Dec 31, 2008

defining "submit" in the international criminal court resolution

Several readers have asked how "submit" should be defined in the current LD resolution. Here are some thoughts on the subject.

1. Affirmatives especially should look for definitions that involve "yielding to the authority of." For example, from
to give over or yield to the power or authority of another
or, perhaps
to defer to another's judgment, opinion, decision, etc.
Either of these avoids the negative connotations that involve "surrender."

2. Really, though, the best definition might involve providing an example of the entire phrase, "submit to the jurisdiction of." In layperson's terms, this means that the United States would grant the international court the authority to prosecute its citizens. What if a U.S. general were brought to trial, say, for arresting and detaining inmates held at Guantanamo who were later released without punishment? If the international court found the general guilty, even though he had not been prosecuted under U.S. law, affirming the resolution would mean deferring to the court's judgment, for good or ill. (There are many other crimes considered "crimes against humanity;" this article is extremely helpful.)

3. As always, your thoughts, comments, and questions are appreciated.


Sophia said...

Thanks! Definitely helpful.

That Guy said...

Yeah, thanks, Jim.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering if the US were to activley participate in an international court would it even be neccesary to have Guantanamo Bay or wouldn't we be able to solve these problems through legal means.

Comakid said...

Also, what about crimes of aggression, which the ICC WANTS to add to its definition of a crime against humanity?

That could be a game-changer for both sides. Is this something we need to look at moving forward?

Jim Anderson said...

anonymous, that's interesting, but I think the U.S. would still argue that it reserves the right to go after its own enemies, instead of relying on a (potentially) ineffective ICC. (The real ICC, for example, can't apply the death penalty.)

comakid, the potential for the Court's jurisdiction to expand in scope is a live possibility that the Aff has to deal with and that every Neg should warn against, using the very real ICC as an example.

Ronee Roo said...

hey jim, thats really helpful and all but couldn't the aff just simply say: "To give both the affirmative and negative equal ground and to make the debate fair, it is unnecessary to be specific on what court is being used. Because the resolution states an international court, it is not saying that we should use an existing court."

thats what i have. i plan to base my aff case on the fact that the US can not be forced under the jurisdiction of any court. im having some trouble, though, finding info and logic to support this. any ideas?

email them to me:

geoff said...

for giving the aff and neg equal grounds the ICC is basicly the international court- cause theres 4 major the ICC being the only one the US hasnt joined- i would just say as neg for that the ICC is the obvious court, and that you have to expect a real example of an international court on an international court topic

Killazys said...

Just one thing, submitting does not necessarily mean that the US must enforce the sentence imposed upon the offender, only that the IC has the power to put the person on trial. In addition, the resolution states "an international court", so the debate does not necessarily need to be restricted to the ICC.