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2009-2010 TOC: Economic Sanctions

2008-2009 TOC: International Criminal Court


I affirm.

Submission means to defer to the authority of another. Submission would involve the adoption of legislation ensuring the consistency of national and international procedures, making the international court an element of due process under US law. Because the US government only works through procedures, these procedures would have to be adapted or else we couldn’t actually submit.

An is an expression of the indefinite article, used to indicate “one single” or “any of a group.” For example, if I state, “an apple is on the table,” I am correct if one apple is on the table, but incorrect if all of the apples were on the table. If all the apples were on the table I would say, “the apples are on the table.” If there were only one apple, and it were on the table, I would say “the apple is on the table.” “An” is distinct from the definite article, “the,” because while “the” refers to a particular individual or to an entire class, “an” refers to one member of a class. Thus the affirmative has the burden of specifying and defending US submission to a particular international court from among the class described in the resolution.

International means among two or more nations.

A court is a body with judicial authority to hear and rule on questions of law.

Designed implies the intent of the international court. Since the prosecution of crimes against humanity implies an objective goal, the court isn't open to corruption.

Crimes against humanity are systematic or widespread violations of basic human rights.

Because ought is the evaluative term in the resolution, I value morality.

The standard is maximizing rights protection.

I contend that the US ought to submit to the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights with regard to guaranteeing indigenous land rights, which would maximize rights protection.

All negative alternatives or counterplans must exercise fiat through the same agential ambit as the aff. The aff fiats that the current US government submits to the IACHR; alternatives that utilize a different agent violate reciprocity since the neg can fiat action from a functionally infinite number of different actors where as the aff is tied to the current USFG.

The IACHR is an arm of the Organization of American States, of which the US is a member. The Court hears cases regarding widespread human rights violations referred to it by member states or by the American Commission on Human Rights. Cecilia Medina explains that the Commission’s purpose is:
“A significant part of the Commission’s work was addressing the problem of countries with gross, systematic violations of human rights, characterized by an absence or a lack of effective national mechanisms for the protection of human rights and a lack of cooperation on the part of the governments concerned.” The Court may consider[s] a case[s] that is brought either by the Commission or by a state party to the Convention. For the Commission to refer a case to the Court, [T]he case must have been admitted for investigation and the Commission’s draft report sent to the state party. In addition, the state must recognize the Court’s general contentious jurisdiction or a limited jurisdiction specified by a time period or case.”
Medina, Cecilia. “The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights: reflections on a joint venture.” Human Rights Quarterly, vol. 12, no. 4, November 1990, pp. 439-464.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights uniquely solves for the 2004 Land Distribution Act, designed to expropriate Indian lands through annexation. Zia Akhar notes:
“The IACHR, a tribunal of the OAS, based in Washington, has found the USA in breach of human rights of its indigenous people. This report came out in 2002 and received support from Amnesty International a year later. It makes this the first time tha thte US government has been found by an international body to trample on the rights of its native peoples. The petition was brought by the Indian Law Resource Centre, an Indian advocacy organisation based in Montana, on behalf of the Western Shoshone tribe, whose ancestral land had been incorporated by the US government, and its chief protagonists were the two sisters Mary and Carrie Dann. The Commission’s preliminary merits report states that [T]he US government used illegitimate means to gain control over Western Shoshone lands through the Indiam Claims Commission. This is now a defunct body, which was established by Congress in 1946 to determine outstanding American Indian land title disputes and to award compensation for those titles that had been extinguished. The US government has rejected the Commission’s report ‘in its entirety,’ and in July 2004, the Bush Administration passed the Land Distribution Act, which formally annexed the Western Shoshone land. The US government passed this statute despite the OAS judgment and before the Commission adopts a final merits report. This will contain the Commission’s conclusions and recommendations in the light of the US government’s response to the preliminary merits report. The case marks the latest phase in the Western Shoshone’s protracted struggle, spanning more than 140 years and including five decades of court battles to prove that they still legally own and occupy their tribal lands.”
Akhtar, Zia. “Human rights and American Indian land claims.” The International Journal of Human Rights, vol. 11, no. 4, December 2007.

The IACHR has consistently protected indigenous land rights. S. James Anaya notes:

“The growing international acceptance of indigenous rights to land reflected in ILO Convention No. 169 and related developments coincides with the jurisprudence, discussed above, of the UN Human Rights Committee and the IACHR regarding the implictions of the cultural integrity norm. It also coincides with [and] the interpretations of the general human right to property that has been promoted by the inter-American commission and adopted by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. In Case of the Mayagna Awas Tingni Community v. Nicaragua, the IACHR accepted the commission’s conclusion that Nicaragua had violated the property rights of the indigenous [group] Mayangna community of Awas Tingni by granting to a foreign company a concession to log within the community’s traditional [their] lands and by failing to othwerwise provide adequate recognition and protection of the community’s traditional land tenure. The Court held that the concept of property articulated in the American Convention on Human Rights includes the communal property of indigenous peoples, even if that property is not held under a deed of title or is not otherwise specifically recognized by the state.”
Anaya, S. James. Indigenous Peoples in International Law, 2nd Ed. London: Oxford University Press, 2004.

Violation of American Indian rights is a continuation of the most severe rights catastrophe in history. William Bradford 1 notes:
“Concealed behind the benevolent facade of the American mission is the brutal reality of invasion, slavery, forced relocation, genocide, [and] land theft, ethnocide, and forcible denial of the right to self-determination wholly incompatible with contemporary understandings of U.S.-Indian history and with the notions of justice informing the human rights regime. It is perhaps impossible to overstate the magnitude of the human injustice perpetrated against Indian people in denial of their right to exist, on their aboriginal landbase, as self-determining peoples: indeed, the severity and duration of the harms endured by the original inhabitants of the United States [American Indians] may well exceed those suffered by all other groups domestic and international.”
Bradford, William. “With a very great blame on our hearts: reparations, reconciliation, and an American Indian plea for peace with justice.” American Indian Law Review, vol. 27, 2002-2003, pp. 1-174

Land is fundamental to American Indian identity. Theft of Indian lands amounts to an ongoing cultural genocide. Bradford 2 notes:

“The relationship between the land and Indian people is fundamental to their physical and cultural survival as distinct, autonomous groups. Indian land is constitutive of the Indian cultural identity and designative of the boundaries of the Indian cultural universe. Indian land [It] transmits knowledge about history, links people to their ancestors, and provides a code of appropriate moral behavior. From the moment of first contact with European ‘discoverers,’ Indians proclaimed a sacred responsibility to preserve and transmit Indian land, and with it, identity, religion, and culture, to successive generations.”
Bradford, William. “With a very great blame on our hearts: reparations, reconciliation, and an American Indian plea for peace with justice.” American Indian Law Review, vol. 27, 2002-2003, pp. 1-174.

This practice results in a cycle of violence.

Paul Street; March 11, 2004
Those who deny the cimres of the past reflections on American racist atrocity denial, 1776-2004

It is especially important to appreciate the significance of the vicious, often explicitly genocidal “homeland” assaults on native Americans, which set foundational racist and national-narcissist patterns for subsequent US global butchery, disproportionally directed at non-European people of color. The deletion of the real story of the so called “battle of Washita” from the official Seventh Cavalry history given to perpetrators of the No Gun Ri massacre is revealing. Denial about Washita and Sand Creek (and so on) encouraged US savagery at Wounded Knee, the denial of which encouraged US savagery in the Philippines the denial of which encouraged US savagery in Vietnam, the denial of which (and all before) has recently encouraged US savagery in Afghanistan and Iraq. It’s a vicious circle of recurrent violent, well known to mental health practitioners who deal with countless victims of domestic violence living in the dark shadows of the imperial homeland’s crippling, stunted, and indeed itself occupied social and political order.
Power-mad US forces deploying the latest genocidal war tools, some suggestively named after native tribes that white North American “pioneers” tried to wipe off the face of the earth (ie “Apache,” “Blackhawk” and “Comanche” helicopters) are walking in bloody footsteps that trace back across centuries, oceans, forests, and plains to the leveled villages, chattered corpses, and stolen resources of those who Roosevelt acknowledged as American’s original inhabitants.” Racist imperial carnage and its denial like charity, begin at home. Those who deny the crimes of the past are likely to repeat their offenses in the future as long as they retain the means and motive to do so.
It is folly, however, for any nation to think that it can stand above the judgments of history, uniquely free of terrible consequences for what War Churchill calls “imperial arrogance and criminality.” Every new U.S. murder of innocents abroad breeds untold numbers of anti-imperial resistance fighters, ready to die and eager to use the latest available technologies and techniques to kill representatives- even just ordinary citizens- of what they see as an American predator state. This along with much else will help precipitate an inevitable return of US power to the grounds of earth and history. As it accelerates, the US will face a fateful choice, full of potentially grave or liberating consequences for the fate of humanity and the earth. It will accept its fall with relief and gratitude, asking for forgiveness, and making true reparation at home and abroad, consistent with an honest appraisal of what Churchill, himself, or Native-American (Keetoowah Cherokee) ancestry, calls, “the realities of its national history and the responsibilities that history has bequeathed:” goodbye American exceptionalism and Woodrow Wilson’s guns. Or Americans and the world will face the likely alternative of permanent imperial war and the construction of an ever imposing US fortress state, pereptuated by orewellian denial and savage intentional historical ignorance. This savage barbarism of dialectically inseparable empire and inequality will be defended in the last wagon-train instance by missiles and bombs loaded with radioactive materials wrenched from lands once freely roamed by an immeseaurably more civilized people than those who came to destroy.
Empirically, the rulings of the IACHR have judicial legitimacy and are followed by State Parties. Douglas Cassel explains:
“In the eighteen succeeding years, [T]he Court has achieved a remarkable record of jurisprudential and institutional success. Its 145 judgments in contested cases (through February 2006) advance international law in substantive areas ranging from massacres and torture to freedom of expression, labor, and property rights. The Court may have saved untold lives by its unmatched judicial productivity in ordering and monitoring provisional measures of protection in cases of urgent and irreparable harm. Its reparations orders in the last decade have become the most sweeping and fully restorative of any international court. And its advisory opinions have moved international human rights law forward on issues such as the right to equality, the rights of migrant workers, nad the right to habeas corpus. … The Court’s success in attracting Latin-American states is also reflected in the striking degree to which they [States] comply with its judgments. Except for an initial resistance by Honduras and a brief bolt by the Fujimori regime in Peru – quickly reversed once Fujimori was ousted – no Latin American government has openly defied a judgment of the Court. Albeit sometimes after delay or only partially, [M]oney damages ordered by the Court are generally paid. Prisoners whose release is mandated by the Court are freed. And [D]omestic judgments condemned by the Court are annulled.”
Cassel, Douglas. “Review: The Practice and Procedure of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.” The American Journal of International Law, vol. 100, no. 2, April 2006.

The US should submit to the IACHR because it protects human rights. US submission will broaden its reach, ensure its funding, and increase its procedural legitimacy.

Further, failure of the US to submit to the Court creates a zone of impunity for violations of rights. US submission would extend the legitimate reach of the IACHR, increasing protection of rights. Cassel 2 argues:

“While expanding the breadth and depth of its defense of human rights, the Court has also managed to win [won] nearly universal acceptance – even confidence – among Latin American governments. The embrace culminated in 1998, when the two largest Latin American nations, [including] Brazil and Mexico, joined the Court. Today the Court is essentially a court of human rights for Latin America, joined by all Spanish and Portuguese-speaking nations of the Western hemisphere, except for Cuba. In contrast, the United States, [and] Canada, and most English-speaking Caribbean states have elected not to join either the Convention or the Court. Although the US actively participated in an advisory opinion proceeding before the Court (on consular rights in death penalty cases,) [T]he Inter-American human rights regime is now in reality two separate regional systems: a ‘soft’ system in the North, guided by the norms of the American Declaration and monitored by the commission, and a ‘hard’ system in the South, bound by the Convention and enforced by the Court.”
Cassel, Douglas. “Review: The Practice and Procedure of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.” The American Journal of International Law, vol. 100, no. 2, April 2006.


I affirm.

Submission means to defer to the authority of another. Submission would involve adopting legislation ensuring the consistency of national and international procedures, making the international court part of due process under US law. Because the government works through procedures, these procedures would have to be adapted or we couldn’t submit.

Designed implies the intent of the court. Since the prosecution of crimes against humanity implies an objective goal, the court isn't open to corruption.
According to the UN , crimes against humanity: " constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings. They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government policy (although the perpetrators need not identify themselves with this policy) or of a wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a de facto authority. However, murder, extermination, torture, rape, political, racial, or religious persecution and other [I]nhumane [A]cts reach the threshold of crimes against humanity only if they are part of a widespread or systematic practice.”

When assessing criminal courts, the first priority must be the validity of the judicial process. Since states claim to legitimately deny citizens of basic rights using courts, courts present governments with their most potentially dangerous power. If procedural validity is the first priority, courts will work to ensure the fairness of their verdicts regardless of other considerations. If any other consideration takes priority, the courts become a tool to achieve that goal. For example, when national security trumps procedural validity, the first function of courts would be to eliminate threats to the state rather than to fairly determine guilt. At that point, courts become a tool for unlimited state abuse as proof of guilt ceases to be a prerequisite for punishment. Examples of legal systems morphing into tools of state oppression demonstrate the power of legal systems to oppress: the Spanish inquisition, the Salem witch trials, and the British Star Chamber. Since the state has a monopoly on force, government abuse has the highest potential to harm rights. Moreover, this oppression is worse than any other form of abuse for two reasons. First, oppression in the legal system is masked by the legitimacy of the legal process. If an official slaughters someone in the town square, it’s clear that abuse has been committed, but if a court sentences someone to death, no matter how faulty the trial is, it carries the appearance of legitimacy. Oppression in the legal system is masked by the assumed legitimacy of legal procedures. Second, the legal system is the only mechanism of recourse citizens have to stop governmental oppression. When the government acts illegally, citizens can typically redress the problem in the legal system, but when the legal system itself is unjust, individuals have no recourse. Procedural rules aimed at achieving valid outcomes prevent this oppression, so I value a just legal system, defined as one whose first priority is judicial validity.

The standard is maximizing impartiality.

Impartiality means the absence of irrelevant factors in determinations. Alex Tuckness 1 writes:
The ideal of impartiality is a central one in most conceptions of justice. At its simplest, [I]t refers to someone who makes decision only on the basis of relevant reasons and who does not allow private considerations to bias the weighting of those reasons. Having insufficient evidence of wrongdoing is ground for an acquittal; knowing the accused as a citizen of my country, a member of my family, a member of my ethnic group, or a personal friend is not.
The US, the ICC, and the Demands of Impartiality, Alex Tuckness, p.141-166. Brining Power to Justice? Edited by Joanna Harrington, Michael Milde, and Richard Vernon, 2006

This is the best standard for four reasons.

First, all individuals are fundamentally morally equal. There is no justification for treating some as having less worth than others; legal systems that arbitrarily give some more value than others embody a mindset that leads to the worst sorts of atrocities. Partiality denies this equal moral worth by suggesting that some are more valuable than others based on irrelevant factors.

Second, impartiality is the most fundamental and only verifiable necessary and sufficient condition of legal systems because it’s the only way to accurately assign due. Definitionally, partiality means that judges don’t give individuals what they deserve but rather what the judges want the individuals to have based on their relationship. Stepping outside of an impartial perspective means that individuals aren’t given their due.

Third, impartiality is sufficient for the validity of a legal system. The particular content of just legal determinations is infinitely variable depending on the case, but when adjudicators approach every situation impartially, they maximize the likelihood of correctly distributing due because they discount irrelevant factors.

Fourth, impartiality is key to accurate verdicts. Tuckness 2:

People from both of these traditions, and indeed from legal traditions around the world, can agree that [I]t is good for criminal procedures to be more just. If we can reform legal processes so that the guilty are more often convicted and the innocent more often acquitted, such an accomplishment is, all else being equal, good. People from these various traditions can also agree on certain practices that have proven effective in this regard. One important practice, often overlooked, is to instruct those who make decisions to be impartial and to enforce these instructions by sanctions in cases where it is evident they have not been so. Another recognized practice is to [We] exclude persons from serving as judges (or jury members) if they have reasons from favoring one side that not all persons would share- familiar, ethnic, racial, or national ties are the most obvious. But [A]bove all, [W]e do not normally let the person who is accused or the person who is accusing stand as judge in his or her own case, since this would violate what is perhaps the last challenged maxim in jurisprudence, “No one should judge his own case.” The human tendency to be biased in one’s own favor is too familiar to all. A criminal justice regime that more closely follows the above practices will, all else being equal, better secure justice for the persons under its jurisdictions.

Finally, in order to take out the standards analysis, the neg must answer back each of the justifications for the standard because the name of the standard is just a linguistic placeholder for each warrant.

I contend that US submission to the International Criminal Court maximizes impartiality.

The US has empirically not prosecuted war crimes committed by its own citizens.
Tuckness 3:

The first assumption is questionable. If direct attacks on unarmed civilians constitute a war crime, as many commentators believe they do, there are certainly US actions that would fit this characterization. The fire bombing of Tokyo and Dresden and the atomic bombs dropped on Japan killed hundreds of thousands of civilians. To this could be added bombings in Cambodia and [T]he conduct of some American soldiers during the Vietnam War. The My Lai incident, where a large number of unarmed Vietnamese civilians were killed by US troops, is only the most famous example. More recently, the shocking revelations on the treatment of detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison should put to rest any doubts that the perpetration of war crimes by American[s] troops is indeed possible.

Once we acknowledge the real possibility of US troops committing war crimes in the future, [W]e are left with the question of whether the US can be counted on to fairly prosecute war crimes committed by its troops. Since the investigations into the abuses at Abu Ghraib are still ongoing, it is more helpful to look back at the experience of Vietnam. Only one person of the many involved in the My Lai incident was convicted (Lt. William Calley), and he was pardoned by President Nixon after serving only a few months of his sentence. Today, [E]ven supporters of the Vietnam war acknowledge the barbarity of what took place there; they merely argue that My Lai was the exception. Though it seems hard to believe today, [But] roughly 80 percent of Americans supported Nixon’s decision to pardon Calley in 1974. Although there is likely truth in the claim that he was following orders and being used as a scapegoat to protect those higher up (the main reasons given by the public for supporting a reduction in his sentence), “following superior orders” was not considered a valid excuse when the Allies were trying Germans at Nuremburg, and [T]he [His] actual conduct of Calley more than merited a life sentence. Wars produce a characteristic “rally around the flag” phenomenon that makes it very easy for people to rationalize actions taken by their government and soldiers on their behalf.

Even if the US is not likely to commit crimes against humanity and fail to prosecute its citizens for these crimes in the status quo, there still exists a motivation to do so.
Tuckness 4:

The point does not depend on whether the US is a worse offender in the area of war crimes than other countries. There have, in fairness, been instances when the US has gone to great lengths to minimize civilian casualties in the execution of military campaigns. The point is merely that, like every other nation, [T]he US is tempted to breach the rules of war in the pursuit of its ends. Like every other nation, it will also have a natural inclination to rationalize and justify the actions its soldiers take in war, even if these are of questionable character. And again, as with other nations, [I]t is difficult for the US to be an impartial judge when it is judging itself.

The International Criminal Court has several comparative benefits to domestic courts in terms of impartiality.
Alexander Aleinikoff writes:

Copyright (c) 2004 The American Society of International Law The American Journal International Law, January, 2004, 98 A.J.I.L. 91, 13113 words, AGORA: THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND INTERNATIONAL LAW: International Law, Sovereignty, and American Constitutionalism: Reflections on the Customary International Law Debate, By T. Alexander Aleinikoff *
An international court's most important contribution to law enforcement will be through fostering confidence in the quality and fairness of its proceedings. n116 Current negotiations give every indication that [A]n international court will apply the highest standards of justice and adhere to internationally recognized human rights norms. Such a court could well provide fairer proceedings than many national judicial systems and could serve as a model that would aid in increasing [increase] the quality of criminal justice throughout the world. The diverse character of its judiciary would guarantee that an international criminal court is a neutral forum, not dominated by a single state or ideology, and less likely than national courts to be influenced by politic[s]al considerations. No credible claim of bias could be made against a court composed of distinguished judges from throughout the world community. An international tribunal, for example, could ensure that war criminals from all sides of the conflict are treated equally so that war crimes trials do not degenerate into justice only for the victors. Furthermore, by punishing the persons actually responsible for international crimes, an international tribunal may reduce instances of entire nations being punished for their leaders' edicts, as is the case when sanctions are imposed on a state.

The absence of the double jeopardy provision in the ICC is another benefit to impartiality.
Tuckness 5:

The decision to allow the ICC to try persons who have been acquitted in sham trials uses the same logic as Palko [a US state trial where the double jeopardy was overridden]. If the first trial really was a sham, the interests of justice [is] are served by a new trial before impartial judges. As in the case of Palko, a second trial is not unjust if it is held for the right reasons and if it is itself fairly run. The US objection, of course, is that it will not be. “Sham” may be in the eye of the beholder, and in international politics the eyes of every “beholder” will have political bias, some more than others. Once the ICC is granted the power to review cases, it is possible that new, politically motivated trials will be held- exactly the sort of thing a double jeopardy provision is intended to prevent. It must be acknowledged that [T]his is, indeed a risk. But it was also a risk in Palko. The actual judges and prosecutors who will staff the ICC might turn out to be corrupt, but so might US judges and prosecutors. From an impartial perspective, given a choice between (1) a rule that bars the international court from taking action if there have been[acting after] legal proceedings at the state level and (2) a rule that allows the court to hold new trials in the case of sham acquittals, the second is preferable even with the knowledge that [though] an international court might sometimes abuse this power.

From an impartial perspective, one must weigh the structural factors that would encourage biased judgments in each case. The double jeopardy provision is based on the worry that states will pursue politically motivated convictions, and this is indeed possible at the international level. But war crimes- and the other crimes under the ICC’s jurisdiction- are different than many other types of criminal prosecution because at the state level there will be strong political pressure not to prosecute or to seek an acquittal. It is [T]he government that must decide to prosecute and it is government judges who will sit at the trial. In most cases, [A] government that convicts one of its citizens of a human rights atrocity will be implicat[es] itself. The predictable bias towards not prosecuting will be very strong. If states that do not want to prosecute realize that they can thwart international action by holding a sham trial, such trials would become sadly frequent. In other words, [F]rom the perspective of an impartial legislator considering the political biases of both domestic and international legal actors, the ICC provision seems quite reasonable.

Also, the politicized prosecution argument is a myth.

Tuckness 6 writes:

In any case, there are [C]ertain considerations that mitigate the likelihood of this scenario unfolding. The entire spirit of the negotiation of the ICC Statute was to achieve consensus and bring the US into the fold. Other states realize how important American cooperation is to the success of the ICC and thus have a self-interested reason not to use it as a device to alienate the US. The US is also not the only country jealous of its sovereignty, and if the ICC were to start overturning trials that had been conducted in good faith, rather than trials that were clearly shams, many countries (not just the ICC) would be extremely concerned about the precedent. The UN Security Council’s ability to override the decisions of the ICC, should the ICC run amok, constitutes yet another safeguard which makes it unlikely that the featured scenarios would take place.
The crucial consideration, however, is that the actual amount of harm a corrupt ICC could do to US interests is fairly small. The US is not at risk of invasion, the collapse of its economy, or the elimination of its cultural ways of life at the hands of the ICC. The actual number of US citizens who might be sentenced to life in prison because of war crimes – the ICC does not hand out death sentences- is quite small compared to the number of people who would be killed in the actual military actions that spawned the cases. The harm is one that would largely be confined to a small number of Americans who might be unjustly sentenced to prison by such a court. Obviously this harm is not trivial, but it is not the sort of harm which invokes the kinds of moral considerations that apply when a state’s very survival and way of life is threatened.


The US must maintain peace negotiation as the only priority in Sudan, not arresting Bashir. Ceding to the ICC causes genocide and regional instability.

Alex de Waal (fellow of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and program director of the Social Science Research Council). “The TNR Roundtable Part 2: What Should Obama Do About Darfur?” The New Republic. March 5, 2009.

In the last four years, a lot went right in Sudan. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement was generally respected. Its key provisions have been implemented imperfectly and behind schedule, with numerous relapses, but nonetheless the majority of Sudanese have experienced real peace for the first time in a generation. After the slaughter and famine of Darfur in 2003-04, the level of violence in that still-troubled region has dropped to about 150 violent fatalities per month, about half of them attributable to the Sudan government, while a vast humanitarian operation has helped ensure no return to outright famine. The massive crimes of 2003-04 remain unremedied, but remedies cannot be found until there is a peace agreement for Darfur--and despite quite significant efforts, that hasn't happened yet. Progress toward political liberalization in Khartoum has been frustratingly slow, but real nonetheless.
Much could go wrong in the next four years. The biggest disaster in the making would be a contested partition of the country. Most state partitions involve serious political traumas and human rights abuses, ranging from the forced removal of peoples who find themselves on the "wrong" side of the new border to outright war, the further fragmentation of the partitioned country, the emergence of bitter and unstable governments on one or both sides of the divide, and the involvement of neighbors in a regionalized armed conflict.
The referendum on self-determination for Southern Sudan is scheduled for January 2011. This is the most important event in Sudan's history as an independent nation. There is a vast amount of political business to transact in less than two years if this is to be conducted in a consensual and orderly manner, and its outcome respected. Unless agreements are reached on the census and the voters' roll, on the border, on the disputed district of Abyei, on sharing oil revenues, on the Nile waters, on the access to grazing, water, and markets of pastoral groups that straddle the internal border, on the status of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-aligned populations in the North, on the citizenship rights of Southerners in the North and Northerners in the South, on the standing of the SPLM as a political party in the North while it controls the government in an independent South, and a host of other issues, then the partition is likely to be contested. To expect an outcome similar to Quebec or Czechoslovakia is wishful thinking.
Many Southern leaders believe that the U.S. is the guarantor of their right to secede and the security of an independent Southern Sudan. Whether we like it or not, there is an element of truth in this.
The Obama administration should focus on a single priority for Sudan during the next four years: ensuring that the right of self-determination for Southern Sudan is exercised in a consensual, orderly, and legitimate manner. Everything else should be secondary and supportive to that. Let me underline: everything. The President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has indicated that the ICC arrest warrant against President Omar Al Bashir is a threat to the successful completion of the CPA. The U.S. should follow President Salva's advice and set aside the court's arrest warrant.

African instability causes nuclear war.

Deutsch 02
The Rabid Tiger Newsletter, Vol. II, No. 9 November 18, 2002 Dr. Jeffrey Deutsch Founder, Rabid Tiger Project, BA in Government from Cornell University, in Ithaca, NY, and an MA and PhD in Economics from George Mason University, in Fairfax, VA. http://www.rabidtigers.com/rtn/newsletterv2n9.html
The Rabid Tiger Project believes that a nuclear war is most likely to start in Africa. Civil wars in the Congo (the country formerly known as Zaire), Rwanda, Somalia and Sierra Leone, and domestic instability in Zimbabwe, Sudan and other countries, as well as occasional brushfire and other wars (thanks in part to "national" borders that cut across tribal ones) turn into a really nasty stew. We've got all too many rabid tigers and potential rabid tigers, who are willing to push the button rather than risk being seen as wishy-washy in the face of a mortal threat and overthrown. Geopolitically speaking, Africa is open range. Very few countries in Africa are beholden to any particular power. South Africa is a major exception in this respect - not to mention in that she also probably already has the Bomb. Thus, outside powers can more easily find client states there than, say, in Europe where the political lines have long since been drawn, or Asia where many of the countries (China, India, Japan) are powers unto themselves and don't need any "help," thank you. Thus, an African war can attract outside involvement very quickly. Of course, a proxy war alone may not induce the Great Powers to fight each other. But an African nuclear strike can ignite a much broader conflagration, if the other powers are interested in a fight. Certainly, such a strike would in the first place have been facilitated by outside help - financial, scientific, engineering, etc. Africa is an ocean of troubled waters, and some people love to go fishing.


Anti-American ideologues have an incentive to spin US submission to feed the meme that the US is in a “war on Islam.”

Second, Arab countries universally reject the ICC indictment of Bashir. The BBC notes:

“The Arab League has issued a statement, rejecting the International Criminal Court's verdict on Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Upon the closure of the 21st Arab League summit in the Qatari capital Doha on Monday, the Arab member states issued a statement, refusing the ICC's ruling for the capture of President al-Bashir for his alleged crimes against humanity in Sudan's troubled Darfur region. "We emphasise our solidarity to Sudan and our dismissal and rejection of the decision handed down by the ICC," the Arab League secretary-general, Amr Moussa read from the statement, adding that the ICC verdict was aimed 'at undermining the unity and stability of Sudan'. Despite the warrant issued by ICC over Bashir's alleged war crimes in Darfur, Bashir received a warm welcome from Arab states when he arrived in Doha to attend the summit.”
BBC World News. “Arab Leaders Back 'Wanted' Bashir.” 30 March 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7971624.stm (Accessed 09 April 2009).

The impact is that US submission would harm relations with Middle East allies at a time when such relations are key to putting the brakes on international terror, which is the greatest threat to the US. Daniel Blatt notes:

“The suppression of terrorism, and the achievement of a wide variety of other national objectives, require[s] the willing assistance of other nations and peoples. According to the national security strategy, the greatest threats that the American people face are transnational terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, and particularly their combination. However, many objectives in countering these threats are not entirely - or even primarily - in U.S. hands. Efforts to promote democracy cannot succeed without widespread support. Reconstruction and peacekeeping in Iraq, Afghanistan and other stricken states "are far more likely to succeed and to be less costly if shared with others. This is one of the many costly lessons of the conflict in Iraq. The "hard power" of military and economic strength is, of course, essential, but the use of "carrots and sticks" alone cannot achieve these objectives. The U.S. may have achieved greater relative military and economic supremacy than any other nation since the Roman Empire, but [T]here is still much that is beyond [US] its capacity and beyond its control. It cannot start wars wherever it pleases without alienating much of the world. There are places where it [the US] cannot go in search of terrorist leaders. It needs broad cooperation for intelligence gathering and the restriction of terrorist finances. One of the reasons why England had so much trouble pacifying Northern Ireland was because of the flow of funds going to the Irish terrorists from the Irish community in the U.S. The bitter history of [C]onflict between the English and Irish left England with no soft power influence with this key community.
 This is similar to the problem the U.S. now faces with Saudi support and financing of Wahhabi clerics who preach intolerance and hatred for the West and for other Muslim sects, and who now evangelize their noxious creed throughout the Muslim world.”
Blatt, Daniel. Soft Power (Book Review.) Futurecasts Online, vol. 6, no. 9, September 1, 2004.


I negate. Ought is the evaluative term in the resolution, so I value morality. The criterion is international procedural equality, meaning that no procedure arbitrarily prioritizes certain groups of people.

First, all individuals are fundamentally morally equal. There is no justification for treating some as having less worth than others; political frameworks that do this embody a mindset that leads to the worst atrocities. Any policy that denies procedural equality is therefore immoral.

Second, borders are arbitrary human creations. Power-sharing schemes which give greater authority to some nations over others give false moral weight to the arbitrary factor of who is born on which side of a border.

I contend that the International Criminal Court entrenches the arbitrary power of stronger nations, violating international procedural equality.

Madeline Morris writes:
Because the Treaty is silent on the overall priority of interests to be served by the Court and on major policy issues such as the number and array of defendants to be prosecuted,[and] appropriate relations with active national courts, and the like, decisions on these fundamental issues will fall by default largely to the ICC Prosecutor. The Treaty creates an incentive structure in which the Prosecutor will be attentive, to some extent, to the interests of the majority states, but much less so to those of principally affected states or victims. The Treaty’s provisions on election, removal, and discipline of the Prosecutor and judges makes the Court loosely accountable to the States Parties. On these matters, [T]he will of the majority (or supermajority) of States Parties will govern. The Prosecutor is likely also to be somewhat attentive to the views of the Court’s broader international audience. That broader audience would include [including] media that Cover the court’s work and thereby shape international public opinion about the Court (and about the Prosecutor). It would include also the international legal and diplomatic communities, of which the Prosecutor will be a member. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) also will watch the Court and attempt to influence its policies. The broader audience to which the Prosecutor will be attentive may also even include states (especially powerful states) that are not parties to the Rome Treaty, particularly when their cooperation with the Court may be important. None of those influences on the Prosecutor, with the possible exception of some NGO lobbying, is likely to represent the interests of victims or principally affected states. The tendencies set in place by the Treaty’s accountability structure and the Prosecutor’s likely attentiveness to the Court’s broader international audience thus are unlikely to favor the interests of principally affected states or victim populations. The net result is that the ICC may largely fail to serve the interests of two of its three intended categories of beneficiaries- victims and principally affected states- and, as shall be demonstrated, may even impede efforts by states to serve those interests.



I negate. The value is justice defined as giving each their due, because the resolution asks what the US should do with regard to an international system of justice. The criterion is judicial consistency for 3 reasons:

1) An inconsistent judiciary can’t fulfill legitimate judicial aims because it leaves open the possibility for some to receive preferential treatment over others. Since an inconsistent judiciary doesn’t guarantee that best practices will apply to all claimants, it necessarily fails its goals.
2) An inconsistent judiciary fails to recognize the fundamental moral equality of persons which is the foundation of justice. An inconsistent judicial system arbitrarily elevates some people who receive preferential treatment over others who do not.
3) An inconsistent judiciary fails to give claimants a predictable set of standards by which to operate, since it enforces the law differently in different situations. Punishing people for violating unpredictabe or shifting standards denies justice because it prevents the law-abiding from formulating plans based on a static conception of legal legitimacy. (turns case)

Even if national courts are different in the neg world that is not inconsistent insofar as within a particular judiciary there is consistency my argument is not that there is no justification for regional distinctions between courts just that in a single judiciary like the ICC it is morally inconsistent to treat different people with different laws.

I contend first that the ICC is structurally inconsistent because it allows member states to declare provisos to the conditions of their membership. David Scheffer observes:

“Finally, although the Rome Statute prohibits reservations, [T]he US would be entitled to attach declarations, understandings, and provisos to the document as part of the ratification process. This is a perfectly acceptable though highly limited form of exceptionalism under treaty law. Many ratifying nations of the Rome Statute have made ample use of this entitlement and thus protected key national interests. For example, Australia has imposed tough conditions on the surrender of a person to the ICC and it has required that ICC crimes ‘will be interpreted and applied in a way that accords with the way they are implemented in Australian domestic law.’ The US could invoke a proviso, used in some of its other treaties, stating ‘the US intention that nothing in the Rome Statute requires or authorizes legislation, or other action, by the United States that is prohibited by the US Constitution as interpreted by the United States.’”
Scheffer, David et al. “The end of exceptionalism in war crimes.” Harvard International Review, November 21, 2007.

Since each nation under the ICC has the right to define what ICC membership means with regard to them, there is no static conception of what it means to submit to the ICC, and this means something different for every nation. Since the ICC fails to treat all members as equal under its rules, it fails justice.