The spider’s web

By Stephen Gowans

A reporter for the Toronto Globe and Mail, Geoffrey York, says the warrant for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, expected to be issued by the International Criminal Court next week, will be hailed as a sign that nobody is above the law and even a sitting president has no immunity from prosecution. (“ICC readies first arrest warrant against head of state,” February 26, 2009).

Mr. York is indeed correct in predicting this will be said, but what will be said, and what the reality is, are miles apart.

There are two ways the leaders of the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China, and whatever allies they care to protect, can, and do, enjoy immunity from prosecution: By refusing to recognize the jurisdiction of the court, true of the US, China and Russia, and by wielding their veto power over the UN Security Council’s authority to order the court to investigate grave breaches of international law.

In matters of the court, it would be more apt to say that international law is like a spider web. Only the weak get caught in it, while the leaders of powerful countries brush it aside.

One thought on “The spider’s web

  1. Israel has not signed the Rome Statute endorsing the ICC.
    Livni, Olmert, Barak, etc. should be indicted for crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s