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Letters to the Times

Who's to Judge the Global Court?

April 14, 2002

Who writes the laws by which the International Criminal Court will judge people ("Global Court Near Despite U.S. Rebuff," April 11)? Will it operate on an ex post facto basis, which is expressly forbidden by the U.S. Constitution? Is there any process by which a mischievous judge can be removed? How long are the terms of office? Is there a confirmation process for appointees? It seems to me that this court is a danger rather than a safeguard.

Thomas F. Brands

Los Angeles

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The Bush administration is right to oppose an international criminal tribunal. Although the U.N. Charter recognizes the right of nations to defend themselves, e.g., against suicide bombers, the Europeans and their Arab allies obviously don't believe Israel has that right. What makes anyone think they would recognize the right of the U.S. to carpet-bomb the mountains of Afghanistan in response to 9/11?

Allen D. Allen

Studio City

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With all the talk of removing Saddam Hussein from power, there may be an easier way to handle the matter if he mistreats his countrymen or others in the future--and that is the International Criminal Court. On April 11 the 60th country ratified it, bringing the court into existence.

This court, unlike the World Court at The Hague, will be able to try individuals, not just countries. It will be a way to avoid the civilian casualties that go with wars, while targeting the person responsible for crimes against humanity. Though not retroactive, it would be a deterrent for future plans by dictators to mistreat their own people or others.

Karen E. Stone

Laguna Hills

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