You read it first on Spreading the Jam: Garzon at the ICC

Well, he’s not exactly the new prosecutor yet, as I predicted some weeks back, but he is getting closer to an institution that fits better his “world approach” to justice. Garzon has asked to be transferred to the ICC for seven months as a “consultant” for Prosecutor Ocampo. Not only is it not necessarily a good idea for the ICC to hire such a polarizing figure, but more importantly, should the ICC really be hiring someone who is under 3 investigations for judicial misconduct in his home country? The charges might seem “political”, but to the last of my knowledge, Spain is a European democracy (with some problems, but still, don’t we all have them?), not some third world dictatorship. I’m a little puzzled at how easily the proceedings are being dismissed as “merely” political. It is the same judicial system that allowed Garzon to operate for so many years on his progressive approach to universal jurisdiction. Or maybe i’m just naive… In any case, I really don’t think it looks good for the ICC to take sides on this one (which it will clearly be doing, even indirectly, by letting Garzon work for it).

2 responses to “You read it first on Spreading the Jam: Garzon at the ICC

  1. I am puzzled by this bit of your entry:"The charges might seem "political", but to the last of my knowledge, Spain is a European democracy (with some problems, but still, don't we all have them?), not some third world dictatorship."Does this mean that judicial proceedings in non-European countries deserve a presumption of bias or partiality? What difference does it make that Spain is a European country? Does that mean that any charges of bias or lack of impartiality when it comes to a European country should be summarily dismissed "because it is a European democracy"?That Spain is a European democracy is plainly irrelevant.

  2. Guillermo, you seem to have a notably Manichean way of reading my post…I did not say that non-European countries deserve a presumption of bias or partiality. That is not the topic of my post. I was making more of a factual statement than creating a theoretical category. The FACT is that European democracies are much less open to criticism than some other countries. But I take your point, the FACT that Spain is European is indeed irrelevant, but the FACT that it is a democracy certainly is when you're going to comment on/assess its judicial system.Neither did I say that any charge of bias or lack of impartiality should be "summarily" dismissed because Spain is a European democracy. All I said was that I was surprised at how little consideration is given to the Spanish system, given that it is a democracy, and how every commentator is so easily buying into the "it's all political" theory, without one second considering that there might actually be a legal foundation for the proceedings…Of course that the fact that Spain is a democracy is PLAINLY relevant. Of course, you can take the anti-western moral equivalence approach, but at the end of the day, where would you prefer to be tried? Spain or North Korea/Iran/Sudan/China etc…?

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