad. Another group seems to feel that anything to do with an international treaty is Good Thing. Soon we'll hear from the World Government/black helicopter crew.

For my money, I say hold off for a while. The ICC will come about, and will prosecute cases with us or without us. Let's see how they run things.

And I'll make this prediction: the first attempt at prosecution will be of an American, just like the World Court. This will hopelessly undermine any pretence of objectivity or impartiality, and the US will never sign up.

For those who support the ICC, I can raise one reason to pause for thought: what if you don't like their standards? Right now it might look like a good idea. But what happens if it introduces capital punishment? Search without warrant? What if starts trying 16-year-old soldiers as adults?

Currently, support for the ICC is grounded in the firm belief that it will uphold Western-style justice, including the presumption of innocence. But there are dozens and dozens of ICC signatory states that consider human rights a convenient fiction. Will the ICC still be a Good Thing if elements of Sharia Law start creeping in?

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