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Dear professor Koh,

In your “1998 Frankel Lecture: Bringing International Human Rights Home” you urged us “to promote obedience to international law” and told us that “we have a duty not simply to observe transnational legal process, but to try to influence it.” This is what I’m going to do, try to influence the U.S. through you. As a philosopher I am not convinced by your above arguments. I’ll have a couple of questions and two suggestions for improvement of the International Law.

Imagine that the relatives of Osama bin Laden disagree with your legal argument and wish to challenge it in a court of law, as they told New York Times. Is there any court where they can do that?

They cannot sue U.S. in Pakistani courts, because of the state immunity.

You contributed greatly to the book “International human rights litigation in U.S. courts.” You participated as lawyer in Alien Tort Statute litigation. Therefore you probably agree with Jeffrey Davis when he writes in his book “Justice across borders: the struggle for human rights in U.S. courts” on page 90 the following: “When ATS suits are prosecuted against the United States and U.S. officials they typically fail. To date plaintiffs have been unable to overcome the government’s sovereign immunity, political question, and state secrets defenses.” The question is: If bin Laden’s relatives wanted to start a legal procedure in U.S. courts, what is their chance of getting a court to hear their case? Probably none.

Can they sue U.S. in international courts? No. Various German, French, Norwegian and Dutch propositions to admit private individuals as parties to the Permanent Court of International Justice were opposed by the American representative. ICJ inherited its rules. The U.S. opposed also the very serious Australian proposition of creating an International Court of Human Rights, during the talks about the Universal Declaration.

Thus we don’t have any court where bin Laden’s relatives could challenge your legal arguments.

Therefore it seems to me that U.S. is the sole arbiter of its own conflicts and this is a violation one of the most fundamental principles of law, that nobody should be judge in her own case.

The people outside the developed countries believe that U.S. has committed, commits and will keep committing great crimes against them. Technology becomes with the day cheaper, more available and more destructive. Think for instance how the two snipers kept the U.S. for months in anxiety. Therefore people will keep committing terrorist attacks against U.S.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will cost U.S. three trillion or more. And the economy does not promise you golden eggs nowadays. Therefore the U.S. and the world has a problem.

The solution to this deadlock seems obvious. The U.S. should change its way radically. It should do two things. First it should make the International Court work, by stimulating the declarations accepting it’s jurisdiction or working towards some form of compulsory jurisdiction. Secondly individuals should have the possibility to sue states at international courts, for instance in newly created courts for human rights, modeled after the European one.

Truly yours,

Mihai Martoiu Ticu

Geredigeerd door Pascale Esveld
Published inFilosofieInternationaal RechtOpiniePolitiekRechtbank voor Allen


  1. cynicus cynicus

    Winsemius zei dat cynici nog nooit de wereld hebben veranderd, dat zou best zo kunnen zijn.
    De vraag is evenwel of ooit de wereld veranderd is.
    Ik lees een boek uit 1965 geschreven door de VS historcus Neumann over VS Japanse betrekkingen.
    Misschien is bekend dat VS admiraal Perry in 1853 de baai van Tokio binnenvoer met o.a. twee stoom oorlogsschepen en Japan onder dreiging van geweld dwong zich te openen voor buitenlandse handel.
    De VS motieven waren ook toen al de gebruikelijke, democratie, beschaving en winst.
    Japan begreep dat de enige manier weer een onafhankelijk land te worden zich westerse technologie op het gebied van oorlogsvoering te verschaffen.
    Japan maakte zich die technologie en de bijbehorende maatschappelijke organisatie zeer snel eigen, al rond 1900 won het de oorlog tegen Rusland.
    Een Japanse diplomaat schreef rond diezelfde tijd dat in de internationale diplomatie miltaire macht het enige middel was.
    Hitler had dezelfde opvatting.
    Obama’s verbale knieval van gister voor de Arabische opstandelingen kan alleen daaruit worden verklaard dat de VS niet langer een groot deel van de wereld militair kan beheersen.
    Palestijnen kaartten gewoon door tijdens dat verhaal ‘hij zei niets nieuws’.
    Hamas verklaarde dat Obama z’n slogans maar eens in daden moet omzetten.
    Dat zal ook wel gebeuren, één van de verklaringen voor het vermoedelijk er in luizen van Strauss Kahn is dat de VS probeert de euro onderuit te halen zodat de dollar er beter voor komt te staan.
    Strauss Kahn, die zelf tegen allerlei bezwaren in Griekenland in de euro zone gebracht schijnt te hebben, zat Griekenland het meest op de huid.
    Macht, zo zei Mao, komt uit de loop van een geweer, hij geloofde dus ook al niet in internationaal recht.

  2. Jan Jan

    Ter informatie, wellicht interessant:

    “Gandhi and International Human Rights Posted on October 1, 2010 by Sanhita

    Celebrating Gandhi Jayanti, October 2nd, 2010

    I recently learned that when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [UDHR] was being drafted in the 1940s, UNESCO commissioned a project which asked the world’s best-known philosophers the following question: How is an agreement conceivable among men who come from the four corners of the earth and who belong not only to different cultures and civilisations, but to different spiritual families and antagonistic schools of thought? While the existence of the UDHR might make us believe that these philosophers managed to find some common ground, the sad truth is that the report submitted was ultimately shelved because (surprise!) no agreement could be reached on what ‘common convictions’ and ‘universal values’ the world shared. Gandhi was one of the philosophers consulted by this project.

    Even in the 1940s, when the world was obsessed with the emerging ‘rights-discourse’, Gandhi’s contribution is unique because of its emphasis on duties. Gandhi disagreed with the rhetoric of rights – at a national and international level – and much preferred a discourse couched in the language of duties. What is most fascinating is that he went beyond the obvious correlation between human rights and state duties, and emphasised the duties of individuals. In other contexts Gandhi argued that the “Rights of Man” be replaced with a “Charter of Duties” and said that “a duty well performed creates a corresponding right”. Of course, the UDHR is testament to the fact that his suggestions were not popular at that time.

    The idea of duties in the international human rights discourse has gained great currency in recent times. Most obvious is the emergence of the norm of the responsibility to protect, which suggests that states may act to prevent gross violations of human rights within the boundaries of other states. Interestingly, even Gandhi’s emphasis on the duties of non-state actors in the context of human rights protection is becoming more relevant. International law is progressively realising the inefficacy of promoting global human rights without regulating the conduct of crucial non-state actors. We hear noises about corporate accountability for rights violations, individual criminal liability for rights violations, the responsibility of armed groups and ‘belligerents’ in times of war, duties of peacekeepers and human rights defenders. Recently adopted regional instruments – such as the African Charter for Human Rights – provide for clearly delineated individual duties. The InterAction Council recently went so far as to suggest a draft ‘Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities’….”

    De aandacht verleggen van ‘Mensen Rechten’ naar ‘Mensen Verplichtingen/Menselijke Verplichtingen”.

    ‘Mensen Rechten’ is het verdeel & heers principe in de praktijk gebracht.

    In het Engels: Bill of Rights should be Bill of Duties – Rights will follow automatically.

  3. cynicus cynicus

    Net als de Ieren was Ghandi gedurende de tweede wereldoorlog van mening dat zij genoeg geleden hadden onder de beschaving die hen vroeg die beschaving te verdedigen.

  4. cynicus cynicus

    Lord Vansittart, ‘The Mist Processsion, The autobiography of LORD VANSITTART’, London 1958.
    Zie ook:
    Roy Mottahedeh, ‘The Mantle of the Prophet, Religion and Politics in Iran’, Oxford, 1985, 2000, over de bezetting van Iran om wapens naar Rusland te verschepen gedurende de tweede wereldoorlog.
    The Rt. Hon. Viscount Samuel. P.C., G.C.B., G.B.E., Hon. D.C.L. (Oxford). Hon. Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, ‘Memoirs’, London, 1945.
    Dit boek bevestigt de beelden die uitzond naar aanleiding van het bezoek van de Britse koningin aan Ierland, zwaar Brits geschut in Dublin in de periode 1916 1921.

    Zelden las ik een betere beschrijving van westers imperialisme als bij Neumann.
    Het boek van de link moet ik nog bestellen.

  5. Jan Jan

    Ter informatie:

    “…This speech was delivered by Willie Lynch on the bank of the James River in the colony of Virginia in 1712. Lynch was a British slave owner in the West Indies. He was invited to the colony of Virginia in 1712 to teach his methods to slave owners there. The term “lynching” is derived from his last name.


    “Gentlemen. I greet you here on the bank of the James River in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and twelve. First, I shall thank you, the gentlemen of the Colony of Virginia, for bringing me here. I am here to help you solve some of your problems with slaves. Your invitation reached me on my modest plantation in the West Indies, where I have experimented with some of the newest and still the oldest methods for control of slaves. Ancient Rome’s would envy us if my program is implemented. As our boat sailed south on the James River, named for our illustrious King, whose version of the Bible we Cherish, I saw enough to know that your problem is not unique. While Rome used cords of wood as crosses for standing human bodies along its highways in great numbers, you are here using the tree and the rope on occasions. I caught the whiff of a dead slave hanging from a tree, a couple miles back. You are not only losing valuable stock by hangings, you are having uprisings, slaves are running away, your crops are sometimes left in the fields too long for maximum profit, You suffer occasional fires, your animals are killed. Gentlemen, you know what your problems are; I do not need to elaborate. I am not here to enumerate your problems, I am here to introduce you to a method of solving them. In my bag here, I HAVE A FULL PROOF METHOD FOR CONTROLLING YOUR BLACK SLAVES. I guarantee every one of you that if installed correctly IT WILL CONTROL THE SLAVES FOR AT LEAST 300 HUNDREDS YEARS. My method is simple. Any member of your family or your overseer can use it. I HAVE OUTLINED A NUMBER OF DIFFERENCES AMONG THE SLAVES; AND I TAKE THESE DIFFERENCES AND MAKE THEM BIGGER. I USE FEAR, DISTRUST AND ENVY FOR CONTROL PURPOSES. These methods have worked on my modest plantation in the West Indies and it will work throughout the South. Take this simple little list of differences and think about them. On top of my list is “AGE” but it’s there only because it starts with an “A.” The second is “COLOR” or shade, there is INTELLIGENCE, SIZE, SEX, SIZES OF PLANTATIONS, STATUS on plantations, ATTITUDE of owners, whether the slaves live in the valley, on a hill, East, West, North, South, have fine hair, course hair, or is tall or short. Now that you have a list of differences, I shall give you a outline of action, but before that, I shall assure you that DISTRUST IS STRONGER THAN TRUST AND ENVY STRONGER THAN ADULATION, RESPECT OR ADMIRATION. The Black slaves after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self refueling and self generating for HUNDREDS of years, maybe THOUSANDS. Don’t forget you must pitch the OLD black Male vs. the YOUNG black Male, and the YOUNG black Male against the OLD black male. You must use the DARK skin slaves vs. the LIGHT skin slaves, and the LIGHT skin slaves vs. the DARK skin slaves. You must use the FEMALE vs. the MALE. And the MALE vs. the FEMALE. You must also have you white servants and over- seers distrust all Blacks. But it is NECESSARY THAT YOUR SLAVES TRUST AND DEPEND ON US. THEY MUST LOVE, RESPECT AND TRUST ONLY US. Gentlemen, these kits are your keys to control. Use them. Have your wives and children use them, never miss an opportunity. IF USED INTENSELY FOR ONE YEAR, THE SLAVES THEMSELVES WILL REMAIN PERPETUALLY DISTRUSTFUL. Thank you gentlemen.” …”

    Uiteindelijk draait het om ‘focus’ (aandacht). Dit wordt bereikt door het geloof in informatie (taal/beelden). Door te doen ‘alsof ‘ iets zo is/bestaat, ontstaat er ‘geloof’ en de focus is bestuurd en doen zich werkelijkheden voor.

    Economie, financiën, accountancy, fysica enz., Allemaal illusionaire producten van het voorstellingsvermogen, welke geloofd worden! Er zijn GEEN vastestoffen. Wel is het mogelijk dat illusies van vastestoffen er zijn, welke geloofd worden te bestaan.

    Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. Albert Einstein

    Die illusie zijn zelf-instandhoudend zolang er sprake is van focus. Geen focus, geen universum. Het focusen geschiedt d.m.v. de taal en beelden waarmee gedacht wordt.

    Voor Nederlanders is het ‘Nederlands’ de ‘brainwashing’ en ‘mind control’.


  6. Jan Jan


    “…As our boat sailed south on the James River, named for our illustrious King, whose version of the Bible we Cherish, …”

    De ‘King James Version’ of the Bible” waaraan Willie Lynch refereert stelt o.a. in:


    1. [1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. …”

    ‘The Word’ – Het Woord of te wel ‘taal’. Taal schept werkelijkheden! En wel omdat het de focus/aandacht gericht houdt. De kunst is om deze focus te besturen, opdat men (het volk) in trance geraakt en ‘schept’ wat ‘zij die het doorhebben (de elite)” graag willen.

    Ter zijde:

    Zoeken in de ‘KJV’ ziet:

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