International Justice Monitor

A project of the Open Society Justice Initiative

Slight Delays In Publishing Comments For The Coming Week

Dear Readers,

This is a quick note to let you know that there will be slight delays for the coming week in posting comments.  I will have less regular access to the internet while I am travelling — but I will be trying to ensure that comments are posted at least once or twice each day.  But I will ask you to bear with us if there are delays between your submission of comments and their publication, or with my responses to questions.  I will get ot them as soon as I possibly can.

With thanks for your understanding in advance,

Tracey

31 Comments
  1. Tracey,

    Before this slight delay for the coming week happens, could you ensure all of my posts are posted? Howeve, I have posted so many posts and it is still awaiting moderation. Could you please check to see what is the problem if there is any?

    • Hi Jose — I am trying my best! Most should be posted by now. The forum is very lively this week, which is great for the debate around the trial.
      Best,
      Tracey

  2. My people yah come here this!

    Former Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court David Crane along with Alan White former Chief Investigator have offered to sell legal services to the murderous Guinean Junta. UNBELIVEABLE !

    http://turtlebay.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/02/24/guinea_s_junta_hires_ex_war_crimes_prosecutors_and_gets_a_favorable_report

  3. Tracey,

    Please read the article on David Crane and give us some feedback. What a hypocrite he is.

    http://turtlebay.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/02/24/guinea_s_junta_hires_ex_war_crimes_prosecutors_and_gets_a_favorable_report

    • Hi Aki — thanks for the article. While it is hard for me to comment meaningfully without reading the actual report that Mr. Crane and Mr. White, I do understand why this Foreign Policy article could raise concerns for you. What do you think about it?
      Best,
      Tracey

      • Tracey,
        Aki too hasn’t read the REPORT either…so you care to tell us just on the surface what you think??

        • Hi Noko4 — on this one, I will have to pass on commenting. But I am interested to hear what other readers think about the Foreign Policy article and the report itself if anyone has read it.
          Best,
          Tracey

        • Tracey,
          To simply put it…..A DISGRACEFUL DISGRACE!!!. Here is someone wanting to hang another being but turns around for the LOVE OF MONEY is now singing tenor instead of bass in the band???

          I too await to read the report.

          • I like that as a phrase, Aki — “a disgraceful disgrace”! I think I may use it sometime (with full attribution to you, of course!)
            Best,
            Tracey

          • No Tracey…it’s me Noko4…lol

          • Oh Noko4 — of course! Silly me. I looked at the wrong screen name when responding – I am sorry. In that case, do you mind if I use the phrase “a disgraceful disgrace” sometime?! I like it.
            Best,
            Tracey

          • Tracey,
            You got my permission….ha ha ha.

          • Thank you Noko4!

          • Tracey,

            The phrase “a disgraceful disgrace” came from Noko4.However, I am not sure if it was Aki who used it: except you are speaking of something that I made not know of within the context of the phrase.

          • Hi Jose — no, you are absolutely right — I just looked at the wrong screen name when responding. Glad you picked it up! It is a good phrase, in any case.
            Best,
            Tracey

    • Aki,

      Are these not professionals offering their services? Lawyers or persecutors do not defend or persecute one case and resign, they offer their service for pay and they will defend you to the teeth once you are their clients and even if they know you committed that crime for which you hired their services. I think it boils down to which lawyer can outsmart the other in convincing the judge or jury.

      Wake up, Aki!

      Peace.

      • Davenport, Noko7
        You wake up! If you are a champion of human rights as David Crane professed to be in indicting Charles Taylor. You don’t turn around and try and defend people who just killed in mass men women and children who were peacefully demonstrating at a football stadium.
        Remember David Crane was not defending them in a court of law. He was trying to shift blame away from the murderous regime and saying the UN and Human rights report were inaccurate.

        • Aki,

          This is all about professional services…and we can nail these fellows all we want but they have the right to defend whosoever they chose. Of course we can question their moral-ethical standards but in this business, things work differently.

          I can not judge Crane and co for being persecutors one day and defense lawyers the next day. Their only interest is in their clients and to get their job done.

          Peace, Aki, Peace.

      • Davenport,
        Are you serious on our sentiment?? On one hand Mr. Crane told us…WRONG WRONG and WRONG…but on the other hand, we are to believe what he tells us about WRONG WRONG and WRONG?? How???

        Mr. Taylor is still in court from the workings of Mr. Crane and his crew…a very SLIPPY job done…and now he collecting money to PRETECT his client image….LORD HAVE MERCY. The only goodness, atleast he doesn’t get to blame Mr. Taylor for those killings.

      • Noko7,

        Which case that you know of that the prosecution and or defense lawyers are fully aware of their client being the culprit or doer and yet still defend and or prosecute that culprit? Besides, which law code that says it is ok even though you know they committed the crimes to defend or prosecute them to the teeth?

  4. Tracey,

    Are these judges accountable to us the people or, only their employer? if so why/why not? Can we challenge their decision/final verdict in this case and how?

    • Hi Jose – the judges are independent as part of their mandate for this court. They are paid salaries through the United Nations, but they do not answer to the United Nations or take instructions from the United Nations in how they do their job in the courtroom. Under Article 13 of the Statute, the judges “shall be independent in the performance of their functions, and shall not accept or seek instructions
      from any Government or any other source.”

      When the trial judges deliver their judgment, however, it is open for the defense or the prosecution to appeal their decision — and there is normally always an appeal after a trial judgment in these types of war crimes trial because the stakes are so high. The Appeals Chamber decision, however, is final and cannot be further appealed.

      Hope this answers your question.

      Best,
      Tracey

    • Jose,
      We are told “INDEPENDENT” but that’s just a smoke screen!!!!. If I was paying your salary, won’t I have some kind of influence over you?? Look at the prosecutors, why is it ONLY US citizens qualify to be HEAD PROSECUTORS??

  5. Tracey Gurd,

    To be quite honest with you, I and I do think so many in this world don’t feel welcome in this world any more. This world is not for the poor people but rathert the powerful. I am hurt. We either go along with the establishment or we are branded with some other names. People who turn to cooperate with the big countries are considered the good guys and people who see things differently are considered the bad or Special case guy. I don’t know what to do if I want to survive in this world of the powerful. Many including myself don’t feel that we are a part of this world as the result of the way we see things. However, it is sad and freightened. I don’t want to please my ancestorial slave master if I think what they are doing is wrong like this case. They make the rules and set the standards. Our only job is to follow the rules that they have made. If this is the case, what has happened to the video that we have provided on this website of how international companies, big countries, and Kabbah killed and destroyed Sierra Leone? Tracey, seriously, I am hurt. Especially for someone who I think God created all of us in his own image to think they are the most dominant species and nothing I can do about it, simply because they have the big guns. Can we the common people win or change the wolrd or this case on the evidence presented thus far without being on the side of the powerful?

    • Hi Jose — I am sorry to hear that you are feeling hurt.

      On your question of whether common people win or can change the world without being on the side of the powerful: I’m not sure, but I hope that it is possible. To me, the rule of law is one tool that can help achieve that for people who are not powerful. The concept of the rule of law means that everyone is accountable to the law, regardless of whether they are powerful or weak — everyone has to play by the same rules. The hope is that if the rule of law is strong and is respected, then everybody will have access to the law and can feel protected by it and able to use it and get a fair outcome, and nobody can get away with breaking the law — or being suspected of breaking the law — without being called to account.

      This trial of Mr. Taylor – regardless of what anyone of us on this sites thinks of its merits in terms of the substance of the case — is a demonstration of the rule of law at work. The idea behind these trials at the international level is that if there is a case to answer for anyone who is suspected of breaking the law (in this case, international law) then they should have a day in court and have the opportunity to answer the charges against them in the context of a fair trial — and a fair trial includes the ability to put forward their case and bring witnesses in their defense, and the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. Mr. Taylor’s fair trial rights have been respected so far in this case, and we are also monitoring to ensure that this continues to be the case.

      Best,
      Tracey

      • Tracey,
        I like your take on the issue of fair trial and the fact that “if there is a case to answer for anyone who is suspected of breaking the law (in this case, international law) then they should have a day in court and have the opportunity to answer the charges against them in the context of a fair trial — and a fair trial includes the ability to put forward their case and bring witnesses in their defense, and the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty.” However how can the same UN and international community put individuals on Travel Bans and Asset Freeze when they have not had an opportunity to have their day in court? Where is justice in this?

        Do you know that up to now many individuals are still on these ban lists only because they have ongoing ties to Mr Taylor? Is this a crime, and should they be punished in this way without given their day in court?

        You had promised to do some write up on this issue but have probably forgotten. Could you examine the legalities of this in the context of international justice? Does the UN have the right to abuse the civil and basic human rights of individuals without fair trial?

        • Oh Helen — you are so good to remind me and you have been so patient. I have not forgotten — I just have been running out of time to do my research on the issues that keep popping up. Thanks for your patience — maybe once I get back home from The Hague I can try to put some more time aside to write something about this. I have got all the research done — I just need to pull it together and write it up for us. Thanks for the reminder.
          Best,
          Tracey

    • Jose,

      I like your comment: “Tracey, seriously, I am hurt. Especially for someone who I think God created all of us in his own image…” This image of God motif you raised is important to me for several reasons.

      First, God is good and because God is good, we, the bearer of God’s “image” must be good as well. St. Anselm once described God as the “ultimate standard of all goodness.” As I reflect on Anselm’s description of God, I realize, as did Anselm, that God is the norm by which to gauge our goodness; our default position must be God’s standard. What this means is that all humanity must strive to show good deeds to others and to all creation. By being good, we reduce or eliminate the chances of waging wars, staging coups, being corrupt, exploiting our positions of power and privilege, and throwing profane words at others when they disagree with us. If humanity or better Liberians can get this, we will live in the peace, prosperity, and love.

      Second, by default of our creation in God’s “image,” we are intrinsically interconnected with one another and if we are interconnected with one another, we can not seek to destroy, harm, or wish evil of one another. We work together for the common good. Again, if humanity or better yet Liberians can grasp this, we will wake up to a brighter day.

      Third, what happens to our collective “image” when we allow our selves to be contaminated by moral-ethical vices and murderous actions? Is our “image” adulterated?

      Jose, what we have done to one another is unacceptable, inhumane, deplorable, criminal, and have left many of us with emotional, physical, and physiological scars. We can only hope that one day our true “image” will be restored.

      Sorry, folks. I am not a theologian but was inspired to momentarily delve into theology because my dearest brother, Jose, raised an important issue – image of God.

      Jose, we pray that one day Your God, who created you in God’s image, will heal your wounds and restore your peace. Thank you, brother.

      Peace.

      • Noko7,

        OUTSTANDING. YOU ARE PHENOMENALLY AWESOME IN THIS IDENTICAL POST. GOOD JOB.