International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Weaknesses of the ICC

Darfur and Sudanese President al-Bashir

In Darfur, an estimated 500,000 civilians have been killed and four million displaced since the beginning of the conflict. The president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, has been accused by the International Criminal Court of crimes against humanity. However, no attempts have been made to apprehend him, and a fair trial seems unlikely for the near future. Why?

This shows one of the weaknesses of the ICC; it’s authority is dependent on the cooperation of the international community. In this case, the United Nations would prefer that President al-Bashir stay in place in order to secure a peace agreement with the recently seceded South Sudan. Because international justice institutions are dependent on international politics, it is difficult for them to remain objective and fair.


One response to “Weaknesses of the ICC

  1. tmago2014 January 22, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    This is a great point. It would be ideal if the ICC could have universal jurisdiction and could indite and investigate as needed. Unfortunately, that is unlikely.

    I wanted to also highlight another weakness of the ICC that I’ve encountered in the past week – it’s inability to prosecute or really hold liable multinational corporations. Multinational corporations can often be linked to mass crimes against humanity and crimes of aggression because of the financial and monetary support they provide. Corporations can be behind tyrannical regimes and can also be behind funding non-state actors that perpetuate war crimes, etc. The problem has to do with evidence as the leadership of corporations does not have blood on their hands and does not give direct orders for such crimes to be carried out. At most, there can be paper trails of money transfers but that is not a direct explanation for a crime with the magnitude of genocide. This is an unfortunate issue having to do with jurisdiction and state sovereignty, which hopefully the field of international criminal law will create mechanisms to deal with eventually.

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