International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

ICC Overview

Today the BBC just posted a short video that explains, in short, everything from what the ICC is, it’s jurisdiction, triggers, cases and criticisms. None of the information will be new to us, but I guess I’m interested in why an informational video is getting posted now. My guess is because  Lubanga’s conviction and the Kony 2012 campaign have given the ICC much more publicity than it has in the past. Of course I can’t say this authoritatively, but the ICC has never been “mainstream” in the West  due to the fact that it has only had cases in Africa and  doesn’t have a direct effect on western nations’ domestic politics. Unless someone (such as ourselves) are studying the subject matter or keeps up continually with world news, the ICC has probably been pretty obscure to the average person walking down the street. Now with the conviction of Lubanaga and the Kony 2012 campaign, the ICC has probably become part of the public vocabulary and dialogue.

My question is do you think more publicity for the ICC will further it’s legitimacy? And do you think more wide spread public knowledge and attention to the ICC could potentially strengthen the international community’s commitment to justice?


Here is the video:


3 responses to “ICC Overview

  1. Alana Tiemessen March 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Nice video – short and sweet and pretty much covers the main issues. I wish they had highlighted all the warlords detained.

  2. littleclimber March 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    I definitely think that it would be beneficial to encourage more widespread knowledge of the ICC as well as international and transitional justice in general. Of course as someone studying international relations and having such an interest in international human rights, I think that everyone should keep up with international news. I’d love to imagine world where the average person was not only concerned with local and domestic situations, but truly concerned with large scale humanitarian issues around the world. To try to a void a tangent I’ll go back and say that it does seem to me that furthering knowledge and interest in the cases and the work of the International Criminal Court certainly has the potential to increase the legitimacy and support for the court, however, this will also mean opening up the court to greater potential for criticism and scrutiny. As more people become aware of the ICC as an institution, most will not become fully educated on the difficulties of what this court is trying to accomplish, of the obstacles that will prevent the court from functioning perfectly or meeting the enormous expectations that the international community has for it. The average person is not going to spend the time that we do to try and understand the complexities and struggles of running an international justice system, and so there will likely be more criticisms about the flaws and failures than complements about the successes, the progress, and the strides that the court is making.

  3. aojustice2012 March 29, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    In regards to the question of whether more publicity for the ICC will further its legitimacy, I think it will at least provide an avenue for discussion. A big challenge with more media attention as littleclimber mentioned is the potential for heightened criticism. However, if the increased media attention should serve to increase the ICC’s legitimacy, it theoretically could have positive long term effects on deterrence and the rule of law. As we’ve seen through looking at the TRC in South Africa, the legitimate threat of prosecution is an essential incentive in getting perpetrators to participate in truth commissions that offer truth-for-amnesty schemes. Perhaps the threat of prosecution from a legitimized ICC could have a similar effect on an international scale, except instead of driving people towards truth commissions, it might drive governments to encourage more fair trials in domestic court systems. Allowing investigations and prosecutions to take place domestically would spare the governments having to go on trial ‘internationally’ at the ICC.

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