Dec 18, 2008

justice was a long time coming

Since its inception, 36 perpetrators of genocide and crimes against humanity have been convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Today marks the latest:
A former Rwandan army colonel was convicted Thursday of genocide and crimes against humanity for masterminding the killings of more than half a million people in a 100-day slaughter in 1994. Survivors in Rwanda welcomed the watershed moment in a long search for justice.

The U.N. courtroom in Tanzania was packed for the culmination of the trial of Theoneste Bagosora, the highest-ranking Rwandan official to be convicted in the genocide. Onlookers were silent as the 67-year-old was sentenced to life in prison.

"Let him think about what he did for the rest of his life," said Jean Pierre Sagahutu, 46, in Rwanda, who lost his parents and seven siblings. He escaped by hiding in a septic tank for 2 1/2 months.

Former military commanders Anatole Nsengiyumva and Aloys Ntabakuze also were found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity and sentenced to life in prison. The former chief of military operations, Brig. Gratien Kabiligi, was cleared of all charges and released.
Debaters examining the Jan/Feb resolution would do well to consider the utility (or even necessity) of a permanent tribunal along the lines of the ICC. It could potentially speed up and streamline the process, so it wouldn't take the international community 14 years to arrest, prosecute, and convict the most heinous of criminals.


ldn00b said...

Interesting, but I was thinking this oculd also be used for the neg. It seems like setting up seperate tribunals is more fair since every crime against humanity has its own unique circumstances and every culture its own standards. Although it would technically be ocnsidered a counter-plan, it might be more productive to instead of having one international court, have a body with a consistent set of standards to establish these tribunals more quickly and efficiently.

Jim Anderson said...

ldn00b, but the affirmative could still argue that any one of those tribunals could suffice as an "international court," since it would be organized internationally, and if any U.S. citizen were brought to trial under its jurisdiction, the U.S. still ought to submit.

In other words, they'd attack your counterplan as non-unique.

ldn00b said...

Good point. But we still wouldn't be submitting at the moment, although that sounds like it would get into obnoxious theory territory.