International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

The ICC and Egypt

An interesting addition to the ongoing discussion on the future of Egypt – The Muslim Brotherhood is asking the International Criminal Court to investigate crimes committed in Egypt. The legal team of the Muslim Brotherhood, composed of top international criminal lawyers from Britain, is alleging that the military has committed mass crimes against humanity.

Given that Egypt is not a member-state of the ICC, the only way for the case to be eligible, either the Security Council will have to refer it or the Egyptian government itself will have to involve the ICC and recognize it’s jurisdiction. Both of these options are unlikely, thus, the MB’s legal team has decided to launch a wide reaching publicity campaign and file cases around the world, hoping for some success. The end goal of this would be that the ICC would prosecute the military and in doing so, recognize the legitimacy of the Morsi administration.

This example of transitional justice struck me as very interesting because this attempt by the Muslim Brotherhood has been met with skepticism across the board. If the ICC were to take this case, it would be a huge victory for the Muslim Brotherhood; however, western governments are reluctant to lend their support. Given that the Muslim Brotherhood has thus far been unsuccessful in creating a strong enough power base domestically within Egypt, due to the military, I am curious as to what potential external support will emerge over the next few months. Even though the ICC is unlikely to take this case, will the publicity and discussion received on the international sphere effect the domestic Egyptian perception of the Muslim Brotherhood’s cause and decrease support for the military?

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