Final Word from Monday, May 31, 2004

When George W. Bush dug out an old law that allowed him to deny basic rights to "enemy combatants" held in Guantanamo and other prisons, there was an international outrage. When Chief Justice Pavel Rychetský of the Constitutional Court recently suggested similar legal hocus-pocus with the Czech constitution, no one batted an eye. The constitution clearly states that a "citizen may not be forced to leave his homeland," but Rychetský spoke circuitously on Czech Radio of a way that this can be reinterpreted - without any constitutional amendment - to mean precisely the opposite. This reinterpretation would allow someone charged with a crime abroad to be extradited under the terms of a Euro arrest warrant. There are good arguments for allowing such warrants, and even special treatment of suspected terrorists, but whatever happened to the rule of law? European U.S.


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