Leading article: Bringing justice to the world's tyrants
Thursday 18 June 1998
Although some kind of final product is almost certain to emerge, the real question is just how powerful the eventual court will be. There have been severe doubts about the effectiveness of the ad hoc courts set up by the UN Security Council to try crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, but the mere fact that the international community was able to muster sufficient energy and commitment to dip its toe in the water gave an impetus to a more formalised approach.
Now that something permanent is envisaged, however, realpolitik has entered the calculations. With the sole - and admirable - exception of Great Britain, the members of the Security Council object to a free-standing court, effectively able to decide it own agenda. They appear likely to veto any body which is not subservient to the UN - and thus to their own interests.
There are great practical difficulties involved in setting up such a court - the question of how the statutes would stand in relation to the national laws of sovereign nations, for instance. But in a world in which tyranny and butchery are an ever-present concern, the need for a powerful, well-resourced and transparently independent system of international justice is paramount.
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 Optical illusion turns blue demon into brunette
- 4 Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
- 5 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
Top 20 films that make you feel good
This is surely the best way to watch Jaws
19 British bands signed to indie labels are getting government grants to help them make it big abroad
James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
What if Nicolas Cage played every character in Game of Thrones?
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts