Monday, March 9, 2009

More de Waal

Sorry, but his rhetoric just requires commentary.
"It’s really regime change by judicial activism, and they’ve recognized it as that and of course they’re digging in."
Does de Waal know the loaded meaning of "judicial activism" in the U.S. or is he being coy? For the life of me I can't understand how a prosecutor of the ICC, and a panel of judges, given the statutes and mandates, upon a case referred to them by the Security Council, can come to the decision they did, of issuing an arrest warrant, and have that be characterized as "judicial activism."

Presumably he means that the *timing* of the decision was fully in control of the ICC, and so their "active" choice of the timing was their "activism."

So the positions seems to be one of the following:
1- They should have waited until an opportune moment. (I'd love to know what that moment should have been.)
2- They should have rejected all of the charges.
3- They should have secretly hosted negotiations with al-Bashir, extracting compliance with CPA and DPA in return to non arrest- like a consent decreee I suppose.

Frankly I am not sure why all of these are not still "live". The more I think about the ICC the more I realize that I know very little about international criminal law. Can the prosecutor and judges "drop" the charges, the way that happens in the U.S.? Can al-Bashir clog up the system with dozens of procedural motions, without presenting himself to the court? Can a consent decree still happen? Can a bona fide national judicial process still replace the ICC process? Can al-Bashir defend himself in absentia?

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