International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

ICC Push to Expand

The ICC’s 2013 budget is currently being discussed and member states are being asked to approve a total budget increase of 9 percent over the 2012 amount. Fatou Bensouda, the ICC’s chief prosecutor, fears that the Assembly of States Parties will “be blinded by short-term apparent savings that result in long term losses and greater inefficiencies.” The Court depends primarily on its member states for not only funding, but also cooperation with the enforcement of its decrees (such as arresting suspects and freezing/confiscating thier assets). However, the context of a global economic crisis reduces the funds the ICC receives from each member state as well as makes it more challenging for many member states to participate and cooperate with the Court’s decisions. With the case-load of the ICC increasing annually, it needs more support from its member states. “The promise of ending impunity wil remain a dream unless the court’s member states do more to ensure the arrest and surrender of suspects its made a priority of the political agenda of all States Parties.”

In order to improve effectiveness and maintain a budget that allows it to function successfully, the ICC must regain cooperation from its member states and increase in size by extending into new countries. “The International Criminal Court has started pushing more countries to sign the Rome Statute and to renew cooperation that would see arrest warrents enforced.” The United States, China, Russia, and India have yet to join the ICC and are countries that would have a major impact on the funding and power of the ICC.


4 responses to “ICC Push to Expand

  1. lseyferth November 15, 2012 at 12:05 am

    While it is understandable for the ICC to request additional financial support from signatory nations in order to support their ever growing case load, it is important also for them to bear in mind the importance of maintaining secure and supportive relationships with supporting nations. The ICC must therefore tread a fine line between keeping nation states engaged in the work of the ICC, and all the while continuing to pursue their mission of international justice and accountability. Because these processes are often long drawn out and occurring outside the scope of directly impacting signatory nations, countries are often reluctant to agree to increased financial backing. That being said, I think it is valuable for the ICC to seek out additional signatory nations for support, especially wealthier nations such as China, Russia, and the United States.
    Nevertheless, processes of justice on the international scale often takes months and year and it is therefore hard for the ICC to justify its actions when the outcomes have yet to be played out. The best the ICC can do then is to continue to advocate for the continued funding of the court by speaking to the goals and missions of the organization as well as humanity’s obligations to helping others in the world. However, rhetoric can only go so far before it bows to the necessity of observable, measured progress. If the ICC takes too long to produce justice, or fail to produce the justice that the international community deems necessary, how then can they justify asking for increased funding or even influence other wealthy nations to sign on in support? What sorts of bargains and trade-offs must be made in order to achieve the financial backing that the ICC requires?

  2. Micaela November 15, 2012 at 11:03 am

    The unfortunate part for the ICC is that without the funding and cooperation that it asks for from its signatory members, it will not be able to accomplish its goal of justice. The order of success and support, as I see it, seems to be that the ICC needs the support first in order to produce successful results. Because the ICC is so dependent on its member states in these terms, the “justice that the international community deems necessary” can only come if it first provides the ICC with the tools to adequately do so– the international community will get as much out of the ICC as it puts into it. With regard to the funding, I agree that it is important to keep in mind that some member states are less directly affected than others, which could produce discouragement in terms of raising funding. However, it is also fundamental to recognize that the goal of the ICC seems to be more relative to the international community as a whole, with an all-encompassing/global mindset of eradicting the most heinous crimes rather than one with an individual focus of ‘what can the ICC do for my country now?’

    I think this brings up the fact that the ICC does not have its own policing force to ensure that the decisions the Court makes regarding investigation and punishment of crimes actually happens in a timely manner or at all. Signatory states are in conflict with the Rome Statute when they do not cooperate fully with the Court in its investigation and prosecution of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court. Understanding that the Court does not want to impose or infringe on the national sovereignty of member states, I think looking further into an ICC police force is an interesting point of debate. The Court could potentially use the increase in budget (if it gets an increase) to fund its own police force.

  3. brandon459 November 15, 2012 at 11:04 am

    The above post offers a great response to the original post. Because of the structure of the ICC, it is dependent on an extraordinary amount of state cooperation. This is one thing is a given opinion that we can all agree upon. While the ICC wants to expand to and extend into new countries, none of this will truly be effective until the global/regional hegemons agree to sign. There is no way one can have a “true” international anything without ratification from the United States, China, Russia, and India. While this may sound a bit pessimistic, the ICC is still relatively new. It has only been around for about 15 years. It is going to take some time before the larger states to be on board, because they have a much larger stake to potentially lose.

    The ICC should focus on making its total process, from beginning to end, more efficient. It would build legitimacy, but it also needs to show its ability to operate in a fair manner. The four countries above, due to their power, will serve as the catalysts for the rest of the countries around the world. Modest budget expansion should not prevent the member states from supporting the tribunal. Additionally, I do not agree that the global economic crisis prevents them from cooperating. That has to do with their political will.

  4. coschaput November 15, 2012 at 2:20 pm’s article was very interesting to read. I clicked on the link expecting to read an account of of financial arguments, instead I found that the article started on the topic of finance, but quickly shifted to other issues within the Court. It is interesting to me that the indictment of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and the quest for more countries to join the ICC were included under the over-arching umbrella of financial problems. While several of the assigned ICC readings have addressed the financial worries of the Court, before this article I had not read such a high profile plea for funds. While the financial needs are valid based upon the new proposed budget, I found it very interesting that Bensouda took the dramatic stance of connecting the ‘the promise of ending impunity’’ directly to funding. My interpretation was that her statements could almost be interpreted as a threat. Is this more of a move to garner more publicity and thus hopefully the pressure for more funds, or does Bensouda truly think without more funds the Court is failing on it’s promise? It very well could be a mix of both.

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