By Allan Povah
The full bench of the International Criminal Court (ICCt) in The Hague, has handed down a decision in the case Goodrem vs World Health Organization (WHO) over trademark violation, and damages associated with lost income, anguish and heartbreak.
Over a gruelling two-week hearing Waleed Aly QC, appearing for Goodrem, eviscerated WHO officials over their short-sighted and hurtful selection of the Greek alphabet in the categorization of variants for the novel Coronavirus that “committed a catastrophic calumny on my client”. Aly described their ignorance of popular music and culture as “contemptible and unscientific”.
The primary witness for the defendant, WHO’s Covid-19 technical lead, Professor Maria Van Kerkhove, was harangued relentlessly by Aly, who demanded to know why other better known categorization systems, such as the Radiotelephony Alphabet (RA) were not considered.
Professor Van Kerkhove explained that the RA was considered but rejected on the basis of possible offense to Indians, Québécois, Peruvians and golfers. She explained that other categories were considered for the virus classification including female first names, styles of blues music, towns in Alabama and Mexican wrestlers. Tellingly, Professor Van Kerkhove admitted that all candidate systems contained the identifier ‘Delta’ and choosing one of these alternative systems would have afforded “no relief to the plaintiff”.
Van Kerkhove also made the improbable claim that she did not own, nor had she ever listened to, the Innocent Eyes album.
In providing the majority opinion, Judge Piotr Hofmański was scathing in his criticism of WHO and demanded a full inquiry into the management of virus etymology. The court will reconvene in November to rule on damages, which are expect to be in the tens of millions of Euros.