War Crimes: Freedom or Justice
“No crime without law”, is a statement that was agreed upon for every power- wielding country across the globe1. Any discretion would normally result in the United Nations International Court of Justice to bring down the iron fist and resolve the situation in any way that they feel fit. Recently, there has been another method to solve disagreements throughout the world, not with petty crimes, but war crimes. War crimes are offenses that undermine the previously amended laws and were believed to be served and handled by the offending country2. Due to the polemical ideas of participating countries, war crimes have been debated with whether or not these crimes should be resolved by an international court. While 120 countries have signed and gave the ICC- International Criminal Court- control over war crimes within their countries with the belief that the crimes will not go unpunished, several other nations have repeatedly denied the ICC access to govern their crimes due to the risk of losing sovereignty. The ties between countries are continually changing therefore laws are altered to better fit the needs of the global state. Before the ICC there was a system of laws that coexisted in order to govern the war crimes that were committed in the early 1900s. The Geneva Conventions focused on humanities, the crimes that surrounded them and challenged the authority of the government1. These conventions have bettered the world in their understandings of the way in what is acceptable. This also served as a basis of the limits of what military leaders allowed of their troops. The Geneva Conventions were the start of the revolution of war crime retribution. Other organizations that have been implemented but are not specified to trying individuals and rectifying war crimes and war crime tribunals include: the United Nations International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Tribunes. The U.N. International Court of Justice was established in 1945 and consists of 15 judges which decide the fate on the accused. Unlike the ICC, the United Nations Court of Justice only rules on arguments that happen between governments, while the ICC can try individuals. The International Criminal Tribunes on the other hand can only try individuals of crimes against humanity that have occurred within a certain time frame2. Initially founded in 1998, but formally found in 2002, the ICC was established in order to guarantee that every war crime from genocides to the denial of basic civil rights would not go unpunished. In a questions and answers convention it was said by one of the representatives of the ICC, “Based in The Hague, the International Criminal Court will have jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the horrific of crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.4” The ICC was established with good intentions; several nations have actually expressed the need for a permanent international court, but when it was time to agree and sign the treaty there were several nations that refused to accept the ICC to control the verdict of war crimes and criminals. Every country will be affected by the rulings of the ICC but only those who have signed the treaty show support and have a say in some of the regulations that will be released. Nations that have signed over are classified as state parties because they have ratified the treaty. Several countries have gone to extreme limits to try to convince other countries to deny the ICC and demolish the standards set. The nation that shocked most of the world for not immediately agreeing with the ICC was the United States of America. Contrary to what the CDI- Center for Defense Information- proved, the U.S. firmly believes that the initiation of the ICC will deplete the sovereignty of the nation. America is so convinced of this ideology that they have threatened to withdraw all military support from countries that have signed on to the treaty and won’t allow...
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