For Global Justice
Amendments in International Law are crucial
INTERNATIONAL BY DR ABDUL MAJID SIRAJ
United Nations affiliated bodies are doing an excellent work in promoting health and preservation of mother Earth. Albeit the organization has a dismal record in its interventions in the political field. Every time an effective step was warranted the initiative was overtaken by a power with a vested interest and a UN rubber stamp applied. The structure of UN dictates that the General Assembly is supreme and must sit on issues like Libya urgently and take action to stop genocide.
The world order came to a crisis point at the end of the two world wars and member States signed up to the Charter on 26 Jan 1945 in San Francisco. This became the constitution that governed behavior of States with each other. International conflicts waned over the years but increasingly crimes against humanity have been committed against civilian by their own governments at an alarming proportion. There are no safeguards built in the existing regulation that bind governments to good behavior.
As the world order is positioned now the situation is precarious because the deadly weapons of war designed for defense against external aggression are at the disposal of a few unscrupulous people and they kill ruthlessly to keep themselves in power. An urgent amendment is sought to be included in the Charter to hold to account the conduct of the States towards their populations they govern. Even in democracies people have becomes ineffective and too late to save lives and onslaught from a despotic regime they sometimes themselves have put in power. There are no contingent measures built in to stop the damage being inflicted by the irresponsible government turned rogue and hostile to their own people. In the preamble of the Charter it is stipulated for the States to affirm faith in fundamental rights, in dignity and worth of Human Person and to these ends armed forces shall not be used. This preamble loses its meaning as the laws get definition and enforcement status.
Gaddafi is launching air born and machine gun attacks on his own people and the international community are making threatening noises at the fringes to appease world opinion. The regime is signed up to ICCPR (1966) Part 11 (A 2) to ensure all individuals within its territory, determine their rights to life and living. The offenders know that these are crimes they will be held responsible for at some stage in future. One past president is answering charges now at the International Criminal Court in Hague but that is too late to prevent a mayhem being perpetrated. UN can also investigate crimes under Chapter VI (A 34) in disputes between nations but it is not the nations that have turned rogue, it is individuals that must be stopped by whatever means possible. It is mandatory therefore to rehash legislation initiated by Kofi Annan then Sec General on 22 March 2005 and give to the turbulent world a reformed institution, the ultimate institution of justice worthy of its name.
I have to reiterate without any reservations that UNGA must meet now urgently and deliberate on the question of amendments to Chapter VII provisions. In its existing form the SC will authorize action if there is a threat to international peace and security or an act of aggression has taken place. They can then exercise use of force either under Article 41 and use of armed forces intervention or under A-42 by enforcing blockade, no fly zone and sanctions. The amendment or addendum must spell out in a horizontal mode of justice that any regime in the world where evidence has emerged that wanton force is used and instruments of brutality employed to curb rebellion or voices of dissent then the State has to enter a rejoinder immediately explaining the facts and comply with regulations. Punishments will be served as prescribed in a statute defined in the amendments.
This action will act as a deterrent and forewarn despots in advance that if they overstay their term or refuse to accept people’s verdict then they have to decamp from office and make changes acceptable to people. In case of non-compliance appropriate action will be taken against them. There are institution within the region to moderate and monitor behavior. Libya signed the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights ( ACHPR - 1981). The European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights ( ECHR 1994 ) in Protocol II, A-2 lays special emphasis that Right to Life shall be protected by law and that by implication means that only laws will determine life. The diminutives of Gaddafi like Saif Al Islam declares that people they are killing are terrorists. The name ‘terrorists’ has gained fame on the contemporary political scene, invariably to malign legitimate dissent and insurrections demanding inalienable right to self-determination. As soon as a forum of justice has decided to adjudicate on such contingencies as Libya or Tunisia then evidence will be brought to fore if there are elements of terrorism in existence and if they have been dealt by due course of law and order. It will be extremely difficult to locate responsibility of perpetrating atrocities by regimes who claim to be democratic in substance. The rule of thumb says that democracies do not come into conflict with itself or with other nations, but that question is debatable if the prevailing conflicts in the world are examined and democracies are investigated with precision. It may be subterfuge, extremism, idealism, or clash of civilizations at work. A future amended legislation will no doubt take an account of all these disparate factors in special case laws like Kashmir.
(Dr Abdul Majid Siraj has authored Kashmir Case Law. Reach him at email@example.com)
Lastupdate on : Mon, 14 Mar 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 14 Mar 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 Mar 2011 00:00:00 IST
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