International law, UN conferences, and national sovereignty

By Antonia Feitz
web posted February 28, 2000

Mandatory sentencing practices have been in the news lately in Australia. The opponents claim that through the signing of various UN treaties, Australia is in breach of its international obligations. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan doesn't seem to think so, and it's lucky for him too.

Why? Because increasing numbers of people are fed up with the use of UN treaties and international law to interfere with and even over-ride their domestic law. All nations have their own laws and customs which have developed over millennia to best serve their people. Laws that suit Australians or Canadians don't necessarily suit the Chinese or the Iranians, and vice versa. Respecting that fact would demonstrate a genuine commitment to the diversity that is so esteemed by the elites. But talk's cheap, and it's clear they can't tolerate genuine diversity.

High Court Justice Michael Kirby has been Australia's chief champion of international law. In a lecture in 1995, Kirby, who has publicly declared his homosexuality, spoke warmly of "the potential of international law to assist the development of Australian law and of the difficulty which that potential presents both for legal theory and for practical implementation". 1

Bully for him. Most people think domestic law should be developed by nationals. And you betcha there will be difficulties as more people wake up to what's going on. It was at a conference in Bangalore, India, that Kirby discovered how to use international rights treaties in domestic courts. He said when he cautiously began to do so, "my efforts were first seen by some to be eccentric, even heretical.... The traditional view of most common law countries has been that international law is not part of domestic law... " 2

The traditionalists are right. International law should NOT be part of domestic law, and we should revert to that principle. International law should concern itself with the relationships between nations, not with the relationships of individuals and such remote bodies as the UN. But unfortunately for the sovereignty of nations, Kirby's view is prevailing. And given his homosexuality, it's pretty obvious why he champions this new path. He approvingly quoted one Bangalore principle which claimed "a growing tendency for national courts to have regard to these international norms for the purpose of deciding cases where the domestic law - whether constitutional, statute or common law - is uncertain or incomplete". 3

'Uncertain'? 'Incomplete'? What a globalist lawyers' picnic there is in those words! You don't have to be a lawyer to see you could drive a truck through them. Who decides whether domestic law is 'uncertain' or 'incomplete'? Faced with new situations, judges should properly interpret the law according to the jurisdiction they are in - in Canada and Australia it's English law. By choosing to interpret Canadian and Australian laws by recourse to international law, judges are surely changing the jurisdiction. Who gave them permission to do so? The people are supposed to sovereign, not unelected judges.

Most people desire self determination. That is what they mean by freedom. Despite this, the elites of the world press on with the standardisation of law under the guise of ensuring allegedly universal human rights. Needless to say the rights get more vague and ludicrous every year - such as a child's 'right to privacy'. But the newly discovered rights are not just absurd. Discovering and enforcing them is the backdoor method for homosexual, feminist and environmental activists to achieve their goals. With recourse to international treaties, they simply by-pass their own parliaments knowing that representatives who have to face elections would never dare pass the required laws. The process is profoundly un-democratic and subversive of national sovereignty.

For example, a reasonable person would think that the International Criminal Court (ICC) treaty, the Rome Statute, would concern itself with war crimes, terrorism and the like. But no, feminists have tried to use it to secure a universal right to abortion on demand. The first draft criminalised 'enforced pregnancy'.

The conservative Arab and Latin American delegates reasonably thought the new crime of 'enforced pregnancy' was limited to rape and detention in wartime. But in the feminists' view, any woman who couldn't terminate a pregnancy would have been a victim of 'enforced pregnancy' and so her human rights had been violated. There was a three-week struggle in the Women's Caucus between the conservative nations and the child-hating nations of the West, including Canada, Australia and Western Europe. Thankfully the conservatives won, and 'enforced pregnancy' means the rape and detention of women in wartime.

Showing how devious these activists are, the first draft of the Statute also criminalised persecution on the grounds of gender - hardly a pressing problem in the war zones of the world one would think. Again the conservative nations fought over the meaning of the word 'gender', realising that the definition would have dire consequences on their marriage laws. The delegates finally agreed that 'gender' means "the two sexes, male and female in the context of society". As Professor Richard Wilkins of Brigham Young University in Utah noted, homosexual activists will undoubtedly claim some creative meanings for the phrase, "in the context of society". 4

With very good reason, he fears the ICC will become "not the terror of international criminals - but the court of first resort for groups and individuals who wish to restructure world-wide social and religious norms." 5. As well, he is worried that the court has claimed universal jurisdiction. Its judgements are binding on the whole world - even without the consent of nations or individuals! Well, perhaps the English-speaking peoples of the world might have something to say about that. We have a tradition where governments are only legitimate in so far as they have the consent of the governed.

Homosexuality provides an interesting case. The former deputy of Malaysia's Dr Mahatir is currently on trial for sodomy. Sodomy is a crime in Malaysia, as it was in the Australian state of Tasmania, until a homosexual activist took his case to the UN, and Tasmania was forced to change its laws. If sodomy is a right, then why doesn't the UN condemn Malaysia and force it to change its laws? Or any of the other Islamic nations which still regard it as a crime?

The internationalists will claim it's just that nobody has put in a complaint. Rubbish. It's more because Malaysia would never allow an outside body to interfere with its laws. And of course, the fact that the oil-producing nations are largely Islamic has absolutely nothing to do with UN reluctance to rock the oil tankers. So much for principles. Clearly these claimed universal human rights are nothing of the sort, but simply a mechanism to socially re-engineer and debase the societies of the West.

Here's another example where the feminists and homosexualists tried to change the laws of nations via the UN treaty backdoor. The 1996 Second UN Conference on Human Settlements held in Istanbul was ostensibly about housing. Nevertheless, Canada's delegates tried to ensure that feminist goals such as abortion on demand and mandatory sex education in schools appeared in the final document. 6. There was the usual struggle for an "inclusive" definition of the family that sanctioned homosexual unions. But they lost, owing to the united opposition of the developing countries and an alliance of the Vatican and the Muslim countries. The conservative nations were appalled at the West's attempt to impose its degradation and immorality on them.

And then there's the environment. Inducing hysteria about the environment in scientifically ignorant people has emerged as a powerful tool for undermining national sovereignty. Henry Lamb claims President Clinton has issued a directive to his President's Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD) that the science of global warming is not to be discussed any more.

Yes, despite the growing body of scientific evidence by reputable scientists that human activity has little or no effect on global climate, the UN has banned discussion of the science of global warming. Instead the UN, the NGOs, and compliant governments continue to spend millions of dollars on propaganda campaigns at the behest of powerful figures such as Maurice Strong, who's on record as saying, "Frankly, we may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrial civilization to collapse." 7. It's interesting that he's also the "indispensable man" at the centre of the global governance push - the UN's power grab.

Describing the UN's supposedly consensus decision making, Lamb wrote, "having attended nearly a dozen U.N. meetings, I can say without fear of contradiction that no decision is ever reached that differs from the pre-determined outcome desired by the U.N. bureaucracy. Dissenters are marginalized and ignored, at best, and at worst, they are ridiculed and eventually excluded from the process. Increasingly, this same process is used to get rid of dissenters in stakeholder councils, in watershed councils, and in the decision process espoused by the PCSD." 8

There is a place for international co-operation between the sovereign nations of the world. There is no place for supra-national government in a free world.

1. Michael Kirby, "Treaties in Australian Law : Role of International Standards in Australian Courts", Lecture at University of NSW, 10/5/95.
2. Ibid
3. Ibid
4. News Weekly, 25/9/99
5. News Weekly, 25/9/99
6. Alberta Report, 1/7/96
7. Ronald Bailey, Who is Maurice Strong?, National Review, September 1997

Antonia Feitz is a senior writer for Enter Stage Right.

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