International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Tag Archives: justice

Political power change doesn’t ensure justice for Sri Lanka

In January, the 10 year reigning Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa was peacefully and democratically stripped of his power when his lost an election to former friend Maithripala Sirisena. This new brought possible hope to the idea of justice in the wake of a 26 year civil war between the Sri Lankan government and a rebel group known as the Tamil Tigers.  Although the conflict ended in 2009, Rajapaksa had a strong stance against international investigation or indictment regarding any war crimes or crimes against humanity that may have occurred in the past few decades. The election of a new president opened the possibility of Justice; however,  Maithripala Sirisena has already asserted that his administration will practice more of the same defense of Sri Lankan citizens that may be at fault or subject to investigation. The government is unwilling to allow investigations within the country and actively attempts to discourage any domestic calls for justice.

Ukrainian President calls for international justice for Crimea

This time last year, a political revolution in the Ukraine led to the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula. Today, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko uses this anniversary to reassure his people that Ukraine is dedicated to regaining control of Crimea and protecting “the rights and interests of … all the inhabitants of the peninsula, regardless of their ethnic, language and religious background.’

To achieve this goal, President Poroshenko brings forth accusations against Russia of repressing the rights of Crimeans throughout its annexation, and is calling for Vladimir Putin and all Russian officials responsible for the invasion and occupation of the peninsula to stand trial in both international and Ukrainian courts.

While both countries attempt to pullback heavy weapons from the front lines, Pro-Russian rebels within Ukraine continue to delay peace efforts through artillery strikes against Ukrainian forces. Russia denies supporting the rebel forces, however, the Western Powers and NATO have satellite images that show otherwise.

In order to deter even more serious crimes, the Coalition for the ICC’s Campaign for Global Justice has recently urged Ukraine to become a full member of the ICC through ratification of the Rome Statute. The Coalition’s letter to President Poroshenko reads, “Ukraine’s membership in the ICC would send a clear signal that war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide will not be tolerated.”

As this issue continues to develop it will be interesting to see how involved the ICC will become. If the international court is allowed jurisdiction through Ukraine’s ratification, what charges will be brought forth against Russia? The jurisdictional debate over the crime of aggression will be a focal point in this case, and if the satellite images are proven to be real, similar charges to Charles Taylor’s “aiding and abetting” the rebel forces in Sierra Leone could be on the table. It seems to me that joining the ICC is definitely in Ukraine’s best interest if Poroshenko truly wishes to see Russia held accountable for its actions. We will have to wait and see what the Ukrainian leadership decides to do.

Articles here and here.

The Gacaca court system in Rwanda

As we have discussed in class, three different court systems have been used to prosecute the perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide: the ICTR, the national court system, and the local-level Gacaca court system. These systems have, on the aggregate, been quite successful in terms of the sheer number of cases they have tried since the genocide; however, there are still many concerns about the legitimacy and biases of the Gacaca courts, ultimately resulting in what the BBC terms, ‘controversial justice’ (BBC).

Immediately following the genocide in 1994, Rwanda’s legal system was left largely in disarray. In order to prosecute the large volume of genocidaires, it became clear that employing various court systems would be necessary. As a result, the Gacaca courts transitioned from settling only small local disputes and adapted to “a more conventional model of punitive justice,” which sought to “reveal the truth about the genocide” (HRW). In 2005, these courts began prosecuting the “thousands of accused still awaiting trial in the national court system,” to further their goals of achieving “justice and reconciliation at the grassroots level” (UN).

By 2012, the system of 12,000 community-based courts had tried over 1.2 million perpetrators throughout Rwanda (UN & BBC). According to statistics, approximately 65% of those tried were found guilty, and were subsequently sentenced. In these local courts though, it was possible to significantly reduce your sentence if you showed signs of remorse, publically apologized, and asked for forgiveness from your community (UN). Consequently, some called into the question the legitimacy of the courts— fearing that convicted genocidaires could deliver falsely “sincere” apologies in order to “return home without further penalty” (HRW & UN).

As the Human Rights Watch asserted, the expectation that the Gacaca courts would achieve “national-level reconciliation” in these few years was pretty far-fetched (HRW). In fact, a multitude of other factors caused people to question the legitimacy of these trials, including corruption, personal ties, and intimidation (HWR). Although the BBC reported that “many people in Rwanda” have credited the system for “help[ing] to mend the wounds of the past,” the Gacaca’s ability to promote justice and reconciliation has undoubtedly been challenged by these underlying problems (BBC & HRW). For these reasons— as well as the many reasons we have discussed in class— it is and will remain to be very difficult to assess the success of these courts for many years to come.

Duvalier could be charged with crimes against humanity


A Haitian appellate court has ruled that deposed dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier (also known as “Baby Doc”) could be charged with crimes against humanity, and for crimes committed by the army and paramilitary during his reign. This reverses the 2012 ruling that stated Duvalier could not be charged for his alleged involvement for these crimes due to the statute of limitations running out.

The appellate court has made their ruling based on standards of international law over Haitian law. Human rights lawyer, Pierre Esperance, stated “Haiti is not isolated and international right applies in the country. So crimes against humanity are part of our law,” human rights rights lawyer. Since the 2012 ruling, the UN high commissioner for human rights, along with other human rights advocates, have asserted that there is no statute of limitations for human rights violations under international law.

Duvalier has consistently denied these accusations, and even fled into exile for 25 years. Upon his return to Haiti in 2011, however, he issued an apology to victims of his government. This, along with Haiti’s truth commission being largely unsuccessful (as mentioned in the Méndez reading), provide evidence that peace (or lack of violence) has been insufficient in promoting reconciliation. Rather, justice (through the acknowledgement of Duvalier’s dictatorship and investigation of his crimes) has provided a greater sense of reconciliation, especially for victims who have been in search of answers and justice.

Is this case also an example of how international law can becoming an overarching factor in determining domestic conflicts? Defense attorney, Fritzo Canton, has made claims that the judges are under the influence of “extreme left-wing” international human rights groups.  On the other hand, while the influence of international law has reopened investigations of Duvalier’s crimes, the trials and investigations are being done by Haitian courts. It does not seem like the influence of groups promoting international standards are overstepping their bounds, especially considering the fact that their influence has primarily been in defense of victims who are demanding justice.

Source: Chicago Tribune

Relationship Between Amnesty and Justice…A Constant Struggle

Successful amnesty is viewed as a significant way to reach the desirable goal of reintegrating perpetrators. In the process of granting amnesties efforts to uncover the past are disillusioned, and memories of the past are left to simmer and possibly be re-ignited causing future violence. When leaders of war crimes are granted amnesty the victims who underwent horrible atrocities whom see the perpetrator receive compensation for the harm they themselves underwent, in turn leads victims to feel that justice has not been met. Amnesty from the Greek root Amnestia, literally means to forget. Is it fair for the court to grant amnesties and push the victims to simply forget what has happened to them? I think the reason behind granting amnesties is more political than social. Example of political amnesty (political incentive to promote peace) Charles Taylor. Self-given political amnesty classic case April 1978 General Pinochet introduced a tailor-made amnesty law that covered crimes and misdemeanors committed since the coup of 1973.

The ICC chief prosecutor Bensouda in regard to Libya trying the case of Gaddafi and Senussi advocates that Libya have the right to implement its own judicial system and conduct a fair trial however she urges Libya should not grant amnesty for the war crimes committed. She formally stated,

“My Office takes note of Law 38, granting amnesty at the national level for “acts made necessary by the 17 February revolution”; as well as Law 35, which purportedly ensures that any act found to be in contravention of international laws and human rights covenants will not be exempt. I encourage the new Libyan government, scheduled to be sworn in the coming days, to ensure that there is no amnesty for international crimes and no impunity for crimes, regardless of who is the perpetrator and who is the victim”

It is interesting that she outright states Libya should not grant Gaddfi and Senussi amnesty. Perhaps this is her way of aligning justice for the victims as a higher objective than political peace.

Questions that I want to continue thinking about include: are amnesties capable of securing justice and what power do amnesties have in the eyes of perpetrators?  (especially when they know amnesty can be retracted such as in the case of Charles Taylor)


Hannah Arendt (2012): The Banality of Evil

arendt“Hannah Arendt,” a film by German director Margarethe von Trotta, portrays one of the greatest and most controversial political theorists of the 21st century in biopic format. Von Trott, while maintaining a commitment to the medium, paints a fascinating picture of a historical moment of international justice (the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem) as experienced by a provocative German-Jewish intellect (Arendt) living in the shadow of the Shoah. Barbara Sukowa, who takes on the leading role, provides a stunning portrait of Arendt as she travels to Jerusalem to cover the trial of former Nazi Adolf Eichmann.

While von Trotta is dedicated to tracing Arendt’s personal life and intellectual development (not to mention including undercurrents of second wave feminism, although Arendt was certainly not a feminist), the overwhelming thrust of the film is in the representation of Arendt as a critical survivor; she views Eichmann, the guilty on trial in Jerusalem, through the eyes of a theorist, a theorist dedicated to explaining the societal, political, and cultural aspects which construct and manipulate the thinking and agency of the individual.

The film centers on the birth of Arendt’s thesis, the “banality of evil,” which subsequently was included in her report in the New Yorker, and later developed and extended in her book, Eichmann in Jerusalem. Arendt watches Eichmann on trial as he provides his “Nuremberg defense,” pleading that he was following orders and deferring to leadership. He argues that to not obey was to be a traitor to Germany and the Reich. Notably, von Trotta uses actual footage of Eichmann on trial which creates a very visceral experience as the audience observes the real Eichmann standing before Sukowa’s Arendt.

As Arendt watches the trial, she concludes that Eichmann, rather than suffering from any particular character flaw, acted like any human would under the pressures of the regime, the ideology of the Final Solution, and, importantly, his conviction that his actions were just. The crimes for which he faced trial were not the products of an inherent evil on the individual level.

Arendt’s conclusion, which in some ways accused the Jewish people of being compliant, was refuted across the world and even within her close intellectual community at the New School. Arendt challenged Nuremberg’s ability to provide true justice and theorized a new way of thinking about the power of regimes and the role of society (as a whole) in such atrocities. Her thesis added new complexities to debates of truth, justice, guilt, and conviction.

In these paragraphs, I have attempted to provide a brief summary of the film, but admittedly I could not account for all the intricacies of von Trotta’s cinematic work. I recommend watching the film if you have time or at least examining some of the more interesting commentaries such as this one in Black Wall/Dark Room by David Grossman or this New York Times article by Roger Berkowitz (which focuses more on Arendt’s actual philosophy).

Effectiveness of Proceedings

Effectiveness of Proceedings

In the case against Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, there have been continual talks that the prosecution may eventually be forced to withdraw from lack of evidence.

Kenya’s government is considered to be obstructing the crimes against humanity case against its president by withholding access to crucial documents. 

Under Article 17, what kind of jurisdiction can ICC exercise when no action is taken by the state or when the state is unwilling or unable to genuinely carry out the investigation in the prosecution?

The terms “unwilling” and “genuine” both seem to have complex political ties based on both normative and empirical factors.

Even if the Kenyan government were to comply and provide evidence, how would we know if the evidence presented will suffice? Is there a reward system set in place in order to get evidence on a more timely manner? If the ICC acts, in certain respects, as a human rights court, and they do not reflect the intentions of due process, wouldn’t this be inconsistent with the intention of bringing people to justice?

As with so many cases, I understand that delay may be necessary (but not a sufficient requirement), but how does the Court assess delay and reasonable time? Is this simply determined on a case-by-case basis? Is sickness and death of indicted individuals the ultimate delay in justice? 

A Play of (In)Justice

Coincidentally, I read a play that dealt with some of our course themes in one of my other classes this week.  The play by Peter Weiß, titled Die Ermittlung (The Investigation), recounts the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials of 1963-1965.  The play describes several occurrences within the Auschwitz walls during the World War II by utilizing the actual transcripts of the trials and the authentic statements and accounts given by witnesses and the defendants.

The play wrestles with the gray-zone between perpetrator and victim during the atrocities, but it also lead me to think about the country of Germany after the war ended.  How does a country cope with the atrocities that occurred by its hand?  One of the defendants even went so far as to say that all should be forgotten and the country just needed to move on.  What struck me the most was the fact that although the “Big Fish” who were widely responsible for giving the orders for the killings were prosecuted, the following generation of young Germans were the ones unhappy with the outcome and felt that justice was not served, not necessarily the victims themselves.  In fact, the Germany Student Movement of 1968 was widely due to the fact that Nazi officers were still in high office in Germany, leading a very comfortable life.  The importance of justice is not only for the victims and perpetrators of the crimes, but also for the following generations.

Argentina Begins Trials

Argentina is currently undertaking the “largest trials” for 68 officials who committed crimes against humanity during the period of the Dirty War. Juan Mendez, one of the authors of the pieces we read for the Truth Commissions section, and who is now the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, claims that these trials were a necessity for Argentinian society to move forward. In the video it also shows how even though 30 years have passed, the events of that took place in the Dirty War are still on people’s mind and that there remains a demand for justice.

When thinking about the debate regarding justice vs. peace, I find Vinjamuri’s argument about the importance of sequencing in order to achieve a successful transition very compelling. I think there is a general consensus that some kind of accountability is essential to the process, but just how much of it must be compromised and for how long remains an issue of contention. Argentina’s process has taken over 3 decades and its path has been complicated by the passing of several amnesties and by the resurgent threats of social upheaval. In the end however, the amnesties were declared illegal in 2007 allowing for these trials to take place. At the same time, is 30 years too long for victims, survivors, and families to receive truth and reparations? Or should we see this as acceptable as long as justice comes at some point and even if it comes in piecemeal portions? The international community must also consider whether the length of time between the crime and the trials has an effect on decreasing the prevalence of impunity within a society so that it may strengthen the rule of law.

No Justice in Indonesia?

Indonesia faces a dilemma in which the country set up human right courts in 2000 but the courts have not yet convicted a single case. This is an especially large problem because data from the Missing Persons and Victims of Violence NGO estimates that more than one million people have been subjected to human rights abuses between the years of 196 and 1998, most of which occurred under the rule of President Suharto. Since the founding of the courts, 12 cases have been heard before the four human rights courts but there have been no convictions, making it difficult to bring perpetrators of human rights violations to justice. There have been many stories of enforced disappearances amongst those who challenged the military regime during the country’s transition to democracy and additional cases of state and police brutality, torture, and killings of activists during a separatist conflict in the Papuan region. Furthermore, members of minority religious groups, like the Ahmadiyah, an Islamic sect, have been prosecuted for their beliefs. These types of human rights abuses continue to happen for several reasons: victims are afraid to speak out for fear of being terrorized; a culture of impunity that is prevalent in the region; and a lack of evidence in the cases. It is imperative that the state address this history of human rights abuses, but will human rights courts address all of the aforementioned problems? Although “the country’s Constitutional Court declared a 2006 law on Truth and Reconciliation unconstitutional,” it appears to me that a truth commission would probably be most beneficial to victims of human rights abuses in Indonesia.

The Impact of Visuals on Justice and Peace

This video was posted on the IJCentral page and looks at the relationship of visual images and war crimes trials.

The video was put together by a team at King’s College in London who studied the role that visual images can play in achieving justice and peace in a post-conflict society. Not surprisingly, as more and more people around the world have access to televisions, the internet and other sources of news, visual images of war crimes are not only reaching a large audience but also playing a bigger role in swaying public opinion.

The researchers looked specifically at the case of the Yugoslavia tribunals and how video footage of the Scorpion Unit killing civillians affected those in the courtroom. According to the surveyed participants in the courtroom, the footage had a far greater evidentiary effect than anything else that was presented in the trial.

As previously mentioned, images can be used to sway public opinion and often can promote reconciliation. Images of atrocities sway the hearts and minds of the public and be used to teach societies to acknowledge past violence and promote peace.

What I found particularly interesting in this clip was the reaction of victims to watching the criminal proceedings. Criminal accountability for the perpetrator that wronged them is often mentioned as what victims want from a State. One would think that if a victim couldn’t be physically present at a trial, they would want to watch the trial on TV and watch the person that harmed them face justice. However the researchers in the video mentioned that victims often feel isolated and detached from the courtroom, understandable so because the trial way occur thousand of miles from where they live, but they also feel disgusted as they watch. They find the “politeness” and “sycophancy” of the court disturbing. Even though the perpetrator is being held accountable for his crimes, and justice is being served, peace in the mind of the victim is still not achieved.

“State Change”: What Peace and Justice Change

I wanted to bring the Peace vs Justice to a direct point: If there is a dichotomy here, and a single choice, what ought we to prefer? Of course this might be the basis for many people’s final paper, but I wanted to share an a hypothesis/question that might be enlightening. Particularly in response to the Grono and O’Brien piece that begins to ask how justice–>peace and amnesty(peace)–>peace, I think the historical record is particularly interesting. The authors assert that where “peace deals that sacrifice justice often fail to produce peace”, we ought to be wary about preferring temporary “peace” as it might not mean “peace” in the long term. I think that, consulting the historical record, we will find that there are many cases where temporary peace deals lead to conflict/abuse later, but we will find almost no cases where authentic efforts of justice lead to later widespread conflict/abuse. On the first case, the authors give many examples where peace deal/amnesty–>later conflict (Sierra Leona/Angola) as well as peace deal/amnesty–>peace (Mozambique). Thus peace/amnesty/sacrificing justice can mean peace but does not even mostly mean peace. On the other hand, it is truly hard to find a case where a system that prefers justice ever leads to later return to conflict. True, many of these cases mean prolonged conflict before justice is reached (Uganda for a long period), but our history of tribunals and prosecutions hardly finds a single case of return to violence. Am I wrong? Am I missing some glaring examples? (I might be).

If this is the case, though, I suggest that it has to do with the ability of either goal to actually change the status quo. I posit that peace deals simply revert societies to a state of non-war–particularly one that allowed for the widespread crisis in the first place. Justice, on the other hand, creates a structural change in government/society, through personnel/form/status, that fundamentally alters the conditions allowing for conflict. In that sense I don’t think “peace” can be a truly transitional goal–we ought never prefer it to justice, only to allow it to inspire that justice.

In case after case, even with Neville Chamberlain, insisting on peace comes to be particularly unjust. Even in the rare case that peace deals to lead to lasting peace, there is not much to say that justice in those cases might not have been as adequate. 

Love to hear thoughts/cases where justice has led to conflict.

Reopening old wounds?

The UK newspaper, The Guardian, reported this weekend on the re-trial of Ramush Haradinaj, former leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and former Prime Minister of Kosovo, for war crimes. There is a significant split between the support and opposition for the retrial, after having been initially acquitted by The Hauge in 2008. Sir Geoffrey Nice, having been involved in the trial of Slobodan Milošević as a deputy prosecutor among his other work with the ICTY, commented that “Two or three teams of lawyers in the Office of the Prosecutor at the ICTY refused to indict Haradinaj because there was insufficient evidence.” He also suggested that the current retrial could be politically driven suggesting that the prosecution was pursued “Arguably for political reasons because Serbia was complaining about an insufficient number of Kosovars being pursued.” Carla Del Ponte, the former chief prosecutor of the ICTY, however, is hopeful that the trial will result in a conviction. 

Politically driven moves in the ICTY prosecutions have been a key criticism of the tribunal for a long time. However, Aleksandar Vulin, the head of the Serbian government office for Kosovo, brings up an interesting point, stating “An acquittal of Haradinaj by the ICTY would be a message that it is allowed to kill Serbs in Kosovo. How can we talk about the fate of missing persons, justice for those killed and return of those exiled, if a man who talk part in all this is set free?” It is once again a question of peace versus justice and striking the fine balance between the two to reach an outcome that is amicable to all the sides and does right by all the injustices committed during these atrocities.

The Power of Truth

In “Truth Skepticism: An Inquiry into the Value of Truth in Times of Transition,” Erin Daly captured the powerlessness associated with truth. Most articles we have read prior seem to paint the truth as a panacea for the suffering felt by victims of gross human rights violations. According to them, somehow, knowing the truth will bring peace and relief to the individuals that have lost their rights and possibly their loved ones to an unjust regime.

In reality, the truth brings back memories of hurt and suffering for victims; it highlights their status as the victimized. While it can bring closure to those who wondering about forced disappearances, it does little to those who have been wronged. The truth is by no means a cure-all. In fact, the truth has been known to disrupt stability, and is one of the reasons there is little national cooperation with the International Tribunals we have previously studied. The truth is a concept simultaneously powerful and powerless. It is powerful in that the search for truth can disrupt the legitimacy of a regime tending to repairing prior violations, yet it is powerless in giving victims the rights that were taken from them or a new life. To individuals stuck in a stagnant transitional government, the truth is only an intangible concept reminding them of the past, doing nothing to propel them forward.

Daly ascertains that truth is worthless without accountability; trials and amnesties following the unveiling of abuses past. Perpetrators don’t fear the truth; they fear the accountability that they could be forced to take as a result of the truth-seeking process. That is when the truth becomes powerful: when it is attached to a punitive process, a deterrent from future infringements upon human rights. Although in an ideal world, individuals would be at peace with the truth, in our very real world, individuals seek someone to blame. It is a natural and psychological for their to be justice and punishment taken against someone who so vehemently violated the rights of another. Therefore, without accountability and retributive trials, the truth is worthless. It is a fact that might bring a modicum of relief to a wronged individual.

Rethinking the meaning of justice?

Much of the discussions we’ve been having in class and through the blog have referred to a perceive tension between peace and justice in which one is given up for the sake of the other. However, at the History, Fictions, and Politics of Justice lecture last Friday, Professor Mahmood Mamdani proposed a different way of thinking about this divide. He believes that the goal held by many international justice bodies today to punish all violence without exception prevents us from moving conflict-torn societies forward. Instead of aiming for criminalization of actions, we should aim for increased political participation. According to him, to do otherwise would continue the cycles of violence and animosity that we have discussed before. This particular view is very challenging to accept because it asks us to look at society as the victim rather than only the targeted individuals  in order to achieve a “survivor’s justice”. For this reason he finds that the system implemented in South Africa through CODESA represents a “true negotiated result of the conflict” as opposed to the Nuremberg trials (which he sees as performances of political power).

I appreciate how this idea makes us rethink what we perceive to be justice, but I wonder to what extent it might be carried out- in other words, was he calling for an end to the persecution of crimes committed within the context of conflict? While this is an interesting proposition, how would people who have been hurt and that have suffered perceive this different route. Would they perhaps feel cheated or betrayed when they see their previous oppressors as their neighbors or as their leaders? Perhaps it is exactly this mentality that Mamdani wants us to leave behind and redefine how we understand justice at the most basic level.

Amnesty or Impunity? A Preliminary Critique of the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa

Nelson Mandela Digital Archive up and running

Not sure if any of you have heard of this but I found out about it today while scrolling the news. Nelson Mandela, a champion of human rights and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, started the Nelson Mandel Centre for Memory in efforts to carry on his work after his retirement. This program helped launch the Nelson Mandela digital archive of which Google had a large part in making such a feat possible. It donated $1.25 Million to the project in hopes that its resources may help encourage future pushes for social justice. Within the archive some of the earliest known photos of Mandela exist as well as the warrant for committal form issued to Mandela in 1962. Could this type of massive push for making such archives easily accessible be another form of justice? Early it was posted on the right to the truth and whether or not that existed, could these types of websites and archives be a possible path to making such truths not only accesible to victims but to the world as well as serving as an encouragement for future generations to consistently push for justice? Interesting food for thought to say the least. 

Deterrence a Possibility?

This video highlights possible peace deals between the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and military warlord “Cobra” Matata. This group is now requesting amnesty as well as the promise to keep their weapons and military ranks when or if they join the DRC military. In the wake of the ICC’s verdict finding Thomas Lubanga guilty of using child soldiers, many military leaders are now worried and looking to avoid possible punishment in the future.

The group is also threatening a return to violence if they are not granted amnesty.

We have often discussed whether or not the ICC is legitimate and if it does indeed have the ability to deter future possible war criminals from committing heinous acts. Here we can see that this deterrence is indeed possible as a fear has been stricken within the warlords of areas like the DRC and that could be argued as the first step to deterring future crimes from occuring. Without the fear of consequence, those who commit war crimes do so without hesitation but with the ICC handing down its guilty verdict against Lubanga this past Wednesday, the court has gained legitimacy in its ability to accuse, try, and prosecute individuals who commit crimes agains the international community. Could this Lubanga verdict be the first step in establishing a more powerful and effective International Court?