Dec 1, 2008

Resolved: The United States ought to submit to the jurisdiction of an international court designed to prosecute crimes against humanity.

The NFL has released the January / February resolution:
The United States ought to submit to the jurisdiction of an international court designed to prosecute crimes against humanity.
Obviously, one of the most popular values--for good reason--will be justice. National sovereignty, whether as a value or a criterion, will be huge for the Neg.

Oh, and by the way, the current body "designed to prosecute crimes against humanity," implied by the resolution, is the International Criminal Court. That should help facilitate your research.

Though many of the recent resolutions have taken a US-centric stance, at least this one places the US in a global context. I'm going to dig through my archives and see how this relates to the UN resolution from a couple years ago.

More analysis, links, and commentary to follow. As always, post your questions, case ideas, and comments. More dialogue = better debate.

Initial Analysis
Ought the United States cede aspects of its sovereignty and let an international court try American citizens who are charged with "crimes against humanity?" That is the fundamental question for this resolution. It pits notions of universal human rights, international law, and cosmopolitan justice against those of sovereignty and independence. This raises several questions: what constitutes a "crime against humanity?" What is the proper balance between sovereignty and the rule of international law? Why, if at all, should we have an international legal framework? Are human rights universal? Is the United States' refusal to join the ICC a dodge?

Links
1. In late 2002, John Bolton, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., laid out the reasons the U.S. has not signed on to the ICC.
2. Here's a typical article supporting the ICC [pdf], in hopes that it would foster greater protection for human rights and respect for the rule of law.
3. The ICC's website.
4. The SEP on Cosmopolitanism in its various forms.
5. Ilya Somin on world government and its critics. The SEP on the same.
6. Is a temporary tribunal sufficient? Consider the ICTR.

Definitions
1. A thoroughgoing analysis of the phrase "crimes against humanity," specifically, how they are defined in international law, and how they are partially distinct from genocide or war crimes.
2. Should we use the real ICC as the focus of the debate?
3. "Submit."

Deeper Analysis
1. I take a look at the cosmopolitan foundations (and supranational reach) of the International Criminal Court, and the implications for the debate.
2. Value and criterion pairs: an initial list.
3. I discuss a thoroughgoing analysis of the history and constitutionality of the ICC.
4. Sovereignty, sovereignty, sovereignty.
5. Critical theory as an approach to the resolution.
6. Consequentialism as an affirmative criterion is considered.
7. Some considerations of debate strategy.
8. Furthering a human rights agenda is actually a part of US law.
9. What about retribution?
10. Does the U.S. lack the political will to prosecute its own?
11. Some interesting cases I've seen recently. Post your own!

For Beginners
Along with specific analysis, check out these resources: how to construct cases, use a criterion, major philosophers to know, etc.

[The Nov./Dec. felon resolution is available here.]

192 comments:

Sexy Beast said...

WOAH. I think one of the most helpful things we can do first, is define what exactly the resolution is asking for.

robby said...

it seems like it would really help to research the debate between the federalists and anti-federalists in early america. Particularly patrick henry on the neg.

Sexy Beast said...

What value and criteria are you coming up with, Jim?

It seems that the affirmative could run something with International security, and the negative can go with national sovreignty.

On a side note, why would the U.S. be obligated to submit to an international court to prevent crimes to humanity? Are their any benefits, pragmatic or moral, that we would gain?

Anonymous said...

I'm still relatively new to LD, and I did just read T. Russelh Hanes and Scott Devoid's article on the subject (http://www.nflonline.org/uploads/Rostrum/1006_047_050.pdf ), but this strikes me as a very policy-esque resolution. More so than the current "felons" resolution, this one could be evaluated purely in utilitarian terms without the application of (other) ethical values. That may not be a complete litmus test, but such a situation suggests (to me, at least) that the resolution may not lend itself to deep philisophical discussion.

Maybe I'm just in shock.

Q Agent said...

Locke! What do you want now? The validity of a nation's government or impartiality of a third party?

Matt said...

I had an idea and am not sure if it is applicable in any way or even correct but I need Feedback...

AFF

v:Justice
VC: Utilitarianism
(used in the sense that the international courts reflect the will of the international populace and other countries) That may not be correct but that is why I am checking...

Also I can't think of the names but what about the philosophers who believed in the international community idea??(that wasn't the universalism movement was i?)

NEG:
v:Justice
VC: National Sovereignty...

Sexy Beast said...

Matt, utilitarianism is the greatest good for the greatest number, not the general will. Rousseau advocates the notion of General Will, that the just law is one that is supported by the majority.

Also, the idea you are thinking of is cosmopolitanism, I believe.

Jim Anderson said...

Matt,
Kant is the foundational cosmopolitan philosopher, if I'm not mistaken.

S-B, I'll post value/criterion pairs pretty soon, and start posting more links to relevant articles.

Anonymous, I mildly disagree; that "ought" in the resolution is still morally analyzable, and the wealth of political philosophy (especially in recent decades) means there's plenty of depth available, especially from a Kantian perspective. Also, the topic lends itself to critical theory, if you're into that.

Anonymous said...

definitely a policy type resolution since this was a college policy resolution a while ago.

This resolution seems to be a lot like the Nuclear Topic from last year in the sense that the topic is primarily asking what the best policy is, yet there are still many philosophical theories to go behind each side.

preet said...

I know it may be a bit late but we are STILL debating the sept/oct debate and if anyone has any blocks could you please email them to me? that would be nice!

my email: pnagas@hotmail.com

Matt said...

Ok Thanks guys...

Also Why are you still debating sept/oct?

Sexy Beast said...

Regardless of the reason, he should not be posting on this thread anyways. There are plenty of posts devoted to that resolution back a few entries.

Matt said...

I was looking in to Cosmopolitanism and of course it is hard to find anything so quickly but is there anyway to tie it to this resolution?

Also the General Will Idea, can that be applied to the global population??

If so does anyone else promote it besides Rousseau?? Just as a clarification I was not looking specifically at Rousseau's ideas regarding the will of the majority is correct but rather is there a way to express the fact that the intern. Court reflects the will of the international community( this may fall under General will I am not sure)

Sexy Beast said...

For Rousseau, probably not. It would be very hard to prove that the entire world is under the jurisdiction of Rousseau's social contract.

Matt said...

haha Yeah that would be interesting... But is there anyway to incorporate that idea into a case?

LA Coach said...

Original Anonymous poster here:

After a few hours of rolling around in my head, the new resolution doesn't seem nearly as bad. I'm still not particularly happy with the policy basis for the philosophy discussion, but I'm glad to see the subject getting some attention and my students seem fairly excited about it. If nothing else, a careful consideration of what constitutes a "crime against humanity" is well worth a few months of work.

And to the other Anon poster: It wasn't a college topic. It was part of a college policy topic six years ago. Despite my initial fears, LD isn't policy no matter what the resolution may hint at. We'll be debating it in completely different terms, looking at fundamentally different elements of the decision. Even if we only debate the ICC (which seems unlikely), we'll be looking at completely different decision factors when compared to the college debates.

Matt said...

does anyone have a good idea for a VC for Aff?? I am really having problems with that one...

Sexy Beast said...

Well, I don't know of another philosopher who deals with the general will, with perhaps the exception of Mills Tyranny of the Majority, in which he negates the concept of the general will (to a certain extent).

You can still use it in criterion form, as "Respecting the General Will." And you could back it up through mention of Rousseau, and how he supports it, so long as he isn't the actual philosopher that you base the crux of your argument off of.

In other words, you can use the general will as a criterion, just you'll probably have to go without philosophical support.

Hope it made sense

Anonymous said...

ok so it seems like a definition of crime against humanity could kill in this debate- heres the definition i found- According to the International Criminal Court, crimes against humanity include crimes such as the extermination of civilians, enslavement, torture, rape, forced pregnancy, deportation, persecution on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious or gender grounds, and enforced disappearances—but only when they are part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population.
but so using this definition couldnt you say that a internal genocide would be subject to that country- like the KKK killing blacks is subject to the US not to the world

Matt said...

That Does make sense...

Just to clarify a bit(general Will may still work as a VC but I am not sure)

AFF

So I essentially am thinking of saying in my case that. 1)the International courts reflect the will of the international community(Definitely fits under general will) 2) a universalism/cosmopolitanism idea, to preemptively counter the national sovereignty point. and I am looking for a third idea...

NEG

V: Justice
VC: National Sovereignty

Matt said...

Sorry for posting so much but i can't edit posts...

Neg Points..

1. National Sovereignty is essential to government

2. accepting jurisdiction of the ICC would undermine NS.
(examples)

Anonymous said...

As for defining international court it seems to be focusing on the International Criminal Court (ICC) since that is the one International Court the U.S. hasn't joined. As far as other international courts there are three other main ones, the International Court of Justice, Permanent Court of Arbitration and the World Trade Organization dispute settlement body, all of these courts the U.S. is a part of. Also the ICC makes sense since the U.S. joined under Clinton but Under bush we withdrew our membership. If any one finds a court that the U.S. isn't a member of will be interesting. I think the best way to skirt the ICC definition for an International Court is to say that is to specific and we should just look at the main principles of an international court, which leads back to submitting power versus achieving justice.

LA Coach said...

In defining "an international court designed to prosecuate crimes against humanity" it's important to remember that the court should have been designed, not just designated to handle those cases. I would take that to mean it should have been founded with that as an explicit mission or as a current primary function.

Internation courts which may prosecute crimes against humanity are not relevant to the resolution.

Anonymous said...

Could the UN declration of human rights work for this? According to Article 5, "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

I'm a novice in debate. Any help would be appricated. Thanks!

Orly said...

Hmm...

How does the following sound as a neg?

VP: Democratic rule
VC: National sovereignty (?)

I was thinking of structuring it along the lines of that the US system is designed to give maximum power to the people (People choose president, president appoints Justices for court), and giving an independent (ie international) body the power to interpret the laws without input from the people would be contrary to the aims of democracy, which is an ideal that the US strives to.

Also I must note that "jurisdiction" isn't quantified. So the neg could argue that the resolution mean that the US would have to surrender all of its jurisdiction to the hypothetical "international court", not just jurisdiction regarding "crimes against humanity".

Also, the court is designed to prosecute "crimes against humanity", but could be ill equipped to deal with other judicial issues.

Any comments? Or is this too outrageous?

Matt said...

I am a Novice too but I would think that specific part of the UNDHR is not really applicable... there is no cruel or unusual punishment in the resolution...

Also I need help with a criterion for AFF..

Case:

V: Justice( how should this be defined?)

Vc:????( I have two options... My Coach thought of utilit.(the international court represents world opinions and therefore causes the greatest good) although the other day on this blog I was discussing possible General Will(not Rousseau just the general idea)

1. The International courts reflect the international will

2. The first duty of everyone is to the international community(duty to humanity over patriotic duty)

3. The ICC still protects national sovereignty
(I got the idea from this blog.. so thanks Jim)

what do you guys think?

Matt said...

Orly are you talking about the little loophole in the reso...

"Resolved: The United States ought to submit to the jurisdiction of an international court DESIGNED to prosecute crimes against humanity."

so it does not specifically say we would only submit to the jurisdiction WHILE prosecuting crimes against humanity but that we would to submit to a court such as the ICC DESIGNED to deal with such issues but not just to deal with those issues

Jessica said...

Matt- I used General Will on neg for the Nov/Dec topic, and I like it, but have found a few problems with it and don't really think it would be the best criterion for this res.

1. The International courts reflect the international will

How so? I suppose I don't see how this can be justified. How could this international court determine what is best for everyone? In fact, how can it be determined by anyone/thing what is in the best intentions for EVERYone? And why do we need to look to an international court to uphold the general will of all of society?

2. The first duty of everyone is to the international community(duty to humanity over patriotic duty)

Okay, we have a duty to humanity, but how does this tie to the General Will?

3. The ICC still protects national sovereignty
(I got the idea from this blog.. so thanks Jim)

I think these are all good ideas, I just don't believe they fit in the General will. And I think if you use General WIll, even if it is the broad idea, anyone who knows what it is will instantly tie it to The Social Contract, and I don't think it'll be easy (or worth it) to say the entire world is part of a social conract.

Matt said...

Any suggestions then??

AFF VC:????????????

And the justification for the international court reflects the international community is the signers of the treaty(rome statute) have agreed to the terms and therefore it can be said to reflect the will of that country and therefore international will...

Sexy Beast said...

Orly, I like your thinking! It seems very sound, perhaps you could further explain you're first point?

Sexy Beast said...

Matt, consider using universality as you're VC, you could make the case that we must strive to achieve universal standards of morality, which is warranted through this VC and can be achieved on the affirmative if we submit to this international court. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

kant provides the basis for damn near all LD philosophies.

Sexy Beast said...

Oh right, I forgot, you could easily use the catagorical imperative as the affirmative VC. It's obviously universal, and it appears that it can be done off of perfect duty.

And Jim, could we consider the veil of ignorance on this subject, or just about anything Rawlsian?

Could make the affirmative argument that it would be impossible prosecute crimes against humanity without bias, thus there should be an international, unbiased court?

Jim Anderson said...

sexy beast, Rawls, like Kant, always shows up in LD. I'm sure we'll think of something.

halopwns said...

Sexy Beast,
I like your idea on how an International court would fail at bringing full justice to a criminal who commits a crime against humanity due to biasy towards the criminal for the crime, but it will obviosly need a warrant and some evidence to back up that claim. I will think about it, in the meantime. It will be very interesting to see how that plays out.
Hint, Hint, Hint, (could we possibly use that into a Kritik maybe)


Jim,
Any ideas on how to warrant the United States in a Cosmopolitan scene, because if we look at the extant global government, the US has failed to sign onto the ICC. May I suggest we instead use the other two examples of International Courts to justify this claim. Please tell me if i'm wrong.

I JUST FOUND THE BLOCK TO YOUR CLAIM SEXY BEAST,
If you use the veil of ignorance you could destroy the argument that a Int. Court would place a bias on a criminal against humanity because the veil of ignorance, correct if i'm wrong anyone, was created as such, "Ideally this rule eliminates personal bias from the choice and thus guarantees the fairness of rules."

http://onphilosophy.wordpress.com/2006/05/05/beyond-the-veil-of-ignorance/

Could this possibly turn your claim, If not please tell me. I am, again going to look into this further.

Sexy Beast said...

Well, I'm not quite sure you understand my argument, halo.

I was thinking that the veil could be argued in SUPPORT of an international court.

Let's assume that a citizen of the U.S. commits a crime against humanity. Only the U.S. currently is allowed to prosecute the criminal. However, what's to stop the bias inherent with the U.S. in prosecuting the criminal? We should submit to the international court, therefore, to eliminate the bias. This can be supported through the veil.

FURTHERMORE, let's not forget that crimes against humanity can be commited by countries, such as in the case of Rwanda. Assume that the U.S. commits this crime against humanity. How can the U.S. punish itself?!? It seems apparant that under the veil, an international court would be designed to stop this from happening. If the International Court punishes crimes against the state, then we can reduce the bias inherent in self-interest.

What do you guys think?

chris said...

@sexy beast's latest comment

"FURTHERMORE, let's not forget that crimes against humanity can be commited by countries, such as in the case of Rwanda. Assume that the U.S. commits this crime against humanity. How can the U.S. punish itself?!?"

a country, when you look deeply, cannot simply commit a crime against humanity. It can always be traced back to an order by a person or a group of people. You make a good aff point, but it can be countered easily by a smart neg. I'm actually making a neg point based around how the merit of a potential international court could never be better than an american court. at the most they could be equal, but if so then whats the point, its just hassle.

Anonymous said...

First time poster here.

For the neg, I think we can say that an international court will be more exclusive than inclusive. In other words, it could very well be a "playing field" among major countries..there could be economic, hegemonic factors since the court is only DESIGNED (as somebody noted) to prosecute crimes against humanity, but that does not mean it WILL only prosecute crimes against humanity...

For an aff argument, maybe it could be said that, in defining "crimes against humanity," we have to look beyond the scope of politics. We should eliminate all subjectiveness and take into consideration that humanity is universal. For example, how can murder, genocide, etc... be justified as not being a crime...?

liz said...

i think it's very hard for the neg to prove their is really any existing crime that is not against humanity, the aff has the benefit of being able to ultimately explain crimes as linking to humanity.

i definitely think cosmopolitanism is a strong way to go for aff, but i think neg is the tricky one for the topic...

a lot of annoying people will interpret the neg side in a very technical way..like humanity is undeterminable, and prosecution is only for legal proceedings, while crimes against humanity can be morally incorrect and deserve a moral punishment

the fact of the matter is that the U.S. can support the neg well. there are a lot of legit reasons why the U.S. declined the ICC for their jurisdiction. You can find this under John Bolton. Kant is also great for aff, but can be good for some neg techs.


during analysis, i heard some wacky stuff like panopticism by foucault: that the pressure of international eyes rejects these criminals because the pressure is linked to deviance. they need to watched solely under the authorit ythat they went against because crime is against state rather than humanity which is specific to crime. i really like this, not necessarily the foucault part, but the neg fact that crime against state comes before crime against humanity.

does anyone have any idea of what king of neg VC i could run with any of these?
are there any unique undeveloepd neg VC's around to share??

Grabz said...

The resolution acknowledges the United States. The United States prides itself on its democracy. During a legal case, society (jury), district attorney (elected politician) and judges (elected) all point to the fact that the supreme power is vested in the people. To take away this power would therefore and inherently be undemocratic, an element necessary in the autonomy of the United States

Jaycie said...

I am just barely seeing this topic. I was wondering if someone could kind of explain this to me. There's a couple of us at school who want to try out LD and we wanted to do this topic but we are a little lost on where to start. I've done LD before but this one threw me for a loop. Thanks anyone!!

F. Ivie said...

Hey, Jim. I appreciate your help with my last question, it won me the tournament.

Do you think the US occupation of Iraq will be an issue in this resolution?

Anonymous said...

Jaycie, this topic is, essentially, stating that the US ought to be subject to a worldwide court to determine the legitimacy or legality of its actions.

The resolution is stating that if the US illegally occupies a country or its military engages in illegal actions, it (the US itself) should be taken to a "court" of sorts.

F. Ivie said...

Ah, forgot to enter a name on the above comment..

My V is Justice, still considering my VC.

chris said...

Do you think the US occupation of Iraq will be an issue in this resolution?

not at all. its not applicable in the majority of arguments in this debate.
tip: don't pick value and criterions seprately, do them in pairs to get the best results.

F. Ivie said...

Why not? It could be viewed as a crime against humanity.

liz said...

the best value is def cosmopolitanism

Jim Anderson said...

anonymous, I disagree, and strongly, that this is about a "World Court." The crimes designated "crimes against humanity" are charged against individuals, not nations. The proper parallel to the resolution is the ICC; an example (and answering F.Ivie's good question above) would be, what if someone brought "crimes against humanity" charges against an American mercenary working for Blackwater in Iraq? Who should prosecute the case? The U.S., or the ICC? Should the ICC step in if the U.S. refuses to prosecute?

Jim Anderson said...

If they haven't already done so, everyone should read this analysis of the definition and scope of "crimes against humanity." It's perhaps the clearest and best out there.

Anonymous said...

Jim, near the top you mentioned this topic lending itself to critical theory. I have a student who I feel would be very interested in this line of argumentation. Unfortunately, I come from a policy background and I am not sure how to structure or present this type of argument in LD. It might also be helpful to hear one example of what you were thinking when you mentioned it earlier.

Anonymous said...

which side do you guys think will be easiest to argue for this topic?

for me i think it will be neg.

Chris said...

"Why not? It could be viewed as a crime against humanity."

the occupation itself can't be viewed as a crime against humanity, but as jim has been pointing out the actions of the blackwater guards can be.

F. Ivie said...

Chris, my point was that US occupation was a catalyst for crimes against humanity. Events, such as those that took place during occupation, will be tied into the resolution.

Good analysis, Jim, appreciated.

Anonymous said...

How about using Governmental Legitimacy/Democrcy for the V/VC? The thesis would, first, require proof that most americans agree with the aff, and that by not upholding the general will the us, as a democracy, is relinquishing its claim to governmental legitimacy

Anonymous said...

sorry on the above comment i meant for the aff

Anonymous said...

How would I warrant that the "International court" has no jurisdiction.

Anonymous said...

Would debating the ICJ work instead of the ICC? I don't know if I could really debate this instead.
Thanks!

A.T said...

The internatoinal court is "designed" to prosecute crimes againt humanity. BUT every design has a flaw, such as the Titanic, the Columbia space shuttle, the nuclear plant at Chernobol.

Every state has their own needs and constituion. The resolution states "United States" and that is what we are but every state has their own ideas,laws, judgement, etc. For example: the north thought slavery was wrong and the south thought it was wrong. EACH side has their own opinion. Even in cities. For example in Chatedral City,CA :It is prohibited to sleep in a parked vehicle. In other states and cities it's okay to sleep in a parked vehicle.

And WHAT will the U.S acheive to strenghen its own judgement. We should not deeply get into other countries conflicts. That's what President Bush did and look at how we ended up in Iraq.

Most of these go to the neg.

chris said...

A.T...

i can see what you mean, but in the case of the ICC, prosecution is only permitted when the country is unwilling or unable to prosecute by itself

Jim Anderson said...

Anonymous 1, I'm working on a post about critical theory, hopefully appearing sometime this weekend.

Anonymous 3, Gov Legit/Dem is probably better for the Neg. I think you'd have a hard time proving that the U.S. government is in danger of revolution because of refusal to join the ICC.

Anonymous 4, well... what gives any court jurisdiction? Figure that out, and then show why the ICC doesn't fit the bill. (It usually has to do with governmental legitimacy, the rule of law, the social contract, a constitution...)

Anonymous 5,the ICJ (or "World Court" arbitrates claims between nations. The ICC goes after individuals. "Crimes against humanity" are prosecuted against individuals, not nations.

Bryan said...

I was posting as anomyomus before.
All right, Ok! Thanks Jim!

Anonymous said...

What about something like:
VC upholding constitution of the US
then make an argument about how its violating each states constitution given right to prosecute crimes happening within the state.

Anonymous said...

Or rather, right to CHOOSE what to prosecute.

Anonymous said...

ok so... interesting res... neway what do you define as crimes against humanity... could i bring up guantanamo bay? what court system if the ICC no if the UN yes

Tyler said...

I already have my VP and VC for both aff and neg, i need some ideas for contentions though. I cant think of any.

Jaycie said...

Hey Jim and Sexy Beast,
Both of you have helped me out before and I really liked what you said. But this topic kind of lost me. I don't even know where to start on either side. What are some good value/criterion ideas or contentions that could possibly work? I don't want you to write my cases but I need a solid place to at least start thinking. Any help you could give would be great. Thanks!!

Sexy Beast said...

Hey Jacie,

I noticed that there are a lot of flaws with on the negative side of the resolution regarding Retributive Justice. You might wanta consider running a value of International Justice and a criterion of retributivism, or a value of Retributive Justice and a criterion of moral cosmopolitanism and argue that if the U.S. doesn't submit to an international court, then we cannot achieve retributivism, if you're running the first approach.

There several arguments to prove your point. One of them being that without an international court in place, the leader (forgot his name at the moment) of the crimes in Rwanda literally went unpunished. The U.S. thus cannot achieve retributivism if it allows for its world leaders to be punished without an international court in place.


This is just an idea. On the neg, it seems logical to argue national sovereignty. But if you do, I would be careful about practical obligations. It seems that many negatives are focusing their cases around the practical flaws in the ICC, ie. Lack of trial by jury, American bias, etc. The problem with these are arguments is that they (depending on your V/C of course) fail to show why the U.S. doesn't have a MORAL obligation. At least, the affirmative could argue that.

Well, I hope that made sense.

Jamie said...

I'm still confused. Why would we use justice as a value in this resolution? Why are we trying to achieve justice? Can someone clarify that?

Anonymous said...

If you try and link the Contentions about sovereignty to any value about retributive justice, then you are going to run into a huge problem with international welfare or safety.
also, just the fact that ANY judge would take safety over sovereignty is a convincing point in and of itself.

Also, i think we need to realize that the neg can be anything that isnt the aff.

just my two cents.

Jim Anderson said...

Jamie, if someone may commit a "crime against humanity," but will not be prosecuted because the U.S. has not joined the ICC (or something like it), then we have an injustice that needs to be rectified.

Jamie said...

So, basically, the United States joining would make it fair? I'm sorry but I'm still not getting it.

Jim Anderson said...

Jamie, the reason the U.S. hasn't joined has largely been based on sovereignty concerns. American politicians, by and large, don't ever want to see American citizens being tried for crimes by an international court; that's supposed to be the province of federal law.

However, if the U.S. refuses to prosecute "crimes against humanity"--or, as it stands, doesn't really have that categoray as part of its domestic law--then the Aff can argue that an injustice has occurred (of course defining justice as "to each their due," with the implication that criminals are due punishment).

Is that clearer?

Jamie said...

Yes it is thank you. Also, would it be wise to define justice as retributive?

I just want to know if I am on the right track. The U.S. should yield to the international court because they would stand by the prosecution of crimes against humanity which would be justice. And the reason the ICC isn't prosecuting these crimes is because the United States isn't joined.

Why should the Unites States involvement matter in the first place? Is it because they are a superpower and if they participate then they value the human rights?

Jim Anderson said...

1. It might be necessary--but there are other views of punishment (expressivist, utilitarian) that might also square with a definition of justice. See which works best for you.

2. The ICC is currently prosecuting crimes, but mostly of Sudanese participants in the Darfur genocide. The U.S.'s joining up would...

a. Give further legitimacy to the ICC's process and aims.
b. Place further pressure on the U.S. to aggressively go after that type of criminal
c. Make sure there are no loopholes in American law (there's no current category for "crimes against humanity" in our federal code)
d. Allow the U.S. to have a more direct role in shaping the institution (right now it acts in an advisory fashion)
e. Be perceived as more caring, fair, just, or likable by other world nations that currently distrust the U.S. and feel it operates according to a double standard
f. Promote international respect for rights and the rule of law

I'm sure there are other potential Affirmative reasons, too.

Jamie said...

Thank you that helped so much!

One last thing. Would cosmopolitanism be the best VC for this value since we are all bound by international law?

Jim Anderson said...

Cosmopolitanism would make a strong moral case; "respecting international law" might be another way to craft your criterion, since cosmopolitanism might lead a little too far toward a global state and a total devaluation of sovereignty. But it depends on how you argue it, I suppose.

That Guy said...

^ what?

Sexy Beast said...

Hey Jamie, the cool thing about LD debate is that you don't have to accept values if you can disprove them. For example, the negative is likely to run a case with strict links to national sovereignty. But if you can show how you're value supersedes national sovreignty, or how national sovreignty is not an adequete value, then you essentially take out the negative case and win the round. This is where you persuasion skills come in. If you make a logical argument and persuade the judge that your value is better, then you're at a great position, especially with such negative cases that will only revolve around national sovereignty.

Anonymous said...

what would be good contentions for the neg with the value of democratic rule and the criterion of national sovereignity??!??!?!?!?!

Maddie said...

what exactly does the resolution mean?

Jim Anderson said...

Maddie, the International Criminal Court exists to prosecute perpetrators of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. Unlike other tribunals that preceded it, the ICC is a permanent institution.

Ought the U.S. allow its citizens to be tried by the ICC or a similar body? That is the essential question of the resolution.

Anonymous said...

Jim,

Thanks for your wonderful insight. It always proves to be helpful.

I do have a couple of questions however...

1- You speak alot about a 'critical theory'; could you please elaborate what this truly is

2- Seeing as how crimes against 'humanity' truly do not target all of humanity rather they target a specific group, on the neg could one argue (without looking heartless, dumb, or ...) that although the crimes (such as the Rwuandan genocide) are horrible atrocities they do not truly fit the definition of a 'crime against humanity'?

Thanks!

Jim Anderson said...

anonymous, I briefly introduce "critical theory" and apply it to the resolution in one of my latest posts.

Also, you're right that the Neg that tries to eliminate the category of "crimes against humanity" runs the risk of seeming heartless. However, it doesn't have to be that way. Argue from a perspective informed by libertarianism, which denies collective interests, or informed by arguments against corporate personhood. Essentially, the argument should be that only persons can be victims of crimes; a "crime against humanity" is a crime against an abstraction. As such, it is prone to caprice or arbitrariness.

Matt said...

I am currently thinking of human rights as the affirmative value...what would be a good criterion for it?

Sexy Beast said...

Matt, why not use Justice (or morality) with the criterion of the protection of human rights?

Anonymous said...

Just wondering, could: following a legitimate social contract be possible to run on the neg? as in it would be circumventing the social contract to hand over the power of the justice system to something other than the government.

Eldo said...

Hey, Jim? What school do you coach at? And will you be attending the UPS tournament?

Jim Anderson said...

anonymous, you can certainly make that argument, I'd ask to what degree any international treaty would hold up under your system. If I were the affirmative, I'd argue that your worldview leads us back toward the Hobbesian world we've been trying to avoid since the end of the Second World War.

Jim Anderson said...

Eldo, I coach at Capital. We'll be at UPS--provided all this snow takes a hike and lets school reconvene in January...

Mart said...

Okay so i've been at home over the winter break with nothing to do except prepare for this debate topic. Heres some thoughts i was hoping to bounce around:
1: What do u think of the negative arguement that the u.s. can support the international court (through verbal or economic or other forms of support) and thereby support morality/justice/cosmopolitanism or whatever have u: Without submitting to the jurisdiction of the court.
2) This arguement would be combined witht the idea that the u.s. achieves the goals of the i.c. by itself (without needing help from the i.c.) mainly because of the def. of crimes against humanity- i havent thought throught this arguement yet- i've kind of just been assuming it can be made- what do you think
3)Also on Neg: What about the following argementation: laws exspecially international laws cannot be legitimate b.c. social contract theory (i.e. the idea that theorecticaly creates / justifies gov/law) is false. therefore since crimes by definition are breaches of some law then there is no retributive nor deontological justification for the i.c, so then the only justification for the i.c. is telological. Then the next claim would be that the u.s. has nothing to gain from submitting to the i.c. since it is a world power and doesnt need help "prosecuting" others. The last claim would need to be fleshed out but i definently think it could be made.

mart said...

Wait... that last claim would need to be that nothing is gained (i.e. utility or rights protection or happiness) when the u.s. submits to the jurisdiction of the i.c.

Anonymous said...

That will be a tough claim to support. I've read plenty of literature on the topic that "claim" otherwise. Good luck!

all93 said...

I was wondering for the definition of submit- i got from princeton wordnet- refer for judgment or consideration; so do you think it would be viable to shape your case to say on aff- that you would consider the ICC's decision, but ultimately still retain the US decision power making?

Jim Anderson said...

all93, that definition would take away practically all the Neg ground. I'd dismiss it as abusive in a heartbeat. (Contextually, that definition has to do with publication--"The scientist submitted a paper for peer review...")

Anonymous said...

hey you guys!
Is this a good idea if you use an off case for neg side.(it is something where you would automatically need to prove the resolution false.)

mona said...

hey you guys!:-)
is this a good idea for this topic if you use and off case for neg side.(an off case is something where you would automatically need to prove the resolution false.)

mona said...

hey Matt,
how about aff vc : Protecting Human Rights.

Justice-Is-Calling said...

I know the resolution includes crimes against humanity that the United states government, soldiers, citizens, groups of citizens, or etc. have committed, but does the resolution also include crimes against humanity committed TO the united states by another nation or groups of nations???

Anonymous said...

How exactly would you support national sovereignty? I don't really understand how you would justify the importance of national sovereignty in the round.

Jared said...

I think it might be more appropriate for the Neg to choose Rule of Law as the VC. Note that the US constitution is the "supreme law of the land" hence joining the ICC is unconstitutional. You can still make the nation sovereignty arguments but this gives it some quantifiable weight. If you want to add philosophical backing (which might be advisable due to time) run a minor critique emphasizing what the US is able to do must be evaluated before what the US "ought" to do can be evaluated.

I think I just made my Neg case XD

Thanks guys. I think this thread gave me enough ideas to make a case for Aff too.

Anonymous said...

Why would crimes against humanity be prosecuted against individuals? (So could we safely assume that it is the ICC? I haven't found any other international courts designed to prosecute crimes against humanity.)

Jared said...

Crimes against humanity are always prosecuted against individuals because only individuals make decisions. Wouldn't it be silly to prosecute people in a gov't which participated in crimes if the person objected to the action? As the NFL states, the resolution does not specify THE International Criminal Court, merely an international court. While most cases will focus on the ICC it is conceivable that someone will want to make a brand new one.

Anonymous said...

Whether we are talking about THE international court or AN international court, we can only assume what AN international court will be like based on THE international court. For example, if the Aff suggests that AN international court will be able to do all these great things and yadiyadayada (since we are not strictly confined to THE international court), the Neg can argue back that the Aff. is theorizing and that we cannot assume what AN international court will be like, different from THE international court...

WOW a lot of "THE" and "AN".. hope you understood what I meant....

Matt said...

I Need a little help with contentions and/or links...

CV: Human rights
VC: Justice

(not all of these will be contentions except C1, the others are just ideas for contentions(I like to limit to 3 Contentions on Aff)
1. Prosecuting "crimes against Humanity" requires a cosmopolitan outlook

2. Submitting to the jurisdiction of an International court eliminates bias in the US

3. International institutions such as the ICC help to punish crimes that may go unpunished(something like that, that is not a tagline but rather a summary)

4. Submission will further the U.S plan to protect human rights globally

5. An International court will reflect international views on Human rights

If anyone has more ideas, ideas on what could be fixed, advice in general please help...
(post here or Email me at Mezland@gmail.com)

Anonymous said...

Matt,

Your first "contention" is not a supporting statement...You state that a court that prosecutes crimes against humanity requires a cosmopolitan outlook - This seems more like a thesis that needs support.

2. Submitting to the jurisdiction of an International court eliminates bias in the US - I think this could be easily attacked; it may eliminate bias in the US (even then, how?) but it creates bias on an international level...

3. As you have said, this is more of a summary...

4. Submission will further the U.S plan to protect human rights globally - You might not want to use the word submission here...As the NFL has stated, the neg will interpret the word submission to mean completely yielding to another authority...

5. An International court will reflect international views on Human rights - You'll have to prove that an international court is not biased.

Sexy Beast said...

Anon, I think the question is not to prove that the international court will NOT be biased; rather that it will.

In other words, how/why would this international court be biased? Can you prove such a thing? And biased how?

Anonymous said...

Could we say that we can imply from the resolution that the United States is the one commiting the crime against humanity?

Sexy Beast said...

Certainly, but note that resolution never says that anyone commits the crime, only that the an international court ought to punish the crime when it happens.

matt said...

does anyone have contention ideas for a C of cosmopolitanism then?

Soda said...

"It seems that many negatives are focusing their cases around the practical flaws in the ICC, ie. Lack of trial by jury, American bias, etc. The problem with these are arguments is that they (depending on your V/C of course) fail to show why the U.S. doesn't have a MORAL obligation."

Sexy Beast (haha I bet it's fun being referred to as that all the time), could you please elaborate on how lack of trial by jury and American bias (which I assume is bias by other nations against America?) fail to disprove moral obligation? And if so, what kind of obligation does it disprove? Sorry if this question doesn't make any sense, I've been working on this resolution all day and my brain is completely scrambled.
Thanks! :)

Sexy Beast said...

Yeah, sure. Well, I think there's three flaws with this type of argument.

1st. This sorta logic tends to attack the ICC, because it is the only concrete institution that can be argued to have bias. The flaw is that if the negative is only attacking the ICC, then the aff will argue that he/she still wins. This is because the resolution asks us to evaluate AN international court, not THE international court. For this reason, we are arguing over a hypothetical institution, not a policy-oriented one. Thus, the neg fails to meet his/her burden of clash with this argument, as it only focuses on one institution, not the hypothetical one which the resolution asks us to evaluate.

2. If you hear these types of arguments in a debate, chances are you can call them out as simply claims. By this I mean that there's probably not going to be sufficient warrant to make an argument out of. If the international court is simply a hypothetical institution, then how can you prove that it will contain any sorta bias? The burden will be on negative to prove that it will contain bias. And while this probably isn't impossible to prove, chances are that these arguments will be under-warranted.

3. Finally, by pointing out the flaws that this international court MIGHT contain, or will if you're refering to the ICC, the neg is simply attacking the practicality of the resolution. If the neg is making the case that the U.S. does not have an obligation to submit due to bias, etc; the aff should argue that the neg is not denying the MORAL obligation, and thus has failed to meet his/her burden. This counter-argument depends on your value/criteria, of course, but generally one can argue this. You can always explain to the judges that a moral obligation is something that is your duty to perform, regardless of the consequences, ie. bias. This is very Kantian, but as the aff, you are free to define "ought" however you wish (within reason).

Hope this helps Soda!

Sexy Beast said...

Oh, and I believe I directly answer your question on my 3rd point.

Soda said...

Whoa, thanks! I wasn't expecting such a thorough answer; I really appreciate it.
Just one more thing though, how would you prove the same for lack of trial by jury? Since there isn't the possibility of trial by jury in an international court, can't the negative argue that the United States shouldn't submit because the international court goes against what we decided is just? And then there wouldn't be a moral obligation because the international court would be inferior to the US court system.

blarajan said...

hello. this is my first time posting on this. and i am rather confused about this topic and any assistance would be much obliged. i don't particularly understand the resolution itself. but, putting that aside, i had a few ideas. for affirmative, i was considering a legitimacy argument..using the rome statute. a country can have legitimate authority to use military force in which it will be used to capture and bring the criminal to the court for prosecution.

using that we could say the subscription to the icc would give us a legitimate authority to use law to enforce this court and bring major criminals to court.

also, my neg argument, relates to past events. for example, right after world war i, when we were making our treaty, one of the major points was the league of nations, concocted by woodrow wilson. this was an organization in which the nations of the world would join together to ensure security and peace for all its members. however, this was rejected by congress, and many senators' said that we would lose much independence. likewise, submitting to the jurisdiction of the icc loses american independence, for many of our decisions are made for us. * i don't particularly know what the icc is and am looking it up now..so if i'm wrong, please correct me *. while submitting to the league of nations would have made us lose our power to join war only when we want, submitting to the icc loses us much power in prosecuting criminals.

geoff said...

why is it talking about the ICC- why isnt it talking about a thoerical court, i mean its seems like a lot of neg will be talking about the ICC, so if the aff ommited it, and just talked about a thoery court, it would be good for the aff- so WHY is the ICC the main court focus

:] said...

hi im a novice and i was hoping that you had blocks for this jan/feb topics and im running justice as my value on AFF but idk a good VC
and i need help w. my V/VC on NEG

Jim Anderson said...

geoff, reasons to consider the ICC the focal point are given here.

That Guy said...

Could we use Guantanamo bay for this? and what other aff contentions could we use?

liz said...

so my neg kind of elaborates on how
the neg offers the US the benefit of being able to choose from either their own nation or the ICC who has set a precedent. So the neg allows choice. can someone PLEASE help me develop this? Any philosophers? any good V/VC i could match with this????

liz said...

that guy
yes guantanamo bay can definitely be used within an aff contention discussing thow the submission to the ICC would maintain the legitimacy of the U.S. criminal justice system

At Guantanamo, the fear-and-anxiety approach was often favored. The cruel and degrading measures taken by some, in violation of international human rights law and the laws of war, have become a matter of national shame. " Thus the United States is in fact acting immoral not only to those of Non-US citizens but also through the violation of the rights of its own citizens. The International Human Rights watch gave an article on 2005 which tells the story of a man, Jose Padilla, who was indicted on criminal charges. The Bush administration decision to bring Padilla into the civilian criminal justice system means that the Supreme Court likely will no longer hear Padilla's challenge to an appellate court ruling that the president may subject American citizens to indefinite military detention without criminal charge or trial. The reason for his arrest is based on an alleged link to AL-Qaeda, and because of this link he has spent over 3 years in solitary confinement.

sarah said...

Can the ICC have jurisdiction over a nation that diddn't ratify the iCC? Yes right? Because if they don't then tyrants and dictators could run free, but that means the US is bound to have the iCC have jurisdiction over the US anyways, regardless of accepting it or not..

comments?

Sexy Beast said...

Jim, I have a question.

I heard that some negs are running Locke's social contract theory. How would you implement that effectively? And how could you block it?

Thanks!

Matt said...

Only in Certain circumstances....

I wonder if a Good Strategic idea would be to read the Rome Statute because it seems like knowledge of the ICC may be key in this resolution...

Alright Does anyone have an idea for a third contention for my Aff Case?

V: Human Rights
VC: Cosmopolitanism

1. International Courts Have Beneficial Effects

2. The U.S joining a International Court would further legitimize it
-----------------------------------

I have a couple of ideas but need a link to cosmopolitanism...

1. Deterrence Effect(this I have evidence but no link to VC)
2. Furthering U.S interests( I would need more evidence for as well as a link to cosmopolitanism...)
------------------------------------
if anyone wants to see a copy of my case so far or something else email me at:
Mezland@gmail.com

Thanks

Matt said...

Oh Also For A couple ideas here is a helpful article:

http://www.allacademic.com//meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/1/7/8/5/2/pages178526/p178526-1.php

(it is a bit long but has interesting ideas and studies regarding the ICC)

Jim Anderson said...

Sexy Beast, I'm guessing it involves the role of the State in the contract. A U.S. citizen can be seen to have at least a tacit acceptance of the Constitution and its legitimacy via democracy. That would be the extent of the citizen's moral obligation to the State, leaving no room for an international super-state.

Could there be room for an international Social Contract? I don't know about Locke's view, though I'd guess he wouldn't support it. But that would probably be because, like most folks before the late 1940s, he had a more Westphalian view of sovereignty. Even Kant, he of the "democratic peace," was not a supporter of world government.

Sexy Beast said...

I don't believe that he would support it either, although he does believe that the larger the democracy is, the more resistant it is to corruption...

Either way, I don't think it's the best for this resolution.

sarah said...

Sexy beast,

I think this site/blog place might answer your issue with world social contract, it could fall under something like world government perhaps? I am not sure if this helps but here..
http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2008_12_14-2008_12_20.shtml#1229312264

Just look for world government, it talks about the pitfalls of it.

Also, I would appreciated if anyone knew the answer to my question because I have been getting mixed answers in my research, some say the ICC do not have jurisdiction over nations not ratified, yet they would because than how would we prosecute crimes if we expected all tyrants to ratify the icc?

Anonymous said...

hi im a novice and i m running
V:international cooperation
VC: human rights
for aff
and
for NEG im running
V: democracy
VC:sovereignty



is this a good idea?

Sexy Beast said...

Thanks Sarah.

Matt said...

Sarah answer to your question...

Jim posted This on another topic but here it is again:
------------------------------------
"The ICC is not a court of universal jurisdiction that can prosecute anyone who has committed an atrocity crime anywhere in the world. There are usually certain preconditions to personal jurisdiction: the individual charged with atrocity crimes must be a national of a State Party to the ICC, or the territory on which the crime was committed must belong to a State Party to the ICC. If the Security Council refers the situation to the ICC, however, these preconditions do not apply: a national of a nonparty State may be prosecuted, and the crimes need not be committed on the territory of a State Party. Finally, a non-party State may file a declaration with the ICC inviting it to investigate a situation in which the crimes occurred in its territory or one or more of its nationals are suspected of having perpetrated such crimes."
------------------------------------
The Topic is here:
http://decorabilia.blogspot.com/2008/12/history-and-potential-constitutionality.html

sarah said...

thanks much!

Anonymous said...

Oh geez.. my coach just made me get out of novice debate.. i really need some help on this topic. ANYTHING is appreciated.

if you have ANYTHING AT ALL please email me at cheerluv94@aol.com

THANK YOU!!

helpplease said...

I have two questions:

First, I've been researching and the US's efforts to protect its servicemen and women has been coming up everywhere.
So, I can see how servicemen might commit war crimes, they work for the military after all. But are they also more likely to commit crimes against humanity than most people? I have some arguments that mention the ASPA and just want to make sure they're relevant to the resolution.

Second, genocide is a type of crime against humanity, isn't it?

An answer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

liz said...

helpplease

to your first question...
yes you can use the ASPA it's definitely relevant in an arguement on the neg..about how we can see that the US takes certain measures to protect their service men, and because servicemen are the main target of the ICC, there is no net benefit of joining the ICC because it would not affect the US because of ASPA

to your second question...
The United States as well as many allies agreed to the definition of a crime against humanity in 1945 in accordance with the United Nations that:
“Crimes against humanity include murder, extermination, enslavement, and other inhumane acts committed against civilian populations, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.”

so yes genocide is a CAH

helpplease said...

Thanks so much Liz!

If I want to make your claim that servicemen are the ICC's main target, do you have any evidence for that? Or can I just say so, because in their position one is more able to commit such crimes?

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to say that the resolution has only to do with the jurisdiction that the ICC has over "Crimes Against Humanity" as stated in article 7, titled "Crimes against Humanity" (www.icc-cpi.int/library/about/officialjournal/Rome_Statute_120704-EN.pdf )and therefore be able to dismiss article 6titled "genocide", and 8 titled "war Crimes" as not relevant to the resolution? What I have found so far opposing the ICC has focused mainly on part 1, article 8 about the acts of agression, for it might have implications to the Bush Administration's handiling of the war in IRaq.

Justice-Is-Calling said...

Does anybody know the EXACT puinishments for the soldiers involved with the Abu Ghraib scandal? No website will give me a straight or clear answer.

RoneeRoo said...

so...this topic really sucks. i can't decide on how to use the fact that since the US isnt part of the ICC they can't be pushed under its jurisdiction. also, the ICJ is part of the UN and since not all nations are in the UN, its jurisdiction is limited.
hmm...i guess ill have to keep thinking

Ronee Roo said...

woah!! how are we bringing in soldiers? is it a crime against humanity when you're protecting your country?? so confused

Matt said...

Anonymous, I too was wondering that. I was going to use that as a Neg argument saying the U.S would never have need of the ICC. This could potentially take away alot of Aff Positions.

also could you argue than U.N tribunals are irrelevant because that is not the U.S but rather the U.N as a collective

Jim are these valid?

Topher said...

"also could you argue than U.N tribunals are irrelevant because that is not the U.S but rather the U.N as a collective"-Matt

I wouldn't think you would be able to do that because the U.N. as a collective can be comparable to a collective international court.

Also I was wondering, does anyone know exactly how the ICC has its proceedings and how it executes its judgments?
I'm guessing there's going to be something good in there for the neg.

Also since the United States is already part of the ICJ and therefore subject to its decisions, it can only be argued that the organizational possibilities of a court centered around crimes against humanities and the court's ability to enforce its rulings can go against it?

Anonymous said...

is there any neg arguments that aren't based around protecting U.S. sovereignty?

Sexy Beast said...

Anon,

If you can show that increasing U.S. hegemony is a good thing, perhaps you can construct a case around how negating increases U.S. hegemony. If you're interested, look up Thayer and Kaplan.

Anonymous said...

I like my cases a lot, but they are almost totally focused on the world as is and current diplomatic relations. should this be a problem? im a little nervous that its not "LD" enough. any suggestions?

geoff said...

that should be fine- but you ought to mention that the resolution say the united states, which puts in a real world context- and thats why you should look towards real world diplomacy

caseydilla said...

For neg, i am arguing a value of justice w/VC protection of natural and Constitutional rights of US citizens.
One of my contentions is that submission to an internatioal court would jeopardize natural rights because:
1. It would put Americans at the mercy of despotic, nondemocratic nations who by definition act solely in their own interest without respect to the rights of the individual.
2. It offers no protection to those attacked by terrorists (if the US were attacked by a terrorist group such as, say, Hezbollah, and tried to defend itself, it could end up killing innocent civilians as Hezbollah often uses them as shields). Then, the U.S. would presumably be guilty of a crime against humanity and would be tried by the international court simply for defending its citizens' right to life.
3. As a sub-point to #2, the U.S. militia would then be either be punished by the international court for crimes against humanity, or by the U.S. Court Martial for refusing to follow orders. The result would be an intimidated, confused, ineffective military which subsequently would be unable to defend Americans' right to life.

I'm not sure if this is too radical . Thoughts please???

Matt said...

The value, criterion structure is sound, but the supporting case is a bit extreme in my opinion(although I am just one, I can't speak for others)

lets go through your case systematically...

First is this ICC specific or a General Case?

1. This will need a warrant to it, it also gives Aff the idea that you believe U.S citizens could be guilty of crimes against humanity proving a necessity for an international court.

2. Technically under the ICC war crimes are separate from CAH but I don't know the specifics of our case... This sounds alot like the definition of CAH argument(there is no clear definition of CAH) which is a better argument as for this one the problem is it assumes A) an Attack by Hezbollah and B) the INTENTIONAL killing of Civilians. the U.S plan would be to kill Hezbollah Militants not civilians

3. I do not see where you are going with this, the link to life is rather weak.
------------------------------------

If you use this CV/VC pair I would probably use a contention about trial rights under the U.S constitution.

I don't know the exact text and warrants in your case so obviously these observations may not be accurate and if they aren't I apologize

Liz said...

helpplease
okay, if you want to use that in a case...

1. Don't forget this isn't an arguement on it's own. The actual arguement would have to be more like...a negative argument that there is no net benefit of submission because war crimes are of utmost popularity within crimes against humanit. BEcause of the ASPA U.S. act, our servicemen would be safe from prosecution. Thus affirming would provide you with no benefit... it's really just weighing analysis, if you want an ACTUAL contention you'd need to do: i contend that submission would not be benficial, under that add a subpoint about how international systems are anarchical (LOOK UP JOHN MEIRSHEIMER REALISM IT'S AMAZING FOR THIS) and they have no means of enforcement i.e. military or weapons. then incorporate the ASPA evidence.

Becca Rose said...

i would like to use cultural relativism as a v on the neg but i'm at a loss for what to use as a vc....any thoughts?

Milk Maid said...

Becca Rose, i reccomend the v/c of National Autonomy: the right for a nation to self govern. you could probably use the value of justice, equality, or even isolationism.

Anonymous said...

anyone there?hello??Help, please???
My question is for aff side do we have to say that the international court is "icc"? everyone knows that the United state refused to join it, and that mean the neg side can just say that and have an easy win.any ideas how to have a good round being aff and using icc??please????

mona said...

i cant find the blog page where you have listed the pairs of v/vc?? can someone please help??

iCream said...

would v or vc of duty work for either side?
maybe attached to human rights for aff and national S. for neg?

Anonymous said...

I was wondering what would be some good contenions on the neg. side?
And any good questions for cross-ex.? If im on the neg. side?

Anonymous said...

ok so im writing my aff on security- essentially a international court would help the people by securing our nation- it would stop other nations before the conflict hurt us, and it would stop dictators and whatnot from taking over the US- im using a theorical court- and i jsut want to know what i could say to the obvious question- what happens when human rights and national security conflict?

LDER said...

hey, whats wrong with the following logic: war necessarily involves killing, and under the definition of Crimes against humanity- murder is one of the specific acts included and then in war it would also be "widespread and systematic." - I think it therefore meets the definiton provided by Cherif Bassiouni. However it seems wrong to consider a war that is just and/or in self defense to necessarily involve crimes against humanity. Can the referenced definition of CAH limit the affirmative to advocating pacificism? is the analysis/interpretation wrong? Why? Am i misunderstanding CAH?

Matt said...

The Logic, I'm sorry is VERY flawed.

First of all you are misquoting the ICC statue, It says that it must be intentionally directed at a civilian population. So while if your opponent hadn't read the ICC statue they wouldn't know this, and may not immediately cast it down, if they had this argument would just waste your time and probably wouldn't fly with most judges.

LDER said...

thanks- that helps. I had been missing the part about "directed against civilian population"

Anonymous said...

Help me with this debate topic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?
I'm an advanced LD debater. This is my first ALD tournament and i need help with my aff case. Please tell me some good contentions and quotes. I will appreciate it very much. Thanks in advance.

Matt said...

s your Value/Criterion?

Anonymous said...

Ok, so I have a pretty good case laid out, but I'm not sure what to do on my V/C. I don't want it to be something that is specific to just justice, but also includes the general good of the international community. Right now I have Just Due Process as my value, but that might be a better criterion. Any ideas?

Alexander said...

How do you refute the affirmative argument that joining an international court and participating more in the international community would improve foreign relations and increase our soft power?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anderson--
I debate in Wyoming and I recently competed at a tournament in which the most popular premise for the negative was the contitution. The only viable argument that I could think of was arguing that the Constitution is similar to the UDHR and just because the Constitution is older doesn't mean it's any more important; after all, we are dealing with crimes against all of humanity and America shouldn't get special treatment. Do you think this is a reasonable argument? If not, how should the constituion be refuted?

Jim Anderson said...

Anonymous, read the article in link #3 under "Deeper Analysis," above. There are plenty of reasons to believe that the U.S. could sign on in a fully constitutional fashion.

(Also, the Constitution is malleable and not infallible; a value or criterion like "justice" or "morality" can claim priority over it.)

Matt said...

This is Just an observation I had at a tournament this weekend that I want to point out.

I would suggest that if you run cosmopolitanism you know 1) what it is 2) how to link it(look to Kant for a link to peace) and 3) its different variants

Also If you want a good basis for Cosmopolitanism beyond the stanford site:

Kant on Cosmo and Peace: http://www.constitution.org/kant/perpeace.txt

Desiderius Erasmus on the same

http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=87&layout=html

If you have to much time on your hands:

Hugo Grotius on War and Peace
http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/econ/ugcm/3ll3/grotius/index.html
------------------------------------
Sorry about the ongoing peace theme there but my Aff has a value of Peace and a Criterion of Cosmopolitanism so I did research, Also if there are Policy Debaters that read this Kant's War and peace has some intresting ideas on Military Readiness/hegemony/Multipolarity and Peace that I am sure could fit into a Kritik

Sexy Beast said...

Hey anon.

Here's how I attack the constitution (It's won me every aff round against it.)

1. The aff achieves the constitution. If we are using a hypothtical court, then there is no way to PROVE that the constitution will be violated, thus the argument falls. However, if we are using the ICC, then the aff has to win the round, because according to the ICC website, if a U.S. citizen is tried, then the ICC will uphold the Constitution to the fullest extent during the trial. Therefore, the affirmative actually achieves the constituion, thus we have yet another reason to affirm, because the negatives premise falls.

Roo said...

hey Anonymous...what part of Wyoming are yah from? I'm also from WY and may have gone against similar case structures.

Anonymous said...

hey does anyone know of any burdens that an accountability based aff can put on the neg

Bekka said...

Okay so im not an LDer i do IE events but my teacher is making me and someone who is an LDer debate this in class. anyone that can help me in anyway?

e-mail Bkkmusiclover69@aol.com

Bekka said...

Im in a bad position here.
im not and i repeat NOT an LDer.
i take speech and debate as a class.
my teacher is annoying and is making me debate this topic agaisnt a Varsity LDer.
i have no idea how to write a case or how to put together one?
anyone wanna help?
e-mail Bkkmusiclover69@aol.com

lilly said...

Hey i have a question for mr. anderson

so on neg i'm running mearsheimer's realism, etc.
and i discuss enforcement. but during neg rounds, i've found that affers just say that submit means yielding to, and therefore we would listen to them. how do i prove that it does not matter that we have submitted, its a matter of means of enforcement?

Debater said...

Hi,
I have a question for Jim. I read earlier in one of the posts that 'crimes against humanity' do not technically include genocide:

"To some extent, crimes against humanity overlap with genocide and war crimes. But crimes against humanity are distinguishable from genocide in that they do not require an intent to “destroy in whole or in part,” as cited in the 1948 Genocide Convention, but only target a given group and carry out a policy of “widespread or systematic” violations. Crimes against humanity are also distinguishable from war crimes in that they not only apply in the context of war—they apply in times of war and peace."

If I run this in my neg case, how can I prevent my judge from thinking I sound heartless?

Thank you!

Jim Anderson said...

lilly, go to Black's Law Dictionary for good definitions of "submission" and "jurisdiction," combined with an argument that, absent any real threat of prosecution by the ICC, there's little ground for Neg debate--or fulfillment of a moral obligation expressed in the "ought" of the resolution. You can take a two- or three-pronged approach.

Debater, that's a good question. I don't know if you'd ever want to bring it up, since crimes against humanity are heinous enough on their own, and it could make you seem heartless (as you fear) to quibble over the point. Save it for a desperation move if your opponent's entire impacts are based on genocide; gently chide her/him for straying off topic and failing to affirm. (That we even have to speak of "impacts" in LD these days...)

GreenFolder said...

i want to use national sovereignty as my vc for neg. i couldnt find any good definitions online. could you help me with this definition?

Martha S. said...

Hi Mr. Andersen,
i'm having trouble thinking of a good vc for my negative case. My value is justice. could u make a suggestion? thanks!

Matt said...

Martha what are your Contentions?

I don't know if this is how everyone does it but I come up with points then find a common theme and take that theme and find a Criterion that can relate back to that theme.

Martha S. said...

my first contention is: Joining an international court severely limits the United State’s ability to act. my second contention is that an internatioanl court has no effect on crimes against humanity and destabilizes peace efforts.

I spent a really long time thinking of a good one, but couldn't come up with any. Thanks! :)

Matt said...

Alright... That is similar basic ideas as my case...

I use Realist Pragmatism(Morality/Justice results from most Practical Consequences for the U.S alone)

Well lets see what else you could use...

you could run just about any egoistic based philosophy(Political Realism, you could try to tie in Objectivism maybe...)

If you linked the contentions to U.S hegemony(which shouldn't be hard) you could run some sort of Hobbesian sovereign argument(although my friend an I have an AFF around the same principle) or even a criterion of stability.

I'm sure there are others...

Martha S. said...

Thanks Matt. I was thinking I could run morality as my vc, but then i couldn't think of how that tied into justice. Do you think national sovereignty would work as a vc?

Justice-Is-Calling said...

Hey, What do you guys think of running an almost Straight clash Neg with a Justice Value and a "Preventing Global Hegemony/Separation of Powers" v/c. I have been mainly going up against AFF's that argue the US should submit so others will join, and we will all be under one international law. So I argue, what about Seperation of Powers. This int. court would become too powerful and would become a bad kind of superpower.

Is this good, or totally illogical?

SimplyCiciLD said...

=o Your links look so helpful.
But none of them work!
Might wanna fix that..
Or maybe it's just me?

Also, I was thinking of a value like Framer's Intent, reflecting that we should value what we have in our constitution, and expanding on that in my contentions to say that the current ICC lacks seperation of powers, checks and balances, due process, etc., but I think that I need to reword my value.
Any ideas?

Henry said...

Could anyone give me a working definition (plus source) for governmental legitmacy? Or least some sources in which I can get an idea?

tprynn said...

The link to http://decorabilia.blogspot.com/2009/01/united-states-obligation-to-further.html
is broken.

Jim Anderson said...

It's fixed now. Thanks!

Roo said...

for my neg case, i used a value of independence and the criterion of realism in its basic form.

rebecca said...

jim or anyone helpful

im writing two new aff cases, the first one about maximizing soft power in the U.S.. My case is very strong, and last weekend i faced a lot of tough soft power cases. What kind of neg args can be made AGAINST the aff position of soft power?
And second, how can i link soft power to the u.s. economy via nondemocrats?

thanks!

Kiss My Aff. said...

Just want everyone to know, there is NO REASON ICC has to be brought into this. I had 3/5 of my last opponents bring ICC in, and lose valuble time trying to defend the move. They would have been much wiser to stick to duties and moral obligations in a imaginary scenario. It cost them all their rounds.

Scott said...

Hi Jim,
In my negative case, my two contentions deal with national sovereignty and with the international court being as fair and effective as the U.S. judicial system. I'm having lots of trouble coming up with a value premise and criterion that fit both contentions logically, and neither I nor my fellow debaters have thought of anything better than passable. Any ideas?
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

hey Martha S,
You know that morality and justice are the same things (expect for different names.)
so I think it would be better if you use morality or justice for value not VC.

Anonymous said...

how is the ICC doesn't effect the Us sovereignty?

Anonymous said...

So i have been reworking my case and was wondering if i could use this for Neg:
V. Political Realism
V.C. National Sovereignty

could someone possibly help me to sort this out or give me a better V/V.C pair please?
thanks

k9fanatic said...

Fun Case (please give comments)

Aff:

V: Justice
VC: Chuck Norris Philosophy of Law
(not so much philosophy as mine own idea, but what is a philosophy but an idea anyway?)

Honestly thinking aout using this, any suggestions for a better case?

Also, i desperatly need some neg values, preferably ones that go with the VC of Democracy and/or National Sovereignty.

Thank You :)