Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Rule of Law and the Security Council

A few weeks ago, I reported on a meeting in Athens sponsored by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe dealing with counterterrorism measures and human rights. One of the issues there concerned the fact that the Security Council seems to place itself outside of any form of judicial oversight. This becomes especially troublesome as it moves increasingly into the area of criminal law. Hundreds of years ago, modern democracies insisted that political authorities could not be above the law. That's where the whole idea of habeas corpus comes from. And it also drove much of the thinking in the French and American revolutions. Yet with globalisation, we find that the embryo of our world government is still resistant to any form of judicial review or oversight of its actions. A thoughful discussion of some of these issues, entitled The UN Security Council and the Rule of Law, appears on the website of the Austrian mission to the UN: http://www.bmeia.gv.at/index.php?id=67169&L=1. Simon Chesterman, of NYU, has written an article on the subject, entitled 'An International Rule of Law', in the latst American Journal of Comparative Law: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1081738.
Thanks to Simon Chesterman for this.

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