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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended July 09, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 28Jul00

Summarized by Rosemary Pollock

BYU's World Family Policy Center Cautious About New International Court
BYU's World Family Policy Center Cautious About New International Court

NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Cautious optimism is what Richard Wilkins of Brigham Young University Law School and head of the BYU-based World Family Policy Center, hopes for as the new International Criminal Court (ICC) will not be able to advance or enforce abortion rights. Last week, government negotiators, who have been meeting since the summer of 1998, finished the most contentious parts of the statutes that will bring into existence the world's first permanent Nuremberg-style criminal court.

"This court claims for itself jursidiction over every person on earth," said Wilkins. "This make it an organ of international government. That is new and very dangerous." The ICC will come into existence after 60 nations ratify it. Thirteen nations have already agreed. An aggresive and well funded campaign is under way by the World Federalist Society, lead by William Pace.

Pro-life lobbyists have been concerned that the new court will introduce radical changes. The biggest area of concern is reproductive rights, which according to UN agencies includes access to abortion. Concern has continued to grow as influence from the Women's Caucus for Gender Justice, expanding their influence. The Women's Caucus is a coalition of radical feminist non-government organizations (NGO's).

The longest running battle has come over the term "forced pregnancy." Introduced more than a year ago, this term is interpreted by feminists to mean repeated rape and confinement for the purposes of ethnic cleansing. Pro-lifers cited the term in a 1991 Utah court case to mean that a woman could not get an abortion. It is feared that without a narrow definition the court would be forced to change national abortion laws.

Another hotly debated topic is the role of a victim in the prosecutions. Radicals hope that the victim could become party to the prosecution, other than appear only as a witness, and thereby receive court ordered financial awards.

Conservatives remain deeply skeptical that the new court will retain the best interest of individual liberties and national sovereignty.


New International Court Nears Reality
Pro-Lifers Claim Small Victories
EWTN News 7Jul00 D2


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