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ICC, what is it good for?

 article about what has icc done so far
2018-02-08 04:40:12
ICC or the International Criminal Court was created in 1998 and began functioning on 1 July 2002. ICC is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal that sits in The Hague in the Netherlands. Its role is to prosecute individuals for the international crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide. It is meant to complement national judicial systems and can only investigate and judge someone if certain condition are met.

The idea of it is good, no question about that. But what has it actually done? What has ICC actually achieved so far?

ICC has so far indicted 41 individuals such as Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Congolese vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba, Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir. Currently seven people are in detention and proceedings against 23 people are ongoing.

While it has been working hard to bring criminal to justice, some might say that the International Criminal Court is very selective in whom they decide to indict, or whom they are capable of going after. They have been accused of being a tool of Western imperialism and bias, an organization (capable of) punishing people/leaders only from small countries, mainly from Africa, and ignoring crimes committed by leaders of more powerful countries. And when you look at their track record it seems to be true.

In order to go after someone, that someone needs to be from a country that has accepted the Rome statute. While 123 states are now in the ICC's jurisdiction, including almost all African countries, countries such as China, Iraq, Israel, Yemen, Libya, Qatar, the United States of America are not as they have not become ICC members. So if ICC wanted to go after, let's say, George Bush or Dick Cheney and in the future Donald Trump for pressing the red button by mistake, ICC couldn't do that.

Weirdly enough, ICC also hasn't gone after the big religious sex abusers, although they could do that.

As Henk Luf said in an article ten years ago, "As it stands, the ICC is a failure as it currently operates and unless it changes into a properly constituted international law judicial authority, it might as well stop wasting everyone's time and abandon its highly ineffective and selective processes." (thecheers.org 2008)

Now ICC is examining complaints against Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine president, and whether he has committed crimes against humanity while waging war against drugs. Gary Alejano, an opposition politician in the Philippines, said that the fact that ICC decided to examine the evidence sent to them is "a ray of hope for the victims of his war on drugs, which is still ongoing right now." Duterte's spokesperson, Harry Roque, said that Duterte is prepared to go on trial although he is "confident that the ICC will not proceed. He's sick and tried of being accused. He wants to be in court and put the prosecutor on the stand."

Then again, in March 2017, Duterte said that International Criminal Court 'cannot stop me'. He said that "I will not be intimidated and I shall not be stopped just by what? International Criminal Court? Impeachment? If that is part of my destiny, it is my destiny to go."

As it stands, is ICC actually worth anything? Time will tell.




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