Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2002-02-27-Speech-3-121"

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"Mr President, right is wrong. If all individuals are not treated in the same way, if war crimes and crimes against humanity go unpunished, how can we credibly pass judgment on less serious violations of the law? It is of the utmost importance for a permanent International Criminal Court now to be set up specifically in The Hague, the judicial capital of the world. This court is one element in the development of our civilisation. It should naturally be universal. Asian and Arab countries, in particular, are still under-represented, and I urge all signatories to proceed to ratification. It is very poignant that the United States too should refuse to ratify the Treaty. It was mainly the Americans who proclaimed in Nuremberg that individuals have duties towards the international community which prevail over those towards their own State, and that this should become international law. Meanwhile, for the Americans, the same international criminal law apparently applies to everyone apart from themselves. A rare insight into the arrogance of power is provided by a bill that has already been adopted by the Senate and that boycotts the court and every country which participates in it. Another outrageous bill would even authorise the President of the United States to use violence to liberate people kept in prison by the court. If sufficient guarantees are built in to ensure a fair judicial process and competent judges, there is no reason at all why America should be fearful of this court. The Council and our Parliament should get this message across to our counterparts in America in a friendly, yet unambiguous manner. Also, as many countries as possible, spread across the different continents, should proceed to ratification in the short term. The court should not become too European. It can prove in practice that States that do not participate are in the wrong. Anyone who refuses to recognise the International Criminal Court commits an injustice and lags behind our civilisation."@en1

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