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April 13, 2010

Recent Happenings in International Law

Yeah, I know. Gabe is our go-to guy on International Law; however, I wanted to jump in with a couple of observations on court cases that impact us here in the US of A.

First, Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon, the jurist who issued an arrest warrant for Augusto Pinochet in 1998 using the concept of "universal jurisdiction", has been indicted for ... "ignoring a 1977 amnesty law and exceeding his jurisdiction in his investigation of the alleged atrocities committed by Gen. Francisco Franco and his allies during the Spanish Civil War and under the Franco regime".

It's Interesting that the Spanish government was willing to sit idly by and let him indict Pinochet, investigate members of the Bush Administration for crimes against humanity, and even indict Osama bin Laden - BUT as soon as he started "goring their ox", he gets slapped with legal charges.

("Interesting", in my local vernacular, usually means "yeah, that's about what I thought was going to happen")

In a somewhat related issue, which I found through the Volokh link to Overlawyered, it seems that Pope Benedict is facing legal issues in Britainistan. Lawyers engaged by noted Religious Gadflies Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens are looking into ways to not only try to bar Pope Benedict from visiting Britainistan in September, but even have him hauled into the dock to answer for ....... crimes against humanity.

I'll leave the issues of law to the lawyers, (what constitutes a True State, who possesses "universal jurisdiction", will Lionel Hutz be representing the Catholic Church in this case) but I just wanted to ask a question myself.

If the Pope is determined to be immune to International Law as a Head of State, how could he ever be stopped? Garlic? Silver bullets? Slim Whitman's "Indian Love Call" being played at high volume in his vicinity? And exactly how long does it take for you to turn into a Catholic after being bitten by the pope? I need answers. Pope Benedict seems like a nice enough fella, but you can never be too careful, I always say.

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posted by Russ from Winterset at 02:21 PM

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