Judith Armatta addresses the World Affairs Council of Oregon.
The creation of the International Criminal Court has established a new venue for investigating and prosecuting war crimes, despite a lack of U.S. participation. Will the non-participation of the U.S. weaken the power of the ICC? What challenges are faced by the ICC in punishing war criminals?
Legal Consultant, International Criminal Court, The Hague, Netherlands
The Australian judge David Hunt is the man who actually approved the warrant for Slobodan Milosevic- one of the few truly consequential moments in the history of the ICC. I had the good fortune to attend a lecture he gave in Sydney 18 months ago. Short summary- the ICC is a hopelessly inept, hampered by incompetent judges and a politicized selection process that pays more attention to intrastate relations than it does to candidates qualifications. This from one of the men who contributed the most to the process. Don't buy the hype, the U.S., according to David Hunt, made a fair choice.
As you know today's topic is War Crimes and the International Criminal Court. And weare lucky to have today someone who has great experience with the establishment of thatcourt and monitoring some of its activities. Judith Armatta is an attorney who has spentapproximately in the last 10 years paying attention to the International Criminal Court in avariety of ways. She has been a liaison to the coalition for International Justice serving assomeone who observed, monitored, analyzed and commented on the workings of thatcourt, specifically related to the trial of Slobodan Milosevic. She served also as a legalconsultant to the coalition for foreign International Criminal Court working on theestablishment of a trial monitoring project. She is the author of a new book with a great titlecalled Twilight of Impunity, The Trial of Slobodan Milosevic, due out shortly.She also has worked with USAID and other organizations in the communities in thisgeneral area. Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, helping them with various judicial reformefforts. This follows it's hard to believe when you read her resume that she is not a 104.She has done so much. This followed 22 years of work in Oregon working on a variety ofdomestic abuse and women's human rights issues. She also had previously worked for theACLU and as a legislative aid and case worker for two Congressmen in Oregon and Ohio.She has written for the that international - Coalition for International Justice she has writtenlike 300 articles just for that but has myriad of other articles written in a variety ofpublications including the International Herald Tribune and The Chicago Tribune, theYugoslav law journal et cetera and of course, she does lectures all over the world. We arevery lucky to have her located here so that she can address this topic today. Please join mein welcoming Judith Armatta.Well after hearing that introduction I want to go home and go to sleep. It doesn't soundlike me. I am sometimes wonder why it is that I seem to pursue issues of violence andatrocities. How can I start out speeches with jokes? I haven't learned that one yet and soyou know, it's much better to have that kind of nice warm fussy feeling with your audienceinstead of having a noon time audience to speak about atrocities with. So I am sorry forthat. I am very pleased to have the opportunity of speaking with you today about an issue Iconsider critically important for our war weary world. As war has been with us throughoutrecorded history so have efforts to tame it, perhaps mirroring the split within the human psyche.It continually amazes me how stalwart is the desire for a humane and just given theruthlessness of our warrior selves. At the end of World War II face to face with theunimaginable horrors of the holocaust a few courageous souls steered the humancommunity away from revenge toward justice. As Justice Robert Jackson, ChiefProsecutor at the Nuremberg trials so eloquently stated that, "For great nations flushedwith victory and stung with injury stay the hand of vengeance and voluntarily submit theircaptive enemies to the judgment of the law is one of the most significant tributes that powerhas ever paid to reason.Pierre Hazan author of "Justice in A Time of War" writes that the Nuremberg trials wereactually the crucible of the culture of law in human rights and played a major role in theformation of a universal conscience of humanity. The Nuremberg legacy is not just a legacyon the limits of mistreatment of combatants, prisoners of war and civilians in time of war. Isuggest its primary legacy is the codification of crimes against humanity in the NurembergCharter. These are crimes so egregious that they offend our conception of what it means tobe human. The eminent jurist, British jurist Lord Geoffrey Robertson describes them thus,"These were crimes that the world could not suffer to take place anywhere, at anytimebecause they shamed everyone. They were crimes against humanity because the very factthat a fellow human could conceive and commit them diminishes every member of thehuman race. For this precedent alone the Nuremberg judgment was one large legal stepforward for human kind."The Nuremberg legacy lay dormant for more than 50 years. While cold war yearsprotected their respective tyrants. But in 1993 it was called to line by a colleague I respectvery much, Mirko Klarin. A Serbian journalist who has made his life's work the exposureof truth and the punishment of those guilty for massive crimes committed in the process ofYugoslavia's destruction. That was 1991. Two years later the United Nation's SecurityCouncil established the first International Tribunal since Nuremberg, The InternationalCriminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The next year, the UN birthed a second adhoc tribunal to respond to the horror in Rwanda.Though both were created with a high degree of cynicism and little intent to actually holdindividuals accountable, those who carried the torch of justice since Nuremberg steppedup to make their promises a realty. The two ad hoc tribunals were the stepping stones thatled to the permanent International Criminal Court which came into being in July 2002 andis now supported by 104 member states. Sadly the United States is not one of them.The ICC has a very narrow remit. It is only to investigate and try war crimes, crimesagainst humanity and genocide and if the members can ever agree on a definition, the crimeof aggressive war. The ICC is a court of last resort. It will only step in when state legalaction is not possible. The accused will be individuals, the most responsible, those whoexercised the most power over events. Presently the ICC is investigating conflicts in fourcountries, all in Africa, the Central African Republic, Uganda, the Democratic Republic ofCongo and Darfur, Sudan.The Chief Prosecutor has issued indictments for five members of the Lords ResistanceArmy in Uganda for widespread sexual slavery, murder and brutalization of children overtwo decades. None of the five are yet in custody. The ICC indicted Thomas Lubanga,leader of a militia group in the Democratic Republic of Congo for using children as soldiersand sex slaves. He will be the first person tried at the ICC, possibly beginning this summer.Just this week Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo indicted two men from Sudan, onea militia leader, the other a former minister for the interior for war of the government forwar crimes and crimes against humanity. These initial charges demonstrate some of thechallenges facing the ICC. The five LRA indictees from Uganda fled the country beforethey could be arrested. In Sudan the government opposes extradition and trial before theICC, maintaining local courts are capable of rendering justice. Government officials andtheir surrogate militias are responsible for the massive displacement of people, rapes andmurders in the Darfur region. Enforcement of its warrants will continue to plague the ICC.Another challenge confronting the ICC is real politic, preferred by diplomats through theages. Real politic is states, including the United States, making a deal with Charles Taylor,former President of Liberia, if he would step down he would get asylum in Nigeria,allowing a state to move into a more peaceful democratic period. This is after a verybloody war for diamonds where many people, civilians innocent civilians were killed andmany more were mutilated to having there limbs chopped off. You can the see the resultsof that in Sierra Leone today.The same was done with Idi Amin, when he took up residence in a palace in Saudi Arabiaafter looting Uganda's treasury and torturing and murdering thousands of people. But theUS and other states changed their minds and pressed Nigeria to extradite Taylor to SierraLeone to face trial in the ad hoc tribunal established there. He is now in The Hagueawaiting trial before the Special Court for Sierra Leone.That impunity doesn't work to establish peace is well demonstrated by the results ofgranting amnesty to the Revolutionary United Front in the Sierra Leone Civil War in 1999.It allowed the RUF to re-group and resume their atrocities for two more years. As with theICTY, the ICC is challenged to develop a body of law that is an amalgam of two legalsystems. The Common Law and Civil Law systems and to train judges schooled in thedifferent systems to apply this new creature.The ICTY experienced problems when the prosecution introduced plea agreements. Civillaw judges were suspicious and weary. They didn't like the prospect that an accused couldsecure a lesser sentence if he or she plead guilty, cooperate with the prosecution byproviding a full accounting and information for use in other trials, testifying in other trials andoffering an apology.In one case the trial chamber accepted the plea agreement then handed down a stiffsentence well beyond what the prosecution requested, thereby making it very difficult forthe prosecution to make plea agreements with other indictees. Eventually the appealschamber reduced the sentence.The ICC is challenged to demonstrate fairness and universality. If all its cases come fromAfrica, it will not be seen as fair. If the big powers like the U.S., China and Russia keepthemselves beyond the reach of the permanent criminal court resentment will grow. If thereis time we will talk about universal jurisdiction and how that principle may bring the UnitedStates and China within the rule of law, at least attempts at doing that.Residing in The Hague far away from where crimes under investigation have beencommitted, the ICC must reached out to the people in those States if their verdict is to beuseful to them at all. Video and even radio transmission of proceedings into Congo, Darfurand other places may not be possible due to the lack of widespread availability of moderntechnology or because of ongoing conflict conditions.Efforts must be made to bring journalists from the home country to The Hague to supportthem in this expensive western city and to assure they receive timely visas that will coverthe period of proceedings. This was quite a problem for Balkan journalists trying to attendtrials at the ICTY. Visas were limited to three months, not renewable until the journalistsreturned home and maybe not then. Local media could not afford to pay for journalists toreside in The Hague for long periods of time. NGO assistance had to be secured. Thesame problems will face the ICC.As the Darfur investigation has shown interviewing witnesses in the conflict zone can beimpossible. All witnesses, the ICC, interviewed as the basis for its recent indictments wereinterviewed outside Sudan. Many of those who testify will require protection if they returnhome. If that is too dangerous the ICC will need to relocate them and their families givingthem new identities.For atrocities committed in Uganda and the Congo the ICC prosecutor has chosen to issuevery narrow indictments limited to use of child soldiers in combat and as sex slaves.Victim's rights groups have strongly criticized such narrow charging as it virtually ignoresthe atrocities committed against other civilians, systematic rape, murder and torture and thelooting and destruction of homes. Because these crimes have not been charged those whohave been victimized by them will not be able to participate in ICC proceedings as thestatute allows or received compensation from its victim's trust fund.As important, a large number of victims will be omitted from the healing process that a trialoffers. The acknowledgment of their suffering by a world community standing with them toresolve their sense of belonging in the human community - to restore their sense ofbelonging in the human community from which their bond has been broken by the violenceperpetrated against them.The ICC is erring on the side of caution, to assure the evidence unquestionably supportsthe charges, to assure success in their first trial. Perhaps the prosecution also seeks tomake the trials more manageable by focusing on relatively few charges. Whatever thereason, for victims to see the ICC, as a way to secure justice, a tribunal will have to take more risks.A looming obstacle for the ICC is the non-participation of the United States and other bigpowers. The U.S. has not just, not participated, it has actively worked to undermine theICC. Congress passed the American Service Member's Protection Act familiarly known inthe Netherlands as The Hague Invasion Act, because it gives the United States militaryauthority to invade any country where its nationals are being held to answer before anInternational Court.The U.S. also negotiated Bilateral Immunity Agreements (BIAs) with a 101 States. Undera BIA a State promises to not turn over any U.S. citizen to the ICC in exchange forreceiving economic and military aid from the United States. Over 50 members of the ICChave refused to sign a BIA. Those who have signed are the States who can least effortafford to relinquish U.S. aid.Recently the winds of have change have blown through the White House, at least in somespheres. After four years experience with the ICC where complaints against the U.S. havebeen rejected for lack of evidence, or a lack of jurisdiction, the U.S., not being a member,the United States Government seems less afraid it will be hauled before the ICC onpolitically motivated charges, regrettably. At any rate the U.S. is now vocally supportingICC investigations in Uganda, in the DR Congo and Darfur where the U.S. earlierpronounced genocide was occurring. In addition the U.S. no longer withholds funds formilitary training to States that refuse to sign BIAs with the exception of Venezuela and two other States.We found it advantageous to have our allies and well trained allies, well trained to respondto global terrorism. Economic aid still has not been restored however. As well as harmingthe ICC, the U.S. is also harmed by its non-participation. Even before the Iraq War, AbuGhraib and Guantanamo Bay, - our refusal to join the ICC hurt the image we oncecultivated as a world leader in human rights and rule of law. After the Iraqi invasion, tortureof prisoners and holding unlawful combatants incommunicado denying them fundamentalrights guaranteed by the covenant on civil and political rights, we are pretty much seen as arogue State.There is a benefit to the ICC for U.S. non-participation, we can't do anything more toweaken it from the inside as we did when its statute was being drafted. For example,allowing the Security Council to veto prosecutions. I want to turn now to David Morrison'sfine article in Great Decisions 2007. I congratulate him on making understandable,something as complex as a labyrinth, where one path leads to another, leads to anothernever seeming to end. I do have to take issue with a statement that history and victimsconsidered tribunal's dismal failures at least as far as punishment and deterrence.The verdict of history is still out. As you might imagine victims are for a wide variety ofopinions. Both these ICTY and ICTR have handed down life sentences. The former for theCommander who lead the three and a half year Siege of Sarajevo, the later for the PrimeMinister convicted of genocide. I admit sentences are inconsistent, though there are effortsto change that. The inconsistency is largely derived from different philosophies ofsentencing in the judges home jurisdictions. Sentencing law at the Ad Hoc Tribunals is inprocess. We must work to refine it in a way that assures more uniformity.The ICC will take a lesson from this.As for deterrence we do know that impunity leads to more crimes. While the Shrebernizagenocide occurred after the ICTY was up and running. Those responsible had no reasonto believe they risk being brought before it. International players continued to negotiatewith those they knew were most responsible for the atrocities.We also know that identified war criminals are cognizant of what goes on in theInternational Tribunals. Milosevic disclosed in his trial that the leader of the Bosnian SerbArmy, General Ratko MladiÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¾ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¡ sought and received a guarantee from President JacquesChirac of France that he would not be sent to The Hague in exchange for turning over twoFrench pilots he had kidnapped. The political leader of the Bosnian Serbs RadovanKaradzic tried to hinge his state to MladiÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¾ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¡'s guarantee, but didn't succeed. It is rumoredthat he later secured a similar guarantee in exchange for removing himself from politics.Another measure of the tribunal's success can be found in their statistics. Despite lackingfinancial support and cooperation from U.N. members to secure information and makearrests, the ICTY became a fully functioning court; built up from nothing. Since 1994, it hasconcluded proceedings against one hundred accused; five have been acquitted, 48 hasbeen sentenced, 23 are currently at trial with another 17 in the pre-trail stage and 18pending appeal. The two of the most wanted remain at large is not the fault of the tribunalbut of the Internet, it's international supporters and most recently elements of the Serbianruling class including its bodyguards and police henchmen. The ICTR has a similarnoteworthy record of convictions. It has also convicted the first head of government, JeanKambanda for genocide.Mr. Morrison criticizes their tribunals for trying only a few of the perpetrators and only thehigher ups. Precisely that is what the tribunals were designed to do. They were nevermeant to try all of the guilty. The intent was that they try the most responsible and at leastsome of those accused on the most heinous crimes. The foot soldiers, so to speak, were tobe the responsibility of domestic courts. Traditional courts like the Gacaca courts inRwanda or special domestic war crimes courts established for the purpose such as the one in Bosnia.My experience tells me that not all victims found the tribunals dismal failures. Even thoughMilosevic avoided a verdict in his trial, I believe some witnesses who gave testimonyagainst him, felt satisfaction. One of them was ____, a frailelderly man with a presence in court that was anything but. His son came to him onemorning and said, "Father, my life is over." His wife and child had been killed. They werefound among 20 bodies in the family compound. 19 of whom were women and children.When Milosevic insisted that people had been killed by NATO bombs, Mr.____thundered, "No." And described how the children were taken from the basement andmassacred, how the house was burnt. He said people told him not told him not to gothere because they feared he would have a heart attack. My son said, "It is a sin to seechildren like that." With what kind of human feelings can someone commit a crime of thiskind against children, young people, old people? Though he was crying, his voice remainedstrong and clear. Judge May, the presiding Judge asked Milosevic, if, in light of thewitness's condition he had any further questions? I do I do, he answered, then said,"War is a crime in itself, and it is the innocent who suffer. Is it clear who created the war?You are furious because of the death of your family. Everyone would feel that way. How itcame to be war?" Mr. ____ interrupted, "You! You, as president,by sending criminals, the most evil criminals, tocommit crimes against children in the eyes of their mothers."At the end of his testimony he asked the judges if he could say something. It wasn't done.But the judges allowed it anyway. Mr. ____ turned to Milosevic, looked him squarely inthe eye and said, "I just want to ask you, how could you kill women and children? Haveyou no human feelings?" There was utter silence in the court room. Milosevic made noresponse. Other witnesses also had the chance to confront Milosevic, the man they blamemost for the loss of loved ones and the destruction of their way of life.I truly don't think they believed the tribunal was a dismal failure. As Eric Stover concludedafter conducting a study of victim witnesses who had testified at the ICTY. For many studyrespondents merely being in the court room with the accused while he was under guard,helped to restore their confidence in the order of things. Power, one witness, said flowedback from the accused to me. If only for a brief while this witness finally held sway over hispersonal tormentor and his current community's wrong doer. It was at moments like thesethat tribunal justice what is was at its most intimate.Tribunals serve another important purpose. They provide a way for the guilty to repent andgain some peace with the grievous harm they have caused. In the Milosevic trail, a youngMontenegrin conscript called the prosecutor and asked to testify. He described beingordered with a few other soldiers to kill a group of 12 civilians they had found hiding in ahouse. Women, children, old people, even an infant, he told the court what happened."The people shot at began falling down one over the other. What I remember most vividlyis how I remember this very vividly. There was a baby shot with three bullets, screamingunbelievably loud. I came forward to give my evidence because I wanted in this way toexpress everything that is troubling me. That has been troubling me for the past three years,since I completed my service. Never a night goes by without my dreaming of that child hitby the bullets and crying. I thought if I came forward and told the truth that I will feel easierin my soul. It is the only reason I am here."During cross examination Milosevic claimed not a single officer ordered him to kill civilians.He responded. "That is not correct. I heard this, the order not to leave anyone alive andalso 10 soldiers from my company can confirm it and in no way can you deny that. I wasthere. I heard it and you as Supreme Commander could have come down there and seenwhat it was like for us. You are issuing shameful orders to be carried out."Milosevic ends by asking whether any promises were made in exchange for his testimony.Mr. Milosevic, I am here of my own free will. Mr. Milosevic, when I tell this truth to theperson, who in my opinion, is the most responsible for all the crimes, it already makes meyou better, I don't need more.The ICTY and ICTR have also considered it contributed to the development ofInternational Criminal Law. They held clearly for the first time that rape can be a warcrime. They more clearly defined genocide in its all its permutations as they did forcommand responsibility, which was the responsibility of commanders for the acts of theirsubordinates. Mr. Morrison also claims that tribunals are all victors' justice. But is itvictor's justice when the United Nations creates a tribunal. The ICTY indicted and is tryingpeople from all sides of the bloody decade of the wars in the former Yugoslavia, Serbs,Croats, Bosniacs and Albanians. Who won that war anyway? I can't tell.There was a bit of victor's justice in the ICTR, when Chief Prosecutor Carla del Pontebegan investigating crimes allegedly committed by certain Tutsi leaders. Some of the UNmember states negotiated her removal as prosecutor for the ICTR. They fearedprosecutions against Tutsi leaders would destabilize the region. Real politic again triumphedover justice. The ICC, a permanent International Court was created to eliminate victor'sjustice or at least to lessen it. It remains to be seen how successful it will be. The fate of theDarfur indictments will be an early indication, they are obviously not definitive.Mr. Morrison notes that the state leaders like Milosevic and Saddam Hussein deny thelegitimacy of tribunals. They do and will continue to do so. The issue is how the courtresponds. In the Milosevic case the accused loudly and repeatedly proclaimed the tribunalas illegitimate and he would only participate because they gave him a forum from which tomake his political case. Then he insisted on representing himself when he clearly had nointention of doing so, yet the court allowed it. That made for a fundamental contradiction inthe proceedings and for a lengthy contentious trial. It was lengthy because Milosevicfrequently used this time for speech making instead of cross examination, then manipulatedthe court into extending his time.The other contributing factor to the trials length was Milosevic's ill-health which occasionedsubstantial adjournments as well as much reduced trial schedule of three and a half daysper week. Well, it is not without controversy. My position is that the court should haveappointed council to represent Milosevic from the moment he said he had no attention ofmounting a proper defense and did not recognize the court. Had that been done, it is morelikely the trial would have ended with a verdict instead of with the death of the accused.Despite the lack of a verdict the Milosevic trial collected thousands of pages ofdocumentation which will be used in other trials and will help establish a common truth as itoperates to prevent revisionism. Through the subpoena power of the court as well as itsprestige, the prosecution was able to obtain records that may never have come to lightotherwise. They included intercepted telephone calls between Milosevic and Bosnian-Serbleaders, transcripts of secret assembly sessions and the Republika Srpska spell, wheremembers declared, "We have done this so Muslims will cease to exist" and Milosevic'sadmission that he diverted money from Federal customs funds to support the Serbianforces in Bosnia and Croatia.There is no doubt mistakes were made in the Milosevic's trial and in other trials before thead-hoc tribunals. But as one commentator has said, the enemy of justice is perfection.Jeffrey Robinson expands on this. Many mistakes have been made particularly with theinefficiency and expense in some new courts. I do think, however, that justice will have itsown momentum and in time we will look back on these problems as teething troubles andfuture generations will be amazed that we let people like Pol Pot, Augusto Pinochet and IdiAmin live happily ever after their tyranny.In his article Mr. Morrison also addressed terrorism and how the US has sought to dealwith those suspected of involvement. Until 9/11 the US dealt with terrorists through itscriminal justice system. Two well known convictions are that of Ramzi Yusuf, the mastermind of the two World Trade Center bombings and Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman,sentenced to life in prison for involvement in a plot to blow up tunnels, a bridge, the UnitedNations, the Federal Building and the FBI headquarters in New York.After 9/11, however, the US turned to the language and machinery of war. As criminaldefendants, Yusuf and Rahman received full due process rights guaranteed by the USconstitution. Both were fairly convicted and will remain behind bars for the rest of theirlives. For a nation at war its enemy should have been afforded rights guaranteed by theGeneva Conventions to prisoners of war. But War on Terror was an exception. The ruleof law was inconvenient. It restricted US agents from doing what they thought necessary toget information and protect the country.So we now have the category unlawful combatant. A person with few of any rights. Aperson, who can be detained, without charge for as long as his captives want. In 2004 thePresident of the United States signed by Executive Order the Military Commissions Act of2004 which gave him authority to decide when and you have to send the captive before amilitary commission. The prisoner had no rights to an attorney, to see evidence against himif it was considered a state secret and no right to challenge his imprisonment through theancient writ of habeas corpus.In 2006 the US Supreme Court struck down the Act as an illegal usurpation of legislativepower. In October 2006 Congress quickly passed nearly the same law by anoverwhelming margin and presented it to the President for his signature as if it were abirthday gift and set up the seeds of destruction of our constitutional system. Recently afederal appeals court upheld the Military Commission's Act of 2006 as a legitimateexercise of legislative power. If the Supreme Court decides to hear the case theconstitutionality of the actually will be examined. There is hope yet that constitutionalfreedoms will not be sacrificed on the altar of expediency.The question that needs answering is not, as Mr. Morrison writes, whether its necessary totrade-off long standing liberties to forestall the worst the terrorist might do. The question iswill relinquishing long standing liberties forestall the worst the terrorist might do. Will itmake us safer, I have to ask how many people were won over to Al-Qaeda by AbuGhraib, by Guantanamo Bay, by the Military Commissions Act. A word on universaljurisdiction if there is time, how I am doing? Five minutes, okay.The concept of Universal jurisdiction is not new. It derives from customary internationallaw that permitted trials of non-nationals for especially reprehensible crimes such as piracyand slavery. It allowed Israel to try Adolf Eichmann, the French to try Klaus Barbi, the USto try Manuel Noriega. Under universal jurisdiction Spain requested Britain to extradite it'sguest Augusto Pinochet and the British House of Lords to decide to do so. Well, that wasbefore the Jack Frost said, "No way." Belgium has tried at least four Rwandans under this theory.The ICC encourages states to adopt domestic legislation enabling the state to assumejurisdiction of those who can be charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity andgenocide. It doesn't matter if the accused or any of his or her victims lives in the stateassuming jurisdiction. Germany is one of the first states to adopt domestic legislation toimplement universal jurisdiction. As a result the center for constitutional rights in NewYork, together with three other NGOs from different countries, has filed suit in a Germancourt on behalf of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib requesting andinvestigation of named US officials for ordering, aiding and abetting or failing inresponsibility to prevent or punish foreseeable war crimes consisting of torture, severebeatings, stripping prisoners naked and hooding them, deprivation of sleep and food,sexual abuse and exposure to extreme temperatures. The plaintiffs alleged the crimesviolate the Geneva conventions, the 1984 convention against torture and the 1977covenant on civil and political rights of which the United States is a signatory too.Defendants include political officials such as Donald Rumsfeld and George Tenet. Militaryofficials such as and I can't afford such as military officials such as missing here butGeneral Miller and General Sanchez and uniquely the lawyers who provided false andclearly erroneous legal opinions when it was known and foreseeable that torture wouldresult. Among the lawyers are the Attorney General, two Deputy Attorney Generals,Council to the Department of Defense and Council to the Vice President.Plaintiffs claim Germany is the court of last resort because the US gave immunity to all USpersonnel in Iraq from Iraqi prosecution because the US has not gone beyond prosecutingseven lower level soldiers for the crimes in Abu Ghraib. Because the US is not a signatoryto the ICC, therefore relief cannot be obtained there and because no other internationaltribunal is mandated to investigate or prosecute crimes in Iraq and because recently a USFederal Court affirmed the Military Commissions Act of 2006.What are the chances of the lawsuit succeeding? Probably slim. A German court rejectedan earlier version of the lawsuit because there were available remedies in the United States.Yet there is clearly a movement among states in support of universal jurisdiction to assurethat rule of law applies equally to everyone. That no one is above the law, in particular themost powerful. In fact that is the belief and the hope that led to the creation of internationaltribunals and the permanent International Criminal Court.If time permits during questions and discussions I could discuss the truth commissions andsome of the other topics for which there isn't time in my major presentation. So I wouldlove to hear from you.