Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 195- Who down with ICC?

Dear Mr. President,

I'm a huge fangirl when it comes to international law. I LOVE it. If I lived in the Netherlands, I would have lined up for days to get to see the Charles Taylor trial. I think the International Criminal Court is better than Star Wars. So I'm happy to see that your administration has embarked on a markedly different approach to the ICC than your predecessor. I was happier still to hear your encouragement for Sudanese officials to cooperate with the ICC. I think that some crimes are better handled by the ICC, and, had I been in charge of, I don't know, the world, Saddam Hussein would also have been tried there. I think it is time that the United States demonstrated our commitment to international law; I think it is time we ratified our membership.

I don't just say this because I'd get the ICC logo tattooed on me. Our participation in the ICC demonstrates to the world our own willingness to stop acting as though we are above the law. It also lends legitimacy to the court, and to our calls for the prosecution of the Charles Taylors and Slobodan Milosevics of the world. We evolved past the vigilante justice of the Old West by creating a domestic legal system that could see justice done (mostly) without violence. I believe we will live in a more peaceful world once nations can seek justice in a courtroom and not on a battlefield. Yes, it's idealistic, and, yes, it may require that we hold our own conduct to a global standard that some Americans might not agree with. But I think it's well worth the effort and the sacrifice. There probably aren't many electoral votes to be gained in pushing for it, but it is the right thing to do.

I feel about international law the way I feel about government; it may not be perfect, but it is best improved through participation, not rejection. I'm truly proud of the steps toward full participation our country has made under your leadership, and I hope that your presidency sees us realizing the full potential of the role we might play in the ICC.

Respectfully yours,


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