Thursday, June 13, 2013

Center for Constitutional Rights Shameful Effort To Put Pope Benedict Emeritus In Jail Has Ended

Laurie Goodstein at the New York Times has the news of the failure to prosecute Pope Benedict ,now Pope Benedict Emeritus, and put him in jail. See Hague Court Declines Inquiry Into Church Abuse Cover-Up . This of course brought by SNAP and their Advocates at the Center for Constitutional Rights. A couple of years ago Ole Miss Law Prof Ronald J. Rychlak took a look at this at Accusing Pope Benedict SNAP’s petition to the International Criminal Court is a publicity stunt.

He said in part :

 ....It is also worth noting that the ICC was designed to punish the “worst of the worst” perpetrators. With respect to sexual abuse, the evidence clearly demonstrates that such crimes were committed not only within the Catholic Church, but also within other religious and civic groups and school systems, and often at rates higher than those for priest offenders. That is no excuse for any of the perpetrators, but it eliminates the ICC as a proper forum for prosecuting them or their superiors. The ICC was not intended as a court in which to prosecute countless leaders of churches, civic institutions, and schools throughout the world. 

One has the sense from their press statements that SNAP activists are not bothered by such niceties as the true purpose of the ICC or its jurisdictional mandate. The attorneys representing SNAP, however, work out of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and they cannot so easily be let off the hook. Those attorneys know that their petition does not state a valid claim before the ICC, but they filed it anyway. The CCR attorneys are misusing this new and fragile instrument of international law as a political tool — in other words, they are using it in precisely the way that the ICC, at its inception, was intended to avoid. 

Indeed, the filing of the petition itself was organized as a media event — the kickoff to a major “European tour,” replete with SNAP and CCR press conferences in European capitals. The CCR attorneys are not acting as lawyers; they are facilitating a publicity stunt. That is shameful behavior that brings disrepute to the legal profession and, because the petition itself is fallacious, ultimately will not advance the interests of abuse victims. 

I find the attorneys’ actions particularly troubling because I worked on a case with the CCR years ago, and I considered Morty Stavis — one of the founders of the CCR and a lawyer active there from 1983 until his death in 1992 — a friend. Morty was too good a lawyer to play such games. The CCR would not be involved in something like this if Morty were still alive.......

I agree with that. I think it did NOT help SNAP's credibility to do this but to me the actions of the Lawyers that signed their names to this is the most troublesome.

If you are of the opinion that ICC should have some teeth and by consequence International  law these actions did you no favors. The only one cheering such actions is perhaps the current regime of Syria and his ilk.


Anonymous said...

SNAP got a wake up call with this one.

James H said...

Hopefully they will not be so I don't know snesational in legal claims next time