Case Against Pope Filed Before International Criminal Court
The Center for Constitutional Rights and Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) filed a case with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague against Pope Benedict XVI and three top Vatican officials - Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, and Cardinal William Levada, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - for crimes against humanity in their cover up of the sexual abuses of children by priests. The lawsuit is the first time charges have been filed regarding the abuses in an international court.
Pamela Spees, an attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, stated, "National jurisdictions can't really get their arms around this. Prosecuting individual instances of child molestation or sexual assault has not gotten at the larger systemic problem here. Accountability is the goal, and the I.C.C. makes the most sense, given that it's a global problem."
International law experts suggested that the ICC , which handles war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, will begin by holding a preliminary investigation to determine whether the case is within the court's jurisdiction. Barbara Dorris, president of SNAP, stated, "We are convinced this is the proper jurisdiction. Who else can investigate violent crimes of a global magnitude? The ICC was created to deal with widespread systematic violent crimes against humanity." Nevertheless, the ICC only has jurisdiction in countries that have ratified the Rome Statute that created the court in 2002, which does not include the Vatican.
Media Resources: New York Times 9/13/11; SNAP 9/13/11; CNN 9/13/11; NPR 9/13/11
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .