Posted: 11 Apr 2010 12:50 PM PDT
United Nations judge
Geoffrey Robertson has called on the British government to detain Pope
Benedict during his upcoming visit to Britain, and send him to trial in
the International Criminal Court for “crimes against humanity.”
In an article published last week, Robertson said that jurists should
invoke the same procedures that have been used to indict war criminals
such as Slobodan Milosevic, C-Fam reports.
Robertson is one of five select jurists in the UN’s internal justice
system responsible for holding UN officials accountable for corruption
and mismanagement. His article was published in several countries and
reported on by the Associated Press.
Professor Hurst Hannum of the Fletcher School at Tufts University told
the Friday Fax that it would be a “real stretch” to use the ICC since
that court’s jurisdiction is mainly reserved for crimes during war.
More likely, Hannum said, is that experts would invoke the principle of
“universal jurisdiction” so that national courts all over the world
could detain the pope whenever he stepped foot on their soil.
Yet Robertson insisted that the ICC could be used as long as the Pope’s
sovereign immunity was waived and as long as jurists can show that the
sex abuse scandal was carried out on a “widespread or systematic scale.”