Feb 25, 2007

World Court to rule in landmark genocide case

Students of the current LD resolution, might find this interesting: the World Court, which has jurisdiction over U.N. member nations, is set to rule on a case that could radically alter international law.
Can a state commit genocide? Should an entire nation - not just its presidents, generals, and soldiers - be held responsible for humanity's worst crime?

In one of the most momentous cases in its 60 years, the U.N.'s highest court will deliver its judgment Monday on Bosnia's demand to make Serbia accountable for the slaughter, terrorizing, rape and displacement of Bosnian Muslims in the early 1990s.

If it rules for Bosnia, the International Court of Justice could open the way for compensation amounting to billions of dollars from Serbia, the successor state of Slobodan Milosevic's Yugoslavia, although specific claims would be addressed only later.

It also would be a permanent stain on Serbia in the eyes of history, regardless of any effort by Belgrade to distance itself from the brutality of those years.

Reflecting the complexities, the 16 judges have deliberated for 10 months since hearing final arguments. Officials at the World Court, as it is informally known, say reading out the summary of the judgment is likely to take three hours.
The World Court's decisions, unlike the Declaration of Human Rights, are legally binding. I think it's evidence, for the Neg, that the UN is still fundamentally committed to the nation-state system, respecting sovereignty so much as to declare a nation responsible for crimes in a corporate sense.

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