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Law and National Governance, Research Paper Example

Pages: 15

Words: 3994

Research Paper

Law and National Governance and Response to International Humanitarian Issues:A Focus on US Administration and its Connection with the World

Question 1: Preventing Atrocities

Identify all the ways that information regarding the scale and nature of the atrocities in Bosnia and Rwanda reached top US officials and/or the general public. Explain which of these sources of information had the greatest political impact and why.

There had been three particular sources of primary information that lead to the eyes and ears of the American government in Rwanda. Likely these three sources of information impacted the knowledge of the American government about the situation of the people in Rwanda hence equipping them to become more able to respond to the needs of the people in the country. To note the impact of such sources of information, presented herein is a description of each of the said sources of data.

First source is that of the groups and efforts of diplomacy that were established by US to watch over the situation hovering the people of Rwanda. From here, the establishment of an embassy to hold fast the mission of the US administration to protect the rights of the oppressed is directed towards creating a more defined bridge between the administrative authorities and the ones who have been in the middle of the social turmoil in the country. Establishing a US embassy in Kigali, Rwanda in 1993 to 1994 has served a direct vision of the American government towards the minutes of the situation that has been happening in the country. Under the supervision of both US Ambassador David Rawson and Deputy Chief Mission Joyce Leader, the US operation was able to confide fully on what was the status of Rwanda in the aspect of realizing humanitarian laws and if ever the country and UN needs to specifically get involved in the process. However, the pulling out of the said embassy from the country has caused for the complete paralysis of the connection of US in Rwanda in 1994. However, during the time of existing within the country, the Embassy was able to compile particular reports that indicated how political parties intend to flee from the land especially indicating a more referenced indication on showing that other parties could actually help in the process of fixing the social issues in the country. However, such efforts were somewhat given less regard.

The Department of State along with the Secretaries and Under Secretaries also played a great role in the process of standing as source of information from Rwanda to US. Giving intelligent reports, the said operators intended to keep US updated of what was happening in the country. Other non-government organizations also tried their best to serve as a connection between the US, the UN and the Rwandan officials.

Another remarkable group of informants are the Intelligence Agencies to which the following organizations are included: DCI or the Director of Central Intelligence in the person of James Woolsey; the CIA’s National Intelligence Council; the DIA or the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Central Imagery Office which implemented tasks and orders that are able to operate satellites that serve as visual reports sent to the United States and the United Nations as well.

The third group of informants involved the Defense and Military groups which included the Pentagon, the Intra-agency task force, and the Joint Chiefs of Staffs.  Most often than not the information provided by these groups are confirmations and definite indications of whether or not a newswire produced by local and international journalists working in Rwanda are real or not. Hence, from this point, it could be analyzed that it is the newswires coming from journalists in the area that first reaches the ears of the American officials and in some way are also the ones reaching the attention of the international public. This is the reason why it is considered that these less-organized sources of information have created more impact on how the US government responded to the situation as these are the very information that pushes the international public to question the capability of the powerful nations such as US to influence the situations that are prompting the death of many innocent individuals in Rwanda. This means that with the updated reports from journalists, the pressure from the society is heightened hence pushing the government to react accordingly in support to the course of development that is needed to be given attention to especially in consideration with the need to suppress the power of those who do not follow through the guidelines of the international humanitarian laws.

Identify all the ways that the Bush and Clinton administrations sought to avoid pressure to intervene to prevent the atrocities that were taking place.

The position of the Clinton’s administration was to specifically impose on what is needed by the country and the Rwandan society at the moment. Because of  the Rwandan President Habyarimana’s death on April 6, 1994 due to a plane crisis, the Deputy Assistant for African Affairs [who was then] Prudence Bushnell was motivated to draft a memo to ask the US administration for a call of calmness. However, instead of doing so, Clinton’s administration opted to withdraw UN forces from the country during the onset of the crisis. The administration simply chose “not to act” trying to save their faces from another African social riot which they seemingly have tried in the past. After such an incident of a shameful response from the Clinton administration, Bush’s years of administration also faced its own adversities in connection with the war in Darfur in the same country. However with several turn ups and turn downs of events, Bush’s administration began to lose down their control on the situation in line with his connection with the Sudanese officials. Instead of pushing for the idea of the situation being a case of genocide, the Bush administration mentions how the UN estimation of death tools could be quite exaggerated. With such a turnaround on the operation of the US administration in Darfur, the real motives of Bush over his involvement in the situation have been questioned by many of his critics.

Explain how the principle of the “responsibility to protect” can help to determine when military intervention is appropriate to prevent atrocities.

The principle of the responsibility to protect or RtoP or R2P is grounded upon the need of military forces to intervene in particular social issues that are already causing a remarkable number of death tolls that are specifically mandating a greater command of what is assumed as social crisis. There are specifically three parts of this particular principle which includes the following:

  1. It is the state’s responsibility to protect the population from social concerns such as genocide, wars, crime against humanity and issues of ethnic cleansing.
  2. With the occurrence of a state not being able to protect its own people, international communities are supposed to assist in the process of redeeming the society from such tumultuous situation. With early warnings from the host country, international alliances should act upon the need of the people to be saved from acts of violence against the humanitarian laws.
  3. The failure of the state to protect its population from mass atrocities and the violence continues amidst peaceful measures of development, international communities are expected to intervene in a diplomatic way as much as possible. However, if all else fails, the need to resort to military force could be justified.

From these points of consideration, it could be analyzed when and how R2P principles should be followed through by the stand-by military forces that are situated in areas where social conflicts are observed to be occurring. Unless such indications of social chaos have been found specifically unreliable, no R2P operations are supposed to be incurred. Doing so shall render the military force in direct defiance of their legal responsibilities to the law and the country [as well as the society] that they are aiming to serve.

Punishing Perpetrators

Explain how the principle of ”universal jurisdiction” can help promote accountability for human rights crimes.

Notably, courts of a particular country are given the rightful capability to administer legal procedures on crimes that have been committed within their territories. There are also some particular laws that apply to a country’s national who have committed a crime abroad. However, the extradition of such criminals from one country to another shall also undergo due process. Most often than not, when a crime is committed and the gravity of it has some impact on the international community the application of the universal jurisdiction is given particular attention to. Universal Jurisdiction is noted to be based on the crime and its nature alone. If the crime does affect the value of the international population of the human society, then being persecuted under the guidelines of the international jurisdiction of this universal law shall be applied. Nonetheless, there are particular obstacles that should be considered.

Considering that the crime committed by one or a group of individuals is a crime against all, the universal jurisdiction or the universality principle is further applied. This principle then recognizes the fact that universal jurisdiction is closely related to the international law obligations that are directed towards the creation of a more defined state responsibility to protect its people from atrocities. This means that whether or not the criminal is a member of the state, once the crime-against-all is committed then the punishment lead by through the jurisdiction of the said law of punishment shall be carried on. Critics of the said international law mention that the principle of the universal jurisdiction does justify a unilateral act of wanton disregard of the freedom of a person or the sovereignty of a nation and the law that it has over its people. This way, retaliation against the application of the punishments related to such social issues is disregarded hence allowing for the punishment to be carried on freely.

The application of universal jurisdiction is most often than not intended to be based on the greater source of justice which means its results are most often than not respected and regarded highly. However, with its disjointed characteristic, there are instances when the obstacles of operating alongside the said law overturn its application from the point of investigating how or why one particular principle of the law should be recognized. So long as this particular obstacle is present, the confusion and incoherence of applying the rules of the universal jurisdiction as a law of a higher command that should be recognized internationally would remain weak and unguided with proper manifestation of development.

Identify the obstacles that can arise when pursuing prosecutions through ”universal jurisdiction” and the tools that are available for overcoming them.

Given that the rule covers crimes against humanity [and/or other war crimes], the policy is directly imposed on a person or a group of individuals who are imposing on the course of imbalance in the lives of the people living in one particular society. Some of the most serious war crimes included in the said jurisdiction include killing of the prisoners of war, unfair trials during war eras, torture of individuals or groups of people who are adhering to a specific idealism that is separate from that of the beliefs of the perpetrators, acts of taking hostages, deportation or transfer and the different ways of attacking the civilians in a particular community or a particular country. However, because of the wide range of consideration that the universal jurisdiction is involved in, it could be analyzed that prosecuting a person or a group of individuals under this principle of law could at some point be conceived as problematic. Take for example the Pinochet Case. The Pinochet case specifically shows how hard it is for the said principle to be applied especially when some obstacles of non-specification occurs. Instead of pointing out to what the crime of Pinochet was and how it was supposed to be resolved, it has been realized that the decision over whether or not UK would extradite the criminal or not was the primary concern of the both governments [UK and Spain] involved in the case. The extradition was the first process to consider due to the fact that Spain [Pinochet’s host country] also has an ongoing case against him. Due to the fact that he Augusto Pinochet was a former head o the state, immediate application of the universal jurisdiction was hard to consider due to the immunity that the criminal has over his head. Upon a certain time of deliberation, recognizing the immunity of Pinochet was granted by UK legislators handling the case. This was primarily because of the fact that the judges did not believe that the murder itself that has been reported under Pinochet’s case was not to be considered as a crime.

However in the process of referring back to the UN Convention against torture, the judges decided that Pinochet could not be held immune hence should be punished within the state where he was found guilty. Under the UK law on extradition, the country recognizes that if one has committed crimes outside the territory of the criminal’s country’s territories instead within the territories of UK, then that person [or group of persons] should be punished under the law that the country recognizes to be sovereign. However, in the case of Pinochet, the crimes were incurred outside the territories of UK hence making his acts of murder, torture and hostage taking outside the jurisdiction of the UK law. In the end,  Pinochet was granted the extradition that Spain was asking for.

The primary lesson learned from this particular case is that the universal jurisdiction’s broad definition of what needs to be done and what does not need to be compelled by the legislators of one country in case a crime-against all is committed by someone who used to have s sovereign standing in from of the law. With the state of immunity being unclear in the guidelines of the universal jurisdiction, finding a more confident way of handling cases such as that of Pinochet should be given attention to. This case them imposes on the need to fight impunity and let no one be above the law no matter he has been serving or still serving as a head of state; a crime is a crime and crime should be punishable by law.

At present, debates are still being hosted to revisit the clauses of the universal jurisdiction legal principles and how delicately the cases like that of Pinochet should be handled with careful concern about the person/s involved and the value that the victims should receive from the law. Rightful prosecution of criminals should be deemed as an important aspect of the procedures definition of what needs to be put to rest and what needs to be legally investigated upon and later on be punished through the clauses and principles of the universal jurisdiction.

Some of the remarkable important tools that are used to prevent the current confusion over the specifics of the principles of the universal jurisdiction are that of the utilization of the power of the international criminal tribunals and the imposing the role of the national courts in recognizing its role towards the society. It is with the involvement of these international and national agencies that some lose ends of the universal jurisdiction are at times successfully tied to create a workable source of trustworthy legal developments. The treaties between countries that are recognized by the International Tribunals could contribute to the identification on how particular cases should be dealt with specifically involving individuals whose country has an evident alliance with another. At present, the only way by which the international agencies could come in contact with a particular criminal case is when the national court has already been proven incapable of handling the situation within their own control. The International Criminal Court’s role only enters in the case if and when national courts already passed the case on to the higher courts, unless this is done, the said criminal cases would remain under national duress.

One of the most prominent procedures taken into consideration to today in relative connection to the establishment of the strength of universal jurisdiction as part of the international law recognized especially during points of legal considerations is that of the Princeton Project which is an ongoing study in the Princeton University’s Program in Law and Public Affairs education. In this project, experts, jurists and lawyers who have the capability to handle legal criticism are put together to create a more defined guideline in consideration with the application of the clauses included within the universal jurisdiction. Other efforts are continuously being considered to make sure that the operation and the application of the universal jurisdiction will be of great concern on the process by which the human rights principles that human individuals should receive shall be given particular attention to.

Country-Specific Advocacy

Identify and explain the obstacles that human rights advocates have faced in two (2) of the Latin American countries covered in class.

In Cuba, the Human Rights Watch is among the agencies of human rights in the country that accuses the government of the country to have committed a systematic approach to human rights abuse that include torture, unfair trial of political prisoners, and extrajudicial executions. While the said agency was strong enough to face the consequences of their accusation, getting their concern out in public was already an obstacle to consider as the country’s law specifically limits the freedom of expression, the establishment of associations and assemblies along with the assumption of movements and press releases that could affect the public. While the said government did provide particular “freedom” to religious groups to somewhat congregate, it is still obvious how the government entails to control the majority of the operation of the said organizations. In 2007, the remarkable release of Jorge Luis Garcia Perez from prison after serving 17 years and 34 days in prison was set up to go back to prison in relative conviction of setting fire the cane fields and sabotaging the administration of Fidel Castro as well as the accusation of possessing a weapon.

In Colombia, the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia have been considered to be the primary national terrorist in the country. Having reported to have incurred 804 assassinations, 75 massacres which include other 507 victims of their terrorist activities, the said group is noted as notorious and politically rebellious. With a strong link to big names and international mafias, the organization is expected to be protected by big organizations hence imposing obstacle for human rights advocates to control the situation and practically save their victims from devastation. Targeting the Columbian trade unions, AUC mentions that they are to kill the unionists due to the simple fact that they hinder people from working. The advocacies of the group impose on their desire to give a boost on one part of their community while laying the other side of the opposition low on the command of what was happening in the country.

With such suppressions, it could be analyzed how the recognition of human rights have been given less regard in these countries and political power has been recognized as powerful tools of social control for many years. The obstacles being experienced by human rights advocates in these countries are specifically affective on the role that they are supposed to play in the human society. With their mission of exposing the truth being hindered, these human rights agencies are expected to find other ways to make sure that they are to be heard by the authorities. With everything, including evidences being controlled by the higher command in these country’s administration, it could be realized how hard it is for the said advocates to prove their claims in impose on the proper level of assessment of the society let alone submitting the cases they know of for investigation and further repercussion from international human rights organizations such as the United Nations.

In this regard, it is then highly recommended that the current laws surrounding the implication of human rights and providing protection to its advocates should be strengthened further. Imposing on a more transparent process of implementing the law, it is expected that a more powerful implication of the rights of the society to life and protection could be further passed on for recognition.

Identify and explain the strategies and tools that Human Rights Watch has used to overcome these obstacles.

Organizations and agencies such as that of the Human Rights Watch are specifically using practical documentation of the investigation results on the cases that they handle. Writing down all the different assumptions of violations that the criminals incurred and the civil-political level of their actions is considered a strong tool of the organization. On top of that, no longer does the organization only focus on human rights violation. They now document social, economic as well as cultural rights and strongly defy the different violations committed by people [whether in power or not] against the said clauses of human rights. Human rights recognition has already evolved through the years and is now undergoing a sense of revolution especially in defining the crimes against the law that have been committed before and have not been practically reprimanded through the use of legal sanctions. With the utilization of the assertion of national duties, responsibilities, transparency of law and other elements that intend to uncover the supposed compelling protection experienced by the criminals that are not held under duress, human rights advocates are now equipped with the right principles and the right assumptions on how to get the inner details of particular cases out in the open for formal hearing. With the development of the common understanding of the human rights based approach established in 1997 under the umbrella of the United Nations, these six main principles to human rights have been imposed hence serving as useful tools for human rights advocates around the globe like that of the Human Rights Watch [the six principles include]:

  • Universality and inalienability of human rights
  • Indivisibility of the recognition of human worth
  • Interdependence and inter relatedness of laws directed to protecting human rights around the globe
  • Equality and non-discrimination that recognizes the need of each race to be recognized as a human group that deserves to be respected.
  • Participation and inclusion of all individuals and/or groups concerned regardless of race and social status
  • Accountability and rule of law as implied by the international gauges of human rights legalities.

These six principles are expected to become the best point of defense that human rights advocates could use against strongly compelling laws that hinders for the rights of individuals and societies to be recognized. The application and recognition of these principles are expected to create a more definite course by which the role of human rights advocates would impact the manner by which the world recognizes their importance in the international community. While protecting the rights of others through these guidelines, they are also expected to impose more effective policies that are designed to make indicative definition on how much they are able to contend with the need to put a stop to crimes against humanity hence protecting the rights and security of the more vulnerable members of the society.

The proposal and the approval of these particular principles of human rights advocacy are dedicated towards responding to particular sanctions that have placed the performance of particular human rights advocacy groups in a halt. Naturally, the implication of these changes shall not only protect the capability of the advocates to impose their role into the communities they hope to serve but also give the victims of social atrocities a chance to realize the real meaning of justice. Releasing these principles into order however does not completely remove all the obstacles experienced by the human rights advocate groups. There would always be a flaw that the criminals [of such kind] would find and use against the advocacies of the said organizations; hence, imposing on the continuous development of the creation of principles dedicated to the improvement of human rights recognition around the globe.

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