A Letter to The New York Times regarding International Courts

To the Editor:

"Plea Deals Being Used to Clear Balkan War Tribunal's Docket" (front page, Nov. 18) depicts Bush administration pressures to wind up the United Nations tribunal for war crimes committed in the Balkans. Speed and efficiency are desirable, but not as a pretext that destroys existing courts and allows terrorists to evade justice.

The misguided Bush administration, in a reversal of policies proclaimed at Nuremberg, seeks to undermine all international courts. Undercutting the rule of law can only encourage more terrorism and crimes against humanity.

Benjamin B. Ferencz
New Rochelle, N.Y., Nov. 18, 2003
The writer was a prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trials.