Former UN Chief Warns of World War III Threat with New US Law
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, England, July 14, 2017/PRNewswire/ The terrifying prospect of a third world war and nuclear conflict is what we could be facing, warns a senior diplomat and professor of international law in his new book, 'JASTA,' released byUK Book Publishing.
Professor Kamil Idris, the former Director-General of UN Agency WIPO, and current President of the International Court of Arbitration and Mediation (ICAM), has voiced his concerns, following the United States' introduction of JASTA (Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act) which effectively lets American citizens sue any country that has a provable link to a terrorist attack. The Act was vetoed by President Obama but was still passed in late 2016.
"A core principle of international law is that a nation is immune from lawsuits in the courts of another country," said Professor Idris. "But JASTA is a devastating threat to that principle. By directly challenging the sovereignty of a country, it could lead to reciprocal lawsuits aimed at the US itself, and a restructuring of alliances and nationalist backlashes, as countries regroup to defend themselves.
"There are chilling parallels between the current political mood and the build up to the First World War, with the stirrings of nationalism and rejection of international institutions and political elites. The JASTA Act, with its direct challenge to sovereignty, could result in a similar rebirth of defensive nationalism."
In his diplomatic career, Professor Idris met with many world leaders and statespeople, including Bill Clinton, Boutros Ghali, Fidel Castro, Jacques Chirac, Kofi Annan, Tony Blair and Yasser Arafat, working behind the scenes to help solve international crises. He argues in his book that international condemnation of JASTA is growing, with the Saudi Foreign Ministry saying it "would contribute to the erosion of the principle of sovereign immunity, the bedrock or cornerstone of conduct in international relations"; whilst a French Foreign Ministry Spokesman claimed that it would violate international law.
However, Professor Idris goes further and warns that the survival of democracy itself is threatened. "Democracy is going through a troublesome time at the moment, with populist movements around the globe expressing their frustrations with establishment figures by voting them out of office. If the sovereignty of a country is under intense pressure to protect itself from independent legal claims, won't there be a feeling that it must come together to defend itself, and that it will neEd Strong authoritative leaders to answer or rebuff the charges?"
Professor Idris is currently the President of the International Court of Arbitration and Mediation (ICAM), and is the former Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Born and raised in Sudan, he studied in Ohio, worked for many years in Geneva and now lives with his family in Durham, north east England.
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