Sunday, August 8, 2010

Trashing Nuremberg

On the 65th Anniversary of the Nuremberg Charter

The Trial of Omar K

Robert H. Jackson, who became the Chief Prosecutor in Nuremberg, said in his address to the Canadian Bar Association in Banff, Alberta, September 1, 1949:

“It is possible that strife and suspicion will lead to new aggressions and that the nations are not yet ready to receive and abide by the Nuremberg law. But those who gave some of the best effort of their lives to this trial are sustained by a confidence that in place of what might have been mere acts of vengeance we wrote a civilized legal precedent and one that will lie close to the foundations of that body of international law that will prevail when the world becomes sufficiently civilized.”

Meanwhile, back in Guantánamo, we have pretty good evidence that the world is not yet "sufficiently civilized" and the Nuremberg Principles will be ignored as legal precedent. A Canadian citizen will be tried before a "Military Commission" that has no standing in international law, after obvious violations of International Humanitarian Law that the United States has signed. In the words of the Supreme Court of Canada:

"The principles of international law and comity of nations, which normally require that Canadian officials operating abroad comply with local law and which might otherwise preclude application of the Charter to Canadian officials acting abroad, do not extend to participation in processes that violate Canada’s binding international human rights obligations. The process in place at Guantanamo Bay at the time Canadian officials interviewed K and passed on the fruits of the interviews to U.S. officials has been found by the U.S. Supreme Court, with the benefit of a full factual record, to violate U.S. domestic law and international human rights obligations to which Canada subscribes."
Maybe it's the Republic that's on trial.