International Criminal Court

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  • ICC
    • Role
      • Responsible for investigating individuals accused of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.
    • Successes
      • Its existence means the principle of international justice is permanently represented in international dialogue.
        • The ICC replaces ad hoc tribunals (e.g. UN tribunals). Its standing nature deters tyrants from committing crimes.
      • Has a chief prosecutor (Fatou Bensouda 2012-) who can initiate cases on ICC authority.
      • In 2016 Laurent Gbagbo, former head of state of Cote d'Ivoire, appeared before the ICC charged with crimes against humanity in the bloody aftermath of the country's 2010 disputed presidential election.
      • By 2017 the ICC had convicted three Congolese war criminals.
    • Criticisms
      • Three permanent members of the UNSC (China, Russia and USA) refuse to accept ICC jurisdiction over their internal sovereign affairs.
      • Influential emerging powers like India and Turkey don't recognise ICC authority, meaning 70 per cent of the world is outside its jurisdiction.
      • ICC lacks coercive power. If states refuse to cooperate with its investigations, it can't enforce compliance.
        • Investigations into Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir and Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta have been dropped due to lack of cooperation.
      • Accused of having neo-colonial Western bias against Africa.
        • By 2017 the ICC had indicted and convicted only Africans, leading to South Africa threatening to abandon the court.
      • The global influence of leaders like Modi (India), Erdogan (Turkey), Trump (USA) and Putin (Russia) provides an increasingly nationalist alternative to the liberal cosmopolitan values of the ICC.


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