Tuesday, August 31, 2010

September 2 Thoughts on the World Court

The International Criminal Tribunal sits in The Hague, Netherlands. The Court operates by treaty, its signatories creating its authority. A current case involves warlord president Charles Taylor, on trial for promulgating a brutal civil war in Sierra Leone to gain control over the country's diamond resources. Taylor is thought to have traded diamonds for arms provided by Victor Bout. As reported by Washington Port correspondent Doug Farah, Taylor's diamonds were also used by al Qaeda to convert bank assets to untracable diamonds before 9/11.

Journalist Judith Armatta and lawyer Norm Sepenuk debate an early World Court case, that of Slobodan Milošević, who died in the midst of a five year trial. Armatta is a human rights activist and author of a book on the trial. Sepenuk is a defense lawyer who defended Dragoljub Ojdanic against charges of genocide and ethnic cleansing.

This should be a fascinating, though probably depressing, discussion of the World Court, its effectiveness, or lack thereof, and its applicability to current conflicts. Sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Oregon. www.worldoregon.org Advance tickets on their website are required. At the Mercy Corps Action Center www.actioncenter.org 28 SW 1st 7PM $10