The International Court of Justice, also known as The Hague, helps to keep the peace among world powers. The court commonly acts as a mediator and helps to solve issues faced by the countries of the United Nations.
The body is meant to act independently and be free from outside interference. A top U.N. Judge, Christoph Flügge, recently announced his resignation due to the actions and comments of the United States and Turkey.
Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has long attempted to have cleric Fethullah Gulen extradited from the US back to Turkey. Erdogan has accused Gulen of attempting a coup against his government.
Erdogan claims that U.N. Judge, Aydın Sefa Akay, has a connection to Gulen. The Turkish president used his veto powers to have Akay removed from the International Court of Justice.
Flügge says of the move, “Every incident in which judicial independence is breached is one too many. Now there is this case, and everyone can invoke it in the future. Everyone can say: ‘But you let Turkey get its way.’ This is an original sin.”
The former judge also took issue with the comments of US National Security Advisor, John Bolton. Flügge says of Bolton, “If these judges ever interfere in the domestic concerns of the U.S. or investigate an American citizen, he said the American government would do all it could to ensure that these judges would no longer be allowed to travel to the United States – and that they would perhaps even be criminally prosecuted.”
This isn’t the first time United Nation figures have been surprised by the actions of the United States. In June of 2018, the president’s administration pulled the United States out of UN Human Rights Council. The Trump White House has shown little regard for the body and Flügge’s actions are further evidence of that.