Ron Paul's Texas Straight Talk - A weekly Column

April 8, 2002

A Court of No Authority

You may have heard about the International Criminal Court, which was first proposed in 1998 at a UN treaty conference in Rome. The treaty purports to establish a worldwide UN criminal court that will have jurisdiction over every nation on earth. Once created, the ICC will give the UN the legal apparatus it needs to enforce its global "laws" against American citizens, in direct violation of our own Constitution and national sovereignty.

You may not have heard, however, that the ICC is about to become a reality. The ICC treaty created a completely arbitrary standard to establish the court. Specifically, the Rome treaty states that the court will come into existence when 60 UN member nations ratify the treaty. Why 60? Apparently because ICC proponents thought the number would sound official, and that a ratification period would create an appearance of legitimacy. Never mind that the 60 nations represent a tiny percentage of the worldís population, or that many of the ratifying nations lack any real economic, political, and military power. The globalists simply donít consider American support particularly important, because itís much easier to convince countries like Nauru (!) and Gabon to sign up. Apparently ICC bureaucrats are approaching the magic number of 60 ratifications, because a "solemn ceremony" is planned in New York this week to commemorate the new court.

Two fundamental questions have not been answered by the globalists: What authority permits the ICC to exist, and what authority permits the ICC to exert jurisdiction over the US? The answer to both questions is that NO such authority exists. ICC proponents claim the court was authorized by UN General Assembly "legislation," but the UN charter explicitly states that the General Assembly has no legislative authority whatsoever. In fact, when the UN was created, this lack of lawmaking authority was emphasized- to assure nervous heads of state that the body would never be able to pass laws. The UN diplomats in Rome flatly ignored their own charter, which means the ICC is not valid even under the UNís phony international laws.

The more important point, however, is that the ICC clearly has no legitimate authority over American citizens. The US Senate has not ratified the ICC treaty, and constitutionally it cannot- because the Constitution does not permit the judicial function to be surrendered to an international body. Remember, the Constitution guarantees every American various protections- such as due process, jury trials, the right against self-incrimination, and the prohibition against unreasonable searches- and any treaty that denies American citizens those protections by definition is unconstitutional. Furthermore, President Bush thankfully may rescind the US signature to the ICC treaty, undoing the symbolic damage done by Clintonís acquiescence to the idea of a superior international court.

ICC proponents claim that the court will address only "crimes against humanity" and "crimes of aggression." Remember, however, the UN continually has expanded its role in the decades since World War II. When the UN was created, we were assured it would never become a global government, never establish laws, never employ military forces, and never undermine national statehood- yet it has done precisely all of those things. Why should we believe that the ICC will not similarly seek to expand its jurisdiction? Already there have been discussions about the courtís ability to prosecute far more ordinary- and domestic- criminal activity. The inherently political nature of the court will insure that the definition of "aggression" expands to apply to the actions of those in politically disfavored nations. Are we really so naive that we believe American soldiers will not one day be prosecuted for their actions in wartime?

The United Nations and the ICC are inherently incompatible with national sovereignty. America must either remain a constitutional republic or submit to international law, because it cannot do both. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and the conflict between adhering to the rule of law and obeying globalist planners is now staring us in the face. At present we fortunately have a President who opposes the ICC, but ultimately it is up to Congress- and concerned citizens- to insure that no American ever stands trial before an international court.