Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The ICJ President: Is Chinese Hypocrisy Better Than American Hypocrisy?

I wouldn't usually take note of this commonplace account of an address to Canadian lawyers by Justice Shi Jiuyoung, the current President of ICJ, except for a couple of statements of interest.

First, Justice Shi defended the ICJ from charges that it moves way too slowly on the grounds that the procedures and various jurisdictions involved in interstate disputes. Moreover, he said that “[i]n recent years, the court has taken a full review of its operations and as a result has introduced mechanisms to enhance its internal functions.” My skepticism of these very minor changes can be found here.

More surprisingly Justice Shi commended Canada for its leadership in the development of international law, especially the International Criminal Court. This is surprising because, of course, the most important country that has refused to join the ICC (other than the United States) is, of course, China. The Canadian paper doesn't mention this point, and I wonder if the paper would have skipped over this point if a U.S. judge had made the same laudatory comments about the ICC.

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