International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

ICC Calls for Security Council Action in Sudan

Yesterday, the ICC released a statement calling for the Security Council to take some action to enforce their referral of the Sudan situation, made in 2005.  The Court requested the UNSC take “necessary measures” to enforce compliance, and said without UNSC support, the referral would “never achieve its ultimate goal, namely, to end impunity.”  The Pre-Trial Chamber II found that Sudan failed to cooperate with the Court in refusing to arrest Bashir, and emphasized that as a member of the UN, Sudan has the obligation to “cooperate fully with and provide any necessary assistance to the Court and the Prosector pursuant to this resolution.”  Sudan failed to cooperate by refusing to engage in talks with the court, failing to execute pending arrest warrants, and failing to notify the Chamber that the warrants would not be executed.

This is at least the eighth time that Chief Prosecutor Benousoda has requested enforcement assistance from the Security Council.  It is interesting that the statement readily admits that without support from the Security Council, the court alone will not be able to end impunity.  By expressly pointing out Sudan’s failures of compliance and explaining the Court’s inability to arrest Bashir without Security Council support, the Court admits its own lack of enforcement power, which may actually bolster its legitimacy.  By highlighting the ways in which Sudan violated its obligations to the Court, the blame is put on the Security Council for failing to follow through and enforce their referral.  The fact that Bashir has not been brought to the Hague and put on trial is not the fault of the ICC, but the international community.

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