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Readers' Comments on "Immunity for Core Crimes? The case of Tibetan Genocide"
When someone kills a man, he is put in prison. When someone kills twenty people, he is declared mentally insane. But when someone kills 200,000 people, he is invited to Geneva for peace negotiation- Sarajevo joke, circa 1994...
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Location: nz
Subject: security council
Oct 10 2012 04:40 AM

The only possible way, it seems, to use the security council, is if they, as has been suggested bythe US, to remove the power of veto. I am no expert on Inter. Law so I don't know if this can be done. It would probably take forever and time is something Tibet does not have.

Location: Toronto
Subject: Some thoughts
Oct 09 2012 05:54 AM

Hi tseten, liked your article. Some thoughts on the subject. The core area or part of this subject (i.e. immunity of persons/states over alleged international crimes) has been the principle of 'universal jurisdiction'(UJ). So, the success or failure in the cases against the immunity (impunity) ultimately rests heavily on the merits/demerits of 'universal jurisdiction'. Since UJ has been controversial concept within international law, and except in Western Europe, most states do not seem to regard it as binding international law. Especially in the global south, the concept is being viewed from the Post-colonial eye as one more tool in the armory of West centric international law to dominate them and to pierce into their hard earned sovereignty. Therefore, to begin with, UJ lacks uniform international acceptance and legitimacy. Besides, it goes directly against the international law principles such as state sovereignty, non-interference in internal matters, and sovereign equality. Further, UJ is rendered somewhat nonfunctional by the creation of ICC and Rome Statute. The Rome Statute, giving prominence to the complementarity principle and subsequent jurisdictions over only states party to the statute, clearly renders UJ ineffective. Since China hasn't ratified the statute, the only possible route for bringing cases against Chinese leaders over international crimes is Security Council requests, which is highly unlikely due to Chinese veto. Regarding immunity from prosecution, the ICJ ruling was clear that state immunity precludes bringing cases against officials for their alleged international crimes, thus limiting the scope of UJ. The possibility of having any exemption/exception to this rule depends primarily on whether there is any customary international law (CIL) in favor of it. The CIL is derived from consistent, uniform and clear state practices and opinio juris, which seems to be lacking (overwhelmingly) on this matter at the moment. There may be few states in favor of bringing exception to the rule of state immunity (to allow prosecution), but on the whole state practice on this matter looks very inconsistent, lacking clarity and uniformity besides indeterminate opinio juris. Therefore there seems to be clear case of division, mix up and confusion between lex lata and lex ferenda. Further, any possible scope for prosecution against an official (who had immunity ratione personae) when he leaves office looks remote as he is protected by immunity ratione materiae (unless acted in private capacity). So, bringing possible exception or piercing into the shield of ratione materiae (official conduct) goes directly against the legal personality of states in international law, and therefore seems highly unlikely. Also bringing cases against retired officials (head of state) who had immunity ratione materiae might possibly go against the general rule on 'irretroactivity of law'.

Location: virginia, usa
Subject: immunity?
Oct 08 2012 08:28 PM

Let me first say that I have no plans to enter China, or the nation of Tibet. Let me then say that I personally am extremely non-violent, and would only exercise force in a self-defence situation. However, let me philosophically observe the following: wherever men have access to large kitchen knives, immunity is a presumption, rather than a guarantee. I suppose the Chinese should begin prostrating to the Lord Buddha. Tibetans usually have an array of quite menacing kitchen knives, and Lord Buddha seems to be the only force preventing them from exercising those knives in the pursuit of justice! Furthermore, the array of usual weapons (tanks, mortars, grenades, assault rifles, etc.) are rendered ineffective at a distance of 2 inches, which is where the kitchen knife has historically been used to achieve justice where the courts have so blatantly failed an oppressed people. But alas, Tibetans are a Buddhist society, and the Maoist Chinese excel at torture, rape, and intimidation. Thus, even with the best of butcher knives (no pun intended) chances appear to be slim to change the projected outcome: eradication of all things Tibetan. Well, well...I am sorry. I must depart. I need to slice some "hairy wood ear." Some people call it "black fungus." It's a Chinese mushroom. I think of it as a fungus, but I just call it "Mao." I rather enjoy cutting it, even if I tend to be a bit forceful!
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