Posted: 5/13/2002 12:24:44 PM EDT
The Globaloney of International Law
More courts, but less justice.
By Dahlia Lithwick
Posted Friday, May 10, 2002, at 9:59 AM PT
Call it the triumph of L.A. Law. Or the globalization of O.J.
In pursuing the war on terror, the United States has adopted the presumption that there can be no justice without the whirling and grinding of a justice system. So persuaded are we that fairness happens only in court that we have become dependent on a phantom international justice system, modeled after our own domestic system. But international justice is by definition different from national justice since nations pursue their own interests.
By what measure of international justice was the United States replaced on the U.N. Commission on Human Rights by Sudan of all countries? By which corpus of international jurisprudence was Syria deemed worthy of being appointed to the Security Council? In our massive failure to realize that international rules of justice are different from our national system of justice—even when they may look similar—we are harming ourselves and endangering the world. In fact, by insisting on applying the trappings of the American court system—objective investigations, accumulation of evidence, achieving unanimity by a jury of peers, affording painstaking due process to every international decision—we may actually be denying true justice.
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