David Scheffer was the man selected by Madaleine Albright, then preparing to take on the role of US Ambassador to the UN, to lead the team which would draw up the ICTY’s Statute and processes. A lawyer by background, he was essentially her fixer. His job was to provide an apparently respectable legal basis for a court that would radically reinvent international justice despite having no authority to do so.
Scheffer drew on a platform of ideas developed by the so-called neocons, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and others. Their fundamental aim was to create a court which they could control to the extent that it would convict anyone they wanted to convict.
In this video, Scheffer is speaking to a conference room of law students. He attempts to persuade them that the very carefully considered legal blueprint set down in the Nuremberg principles needed to be jettisoned in favour of a ragbag of ‘crimes’ gathered under nebulous titles such as ‘atrocity crimes’. He was in fact simply providing a smokescreen behind which the ICTY could tear up existing law established through proper democratic processes and replace it with ‘law’ designed only to suit the whims of his political masters.