Inter-Governmental Organization "IGO"

Judiciary Enforcement by the Court

 

The Sovereign Court of International Justice (SCIJ), as an Inter-Governmental Organization (IGO) Court of Law operated by the independent Judiciary Profession, is uniquely positioned for the strongest enforcement measures, exceeding the limitations of the well-known treaty-based Courts, and even providing new enforcement capabilities which could support such modern Courts.

 

The general public understands that the mechanisms of Justice must include real-world capabilities for enforcement, “with teeth”.  Based on this popular wisdom, the common-sense measure of whether a Court is “real” or effective is whether it has – and is prepared to use – the strategies and tools necessary to ensure that Justice is meaningfully carried out in practice.

 

As famously stated by the 1st Viscount Gordon Hewart, 7th Lord Chief Justice of England (1870-1943), “[It] is of fundamental importance that Justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done. … Nothing is to be done which creates even a suspicion that there has been an improper interference with the course of Justice.” [1]

 

In the popular perception, the failure of Courts or refusal by countries to enforce international Court Orders and Judgments is very much the same as “interference with the course of Justice”, as Justice is not “seen to be done”.  Thus, every judgment which is not enforced undermines public confidence in both Justice as a principle, and in the Judiciary as a world institution.

 

Past Limitations on International Enforcement

 

The traditional Judiciary enforcement powers, which people are accustomed to by public awareness, are automatic only for local State Courts of countries.  Of course a State Court in its own territorial jurisdiction can rely on law enforcement agencies of that same State to enforce its Orders and Judgments.  An international Court of Justice, however, has no such built-in advantage, but rather must navigate a complex world of international law and geopolitics to arrange enforcement measures.

 

For that reason, the prominent international Courts do not have any enforcement functions at all, due to the inherent limitations of “treaty-based” Courts.  As a result, the well-known Courts are restricted to the official policy of only issuing Judgments, and leaving it to the plaintiffs or victims to seek enforcement on their own.

 

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) explains that “Human Rights judgments are concrete tools of advocacy. … States are under an international legal obligation to implement human rights judgments.  However, just because States should implement the judgment does not mean they will always do so in real life. … A judgment from the Court acknowledges in clear and authoritative terms that a violation has occurred, and gives rise to the legal obligation to make changes.”

 

The European Court (ECHR) further explains that enforcement is best achieved through independent civil society organizations, which “are in a position to put pressure on government authorities that may be unwilling to implement”, which “can use judgments to support lobbying or advocacy activities.” [2]

 

Relying upon this modern practice of “voluntary compliance” supported by “external advocacy” by private civil society groups, the average enforcement rate for Judgments of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is only 21% [3] [4].  The International Criminal Court (ICC), where trials are supported by pre-existing political pressure from countries pledging enforcement in advance, has only a 63% enforcement rate for arrest warrants [5].

 

New Solutions for Universal Enforcement

 

The Sovereign Court of International Justice (SCIJ) is the first Court positioned to fully utilize provisions of international law requiring all countries to enforce Orders and Judgments of the independent Judiciary.  It is also the first international Court established with its own in-house enforcement operations.

 

Traditionally, a practical problem arises when a violating country politically refuses to “recognize” the Judiciary authority of an international Court, and insists upon policies and practices which flagrantly disregard established international law.  However, every country has economic, diplomatic and other strategic vulnerabilities in many other countries around the world.

 

Therefore, the solution to this problem is for the international Court to strategically leverage the violating country’s legal liabilities to target its practical vulnerabilities, both in its own territory and especially in other countries.  A Court of the independent Judiciary, by its inherent codified legal authority of universal jurisdiction, can utilize those vulnerabilities to achieve very real and public Justice.

 

A supra-governmental Court of the independent Judiciary can directly enforce its Orders and Judgments through various legal measures for economic seizures, which can bypass geopolitical obstacles.  However, a wider range of enforcement powers are most effective with the cooperation of countries.

 

For the most powerful and direct enforcement measures, it is sufficient for the Court to obtain cooperation of only one single friendly country, anywhere in the world, for enforcement in each particular case.  Every violating country has embassies, with supporting infrastructure, around the world.  Any one country which supports human rights and the Rule of Law can leverage the status and bank accounts of the violator’s embassy and assets in that friendly country.

 

The Sovereign Court (SCIJ), as an Official Body of an Inter-Governmental Organization (IGO), has the support of the Member States of its supporting host IGO, and also has its own independent diplomatic status to arrange enforcement measures with any and all friendly countries.

 

The built-in official authority of universal jurisdiction of the SCIJ High Court, from the undeniable and unavoidable framework of conventional international law, provides a solid legal and political basis for any and all friendly countries to take even extraordinary measures, to enforce its Warrants, Orders and Judgments.

 

The SCIJ High Court monitors and implements enforcement measures through its Chamber of Compliance Judges, a dedicated department for in-house enforcement operations, conducted by special Officers of the Court called Compliance Judges.

 

Mandatory Obligation of Enforcement by States

 

A Court of Law of the independent Judiciary Profession possesses the inherent official authority, by mandatory force of conventional international law, to issue Enforcement Orders which automatically trigger the binding obligation of all States to enforce its Judgments and Orders.

 

It is an established legal doctrine that “international law contains the obligation to prosecute… in accordance with international obligations of States… as provided for in the applicable statutes of international judicial organs”, and that States are strictly required “in accordance with international law… [to] assist international judicial organs”, to cooperate with the principle of “universal jurisdiction”, to “enforce valid foreign legal judgments”, and to “provide… effective mechanisms for the enforcement of… valid foreign legal judgments” (2005 Right to Remedy for Human Rights, Preamble: ¶8, Articles 4, 5, 17).

 

International law mandates that “It is the duty of each State to provide adequate resources to enable the Judiciary to properly perform its functions” including enforcement (1985 Principles on Independence of the Judiciary, Article 7).

 

International law requires that “Each State has a prime responsibility and duty to… implement all human rights… to create all conditions necessary… to enjoy all those rights and freedoms in practice… to ensure that the rights and freedoms… are effectively guaranteed.” (1998 Right to Protect Human Rights, Article 2)

 

These mandatory obligations of enforcement are fully “binding upon” all countries, even non-signatories, as a “recognized customary rule of international law” (1969 Convention on Law of Treaties, Article 38).

 

Credit Reporting for Economic Restrictions

 

For Contempt of Court Orders issued for “obstruction of justice” or offenses against the Judiciary, the Court itself is both the Creditor and beneficiary of the monetary sanctions.  For Judgments, the Court is the Creditor for monetary awards and penalties on behalf of the plaintiffs or victims, and for punitive amounts on behalf of the public interest.

 

As an inter-governmental organization (IGO) possessing statehood and diplomatic status as a “subject of international law” (1969 Convention on Law of Treaties, Article 3), the Court holds immunity of its economic “property, rights and interests” as exempt from State Courts (2004 Convention on Immunities of States, Articles 5, 6.2(b)), thereby empowering it to directly enforce its monetary Contempt of Court Orders and Judgments without recourse to any State Court, as a Creditor by its own Judiciary authority.

 

As an alternative to, in the absence of or in addition to criminal prosecution for imprisonment, as an official and lawful Creditor in its own right, the Court can register a Contempt of Court Order or Judgment with monetary penalties as a debt obligation, directly with the major international Credit Reporting Agencies.

 

The offender’s public Credit Report will thus prominently reflect a Contempt of Court Order or Judgment, indicating the legal fact of a criminal violation.  This will cause the cancellation of credit cards, closure of bank accounts, prevent loans or even vehicle leasing or property rental, and cause failure of due diligence for employment, contracting or financial transactions, unless and until the penalty is paid to the Court.

 

Economic Seizures for Enforcement and Collection

 

Even banks are subject to the mandate of international law, with direct corporate liability:  “No one shall participate, by act or by failure to act where required, in violating human rights”; “Everyone who, as a result of [their] profession, can affect the… human rights… of others should… comply with… international standards” (1998 Right to Protect Human Rights, Articles 10, 11).  “Offenders or third parties responsible for their behaviour” must pay “restitution to victims”, specifically including “the restoration of rights.” (1985 Declaration of Justice for Abuse of Power, Article 8.)

 

Banks, by their “profession”, are in a unique position to “affect” human rights by permitting or restricting use of funds by violators, and thus are required to “comply” and are corporately liable for “failure to act” to “enforce” Court Orders and Judgments.

 

Confirming that banks have direct corporate liability, international law requires to “enforce valid legal judgments” specifically “against… entities liable for the harm” of violations (2005 Right to Remedy for Human Rights, Article 17).  Banks can thus be held “liable for the harm” resulting from permitting use of funds by offenders committing violations.

 

Therefore, the Sovereign Court (SCIJ) has codified conventional law authority to issue Enforcement Orders to banks, compelling banks to freeze accounts to block illegal activities, and to seize funds in fulfillment of Judgments against violators.  The failure or refusal of any bank to comply with such Orders constitutes a new violation by the bank itself, leading to a Judgment directly against the bank as a separate offender.  In this way, the Court can ensure that banks implement economic seizures for enforcement and collection of its Judgments.

 

Collection from Higher Government Agencies

 

Most violations of international law tend to be committed by government agencies. Often, the violating agency or higher levels of government claim that the agency is “unable” to pay compensation to victims, citing a “budget deficit” or so-called “austerity” policies. Such claims are nothing more than superficial propaganda attempting to circumvent a valid and binding Court Judgment and Enforcement Order.

 

The modern framework of conventional international law eliminates and prohibits all such excuses: Whenever a violating agency is unable or unwilling to pay on a Judgment, an independent Court of Justice can issue Enforcement Orders on the next higher government level, quickly escalating all the way to the top at the highest national level of the State.

 

International law mandates that whenever a violating government agency claims to be unable to pay compensation, States up to their highest national level have a strict obligation to pay directly, and can later collect from their own agencies:

 

“When compensation is not fully available from the offender or other sources, States should… provide financial compensation” (1985 Declaration of Justice for Abuse of Power, Article 12).  In such cases the “State shall provide reparation to victims”, and the “entity found liable” can later “compensate the State if the State has already provided reparation to the victim” (2005 Right to Remedy for Human Rights, Article 15).  It is thus required that “States should… [provide] reparation… in the event that the parties liable… are unable or unwilling to meet their obligations” (Article 16), and later the “States shall… enforce… judgments for reparation… against [those] entities liable” for the violations (Article 17).

 

Beyond the obligation for States to pay compensation and later collect from their violating agencies, States at the highest level of national government also have direct liability to pay compensation for violations by their lower governmental agencies:

 

Every “State shall provide reparation” for violations “which can be attributed to the State” (2005 Right to Remedy for Human Rights, Article 15).  “Offenders or third parties responsible for their behaviour” must pay “restitution to victims” (1985 Justice for Abuse of Power, Article 8), and “victims should receive restitution from the State whose officials or agents were responsible” (Article 11).

 

Therefore, Court Judgments can be collected directly from the “top of the pyramid”, making the top wholly responsible for all legal liabilities of the entire governmental “pyramid”.

 

Targeted Shut-Down of Headquarters Offices

 

The Court can escalate economic enforcement measures to strategically target major critical infrastructure assets of the violating government agency or country.  This method would serve as an economic embargo, effectively shutting down its important operations temporarily, unless and until it complies with the Court Orders and Judgments.

 

By blocking or seizing related bank accounts and other resources necessary for operations, the Court can cause the shut-down of highly visible facilities.  Even a diplomatic embassy cannot remain open, if it cannot access bank accounts in the host country to pay for electricity, water, telecommunications, maintenance, local salaries, and other operating costs, and would soon be forced to close.

 

Such enforcement can target headquarters offices of a violating government agency, and even embassies of a violating country, to most visibly escalate political pressure for lawful compliance, and to achieve meaningful public Justice.

 

This can be accomplished by the Court invoking the mandatory obligations of any and all cooperating countries for such enforcement measures (2005 Right to Remedy for Human Rights, Preamble: ¶8, Articles 4, 5, 17; 1985 Independence of the Judiciary, Article 7; 1998 Right to Protect Human Rights, Article 2).

 

Personal Liability for Obstruction of Justice

 

Even individuals are subject to the mandate of international law, with direct personal liability:  “No one shall participate, by act or by failure to act where required, in violating human rights”; “Everyone who, as a result of [their] profession, can affect the… human rights… of others should… comply with… international standards” (1998 Right to Protect Human Rights, Articles 10, 11).  “Offenders or third parties responsible for their behaviour” must pay “restitution to victims”, specifically including “the restoration of rights.” (1985 Declaration of Justice for Abuse of Power, Article 8.)

 

Government officials, by their “profession”, are in a unique position to “affect” human rights ensuring compliance by their State department, and thus are required to “comply” and are personally liable for “failure to act” to “enforce” Court Orders and Judgments.

 

Confirming that government officials and even private individuals have direct personal liability, international law requires to “enforce valid legal judgments” specifically “against individuals… liable for the harm” of violations (2005 Right to Remedy for Human Rights, Article 17).  Officials can thus be held “liable for the harm” resulting from permitting ongoing violations by their government department.

 

Such non-compliant officials are directly and personally subject to “prosecution of crimes committed by public officials, particularly… abuse of power [and] violations of human rights and other crimes recognized by international law” (1990 Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors, Article 15).

 

Therefore, the Sovereign Court (SCIJ) has codified conventional law authority to issue enforcement Orders against individual officials personally, compelling officials to stop and correct illegal activities by their government department.  The failure or refusal of any official to comply with such Orders constitutes a new violation by the official personally, leading to a Judgment directly against that official as a separate offender.  In this way, the Court can ensure that State officials implement enforcement of its Judgments, under penalty of Contempt of Court Orders for obstruction of Justice.

 

Arrest by Interpol Notices and Extradition

 

Based upon International Arrest Warrants ordered by the Sovereign Court (SCIJ), any one of the Member States or other cooperating States of its supporting host inter-governmental organization (IGO) can cause Interpol “Red Notices” to be issued and published, through their respective Interpol National Central Bureaus (NCB).

 

The resulting arrest and subsequent imprisonment is ensured by the obligation of States to “assist international judicial organs” and specifically “to punish” (2005 Right to Remedy for Human Rights, Article 4), and “to provide… resources to enable the Judiciary” to enforce its Orders and Judgments (1985 Principles on Independence of the Judiciary, Article 7), which is mandatory for all countries (1969 Convention on Law of Treaties, Article 38).

 

Accordingly, any and all cooperating States can also pursue extradition of persons arrested at borders for imprisonment in their own State, to enforce Court ordered criminal penalties within their own national Justice and prison systems.  (IVU Sovereign Charter, Article 39.5(c)).

 

Note that for crimes against the Judiciary, extradition is fully authorized without need for any extradition treaty (1973 Convention on Internationally Protected Persons, Article 8.2).

 

Therefore, the Sovereign Court (SCIJ) has codified conventional law authority to issue valid and effective International Arrest Warrants, causing any and all individuals participating in violations of international law to be arrested at airports and border crossings worldwide, for imprisonment in the arresting State or extradition for imprisonment in any other cooperating State.

 

Escalation of Enforcement to Breakthrough Point

 

The mere fact of holding Judiciary authority alone can never be as effective as the persistent and strategic exercise of that authority, by active and escalating enforcement measures, as necessary to uphold Justice under the Rule of Law.

 

Judiciary Escalation – When a local government agency disregards a Court Order or Judgment against its violations of international law, the Court can impose further sanctions for Contempt of Court, and then escalate by issuing an Enforcement Order to the higher national government agency.

 

If the national agency disregards that Order, the Court can issue Contempt of Court penalties against that higher agency, and then escalate by issuing an Enforcement Order against the national government of the country as a whole.

 

If the violating country disregards that Order, then the Court can issue stronger Contempt of Court penalties against that State, and then escalate by arranging enforcement actions against its economic and diplomatic vulnerabilities in any one or more friendly countries anywhere in the world.

 

If the violating country attempts any act of retaliation against any cooperating country for its lawful enforcement actions, the Court can impose severe Contempt of Court sanctions against that State, and then escalate by issuing a new Judgment for criminal violations of retaliation and obstruction of Justice.

 

If the violating country attempts any act of retaliation against the Court, the Court can impose extreme Contempt of Court sanctions against that State, and then escalate by issuing a new Judgment for criminal violations against the independent Judiciary as a whole.

 

Economic Escalation – As the legal measures escalate, the monetary amounts of accumulating Court Orders and Judgments can increase from millions to billions to potentially even trillions of liquid financial assets.  This can mobilize the worldwide industry of Judgment Collection agencies and law firms, working on commission.

 

The Court can also escalate its own economic enforcement actions, filing all of the additional Orders and Judgments with international Credit Reporting agencies, and issuing further Enforcement Orders to banks for seizure of accounts and collection of funds.

 

Political Escalation – If individual government officials of a violating country persist in causing or enabling their State agencies to disregard Court Orders and Judgments, the Court can escalate by issuing new Judgments for criminal offenses of obstruction of Justice against those officials personally.  This is followed by escalating economic enforcement, and even arrest warrants, against those individual officials.  This will dramatically intensify political pressure for responsible officials to stop and correct the violations of their State agencies.

 

Meanwhile, as the legal and economic liabilities of the violating country continue to escalate, at some point it will most likely experience a “public relations disaster”, making its persistent violations of international law an extreme political liability.  This can severely damage its national economy, undermine its diplomatic relations, cause termination of its membership in international organizations, risk provoking a revolution for the overthrow of the government by its own people, and possibly motivate other countries to pursue sanctions or even military action through an inter-governmental Security Council.

 

Breakthrough Point – With each level of enforcement escalation, the accumulating legal, economic and political liabilities multiply against the violating State and all third-parties who may be found “aiding and abetting”, continuously gaining momentum.  By this “snowball effect”, eventually the consequences of willful non-compliance must inevitably reach a “critical mass”, rising to an unacceptable level of civil and criminal penalties, with intolerable political pressures.  It is sufficient for the Court to simply maintain its willpower and follow-through, until this unavoidable “Breakthrough Point” is finally reached, forcing compliance, and achieving public Justice.

 

Enforcement for Other International Courts

 

The Sovereign Court (SCIJ) was specifically designed to advance the fullest and most universal application of the modern framework of conventional international law, unrestricted by the inherent limitations of treaty-based Courts.

 

International law mandates Judiciary cooperation “at the international levels” through “inter-governmental organizations” (IGO’s) of “independent judicial authority”, to mutually “provide professionally qualified assistance” as “international bodies” (1998 Right to Protect Human Rights, Articles 1, 5, 9.2, 9.3(c), 9.4).  This requires “international cooperation” managed by “professional judges”, having “exclusive authority”, independent from any treaty-based restrictions on the scope of “judicial decisions” (1985 Principles on Independence of the Judiciary, Preamble §1, §10, Articles 3, 4).

 

Other inter-governmental Courts operating within the modern framework of conventional international law may refer their Judgment to the Sovereign Court (SCIJ), which can exercise supplementary jurisdiction for enforcement by universal jurisdiction on behalf of the independent Judiciary Profession.  Upon certification of the case and adopting the referred Judgment, SCIJ can then begin enforcement procedures.

 

 


 

[1] Lord Chief Justice Gordon Hewart, R v. Sussex Justices: Ex Parte McCarthy, All ER Rep 233 (1923),1 KB 256 (1924), ruling on the necessary recusal of Judges for the mere appearance of bias.

[2] Basak Cali & Nicola Bruch, Monitoring the Implementation of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights: A Handbook for Non-Governmental Organizations, May 2011, pp.5-6; Handbook distributed by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

[3] Judge Shigeru Oda, The Compulsory Jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice: A Myth?, 49 Int’l & Comp LQ, 2000, p.251, at pp.257-259; Study by former ICJ Judge Oda, noting in only 8 of 36 cases countries did not object to compulsory jurisdiction and complied with the judgments, establishing 22% enforcement of judgments.

[4] Council of Europe Committee of Ministers, Supervision of the Execution of Judgments and Decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, April 2012, pp.33-34; Number of “repetitive cases” indicate non-enforcement allowing repeat violations; Statistics of 2011 for repetitive cases during a 3-year period average 80% of pending cases, new cases and closed cases, establishing 20% enforcement of judgments.

[5] International Criminal Court, ICC Public Data (2014); From a total of 27 arrest warrants, 17 were arrested and brought to trial, and 10 remained fugitives, establishing 63% enforcement of arrest warrants.

 

You cannot copy content of this page

Scroll Up