Sunday, April 30, 2006

Slovenska medijska realnost - Labodji spev suznjev

Besede so lahko odvec pri razumevanju zadnjih dveh dosezkov slovenskega zurnalizma. Razredni boj se za nekatere pac ne more kar tako prenehati. Ali pac?

1. Sobotna priloga Dela, 29. april, www.delo.si, zlasti:

Sasa Vidmajer, 21. stoletje?, Sobotna priloga Dela,

Petek Kolsek, Ali si že pospravil kovčke, Peter? – Ne še. – Pospravi jih!

2. Knijga mene briga - Marksizmi in jezikoslovje: Bathin / Volosinov, Stalin, Williams, RTV Slovenija, 27. april, www.rtvslo.si

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Justice in Robes

Being used to the intellecutal confines of the sub-Alpine beauty, it is really a reward to spend a Saturday morning at Ronald Dworkin's lecture. One of the greatest legal philosophers of our era stopped at the European University Institute, Florence, to interact with law professors and researchers in the field of legal theory and to - indirectly - present his most recent book: Justice in Robes.

For those interested in legal theory this is certainly a must read. Especially, since Dworkin has (slightly) reviewed his points made in the past and clarified some of his positions. The house of law that he has built now stands on four pillars: four distinct concepts of law: doctrinal, sociological, taxonomix and aspirational. This distinction enables Dworkin to once again show the weakness of the alleged neutrality thesis of legal positivists. If there is a genuine dispute between the two schools, then they have to use the same, i.e. doctrinal concept of law (unless they just talk past each other and there is no dispute), and since the doctrinal concept of law is an interpretive concept, positivism is just one interpretation of it - i.e. another exercise in political morality.... Indeed, this poses another, refurbished and fresh challenge to the so called Archimedeans.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A first case against any blogger that has gone to trial and resulted in a liability verdict.

Attorney Rafe Banks III sued political activist David Milum for statements made on his website on local politics in Forsyth County, Georgia, United States, aboutforsyth.com. Several postings on the site alleged that Banks had delivered bribes from drug dealers to a now-deceased judge. After a four-day trial and six hours of deliberation, the jury awarded Banks $50,000 in compensatory damages, but no punitive damages. Banks had sought between $400,000 and $2 million in damages. After the verdict, Milum said that someone else was taking over the web site.

The whole story is available at http://www.forsythnews.com/news/stories/20060129/localnews/61856.shtml.

More information on media law and also blogs is available here: http://www.medialaw.org/.

Columnist suspended for posting anonymous blog comments

The Los Angeles Times suspended the blog of one of its top columnists on 20 April 2006, saying he violated the paper's policy by posting derogatory comments under an assumed name.

Read the whole story here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/20/AR2006042002375.html.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Law, Criticism and the Courts

One of the flawed, but very persistent, dogmas in Slovenia is that the pronunciations of the courts, of whichever instance, but especially of the highest courts, should not be commented on, rather they should be taken for granted. It has been even claimed, most recently yesterday by the top Slovenian politian, that this is to be a fortiori observed by lawyers.

If we followed this kind of reasoning we would end up in a paradoxical situation where the essence of law, i.e. legal reasoning would be banned out of the law's realm. All judicial decisions have to be reasoned precisely because they are to be assessed for their correctness and persuasiveness. Of course, final decisions of the highest courts are presumed to be correct and should stay and be obeyed as they are. HOWEVER, it is the DUTY of law academics and practitioners to assess and analyze these judgments for their argumentative persuasiveness, for their fit with all things considered. Those who argue the opposite have simply missed the point and committed a category error.

Monday, April 24, 2006

"Let's Fu..." - NOT ON THIS BLOG!

It has been noticed that the decision to block the primitive, deplorable, humiliating comments on a personal basis, as opposed to argument-based comments, from this blog has annoyed their dispatchers to such a degree that they are spreading their anger elsewhere.

Something should be, however, clear: Global Law and Politics is devoted to harsh, but always decent discussions. We are here to criticize and to be criticized, but not on a personal basis, but on the level of arguments and compelling reasons. We are devoted to liberal values, to a free speech and freedom of conscience. However, SINCE THIS IS OUR BLOG, we define the terms. No, primitivism, no humiliation, nothing below the threshold of minimum decency should be posted on our blog. In a liberal democratic society everyone can decide not to engage into discussions with those who do not concede to the very kern of what a discussion is. And that is the respect for the interlocotur.

WWW provides ample space for those who fail to meet these minimum standards of decency, as the angry and bad-tempered dispatchers know that very well. However, Global Law and Politics provides none. And rightly so.

Taking Criminal Justice Seriously - Crimes against humanity after Second World War in Slovenia

On 21 April 2006 Supreme State Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Slovenia eventually filed an indightement before the District Court in Ljubljana against Mr Mitja Ribicic for the crimes against humanity committed on the territory of Slovenia just after Second World War. Mr Ribicic is a former deputy of Secret police during totalitarian Communist regime. This indightment marks a symoblic step in bringing prepetrators of henious crimes and blatant human rights violations on the Slovene territory to justice. Mr Ribicic is said to be in a good health and ready to face the trial. One needs to wait and see if criminal proceeding against Mr Ribicic will ever begin. Some of you remember Mr Pinochet who faked his medical condition in order to escape extradition to Spain and now six years after the event in London still enjoy the freedom in Santiago. In Slovene case there have been many speculations throughout the years whether the defendant will try to contemplate this option as well. The forthcoming month will bring answer to those speculations.

In the following section we reproduce a small passage from one our previous posts.

Slovenia is a small, beautiful and picturesque country, where one can ski in the morning and surrender oneself to the luxury of the Adriatic Sea in the evening. There are many lakes, steep mountains, woods and forests in Slovenia - covering more than sixty per cent of the country. But it is deep in those woods and forests where the darkest side of Slovene history lies. In the months following the of Second World War the Slovene Communists brutally massacred twenty thousands of fellow Slovenes, who chose not to join Resistance movement led by Slovene Communist Party, and over two hundred thousand of Croats and Serbs. Their remains are spread all over Slovene hills and valleys, so far more than four hundred sites, where slaughters took place, were found. Perpetrators, who ordered and controlled those heinous crimes against humanity, still roam freely on Slovene streets. Others who were indirectly involved are nowadays denying any knowledge of crimes ever being committed or they attempt to justify them as just another aspect of victor’s justice. When one addresses the crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Slovenia, impunity is still the norm.

To be continued in next weeks and months..

Editorial policy of Globalawandpolitics

Globalawandpolitics has a policy that the integrity, independence and freedom from bias of Globalawandpolitics must be upheld at all times.

We are committed to publish the facts and in all situations avoid the use of emotive terms. The only exception is when we are quoting someone directly or in indirect speech. We aim to report and commentate objectively actions, identity and background and pay particular attention to all our coverage in extremely sensitive regions.

We do not take sides and attempt to reflect in our stories of our posts. We are not in the business of glorifying one side or another or of disseminating propaganda.

The contents of this section are going to make us unpopular with some blog "true-believers" who look at blogs. But that is their problem -- and their issue. We have to follow our principles, even if we are using a different means of communication. We have to misquote one of Milos Forman's movies -- if you do not like Globalawandpolitics then do not read it and go yawn somewhere else.. But if you do, or if you have constructive suggestions about topics or thoughts about posted then we would love to hear from you. This blog was created on initiaive of the members of this blog and not anybody elses, and editorial policy is our to form. And also no public fund from any country on this planet is shareholder in our blog.

We receive many e-mails each week and it is not possible to send reply. But we do welcome views submitted by email or snail mail on how we could improve our postings and our blog.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Saturday afternoon in Slovenia

Saturday supplement of Leading Slovenian Newspaper Delo (Work):

Marko Pecauer (Mr. 800.496,64 SIT): "Nevertheless, it is a fact that Slovenia drifts towards a totalitarian state. This is not a defamation or an insult"

It is not for Mr Pecauer to say that is not a defamation or an insult what he wrote in his previous sentence. If he claims that Slovenia is a totalitarian state, he has to prove that his statement is true at least by giving some examples.

Neutral observer can simply write down that is more like that any newspaper, which calls itself Work and publishes that kind of articles has totalitarian approach to journalism and longs after the years where journalists did not anlyzise or research news and they published everything what their Masters told them. And this only for the sake of living misarable working life, going for holidays to neigboring Croatia, and maybe every fourth year getting a chance to report from Olympic games.

Saturday morning in Slovenia

Intro in Sobotna priloga, of the Delo, Slovenian newspaper:

"Vendar je dejstvo, da Slovenija polzi proti totalitarni državi."

"Nevertheless, it is a fact that Slovenia drifts towards a totalitarian state."

Disillusion of an old man

Die Zeit verrint --- und einige Menschen sind in Slowenien die Geschichte geworden. The old man has voiced his propaganda again: Slovenia needs no reforms; the government is pursuing private instead of public interests; Partnership for development was imposed on the political parties by the vicious of them all... And his association is stigmatized as Jews in the WWII.
Ja, naturlich: Herr ex-President: wenn die Entaeuschung kommt, insbensonders wenn das Volk so entschieden hat, muss man das akzeptieren, und nicht leiden wie ein junger Werther. Es is endlich Zeit eine neu Realitat fur alle zu bilden. Und wir konnen und wollen mit unsern einigen Kopfen denken.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

El Pentágono hace públicos los nombres de los 558 presos de Guantánamo

El gobierno americano ha hecho pública la identidad de las 558 personas que están o han estado detenidas en la base de Guantánamo (Cuba) en el marco de la guerra contra el terrorismo. Bajo la condición de combatientes enemigos, figuran presos de 40 nacionalidades, entre los que destacan 132 procedentes de Arabia Saudí, 125 afganos y 107 yemeníes.

El gobierno americano, al que un juez federal había ordenado someterse a este esfuerzo de transparencia tras una demanda de la agencia americana de noticias Associated Press, había rechazado hasta ahora publicar las identidades de la totalidad de detenidos de Guantánamo.

Lista de los detentidos en Guantanamo:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/guantanamo_names.html

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Diametralno videnje istega dogodka

Spori med Slovenijo in Hrvasko glede ozemlja ob reki Dragonji, ki si ga katastrsko lastita obe drzavi, so ze dobro znani. Danes je zgodba dobila svoje nadaljevanje, ki ga vsaka stran intepretira popolnoma nasprotno. Poglejmo:

vir: http://vijesti.hrt.hr/ShowArticles.aspx?ArticleId=8967
"JORAS PONOVNO IZAZVAO INCIDENT
19. travnja - Kontroverzni Joško Joras, samozvani "borac za južnu slovensku granicu", ilegalno je pokušao prijeći hrvatsko-slovensku granicu na prijelazu Plovanija, u čemu ga je spriječila hrvatska policija. Priveden je na obavijesni razgovor u policijsku graničnu postaju. Joras se odupirao privođenju pa su ga hrvatski policajci prenijeli do postaje.
Prije ovoga dogodio se još jedan incident, čije je sudionik također bio Joras. Joško Joras tužio je vlasnika kasina zbog nepropisno sagrađenog parkirališta, zbog kojeg se slivne vode slijevaju u njegovo dvorište i kuću. Iako se kuće nalaze u Hrvatskoj, tužbu je podnio okružnom sudu u Kopru koji se proglasio nadležnim. Prema nalogu koparskog suda na teren je danas izašao sudski vještak iz Kopra. Hrvatska je policija zabranila vještačenje jer slovenski vještak nije imao dozvolu za rad u našoj zemlji. Nakon policijskog upozorenja, sudski vještak mirno je napustio Hrvatsku."


Vir:http://www.mzz.gov.si/index.php?id=13&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=10996&tx_ttnews[backPid]=6&cHash=88d5e22e5b

"Sporočilo Ministrstva za zunanje zadeve
Ljubljana, 19. aprila 2006 - Ministrstvo za zunanje zadeve Republike Slovenije je bilo danes s strani Operacijsko-komunikacijskega centra pri Ministrstvu za notranje zadeve Republike Slovenije obveščeno, da so hrvaški policijski organi 19. aprila 2006 dopoldne v bližini doma na naslovu Sečovlje 1 na grob način aretirali slovenskega državljana Joška Jorasa ter ga nekaj časa zadrževali na začasni hrvaški kontrolni točki Plovanija. Hrvaški organi so prav tako neupravičeno omejevali in onemogočali prosto gibanje še enemu slovenskemu državljanu. Oba slovenska državljana sta bila ves čas na slovenskem državnem ozemlju.
Ministrstvo za zunanje zadeve se je nemudoma odzvalo in se povezalo s hrvaškim Ministrstvom za zunanje zadeve in evropske integracije. Ministrstvo za zunanje zadeve RS je izrazilo odločen protest proti navedenemu ravnanju hrvaških policistov in zahtevalo, da se slovenskima državljanoma takoj omogoči prosto gibanje. To se je po navedeni intervenciji Ministrstva za zunanje zadeve tudi zgodilo.

Ministrstvo za zunanje zadeve je hrvaškemu veleposlaništvu v Ljubljani hkrati izročilo protestno noto, v kateri je izrazilo najodločnejši protest zoper opisano hrvaško ravnanje. Poudarilo je, da takšno hrvaško ravnanje pomeni še eno v vrsti enostranskih dejanj, s katerimi skuša Republika Hrvaška prejudicirati rešitev mejnega vprašanja med Slovenijo in Hrvaško. Takšno hrvaško ravnanje je v nasprotju z obveznostjo spoštovanja stanja na dan 25.6.1991, ki izhaja tudi iz Skupne izjave o izogibanju incidentov.

Ministrstvo za zunanje zadeve je izrazilo pričakovanje, da se bodo hrvaški državni organi v skladu z mednarodnopravnimi obveznostmi in evropskimi načeli, ki jih morajo upoštevati države kandidatke za članstvo v Evropski uniji, vzdržali vseh dejanj, ki posegajo na državno ozemlje Republike Slovenije."


Ontologija spora je predolga, da bi jo ponavljali na tem mestu, saj smo o tem ze podrobneje pisali v clanku The Conundrum of the Piran bay, dostopnem na tem blogu. Zanima pa nas komentar bralcev glede izjemno nasilnega ravanja, ki so se ga ob Jorasovi aretaciji posluzili hrvaski policisti. Menimo, da je kljub spornosti obmocja, ki si ga, kot receno, lastita obe drzavi, taksno ravnanje popolnoma in v celoti nesprejemljivo in v nasprotju z minimalnimi standardi postopanja uradnih organov. Vec si lahko ogledate na posnetku, dostopnem na: http://www.rtvslo.si/modload.php?&c_mod=rnews&op=sections&func=read&c_menu=1&c_id=106435

Urangst von den Slowenen or Bananazing the Austrian (anti)policy towards national and ethnic minorities











On this blog we already dealt with insanity of legal position Slovene minority in Austria. (See http://globalawandpolitics.blogspot.com/2006/02/haider-as-jewel-for-slovene-minority.html).

As we discerned it comes eventually down with most of issues concernig Slovene Minority in Austira to what Joerg Haider does or says. We can only repeat that he is known for his dubious statements about Jews and Slovene minority in Carinthia, his praise of Nazism, his embrace of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, and for his personal charisma at least for Austrian people. He is a notorious follower of mockery and represents everything what Carinthia and Austria may be ashamed of. Facing political demise, only hate speech and hate action against Slovene minority in Austria may keep him in contention for Austrian election in September.

In February Matej wrote that By denying the right to bilingual signs they are denying to Slovenian minority the right to be seen. In other words: they can exist, but they should not be visible.

Haider has again today stated that Slovenia has banana minority policy towards minorities on the Slovene territory. Further, he submitted that his Carinthia may be a role model for Slovene minority politics. Haider’s disregard and contempt for national and international human rights standards is known worldwide and Austria may be an example for countries worldwide how not to deal with their national or ethnical minorities. He referred to European standards, which are respected by his regional government. It appears that Haider does not remember how his incumbent Government violates the rights of Slovene minority. If we refer only to European context, we can establish that Carinthian government in Austria violates not only the OSCE standards, but also COE Framework convention for the protection of National minorities and other COE documents, leaving aside the European Convention on HR and Fundamental Freedoms.

Situation of national and ethnic minorities in Slovenia is far from being perfect, but it cannot be compared and contrasted with totalitarian policy of Haider and his followers.

Now, it s necessary again to reiterate that is not for any state to decide what is minority/or who fulfils criteria for minority. It is up to minorities to identify themselves as a minority. Again, it is not for the state to say whether or not the rights of minorities are ensured, respected, fulfilled and promoted. Country which plans to hold the referendum on which the majority would decide on the constitutional right of the minority to bilingual signs takes us back to period, so deeply longed after by Haider.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Slovensko novinarstvo - se zadnjic

V zadnjih nekaj dnevih smo na spletni strani nasega bloga kar nekaj prostora namenili stanju novinarstva v Sloveniji. Z dobesedno objavo komentarja Petra Jancica, glavnega in odgovornega urednika slovenskega najvecjega casopisa Delo (vir: http://www.delo.si/index.php?sv_path=43,50&id=74d4503444017b21c884b08f6d9a9e2804&source=Delo), zakljucujemo to razpravo.

Menimo, da je prav, da zadnjo besedo dobi nekdo, ki se je sam na svoji kozi soocil s stanjem, kakrsno trenutno vlada v slovenskem novinarstvu.

Peter Jancic: Hoja po robu stolpnice, v Delu Sob 15.04.2006:

"Z Delom se te dni ukvarjajo vsi v državi. Aktivi novinarjev konkurenčnih časopisov, kot sta Večer in Dnevnik, skušajo uredniku, ki vam piše to kolumno, pomagati pri sestavljanju uredniške ekipe in zahtevajo, da mora biti Ervin Hladnik Milharčič tudi še po prvem maju urednik prestižne Sobotne priloge. Še nekaj manjših aktivov se oglaša z idejami, kakšne kvalifikacije morajo imeti uredniki Dela in kako so se ne Delo menda infiltrirali politiki.

Majhen in bolj strankarski časopis je nevoščljiv, kakšne plače tukaj prejemajo uredniki in novinarji, pa objavlja netočne podatke o tem. Poslanko Majdo Potrata z leve je zmotilo, ker objavljamo oglase za tednik Mag. Z desne še ni protestov, kako si drznemo objavljati oglase za Mladino. So pa tam občasno zgroženi, ker jih pogosto razglasimo za odgovorne za vse dobro in slabo v državi. Kar je – ker ima oblast veliko moč – pač realnost.

Kar se aktivov novinarjev in protestov v prid Milharčiča tiče, niso čisto samoiniciativni. Dogajanje je sprožil izvršilni odbor aktiva novinarjev Dela, ki že dolgo slovi po tem, da rad razpošilja dopise drugim časopisom, kako je na Delu vse narobe. Vsak pameten urednik na Večeru ali Dnevniku je tega pisanja vedno vesel. Takoj pridobijo še odzive tistih, ki jih je ta odbor trenutno napada, in to objavijo kje na prvih straneh. Dobro se bere in koristno je, če v časopisu objaviš zmerjanje novinarjev in urednikov konkurenčne hiše. Padla jim bo branost in naklada. Pa še sami s(m)o si krivi.

Malo me je, kako se je začelo, tudi šokiralo. Za dopis, ki ga je kot predsednik aktiva podpisal Jože Poglajen, sem namreč prej kot od novinarjev Dela, ki so ga napisali, izvedel od odličnega novinarja Večera Boruta Mekine, ki sem mu bil nekoč urednik. Storil je, kar smo prej skupaj: takoj je poklical za odziv. Enako so ravnali z Dnevnika. Uporniki na Delu si svojemu uredniku niso upali na podoben način pogledati v oči. Nič me niso vprašali po razlogih ali čem podobnem niti me niso osebno obvestili o svoji odločitvi, da mora Milharčič za vsako ceno ostati urednik. So me pa po elektronski pošti zaprosili, ali bi njihova stališča objavil v časopisu.

Odločil sem, da lahko v Delu svoje pisarije objavijo, če bodo plačali oglas, ker sem se hotel izogniti javnemu razčiščevanju internih stvari. A ker so vihar v državi že dvignili, bom pa tudi javno povedal: časi se spreminjajo in ta urednik Dela na najvišje uredniške položaje ne bo postavil nikogar, ki nima izobrazbe, potrebne, da bi se človek lahko zaposlil vsaj kot novinar. Pri tem mi ni veliko mar, kako je v drugih časopisnih hišah, ki zaposlujejo manj novinarjev in si včasih tudi ne morejo privoščiti izobraženih. Avtonomija pa je med drugim v tem, da me nihče ne bo izsiljeval.

Bilo mi je skrajno nerodno, ker so to razpravo zunaj hiše sprožili, saj je Milharčič sicer primer odličnega novinarja, ki je ponos Dela. Niti malo si nisem želel javno razlagati o njegovi izobrazbi in se prepirati o tem ali čem podobnem. Razpravo so sprožili na način, ki je zadnje čase žal za novinarstvo značilen: diskvalificirali so me, češ da izvajam politične čistke, se spravljam na drugače misleče in kar je še tega.
Razprava, ki so jo sprožili, je lahko koristna za novinarsko skupnosti – kaže namreč, kako neresno novinarji jemljejo profesionalnost in kako podli so lahko. Si predstavljate, da bi skupine sodnikov pozivale k uporu, ker minister za pravosodje ne soglaša, da bi bil za šefa sodišča imenovan nekdo, ki nima univerzitetne izobrazbe, češ da s tem izvaja nasilje nad drugače mislečimi? Niti na misel jim ne pride. Kdo bi pa še verjel, da pravično sodijo. In malo me skrbi, ker si ugled s takšnim ravnanjem zapravljajo najpomembnejši pisci Dela.

Pa ne le oni. Oglasila se je vrsta novinarskih aktivov, ki bi morali prvi skrbeti za spoštovanje visokih profesionalnih standardov, kar dokazuje, da je zavest o novinarstvu kot profesiji na daleč najnižji točki v zgodovini te države. Profesija ni le v tem, da imaš veliko plačo in privilegij pisati v najbolj uglednem časopisu v državi. Potrebna je tudi izobrazba. Logika, da je nekaj let prakse več kot diploma dobre fakultete, velja za obrtne dejavnosti. A to ima tudi posledice: obrtniki praviloma ne morejo imeti milijonske plače.

Povrhu se zdi, da aktivisti iz drugih medijev zahtevajo, da ne smem upoštevati kriterija izobrazbe, ker so bržčas sami v hudi stiski, in to kaže stisko celotnega ceha, saj je izobrazba v novinarstvu pač še problem. In v največjem časopisu postavljamo standarde za vse. Česa vas je strah, gospodje?

Kar se pa plač na Delu tiče, bom v naslednjih letih skušal doseči, da bodo imeli res visoke tisti, ki dobro in trdo delajo. Kot denimo v zadnjem tednu Boštjan Videmšek, Jure Eržen in Barbara Šurk, ki na Bližnjem vzhodu tvegajo največ, kar je mogoče, tudi življenje, da bi ljudje v Sloveniji dobili popolno in celovito sliko o dogajanju.

Nič me ni in me ne bo sram, če bo plačilo takšnih novinarjev višje od plače šefa vlade ali kakšnega podobnega politika, dokler bo delo opravljeno tako, da bo ta časopis tisto, kar mora biti: ogledalo in ponos te države. Kar se najvišjih šefov uredništva Dela tiče, pa bodo pač morali imeti končan vsaj kak faks.


Pa če so novinarske organizacije, sindikalisti in aktivisti postavijo na glavo."

Friday, April 14, 2006

"Awakening of Fascism in Slovenia"

Commentator of the leading Slovenian newspaper "Delo" (www.delo.si) has in its Saturday Edition in a response to the Slovenian government's withdrawal from the biggest Slovenian super-market chain which resulted in the change of those in the managerial positions; and in a response to the envisaged comprehensive reform of the Slovenian economy, published an article titled "As if the Germans had won." We quote here just a short, but the most provokative excerpt. The innocent reader who is not acquainted with the prevailing mindset in Slovenia will have some problems understanding it, for which we apologize. But, to be frank, we understand it either, since it is beyond comprehensible. So it goes (the article is available at http://www.delo.si/index.php?sv_path=43,6528&id=ce21045a2c16de7ec5af3cbff03f30f704&t=html&p=1, by Ervin Hladnik Milharcic)

"The present government has with the projects of rehabilitation of fascism reopened a comfortable discussion about the past and it is on its best way to prove that Slovenia ended up in the WWII - in this great war - on the side of losers. With its hastened and under-developed plan of economic reform of the society it has over night created general polemique about the welfare that has in its entirety taken place in the close-future tense. The reform program is based on a simple and logic kern: »If the WWII had been won by the Germans and Slovenia conducted its reforms, we would be all driving in Mercedes... The acts of the government are damaging. The case of the [biggest super-market chain] speaks too much for itself. The state sold its shares under the price. Its financial funds have out of mere political calculation produced an apparent loss that can be measured by the pricing trends of shares at the Stock Market. This has resulted in direct deprivation of pension fund and denationalization fund. In both cases the government could remedy this by accelarated privatization of the health sector and by limiting the rights of the unemployed. Traditionally it has been dealt with losses to a disadvantage of the interests of the weakest..."

To conclude - according to the Slovenian leading newspaper, in Slovenia we, first, have the government that will do anything to deteriorate the position of its electorate and second: the Germans are still the villains...who, good for them and bad for us, drive Mercedes...
It is sad, that the leading newspaper does not see that we are in the year 2006, that Germany is our closest ally in the EU, with which we will also, in a way, co-preside in the EU and that this is the high time that real and comprehensive reforms were conducted in Slovenia for the general well-being of us all.

But as we could observe at the National TV, the other day, the envisaged reforms would increase even the prices of funeral services... So, the economists would add: it is not opportune to die anymore. And actually this is the only way to maintain to populace of Slovenia, which has one of the lowest birth rates in Europe and the highest suicide-rate.... What a sound society.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Prebujanje ideološkega novinarstva v Sloveniji

V najnovejšem romanu pisatelja Alojza Rebule Zvonovi Nilandije (Mohorjeva družba, 2005) agenti tajne službe komunističnegara režima zaradi nepoznavanja antične in rimske zgodovine zasledujejo in nadzorujejo pisatelja Anda Krilnika. Krilnik piše roman o rimskem pesniku, Vergiliju Maronu Publiju, (70-19 pr.n.š.), ki je bil največji pesnik Avgustovega časa in predstavnik patetično-retorične poezije. V Rebulovem romanu pisatelja Krilnika nadzorujejo na vsakem koraku, doma, v tujini in na počitnicah na morju, prav zaradi suma tajne službe, da pripravlja roman o Vergilu Polarniku, povojnem oporečniku, ki ga je komunistična partija odstranila zaradi njegovega javnega nasprotovanja totalitarnemu režimu. Prav ta binom Vergilij-Vergil spravlja tajno službo totalitarnega režima ob pamet in hkrati upravičuje permanentno nadzorovanje pisatelja.

V zadnjem času ponovno opažamo prebujanje ideološkega novinarstva v Sloveniji. No verjetno do sedaj sploh še nismo bili priča njegovemu zatonu. Ob branju slovenskih časnikov se človek prej ali slej vpraša v katerem letu v Slovenji pravzaprav živimo. V uvodniku Kot če bi zmagali Nemci zadnje številke Delove Sobotne Priloge je njen urednik Ervin Hladnik Milharčič presegel vse meje dobrega okusa in hkrati posegel po že znani totalitaristični metodi: najprej diskvalifikacija potem pa likvidacija. Za ponazoritev njegove metode vam podajamo nekaj vrstic iz omenjenega uvodnika:

» Ljudje, ki so preživeli njegovo celotno zgodovino (op.p.zgodovino totalitarnega režima), opozarjajo, da jih (op.p. sedanje obdobje) spominja na njegova slabša obdobja. Vprašujejo se, ali je sedanji položaj pametneje primerjati s petdesetimi ali sedemdeseti leti prejšnjega stoletja.
....
Sedanja vlada je s projekti rehabilitacije fašizma (!) ponovno odprla udobno diskusijo o preteklosti in je na najboljši poti, da dokaže, kako je bila Slovenija v veliki vojni na strani poražencev
«.

Gospodu Milhračiču pa odgovarjamo nasljednje: Za našo mlado generacijo so takšne besede pesek v oči k prizadevanju neštetih generacij slovenskega naroda za resnico in pomirjenje v Sloveniji, četudi so bile omenjene osebe mišljenje zgolj kot vaš labodji spev.* Diskusije o dogodkih (množični poboji po drugi svetovni vojni, desetletja naših staršev), ki so se zgodili že davno pred našimi rojstvi, bi lahko resda prepustili našim starejšim kolegom, vendar se nas še kako tičejo, ker gre za dušo in kolektivni spomin slovenskega naroda. Obenem nismo tako obremenjeni s preteklostjo, in prav zato lahko govorimo in pišemo o zgodovinskih dejstvih.. Tako lahko mirno zapišemo in ponovimo, da je od leta 1941 do 1990 v Sloveniji vladal totalitaristični režim, ki je grbo kršil najosnovnejše človekove pravice, še posebej v petdesetih in sedemdesetih letih prejšnjega stoletja. Ta režim je celotno svojo oblast (iz)gradil na množičnih pobojih 12.000 Slovencev večinoma krščanske vere in čez 100.000 pripadnikov drugih narodnosti po drugi svetovni vojni in ustrahovanju v letih po vojni, o čemer smo že pisali na tem blogu. Pri tem je šlo z vidika mednarodnega kazenskega prava in tudi slovenskega prava za genocid in hudodelstva zoper človečnost. Verjamemo, da boste ob branju romana »Zvoni Nilandije« opazili razliko med imenoma Vergilij in Vergil, ter tudi med petdesetimi leti prejšnjega stoletja in današnjim časom v Sloveniji. Pri vsem skupaj, gre za rimsko pietas, čut za trpljenje sočloveka, brez katerega lahko nekateri ljudje živijo.

*Temelji na neresnični domnevi, da naj bi obstajali labodi, ki zapojejo le enkrat v svojem življenju in sicer najlepše pred smrtjo. Uporablja se v malo manj fatalnih situacijah - za opis uspeha po dolgotrajni neopaženosti ustvarjalca, čeprav slutimo, da bo ta vendarle tudi njegov zadnji.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Would Women sign a petition to end women's suffrage ?

The following video was shot in one of the all-girls high school in the United States of America. The author was later punished with after school detention at his all-boys high school. We must say that the comparisons with European countries and the country on the sunny side of the Alps are only incidental.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q1I94UEtO4&search=Women%27s%20Suffrage

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Human rights in United Nations: The new Human Rights Council

The United Nations gives only two per cent of its annual budget for human rights purposes, mostly for financing the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneve. The rest of money is spent mostly for keeping alive its immersive administrative apparatus. This Office of HCHR is considered to be under-staffed and constantly lacking in funding for its various mission needed in today's troublesome world. Apart from that the UN Special Rapporteurs for various human rights usually have to fund their fact-finding mission with their own many or their institutions, if the decided to prepare proper reports.

In the light of this wary facts and also last years report “In Larger Freedom (21 March 2005)"
from UN Secretary General, The United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the creation of a Human Rights Council on March 15, 2006.* It will replace the Commission on Human Rights, which will be formally abolished on 16 June 2006. This outcome is far from being perfect, however it may be a small step to whole-reaching UN reform.

In order to succeed, the new Human Rights Council must truly be “transparent, fair and impartial,” as the text indicates, “and uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.” The test will be whether the UN General Assembly elects members with respectable human rights records which truly want to confront those States that are responsible for human rights abuses, regardless of geo-strategic or border relationships.

The NGO community, the Secretary-General, the U.S., and many other states were strong advocates of excluding States with atrocious human rights records from participating in the new Human Rights Council. This position responded to prior or current membership by countries accused of gross human rights abuses, including Zimbabwe, the Sudan, the Republic of the Congo, Cuba, Ethiopia, and Saudi Arabia, as well as Libya, which chaired the Commission in 2003. The new Human Rights Council includes the criterion that membership “shall take into account candidates’ contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights.” However, an earlier draft an earlier draft prohibited membership to any State found responsible for human rights abuses or violations by UN bodies.

The new Council is widely acknowledged to be imperfect. However, there were risks in the failure to create a new Council, which would have been be an embarrassment for the UN, or to create one that showed no semblance of reform or lessons learned from the Commission on Human Rights, which would have been a different type of embarrassment for the UN. The questions also remains whether NGOs will be able to take part in such Council like they were able in the former Commission on Human Rights.

* The vote was 170 to 4, with three abstentions. The resolution was opposed by the United States, Israel, the Marshall Islands and Palau. Belarus, Iran and Venezuela abstained.

More info on HR Council is available here: http://www.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/

Monday, April 10, 2006

"The First War Crime was Committed in Slovenia"

The case of Holmec is in the lime light again. This time under fresh interpretation, instigated a few years ago by Neva Miklavcic Predan and implicitly supported by the Minister for Interior Affairs of that time (Bandelj) for the purpose of short-term political gains... How characteristic for narrow minded people and for self-proclaimed liberals. Let's see how the independent narrates the story (by a Serbian journalist, to make sure). The complete version is available at http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/article356833.ece, hereby we concentrate just on the most thought-provoking points:

1) "Slovenian authorities have closed the file on the very first known war crime committed in the Balkan conflict as the former Yugoslavia broke apart. In fact, they have emphatically done so twice in the last few days."

2)"The footage, made by Austrian ORF TV, has shocked the Slovenian public. It shows three soldiers waving a white sheet in apparent surrender, in the north-eastern village of Holmec, near the Austrian border. They are calmly shot dead by Slovene policemen who had surrounded them."

3)" The head of the Slovene Helsinki Monitor human rights group, Neva Miklavcic Predan, described the video as "the first documented war crime in former Yugoslavia," while many analysts compare it with the footage of the execution of six Muslims by Bosnian Serbs after the fall of the Muslim "safe haven" of Srebrenica in 1995."

4) "The Holmec case was a secret kept from the public for years, until a small newspaper carried an item on the shootings in 1999."

The best part, please read carefully:

5) "Slovenia waged (sic!) a short and relatively bloodless war of independence in June 1991 against the army then known as the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA). At the time, JNA was mostly made up of secondary school graduates and conscripts. A total of 47 JNA soldiers were killed in Slovenia, most of them aged between 18 and 22, from all the ethnic groups of the former Yugoslavia."

6) "Although the Slovene prosecution has closed the book on the Holmec case, the controversy is still alive. Miklavcic Predan is on trial in Slovenia for "deeply hurting the feelings of Slovene veterans of war" with her statements, and faces up to five years in prison for slander.
She said at the outset of the trial two months ago that it was a "political" case
."

The best comes at the end under the fairy-tale number:

7) "Slovenia, with a population of only two million, is the only former Yugoslav republic to have joined the European Union, of which it became a full member in 2004.

But although it has a squeaky clean image inside Europe, Slovenia's human rights record has been tarnished by its treatment of non-Slovenes. "

What can we say: Sancta simplicitas. Very professional journalism, not tendencious at all... but above all: thank you Neva, thank you those in and close to LDS for tarnishing our face in Europe. We should just wait for a moment when Mr. Jansa &Co., who defended the independent Slovenia and make our dream a reality, end up in Hague for attacking and killing the innocent members of the JNA - which was not one of the biggest war machines in Europe, but merely a toothless kindergarden equipped with plastic guns and white handkerchief...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Hamas Speaks Reasonably – At Last

The United States will cut off all assistance for building projects in the Palestinian territories and at the same time increase humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, State department announced yesterday. Similarly European Union declared it will cut direct aid to the Hamas led government. This is a reaction to ruling Hamas’ history of violence and its refusal to renounce its long standing vow to eradicate Israel.

This obviously synchronized action by US and EU follows Sharon’s party Kadima’s election victory (nevertheless, Olmert got less votes than he hoped for). During election campaign future prime minister Ehud Olmert promised he would continue Sharon’s policy of unilateralism, part of which was the disengagement from Gaza that took place last summer.

Present Israeli policies, now approved by the electorate, are a direct consequence of Fatah’s and Hamas’ politics of perpetual war. In an atmosphere where there is no interlocutor on the other side of a table, the only rational possibility left to Israel seems to be unilateral action of securing its borders and retreating from territories that proved to be too big a burden. Sharon himself paid a high price for this vision of peace, since Benjamin Netanjahu and others forced him to leave the same Likud he helped to establish many years ago. Sharon now lies in a coma, but his revenge on his old party comrades is sweet: not only had Sharon broke his ties with Likud - he broke the Likud, as one commentator put it.

Not just Kadima, the Labor also advocates the same policy, though its emphasis is slightly different. On the other side it seems symptomatic that both Hamas and hawks in Likud objected Sharon's successful strategy of disengagement. Certainly the disengagement from Gaza that took place last summer was extremely painful for Israeli society as a whole. But the real victims of the disengagement were the settlers, vast majority of them being orthodox and Zionist Jews who always understood settlements as Israel's last defense line and also as their sacrifice for the Holly land. One cannot deny the fact this really was a sacrifice since for years settlements and especially setters were hit the hardest by terrorism. Thus one of many dramatic consequences of the disengagement is an unprecedented inner rift in Zionist movement, one part of it now being deeply disappointed and suspicious of state of Israel. However, the greater part of the public have now voted for pragmatic policy of unilateralism.

It’s clear that peace in the Middle East will never be achieved without Israel giving up some of the territories it occupies. Both sides must accept reality eventually, but this seems increasingly difficult for Palestinian leaders (including those belonging to now defeated Fatah movement!), who have so far insanely clung to their “death to Israel” rhetoric. It seems that only prospects of loosing subsidies from the West will force Hamas to reconsider its position. In this manner new Palestinian foreign minister Zahar already wrote a letter to U.N. Secretary General, stating Hamas is prepared to engage in ”serious and constructive dialogue” to reach “just and comprehensive solution”. It seems Hamas even considers a possibility of a “two-state” solution in which Palestinians have “freedom and independence side by side with its neighbors”.

To the obvious detriment of the Palestinian people both Fatah and now Hamas have not been serious for years in their “peace efforts” - the consequence being Israeli public’s decision to stop waiting. Both disengagement and newly elected Hamas led government can be seen as an opportunity for both nations to take a step forward. Israel already painfully gave up part of occupied territories and at the same time forcefully removed its own citizens from it. Furthermore, during election campaign Olmert promised a partial retreat from territories West of Jordan. In the aftermath of Israeli elections it’s now Hamas’ turn to face the responsibilities of leading its people and finally identify true Palestinian interests. Language of reason, used in a letter to Secretary General, is a good start.


Friday, April 07, 2006

Situation of Detainees in Bahía de Guantánamo

United States Navy have used Bahía de Guantánamo as a Naval Base for more than a century. US controls the land on both sides of the southern part of Bahía de Guantánamo under a lease set up in the wake of the 1898. It shoub ne noted that The Cuban government denounces the lease on grounds that article 52 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of the Treaties annnuls treaties agrered uponSince 2001, the naval base contains a detainment camp for militant combatants collected from Afghanistan and later from Iraq

On 15 February 2005 four UN Special Rapporteurs (the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the Special Rapporteur freedom of religion or belief, and the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health) and the Chairperson of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention iisued a reprot on Situation of detainees at Guantánamo Bay

The report on the situation of the detainees held at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was issued by In this joint report, each Rapporteur examines the situation of the detainees as it relates to the Rapporteur’s mandate.

The report is based on the replies of the US government, interviews with former detainees, and responses from lawyers representing individuals currently detained at Guantánamo Bay. According to the US government, approximately 520 detainees were held in Guantánamo Bay as of October 2005. As of December 2005, nine detainees have been referred to a military commission.

The report lays out the obligations of the United States under international law. Citing the case of the International Court of Justice in Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the report finds that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights extends to Guantánamo Bay. The report moreover reiterates the complementary application of International Human Rights Law to International Humanitarian Law.

The Chairman of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers expressed their concerns regarding the situation of the detainees. In their view, the “legal regime applied to these detainees seriously undermines the rule of law and a number of fundamental universally recognized human rights, which are the essence of democratic societies.”

The report also criticizes that investigations into the allegations of torture have not been conducted through an impartial process. This, according to the Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, constitutes a violation of Articles 12 and 13 of the Convention against torture

In its conclusions, the reports finds that the individuals detained at Guantánamo Bay “are entitled to challenge the legality of their detention before a judicial body in accordance with Article 9 of the ICCPR” and that “[t]his right is currently being violated.” The conclusions specify that the interrogation techniques authorized by the Department of Defense amount to “degrading treatment in violation of Article 7 of ICCPR and Article 16 of the Convention against Torture.” The recommendations of the report state that “the United States Government should either expeditiously bring all Guantánamo Bay detainees to trial…or release them without further delay.” Moreover, the recommendations provide that the “United States Government should close the Guantánamo Bay detention facilities without further delay.”
On 10 March 2006 the United States issued a reply to the Report of the Five UNCHR Special Rapporteurs on Detainees Gunantamo Bay. In that reply, the United States declares that it “profoundly objects to the Report both in terms of process and of substance and underscores that the Report’s factual and legal assertions are inaccurate and flawed.”

The United States asserts that it “offered the Special Rapporteurs unprecedented access to Guantanamo.” The United States also criticizes that the report asserted “the existence of jus cogens or non-derogable norms without citation of binding authority in support”, and that it “relied on international human rights instruments, declarations, standards, and general comments of treaty bodies without serious analysis of whether the instruments by the terms apply extraterritorially; whether the United States is a State Party- or has filed reservations or understandings – to the instrument.” The Special Rapporteurs’ view that the ICCPR is applicable to the detainees in Guantanamo Bay is also contested. According to the United States, the ICCPR is “by its express terms and clear negotiating record” only applicable within the signatories’ territory. The United States further declares that it is “engaged in a continuing armed conflict against Al Qaida, the Taliban and other terrorist organizations supporting them.” Therefore, the United States finds the law of armed conflict to govern “the conduct of armed conflict and related detention operations,” and also states that these rules permit lawful and unlawful combatants to be detained until the end of active hostilities without charges, trial, or access to counsel.”

What would you say about the report and its US reply? Does US position have any legal backing in international human rights law or its domestic law ?

UN report is available at:
http://www.ohchr.org/english/

US reply is available at: http://www.asil.org/pdfs/ilib0603212.pdf

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Poetičnost Baskije


Če človek pomisli kaj daje obrise avtohtoni kulturi nekega naroda, se slej ko prej ustavi pri pesnicah in pesnikih, ki jih dal ta narod svojim ljudem. Kot so Poezije Franceta Prešerna, Integrali in Pesmi Srečka Kosovela, Pesmi Štirih, zbrana dela Tomaža Šalumunova in pesmi vseh drugih slovenskih pesnic in pesnikov po izpovedni, emocionalni in estetski plati oblikovali in oblikujejo slovensko dušo, narodno zavest in nenazadnje slovensko kulturno avtohtonost, tako je podobno tudi pri drugih narodih. Ker v zadnjih dneh že govorimo o Baskiji, se je morda dobro za dan ali dva dvigniti nad politične razprave o (ne)srečni usodi prelepe in navdihujoče pokrajine ob Atlantskem oceanu, in se nekaj za trenutkov posvetiti baskovski duši, namreč baskovski poeziji. V spodnjih vrsticah objavljamo pesem »Egia bat esateagatik« baskovskega pesnika Gabriel Aresti-ija v baskovščini, španščini in angleščini. Slovenski prevod sledi v naslednjih mesecih. Ustvarjalec, ki ga je k besedi klicala nemirna kri, manihejec, raznihan med bsakovskim podeželjem in živčno trzavico mest, je bil nekakšen votek, povzetek stoletja, odlikovanega z zanosi, hrepenenji, nasilji, trpljenji in izgubo občutka za tradicijo, za duhovni spomin in dediščino. Baskovska poezija je dostopna na naslovu: http://www.basquepoetry.net

EGIA BAT ESATEAGATIK, Gabriel Aresti, 1963

Egia bat esateagatik,
alabak
hil behar bazaizkit,
andrea
bortxatu behar badidate,
etxea
lurrarekin
berdindu behar bazait;
Egia bat esateagatik,
ebaki behar badidate
nik eskribitzen
dudan
eskua,
nik kantatzen
dudan
mihina;
Egia bat esateagatik,
nire izena
kenduko badute
euskal literaturaren
urrezko
orrietatik,
inoiz,
inola,
inun
eznaiz
isilduko.

SI POR DECIR UNA VERDAD, Gabriel Aresti, 1963

Si por decir una verdad
han de matarme
las hijas,
han de violarme
la mujer,
han de derribar
la casa
donde vivo;
si por decir una verdad
han de cortarme
la mano
con que escribo,
la lengua
con que canto;
si por decir una verdad
han de borrar
mi nombre
de las páginas de oro
de la literatura vasca,
en ningún momento,
de ninguna manera,
en ningún lugar
podrán
acallarme.

IF FOR TELLING THE TRUTH... Gabriel Aresti, 1963

If for telling the truth
they must kill
my daughters,
rape my wife,
pull down
the house
where I live;
if for telling the truth
they must cut
off the hand
I write with,
the tongue
I sing with;
if for telling the truth
they must rub
out my name
from the golden pages
of Basque literature,
never in any way
nor in any place
will they be ableto make me shut up.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The New Political and Economic Agenda for Italy?

This weekend Italian voters are going to decide the political and economic fate of their country for the following few years. The battle between the left and the right coalition has been going on for months, reaching its peak in the final weeks before the elections. The two camps are extremely colorful. The center-left, led by Mr. Prodi, ranges from the extreme left, to communists (whose icon is a travestite Vladimir Luxuria) to Christian parties, whereas the center-right, led by Mr. Berlusconi, starts with the latter and finishes with the obscure, yet almost fully-fledged (ex-)fascist parties.

The entire political campaign has been very much driven by the traditional binary discourse blaming one side of being communist and the other being fascist. Alessandra Mussolini certainly occupies the infamous 1st place as the controversial statements are considered. In her view, it is better to be a fascist than a homosexual.

In the very last days, the campaign has moved from idelogical propaganda to substantive economic debates - the tax policy being in the foreground. It has been said that Mr. Berlusconi came up with his last trump-card by promising the abandonment of a portion of property tax.

This might still shatter the polls and the final result is still contingent and unclear. Prodi's coallition has continuously been in the lead by a margin of a few percent, whereas Berlusconi has not given up yet. There are still many voters who have not made their decisions yet, and many of those, according to my interlocoturs, could go to Berlusconi. In a way, Prodi is in a weaker position, because he does not have his own political party, as Berlusconi does, rather he just sits on the top of the pre-elections coalition.

Hence, we will need to wait till Sunday for the final outcome. Whoever will win, will need to face the country, which has been a sleeping beauty in the Mediterranian since 1960s, caught in stagnation, facing big demographic problems and all the related problems of the modern times - insecurity, poverty, racism...

Dunque, bona fortuna amici Italiani - votate bene per vostro paese e per suo futuro. Noi siamo aspetando.

Israeli-Palestinian saga

"We are prepared to compromise, give up parts of our beloved land of Israel, remove, painfully, Jews who live there, to allow you the conditions to achieve your hopes"

Israeli Prime minister Ehud Olmert, addressing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after leading his centrist Kadima Party to victory in last week's Israeli elections.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Nekatera vprašanja glede Baskije

Španska vlada pred španskimi sodišči in tudi pred organi EU zastopa stališče, da ima pravico, da ne dovoli registracije strank, ki domnevno delujejo v povezavi s terorističnimi skupinami, s čimer upravičuje svoj boj zoper politične stranke, ki naj bi bile povezane s baskovsko oboroženo skupino ETO.

Problem je v tem, da do sedaj ni bilo dokazano, da je imela katerikoli baskovska stranka povezave z ETO. Vse temelji na domnevah, pri čemer španski kazenski zakonik ne zahteva gotovosti za pregon takšnih kaznivh dejanj. Tudi pri odmeri kazni za kazniva dejanja so razlike med Baskijo in ostalo Španijo smešne. Za nameren požig smetnjaka v Bilbu lahko storilec dobi do deset let zaporne kazni, medtem pa v sosednji špansko asimilirani Galiciji za ista kazniva dejanja, sodišča določajo kazen do enega leta pogojna. Podobnih primerov je še veliko.

Španija si vse od njihove državljanske vojne v tridesetih letih prešnjega leta ne spoštuje načela vladavine prave, temveč se na vse kriplje prizadeva ohraniti umetno državno tvorbo pri življenju. Celotna zadeva s političnega vidika zelo spominja na bivšo Jugoslavijo pred razpadom, Baskija pa na našo državo pred letom devetdeset.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Taking International Criminal Justice seriously

In his article in 18 March 2006 issue of London-based magazine »The Spectator«, John Laughland nostalgically reminisces about his last encounter with Balkan butcher Milosevic. The article is entitled » A coffee, a smoke and a chat with Milosevic«. In the article he submits how lucky he was to meet personally with the Serbian butcher. In that article he undermines the status ICTY and its work to end impunity for heinous crimes on the territory of former Yugoslavia.The tip of the iceberg comes in the last paragraph, which is reproduced below.

He starts his article with »I was one of the last western journalists to be meet Slobodan Miloševič….The Hague tribunal is like Dover in Act V of King Lear – nearly all main surviving protagonists of the Balkan wars are assembled in this improbable place….Milosevic was not in charge of Yougoslavia when it was falling a part…

Last paragraph goes as follows: Demonisation and denunciation are infectious viruses which can engulf large numbers of people very quickly. They are parasites on one of the core human vices, pride because they give the denunicator and intoxicating sense of superiority of object of his attack. Milosevic is the seventh defendant to dies in the Hague's tender care, following the trial in which almost every established precept of jurisprudence and international law has been violated by judges there. If the legacy of his death is de facto legitimsation of gross abuses committed in his name of international justice by this kangaroo court, then all our liberties are at risk.

Since I cannot agree in any respect with opinion expressed, I hereby submit my reply to Mr John Laughland and to the magazine The Spectator.

Taking International Criminal Justice seriously: A reply to John Laughland

Dear John Laughland,

I cannot embrace your comments on most of points since are alas not objective and disregard the progressive international criminal justice law in the last decades. Indeed, Miloševič was de facto in charge of Yugoslavia when it was falling apart. There are countless memoirs and other records available, which were published in last decade by major political actors involved in political scene when Yougoslavia was falling a part. You submission is therefore simply wrong and it deceives your readers.

The surrender of Slobodan Milosevic to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia back in 2000 has focused world attention on the possibility of putting an end to impunity for individuals who commit gross atrocities during of war. War should not be used as a cover for genocide. It cannot used as a justification for murder and torture. And it cannot cloak the rape of innocent women and children.

Indeed, our liberties in international community would be put at risk if we would choose to disregard grave human rights violations committed anywhere and therefore to support a case fro impunity as you seem to suggest. You prove that you do no have any insight in operations of international criminal justice when you submit the ICTY violated every established precept of jurisprudence and international law. I ask you what means international human rights law for you in your lonesome opinion. By writing latter you give, in your words, yourself an intoxicating sense of superiority. I will explain what is international human rights law nowadays really about and why ICTY is not kangaroo court as you so mistakenly wrote.

International human rights law imposes a duty on states to investigate and prosecute violations committed within their jurisdictions, and the primary duty to end impunity rests with the state authorities where the violation is committed. However all too often, violators are not brought to justice in their own countries. The sight of large scale human suffering and mass violations of human rights and humanitarian law in recent years has given new impetus to international determination to bring violators to justice. Accountability for international crimes is increasingly viewed as a matter of concern for the international community as a whole, and there has been a trend towards the establishment of international mechanisms for criminal justice. International criminal tribunals were established by the UN Security Council in response to the conflicts in former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and in July 1998, states agreed to establish a permanent international criminal court to try perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Despite these important moves to create a system of international criminal justice, for the foreseeable future there will still remain a role for national courts in prosecuting those suspected of international crimes who come within their borders. We already have some indications of how this will work. One example is Germany’s proceedings against suspected war criminals from former Yugoslavia. Since 1992 Germany has apprehended four individuals suspected of involvement in atrocities in the conflict in former Yugoslavia. However, two of the most important war criminal from Yugoslav war, Mladić and Karadžič are still at large.

The effective exercise of universal jurisdiction is one important tool in the struggle to end impunity for international crimes. Most European states have accepted universal jurisdiction for the prosecution of war criminals and human rights violators through ratifying international treaties, and many have exercised jurisdiction on this basis during the 1990s. Nevertheless, an adequate legal basis for exercising universal jurisdiction remains lacking in many instances.

We need to support the International Criminal Court because it is in the everybody's interest to do so and because it will bring international criminals to justice. We need support the tribunals because they will protect and promote the very ideals and freedoms for which people around the world have fought and died. We need support the efforts of international criminal justice because a more stable world community, where gross criminal conduct is not tolerated, ensures a safer world in which every persons can live, work, trade and travel. Not to do so would be to the detriment not only of those living today and but also of our future generations.