Posted by: scardenas | November 29, 2011

On Tibet

Tibet Protest, London, March 22 - xii by Tanya Nagar

Two Spanish voices reflected recently on the value of using universal jurisdiction in seeking justice for Tibetans:

For some reason International Law and Universal Jurisdiction…is never or rarely mentioned in the Tibet debate….  We have been preparing and seeking justice for the Tibetan victims of old and recent crimes in the Spanish Courts based on Universal Jurisdiction for more than ten years….  We believe that all democratic institutions, laws, human rights organizations, tribunals, national and international courts must be USED (not just talked about or criticised) to combat impunity and defend the dignity of the victims.

We don’t know what it is, but fear of the big powers or ignorance are never good excuses to refrain from using the privilege of the law that free countries have at their disposal.  In this sense, the premises of Universal Jurisdiction are based on the legal and legitimate principle of justice (not of vengeance) of the Tibetan victims, and constitutes [sic] a personal and untransferable right of theirs.  Furthermore the argument that Spanish justice interferes with negotiations (or better to say “talks about talks”) sustained by China and some politicians in Dharamsala is in hindsight a misguided and erroneous one, or at best speculative.

Thoughts of Tibet raise some difficult questions confronting universal jurisdiction:  to what extent well-founded critiques of international law justify foregoing universal jurisdiction, and why exactly some cases remain invisible while others take the spotlight.  Meanwhile, those seeking justice grow rightfully impatient with the endless debate and inaction.

Read the full piece here.

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