ICC warrant for al-Bashir
A Warrant of Hypocrisy
“A law that cannot be enforced deters no one. In fact, it weakens respect for law,” says Robert Skidelsky, a member of the British House of Lords, of the ICC warrant issued to Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. Could it be that the ICC has made a bigger mess than the one it was trying to clean up?
The Security Council has the power to defer the warrant for Bashir’s arrest for renewable periods of one year. It can do this indefinitely, and it seems likely that it will. The idea is that deferring the warrant will give the Security Council leverage over Sudan. Gareth Evans, a former Australian Foreign Minister, has called it “a powerful diplomatic tool,” while the Washington Post has called for the warrant to be used “as a bargaining chip with Mr. Bashir and his Chinese and Arab allies.” They believe that the threat of arrest can be used to force Bashir to mend his ways.
If this proves true, the ICC and its sponsors have muddled justice with diplomacy. If the world can dispense justice only at the expense of the weak and to the advantage of the strong, it should stick to the older tools of crime prevention: force and negotiation, and leave justice out of it.
Arab leaders have concluded their annual summit by showing their support for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir who is wanted for war crimes.
The Arab League said it rejected the International Criminal Court’s decision to issue a warrant for his arrest.
President Bashir had earlier spoken at the summit in Qatar, and won strong support from his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad.
Damian adds: elected democratic leader Hugo Chavez loves him some Omar al-Bashir, too.