The passions aroused by the attempt to extradite Augusto Pinochet highlight the many unresolved issues in the movement to enforce global justice. Widespread agreement that human rights violations and crimes against humanity must be prosecuted has hindered active consideration of the proper role of international courts. Universal jurisdiction risks creating universal tyranny -- that of judges.
Henry A. Kissinger, Chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc., is a former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser. This essay is adapted from his latest book, Does America Need a Foreign Policy? Toward a Diplomacy for the 21st Century.
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Man has the fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life in an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being." He bears "a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present and future generations." And states have "the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other states or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction."
The idea of holding national leaders to account for waging wars of aggression has moral appeal and historical pedigree. But whether the International Criminal Court can try such cases is a thornier issue.