According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: Free Tibet? Free Us From Tyranny of Do-Gooders and International Courts

Monday, November 25, 2013

Free Tibet? Free Us From Tyranny of Do-Gooders and International Courts

Sam and I read in the Wall Street Journal that China’s former president Jiang Zemin and four other top Chinese officials were wanted in a Spanish court to face charges of alleged human-rights abuses in Tibet. Jiang Zemin served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1989 to 2002 and as President of the People's Republic of China from 1993 to 2003.

Okay, maybe Zemin was a bad guy, but what the heck gives the Spanish court the right to charge him and his buds with crimes that may have occurred in Tibet? Last time Sam and I checked our world map, Tibet was nowhere near Spain. Apparently, something called “universal jurisdiction” allegedly gives the Spanish courts the right to issue warrants to make the Chinese stand trial - if they ever set foot in Spain or other countries that have an extradition treaty with Spain. The WSJ points out it isn’t likely the Spanish warrants would ever be executed, but “the ruling would have symbolic impact in casting a further spotlight on human-rights issues in Tibet.”

As a lady friend of Sam and me used to say, “Oh, for cripes sake!”

How could this happen, you ask? Well, an organization calling itself The Center for Justice and Accountability (C JA) crows on its website that it “is providing legal advice and support to the legal team that initiated the Tibet Genocide Case pending before the Spanish National Court.” CJA says it has assisted with the second investigation initiated by Judge Pedraz which concerns the torture of Tibetans holding peaceful demonstrations and the killings of more than a hundred Tibetan priests. “Thousands of civilian Tibetans have been killed by the Chinese military since the 1949 invasion and occupation,” CJA says.

CJA’s stated mission is to be “an international human rights organization dedicated to deterring torture and other severe human rights abuses.” The organization, headquartered in San Francisco, California, was founded in 1998 with support from Amnesty International and the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, to represent torture survivors in their pursuit of justice. CJA's first client was a Bosnian torture and detention camp survivor.

You would be absolutely amazed at how many organizations like CJA there are and how many different international courts and tribunals exist in our world. Something called: Project on International Courts and Tribunals (PICT) sorta-kinda “polices” - these international courts and tribunals in the following manner: “They ask questions, such as what makes international courts effective? What are the functions of international judges? What mechanisms are in place to allow access to international courts by non-state actors and other disempowered constituencies? How are international courts funded? What are the relations between national and international courts? How are jurisdictional conflicts between international courts resolved? How are judges selected? What ethical standards should guide international judges and lawyers appearing before them? What renders some international courts more legitimate than others,” and so on.

According to Wikipedia, “international courts are formed by treaties between nations, or under the authority of an international organization, such as the United Nations. Early examples of international courts include the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals established in the aftermath of World War II. Three such courts are presently located at The Hague in the Netherlands: The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Judges and high-level staff of such courts may be afforded diplomatic immunity if their governing authority so allows.

The Permanent Peoples' Tribunal is an example of an international opinion tribunal independent from State authorities. It examines and provides judgments relative to violations of human rights and rights of peoples. The Tribunal was founded in Bologna (Italy), June 24, 1979, by law experts, writers and other intellectuals. It succeeded the Russell Tribunal (or International War Crimes Tribunal), which, in 1967, exposed the war crimes committed against the Vietnamese people. The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal may use international human rights law or the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People adopted by the United Nations.

So, is it possible that one or more of these international courts or tribunals will bring U.S. officials to trial for enslaving African people or for what we once did to the Indians (uh, Native Americans)? Sam and I are so flabbergasted by the possibility - remember "The Mouse That Roared," we both suddenly feel an urgent need to go poop.

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