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Toward a UN "Terrorism Court". (Insider Report).

Writing in the February-March 2002 issue of Policy Review, the Heritage Foundation's flagship journal, legal scholars Abraham D. Soafer and Paul D. Williams argue that special terrorism courts of some sort are indispensable in the ongoing "war on terrorism." In the long run, wrote Soafer and Williams, "the existing Yugoslav tribunal offers substantial promise as an international terrorism court for particular types of cases. But in the meantime, the need for an effective mechanism is acute, and the [proposed] military commissions provide one."

"Unlike the executive branch departments, the judicial system cannot rapidly retool or evolve to accommodate the new needs of terror war," write Soafer and Williams, who both belong to the globalist Council on Foreign Relations. "Military commissions are a flexible tool on which the United States can rely to ascertain with relative informality which defendants are in fact responsible for criminal acts and which are not."

Another advantage of such tribunals, from the globalist perspective, of course, is that "they offer an opportunity -- not possible in the domestic context -- to create mixed tribunals involving civilian or military judges from countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, which currently exercise custody over the detainees [in Afghanistan], or from countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, whose citizens are among the detainees."

U.S. miliatry tribunals would also be able to employ "international standards of justice in formulating procedures..., the most practical [of which] are those used by the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia." Those standards, created "with the participation of many nations and the entire UN Security Council;' are not "identical to those found in the U.S. Constitution or in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure," note Soafer and Williams.

The UN-created judicial guidelines "do not bar hearsay there are no Fourth Amendment-style search and seizure restrictions. Trial by jury is not required. Under certain circumstances, witnesses against the accused may testify anonymously...." Prosecutors may try suspects in absentia, appeal acquittals, and retry acquitted defendants. And in the UN tribunals for both Yugoslavia and Rwanda, "a determination of guilt is made by a majority of :he Trial Chamber, with the standard of proof being beyond a reasonable doubt."

"The draft rules under consideration by the Department of Defense are consistent with these international standards," observe Soafer and Williams. Once military terror tribunals are established they continue, the next step "could be accomplished through a UN Security Council Resolution" expanding the jurisdiction of the existing UN tribunals to include terrorism and related crimes. In this way, President Bush's military commissions would serve as a bridge to a permanent UN terror tribunal -- a vital organ in an endless, UN-directed "war on terrorism."
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Publication:The New American
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 25, 2002
Words:442
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