Notes on Fidel's History will Absolve Me Reading
DepartmentLatin American Studies
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My Lai Courts-Matial
My Lai Massacre = attack of 500 unarmed Vietnamese and its subsequent cover up
Lt Calley a man who threw children into ditches and shot them at point blank range was
sentenced to a life of hard labour but had his sentence commuted by then president Nixon to
house arrest and later parole.
The story gives one the sense that after approaching the issue from the perspective of
individual responsibility the case whitled down to one man being responsible for the
entire massacre. His lack of punishment could sour the history for loads of people.
Obstacles in trying those who left the army made it hard to prosecute the
ICC in Africa – Kambala wa Kambala
African countries are considered critical actors for the ICC
The operations of the ICC are involved in ongoing conflicts
The ICC prosecutor runs the risk of intensifying violence in national conflicts should he bring the
world’s eye upon the conflict by pursuing the ongoing cases.
Article 16 of the united nation security council they can defer investigation for a year (renewable)
Article 53 states that the prosecutor may assess if an investigation would serve justice or not
The UN/ICC’s indictment of Al-Bashir angered the UN because Al-Bashir of sudan is a sitting
head of state and not a party to the laws the ICC wishes to enforce upon it.
Some speculate that the ICC debilitating effect on national situations via controversial
indictments is overstated.
On the opposite side of the spectrum some criticism the thinking that the removal of a warlord
from his still active faction having any real upside.
Few African countries have implemented legislation in line with the rome statute.
The ICC is able to review whether justice has been served by national courts through article 17
and has an opportunity to show off this power with the case in DRC with its supposed trying of
human rights abuses by military courts.
“The ICC has an opportunity to set high standards in the memory of Africans”
What is Crime against Humanity?
Nuremburg charter introduced the offense of crime against humanity
Vernon says that to say a crime against humanity is what is forbidden by international law is too
vague and lends itself to cheapening the term.
Vernon cites one Judith Shklar who believes that law is creative and lends itself to being infused
Invoking “humanity” has been one of the standard means of expressing horror and revulsion at
acts of great evil.
Crime against humanity is intrinsically tied to a sense of revulsion.
Nuremburg insisted in the beginning that a crime against humanity was a type of war crime, once
committed against civilian populations in the course of pursuing a war in the traditional sense.
But the war aspect was eventually removed.
In the rome statute (the statute which governs the behaviour and scope of powers of the ICC) lists
sixteen qualifying offenses which are eligible for consideration as a war crime including:
deportation, enforced disapearences, rape, and the practice of apartheid.
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