Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Since it IS Apartheid, what should we do? Part 4

As I mentioned in previous posts, recently on the Israel Palestine Forum there have been a number of comments posted on the topic Palestine: Occupation not Apartheid. I have argued that it is apartheid. I am posting excerpts from some of my posts where I suggest that international law be used since it says that apartheid is a crime against humanity.

Quote from X
And who exactly would be that court of justice, if I may ask? And even if they did actually create that miracle and come out with some judgment, who would enforce it?

Because I took an international law course in 1963, I have continued to try to follow what is happening in that practice area but I have only done so somewhat superficially.

Thank you for that question. It encouraged me to take a little more in-depth look at some of the statutes and treaties.

The first potentially relevant "court of justice" is


The International Criminal Court (ICC) is an independent, permanent court (not an organ of the United Nations) established by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted in Rome, Italy, on 17 July 1998 by the United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court.

The court tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Rome Statute is an international treaty, binding only on those States which formally express their consent to be bound by its provisions. In accordance with its terms, the Statute entered into force on 1 July 2002, once 60 States had become Parties. Today, 105 States have become Parties to the Statute.

According to Article 5
The jurisdiction of the Court shall be limited to the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole. The Court has jurisdiction in accordance with this Statute with respect to the following crimes:
(a) The crime of genocide;
(b) Crimes against humanity;
(c) War crimes;
(d) The crime of aggression.

Article 7 defines Crimes against Humanity
1. For the purpose of this Statute, "crime against humanity" means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:
(a) Murder;
(b) Extermination;
(c) Enslavement;
(d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population;
(e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law;
(f) Torture;
(g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;
(h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;
(i) Enforced disappearance of persons;
(j) The crime of apartheid;

Here are the 105 countries that have signed on

Note some of the countries that have NOT agreed to have its citizens be subject to trial for violations of laws against genocide; crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression - Israel, the United States, China, Great Britain and Iraq.

As soon as the Government of Israel signs on as a party there is the possibility that a complaint could be filed at least against all the living Prime Ministers (Yitzhak Shamir, Shimon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert) for the crime of apartheid (and perhaps other specific Article 7 Crimes against Humanity).

Following the confirmation of charges, a case is assigned to a Trial Chamber of three judges. The Trial Chamber is responsible for conducting fair and expeditious proceedings with full respect for the rights of the accused. The accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the Prosecutor beyond reasonable doubt. Victims may also participate in proceedings directly or through their legal representatives.

Upon conclusion of the proceedings, the Trial Chamber issues its decision, acquitting or convicting the accused. If the accused is convicted, the Trial Chamber issues a sentence for a specified term of up to thirty years or, when justified by the extreme gravity of the crime and the individual circumstances of the convicted person, life imprisonment. The Trial Chamber may also order reparations to victims.


PS After some further review and analysis, I will comment the other potentially relevant "court of justice" - the International Court of Justice.

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