Somebody Else's Problem: How the United States and Canada Violate International Law and Fail to Ensure the Prosecution of War Criminals

By Weiss, Nicholas P. | Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, Fall 2012 | Go to article overview

Somebody Else's Problem: How the United States and Canada Violate International Law and Fail to Ensure the Prosecution of War Criminals


Weiss, Nicholas P., Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law


Abstract

The United States and Canada have created programs to ensure that they will not be havens for war criminals and human rights violators. This, however, fails to meet their international legal obligation to ensure that suspected war criminals and human rights violators will be prosecuted for their crimes. This Note analyzes and compares the war crimes prosecution policies of Canada and the United States. It concludes that both countries take inadequate measures to ensure war criminals are prosecuted for their crimes, and thus, these countries are failing to meet their international obligations. This Note recommends both countries implement statutes to ensure suspected war criminals are prosecuted, forcing Canada and the United States to conform to their international obligations.

CONTENTS

I.   INTRODUCTION

II.  CANADA DOES NOT ENSURE THE PROSECUTION OF WAR CRIMES
     AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY

        A. Canada 's Jurisdiction

        B. Canada's History of Investigation and Prosecution of War
        Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

        C. Canada's Preference for Removal of War Crimes Suspects

III. THE UNITED STATES DOES NOT ENSURE THE PROSECUTION OF
     WAR CRIMES AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY

        A. United States' Jurisdiction

        B. The United States' History of Investigation and Prosecution
        of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

        C. The United States' Preference for Using Immigration Law
        Against War Crimes Suspects

IV. INTERNATIONAL LEGAL OBLIGATIONS VIOLATED BY THE UNITED
    STATES AND CANADA

       A. Obligation to Ensure Prosecution

       B. Customary International Law is Changing to Support Ensuring
       Prosecution of War Criminals

       C. Criticism of Canada's Policies

       D. Criticism of the United States' Policies

V.  RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA

       A. Solutions Going Forward: Canada

       B. Solutions Going Forward: United States

VI. CONCLUSION

I. INTRODUCTION

In June 2011, the Canadian government asked its citizens to help it in the hunt for thirty suspected war criminals living in Canada. (1) However, instead of bringing the war criminals to justice, Canada began to remove them from the country without any guarantee the suspects would be prosecuted. (2) Addressing criticism for failing to ensure prosecution, Canada's Safety Minister, Vic Toews, declared "Canada is not the UN. It's not our responsibility to make sure each one of these [suspected criminals] faces justice in their own countries[.]" (3) Thirty people suspected of war crimes may never be prosecuted. Instead, they will simply go back to their lives. When faced with the responsibility of ensuring that war criminals are prosecuted, Canada chose practical expediency over justice.

This Note argues that both the United States and Canada have abrogated their legal obligations by failing to ensure that war criminals and perpetrators of crimes against humanity are brought to justice. (4) These countries must either prosecute for substantive offenses, or ensure that other states prosecute for the substantive offenses if they are to prevent those who have committed atrocities from going free. (5) Both the United States and Canada have overcome their decades-long problems of insufficient temporal and geographic jurisdictions to prosecute for war crimes and crimes against humanity. (6) However, simply possessing jurisdiction to prosecute is not sufficient to achieve the obligations set by treaty and custom. To fulfill their international obligations, Canada and the United States must ensure the war criminals and human rights violators within their borders are prosecuted.

This Note is divided in five parts. Part II outlines the jurisdiction and history of Canada's successes and failures in ensuring the prosecution of war criminals. Part III does the same for the United States. Part IV analyzes the international obligations the United States and Canada, failing to ensure prosecution of war criminals, have violated. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Somebody Else's Problem: How the United States and Canada Violate International Law and Fail to Ensure the Prosecution of War Criminals
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.