International jurisdictions as a tool for scam: A Case-study on the “Sovereign ICJ  and the Sovereign ICC for Banking & Redemption”

By Jacques Bellezit*

Introduction: On “Redemption”  or “Accepted For Values” Theory

Redemption theory was theorised by Judge Rooks of the Court of Queen’s Bench for Alberta, in the Meads v Meads case as part of the Organised Pseudolegal Commercial Arguments(OPCA). The aim of the so-called OPCA arguments are to “ to disrupt court operations and to attempt to frustrate the legal rights of governments, corporations, and individuals[1] The Redemption theory is related to the “strawman” theory, stating that each individual has two personalities: One of them is the tangible human person whereas the other one is a legal fiction, created by the State through certain documents (issuing of birth-certificate, ID or social security number).[2]  Tax-resistance partisans often argue that State documents are issued to the “wrong” or “false” person in order to escape tax liabilities or other forms of the State’s authority (ID or driving licence inspection, etc.): This strawman theory is embodied in what is known as the “capital letter argument”, stating that “JOHN DOE” and “John Doe” are not the same person(!).

This has paved the way for various scams pretending to give keys, methods and pseudo-legal procedures about how to gain back the control or re-buying of the ‘true” person from the State’s clutches or a (high) sum of (hidden) money associated to this “true” person.


I) The “Sovereign ICJ-ICC Banking and Redemption Office”

The Sovereign ICJ-ICC Banking and Redemption Office (hereinafter, ICC-ICJ) is mainly a website[3] which, according to its homepage, aims, to “re-establish Order and Justice in the World and the Universe. Starting with the Redemption of ALL Imperial and Historic Treasures and Assets for the Wellbeing of Humanity and the Protection of the World and Beyond moving forward, we are also bringing Order and Justice against those who have Corrupted, Stolen, Defrauded and Manipulated the Banking, Financial and Governmental Systems for Greed, Profit, Personal and Corporate Benefit in the Enslavement and Harming of Humanity.” (sic)

Image courtesy: ICJ-ICC


One can notice the pompous and esoteric tone used in the the homepage, especially in contrast with the diplomatic language used in the websites of international courts.[4] But the surprise is greater when we see that the ICJ-ICC belongs to a so-called ‘Banking & Redemption Conglomerate’. In this “Conglomerate” one can, allegedly, find other several real-world  institutions and actors such as NATO, NASDAQ, and as well as rating authorities (Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service) or national regulatory actors such as the German  Federal Financial Supervisory Authority or the LSE – London Stock Exchange).

Nearly every description of each ‘official department’ is in line with their real-world counterparts, except the descriptions of two organisations which are one of a kind, namely, the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. The International Court of Justice is defined  by the site as “the Global International jurisdiction Appellate Intra-court Interbank Bureau System of Courts for the preservation of peace, maintenance of law and order, for providing suitable arbitral in-house in-court and out-of-the-court lawful, legal dispute resolution, paralegal ministerial, corporate and private clients’ technical redemption and financial settlements […]” (sic) Whereas the International Criminal Court is described as “the highest paramilitary high commands led Aphelion Intracourt law and order bureaus management International Court System. It handles cases for the United Nations and World Bank bureaus, namely but also independently supervising high profile criminal cases including conducting the procedural post Nuremberg WWI and WWII Holocaust and Genocide trials and recent modern cold war and other acts of fratricide, genocide and holocaust wars occurring in various nations.” (sic).

Image courtesy: ICJ-ICC


All along the website one can find the official seals and logos of the real-world courts, as well as a hotchpotch of legal language mixed with esoteric and science-fiction related terms. The site’s ‘Abbreviation list’ section mixes references to the ‘League of Nations’, the ‘Permanent Court of International Justice’, ‘the “Hight Court of Ohio’, (sic) as well as ‘Imperial Intergalactic Military Police Consortium’, or ‘Earthstar Planet Battle Station’. Among the ‘Mandatory Documents’ provided by the ‘Registrar’ section of the website, one can find the ‘Letter of Legal Recognition’ and ‘Certificate of Good Standing’ for over 69 industry sectors, as well as ‘Mandatory ICJ Legalization Certificates’. Those ‘documents’ are purportedly “cost effective, offered at a fair market price, affordable to private investors as well as major multinationals, governments, ministries and all corporate stake holders”.

T
he FAQ section of the website, states that both “jurisdictions” benefit from “ the highest power and sovereignty ordained by the Almighty Aphelion Board of Taxonomic Advisors, by the Sovereign Imperial Royal Consortium of Royal Families and from the United Nations and the World Bank Development Group among others”(sic) A quick analysis of this website can even draw the attention of a layman, who is not well versed with legal terminology, due to its fatuitous use of esoteric words and pompous tone. The use of international law concepts and organs related to international law are used as arguments from established and accepted authorities, with the aim to gain confidence. While the actual International Court of Justice is aware of such manners, as it states in its FAQ section that “The Court issues no such documents to individuals […]. Members of the public are advised that these constitute fraud”. However, one has to notice this gross ‘fraud’ that takes its roots in international law, or at least a certain, heterodox view of this matter.

II) The “ICC-ICJ” dual system, a fantasized view of international law

The “ICC-ICJ dual system is said to be ‘sovereign’, benefiting from its own ‘Special Forces Unit’ whose role is to carry out “All legal actions […]  under the guidance of the ICJ/ICC”. However, in international law, only States are sovereign[5]. Moreover, it is an established principle that international courts are only seized of a dispute as a subsidiary mean of its settlement. This principle is embodied in the principle of exhaustion of domestic remedies[6] in case of an individual request, or the necessity for States to negotiate toward a pacific settlement of their dispute before bringing their case to international judges.[7] 

In the case of the International Criminal Court, it is laid in the Rome Statute that “the Court shall determine that a case is inadmissible where: (a) The case is being investigated or prosecuted by a State which has jurisdiction […]”.[8] However, under the “ICJ-ICC” dual system, ‘jurisdiction’ can be seized without previous procedure, by a mail stating “which Court Officer you are enquiring about; which case or transaction you are referring to; what the general enquiry is about and in what context; and give us your name and contact information”. Although the ICJ Judge A.A. Cançado Trindade has championed the cause of “…access of individuals to international justice”[9], however, under the current system of international law, the possibility of an immediate seizure of an international jurisdiction by individuals appears to be a dream. Moreover, the fact that such Sovereign Courts are backed by “special forces” underlines the fact that, in reality, international law cannot be enforced without the consents of the states.[10]

Conclusion

One can forgive the dreamers to be (a bit) whimsical, however, the dream is imperfect when we see that the  approach of the “ICJ-ICC” dual system is, as every other Redemption scam[11], to gain “money for nothing”, according to Judge Rooke[12]. In this case, the main products sold by the website are ‘Mandatory ICJ Legalization Certificates’. Are the authors of this scam even aware that there is a Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (HCCH 1961 Apostille Convention) which aims to “ abolish the requirement of diplomatic or consular legalisation for foreign public documents”[13]which has been ratified by 121 States in the world? However, in the case of the authors of the “ICJ-ICC” dual system, it is apparent that they would not be bothered international conventions despite being aware of them.

This article has probably not analysed every oddity of the ICJ-ICC dual system scam and, to the eyes of any legal mind, the scam seems to be too unpalatable to be seriously believed in. However, this kind of scam, which entails mixing international (pseudo) law and cultist beliefs shows that the misuse of international law concepts can furrow the fields of scams and confidence tricks. It’s especially worrying in the case of poor and marginalized communities, who could be more easily lured by the promises of ‘international law gurus’. On this point, the Sovereign ICJ/Sovereign ICC scam is not different of the Swissindo movement. The Swissindo movement, being fought by Indonesian local authorities[14] claims to own the United Nations, the Vatican, the Interpol, and all the world’s militaries.[15] and allows its followers to cancel their debts in a quasi-religious attitude toward its leaders. The importance of the scam in Indonesia has led to the United Nations denying any link with the Swissindo movement and has drawn attention to the misuse of its symbols.[16] 

The Sovereign ICJ/Sovereign ICC scam is smaller than the Swissindo movement and, as many other scams, can be under the radar of general and specialized media. But whether they are small or big, international law based scams can harm the credibility of a branch of law which is already subject to criticism.[17]

*Jacques Bellezit is an alumnus of the University of Strasbourg and is a Public International Law enthusiast.


[1]    Meads v. Meads, 2012 ABQB 571 (CanLII), <https://canlii.ca/t/fsvjq>, retrieved on 2022-01-27 §1

[2]    For further information on the “Strawman doppelganger” see Netolitzky, Donald. (2018). Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Arguments [“OPCA”] as Magic and Ceremony. Alberta law review. 55. 1045. 10.29173/alr2485. 

[3]    International Court of Justice, ICJ-ICC

[4]    Arifon, O., de Froideville, G. M., & Verheul, M. (2016). Diplomatic language and formal language: a code with a double meaning. In An Experts’ Guide to International Protocol (pp. 152-164). Amsterdam University Press. ; Baranyai, T. (2011). The role of translation and interpretation in the diplomatic communication. SKASE Journal of translation and Interpretation5(2), 1-11.

[5]    Art 2 of the UN Charter

[6]    Cf for instance Article 35§1 of the European Convention of Human Rights; Article 46 a) of the Interamerican Convention of Human Rights. And for an example of rejection of a request before the International Court of justice to the non-exhaustion of domestic remedies cf “Interhandel Case, Judgment of March 21 st 1959 : I.C. J. Reports I959, p. 6.” 

[7]    PCIJ Judgement of 30 March 1924 “The Mavrommatis Palestine Concessions”

[8]    Article 18 a 1 ) of the Rome Statute

[9]    A.A. Cançado Trindade, The access of individuals to international justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

[10]  As a proof, one has to remind the issue around the enforcement of ICC arrest warrant toward Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir. Paola Gaeta, Does President Al Bashir Enjoy Immunity from Arrest?, Journal of International Criminal Justice, Volume 7, Issue 2, May 2009, Pages 315–332, https://doi.org/10.1093/jicj/mqp030 ; ICC Issues New Decision on Al-Bashir’s Immunities ‒ But Gets the Law Wrong … Again – EJIL: Talk! (ejiltalk.org)

[11] A ‘Redemption scam’ involves individuals predominately using fraudulent financial documents that appear to be legitimate.

[12]  Meads v. Meads, 2012 ABQB 571 (CanLII), <https://canlii.ca/t/fsvjq>, retrieved on 2022-01-30 §529 et seq.

[13]  Preamble of the Apostille Convention

[14]  Sauni, H., & Arso, D. D. (2018). THE ROLES OF OTORITAS JASA KEUANGAN TO OVERCOME FICTIVE INVESTMENT BENGKULU CITY. University Of Bengkulu Law Journal3(1), 41-53.

[15]  Wargadiredja, Arzia (2018-02-09). “The Debt Cult That Wants to Save the World With a Mountain of Gold”Vice. ; VICE (2018-02-08), The Cult of Debt Forgiveness, retrieved 2019-05-17

[16]  Fengu, Msindisi (2018-10-15). “More than 500 000 poor people believed to be conned in ‘Indonesian scam'”CityPress.

[17]  See, among others, Farer, Tom J. “International Law: The Critics Are Wrong.” Foreign Policy, no. 71, Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, LLC, 1988, pp. 22–45, https://doi.org/10.2307/1148902; Charlesworth, H. (1994). Feminist critiques of international law and their critics. Third World Legal Stud., 1. ; Onuf, N. G. (1984). Criticism, Law And Critical Theory Of International Law. In Proceedings of the ASIL Annual Meeting (Vol. 78, pp. 186-186). Cambridge University Press.

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