Bellinger on International Criminal Justice

by Kevin Jon Heller

The State Department has posted John Bellinger’s recent speech at the Fletcher School on international criminal justice.  It is well worth a read, because it quite rightly highlights the US’s many important contributions — past and present — to international criminal justice.  That said, the speech regrettably dusts off all of the US’s tired objections to the ICC: not giving the Security Council (and the US, with its permanent veto) control over the ICC’s docket, not exempting Americans from the territorial jurisdiction of the Court, etc.  It also contains a few assertions that I think are unsupportable, such as Bellinger’s claim that the Bush administration’s “unsigning” of the Rome Statute was not “a confrontational… rejection of the ICC,” but simply a mild-mannered attempt to clarify the US’s legal obligations toward the Court.  Anyone want to buy a nice bridge?

The text of the speech is available here.

http://opiniojuris.org/2008/11/15/bellinger-on-international-criminal-justice/

6 Responses

  1. Wow Kevin. Picking up from our brief exchange on Julian’s thread (and meaning no disrespect to you at all), I got to say…

    This one is beyond parody: irony and hypocrisy just ooze from every word — but I did get to item The Third before I had to stop.

    I mean gee whiz, one of my major goals is to see some local applications of 18 USC 2441 after all, and Mr. Bellinger’s involvement in the Bush administration’s conspiracy to violate that statute by policy is just as ironic and hypocritical as it gets. Addington cut him out of the loop entirely, yet here he is six years later peddling soap for Mr. Addington and the gang.

    How do you parody something as ugly as that?

  2. Charles,

    I don’t understand your comment.  The Bush administration’s many crimes aside, do you disagree with the idea that the US has been a strong supporter of the ad hoc and mixed tribunals?

  3. Has been?

    No, I wouldn’t argue with that, but support can vary… a lot.

    How much does the United States support Barack Obama or the IMT Charter?

    How much does the Bush administration support them?

    And how much did the Bush administration represent or support the United States?  Like, ever?

  4. Let me see if I can be a little more explicit in the morning. The whole things just just strikes me as very insincere, on two levels…

    1 – The polished veneer of Bellinger, who strikes me as a typical Federalist Society type.

    2 – Masking the naked contempt for ALL law of gangsters like Cheney and Addington.

    These folks just strike me as completely phony.

  5. Bellinger is continuing his efforts to rehabilitate his reputation.  He made his bed and I am not sleeping in it.
    Best,
    Ben

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. [...] Opinio Juris had something to say about the speech which prompted a reply from Mr. Bellinger. (See http://opiniojuris.org/2008/11/15/bellinger-on-international-criminal-justice/ and http://opiniojuris.org/2008/11/16/john-bellinger-responds-to-my-post/.) The crux of the debate [...]