War Crimes in The North Pacific

War Crimes in The North Pacific
By Sir Hippocrates H. MacKai - September 05 2005

‘When in doubt, file a lawsuit’ seems to be received wisdom in The North Pacific. If a crisis can be identified by the quantity of complaints in the Attorney General’s Office, then TNP has surely been in constant crisis for some time. But pressing charges can be addictive, and courtroom junkies go to greater and greater lengths to get their highs. At least, this seems the only plausible reason for recent use of such astonishingly aggressive and provocative terms as “sedition”, “War Crimes”, and even “Crimes Against Humanity”.

The absurdity of such a choice of words is, one would guess, lost on Minister Romanoffia, to whom all three are attributed. The word “sedition” is always chilling when used by government ministers, implying that it is a crime to criticise one’s government. In a region so recently liberated as TNP, Romanoffia would be well advised to speak more carefully in future.

However, our interest here does not surround so much the wording as the legal principles of such base crimes. Does the legal basis exist for such trials? It is first of all important to divorce jurisprudence from game mechanics. Mass ejections are a feature of NationStates, but that does not necessarily make them at all justifiable. We must concentrate on legal issues, nothing else.

The legal issues are thus: Does the present regime have any right to try the old one? Were any laws in fact broken by the previous regime? Does precedent exist for such trials? And is there such a thing as inherent human rights in NationStates?

These questions, of course, should be put together, because they address the same issue – does NationStates have an international law that the old regime violated? The TNP trials have been compared to Nuremberg, but incorrectly. The Nuremberg trials prosecuted the Nazis for violations of international law and the rules of war, under the authority of the Instrument of Surrender. The North Pacific is only reflective of Nuremberg to the extent that the present government of TNP has the same authority over TNP as the victors of the Second World War had over post-bellum Germany. Nuremberg is not, as Romanoffia claims, a precedent for these trials, for the simple reason that the Pixiedance Regime was not in violation of international law and the rules of war.

International Law and the rules of war in NationStates are decided by the moderators, who in effect constitute our international court. Since moderators have ruled that a feeder Delegate can change the system of government in the region and can eject nations that are viewed as a political threat or nuisance, then this is what is correct under international law. We see, therefore, that Pixiedance was not in violation of international law, and thus Nuremberg is not a precedent for these trials.

Nor did any laws exist in The North Pacific at the time of the alleged crimes taking place securing freedom of speech or preventing ejection. The Pixiedance regime was not in violation of either TNP or International Law, and thus cannot be prosecuted under either.

The complainant in this case has claimed that the old leaders “can be brought to trail under the current laws of the region”. They cannot. The North Pacific operates under a common law system, and thus any notion of ex post facto legislation is entirely alien to the rule of law in the region. Clearly, then, there is no legal basis for prosecution.

It is not for us to make judgement on whether or not the actions of the Pixiedance Regime were distasteful or even despotic, though there exists a general consensus against it. The North Pacific are free to pursue their old leaders in whatever fashion they see fit. However, to prosecute people for reasons that are purely political and have no grounding in the law goes against the principle of nullum crimen, nulla poena sine praevia lege poenali. It is in the finest tradition of kangaroo courts, and their actions will not carry any legitimacy in the wider world.

Sir Hippocrates H. MacKai is Consul of the Meritocracy, Judge Advocate General in the Pacific, Councillor in TWP and Master of the Rolls in ACCEL. He is presently drafting Title X, the law establishing a legal system in ACCEL.