Episode 12: The Hague

The authors of the WrongingRights blog, Kate Cronin-Furman and Amanda Taub, help to clear up the mysteries of international criminal law.

Running time: 46 minutes 47 seconds. Size: 22Mb

Download transcript (pdf)

In this episode of Development Drums we talk about the International Criminal Court and the arrest warrant that has been issued for the President of Sudan. Some links:

Also – Facebook Group for Development Drums

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Comments

It has always seemed to me that the principal objection to the issue by these international courts of indictments of and arrest warrants for heads of state and government in crisis and conflict situations is that it precludes settlement negotiators from offering an offending political leader safe conduct into exile in some country willing to accept him (or her?). Idi Amin and Mengistu are partial examples of international criminals, guilty of terrible crimes against their own people, who would almost certainly have fought on well beyong the bitter end, taking perhaps hundreds or thousands of people down with them, to avoid the humiliation of capture, trial and either execution (if tried in their own national courts) or imprisonment for life (if tried by an international tribunal or court). Similarly, there’s a strong chance that an eventual settlement in Zimbabwe might involve allowing the appalling Mugabe to go into exile in some African country — South Africa? — willing to give him a property, security guards and a pension for the rest of his life. If he were to be indicted by an international court, no such settlement would be possible.

The peace settlement in Liberia included a safe conduct for Charles Taylor to go into exile in Nigeria — but that promise was dishonoured when Nigeria came under huge international pressure to hand Taylor over for trial by an international tribunal, another blow to hopes of a similar civilised settlement in future conflicts, since after Taylor, it will be more difficult to establish trust in any promise of a safe conduct and exile.

This (to my mind) significant objection to international indictments of such heads of state as those of Sudan or Zimbabwe was touched on in the excellent Development Drums episode on this subject, but I thought it deserved fuller discussion and greater weight.

Brian
http://www.barder.com/ephems/

[...] Owen Barder interviewed the Wronging Rights ladies. Does Sudanese President Bashir really need to give his permission to be [...]

Hi Owen
I just listened to your most recent Development Drum podcast, and I thought that I would respond to some of the questions you asked the viewers on your show. I hope this is an appropriate place to post it.

I would like to start by saying that I think that this is a wonderful podcast, and I have not missed an episode. You not only are my main outlet from in-depth development news, but your engaging podcasts have increased my interest in development.

Now to answer your questions:

I feel that the length of your podcasts are great, I usually listen to them during my commute and I imagine most of your other listeners will as well.

I think the level of technicality is good; if it were too technical I would probably not be about to whole-hearty pay attention and drive. Plus, your current level of technicality makes the podcast very accessible.

As far as content goes, I think it is always, intriguing and thought provoking. However, the one qualm I have is that Aid seems to be covered somewhat redundantly. Now, I understand that Aid is a sexy topic, is always in the news, and therefore, is going to be in a podcast discussing Development News. However, I still feel that there are a plethora of current development topics out there to discuss that play are equally or even more pivotal to the development process than aid.

As for further topics, I would personally be interested in podcasts discussing Trade, Agriculture or where these two topics meet, namely, agriculture subsides. More specifically, I think a show discussing the outlook of trade reform in light of the increased protectionism due to the financial crisis would be interesting. The show could also touch on the giant agriculture subsides in the USA and EU that seem to do only one thing efficiently, keep agriculture focused developing countries out of world markets. (I know you have done a show in the past about the financial crisis, however, I really just want a podcast on Trade and the financial crisis seems like a good platform to begin this discussion).

One person I would like to hear on your show is Dambisa Moyo. Now I know I just talked about how there is too much aid talk, however, I would really like to hear you interview her as I think that interview would be very engaging and interesting, as it seems that your opinions on aid differ a bit.

Finally, since information is everything in economics, I thought I might tell you a little about me so you know your viewers. I have BA in economics and will be attending a master’s program this fall in either economics of agriculture and resource economics, I hope this master’s will lead to a PhD as I would love to be a researcher at IFPRI or WB. I was already deeply interested and somewhat well versed in development economics before I discovered your podcast, however, your podcast has definitely increased my knowledge. Also, I live in a suburb of Chicago.

Hope this helps some, and keep you the good work.

Thanks Jacob. That is very useful feedback; and I’ll follow up your suggestions on Agriculture and Trade.

I have invited Moyo but her publicist turned it down. I’ll try again.

Hi Owen,

Like Jacob, I really enjoy your podcasts and think the length is about right (any shorter and you’d loose depth; and longer and they’d require multiple sessions to get through). The level of technicality also works for me – interesting in the areas I know something about (Aid, for example), but also still intelligible in the areas about which I know nothing (ICC, ICJ, etc).

In terms of suggestions for who to interview:

Robert Wade or Dani Rodrik would be great on the development impacts of the financial crisis (and more generally on the non-aid related aspects of international development).

On aid, personally, I think people investigating what works and what doesn’t are more interesting than people with blanket views such as Moyo. Maybe someone from CGD’s What Works Group (Ruth Levine et al) or MIT’s Poverty Lab.

Having said all that, your picks so far have been excellent – really enjoying the podcast.

[...] Owen Barder interviewed the Wronging Rights ladies. Does Sudanese President Bashir really need to give his permission to be [...]

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