International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

The ICC begins to look away from Africa – towards the U.S.?

International Criminal Court to investigate war crimes in Afghanistan which could “expose U.S. personnel to international justice inquiry for the first time” Prosecutor Bensuda has stated that she plans to open the investigation sometime after the U.S. presidential election but before the end of the year. According to Foreign Policy – unnamed U.S. officials have already begin voicing their concern regarding this investigation. The ICC’s current scope of evidence is not sufficient enough to bring charges against U.S.


ICC Prosecutor Bensuda

officials currently, although this may change. David Bosco of Foreign Policy argues that in order for the ICC to make the connection between war crimes in Afghanistan and  U.S. official culpability would be to link conflict in Afghanistan with U.S. detention policies. Most shockingly, the ICC would have to demonstrate that the U.S. justice system as proven ineffective in handling allegations of torture amongst its own citizens.

This comes at a particularly interesting time considering the mass exodus by African nations out of the ICC in response to feeling that they are specifically targeted while Western powers and other areas of the world go unchecked. While an investigation into Afghanistan and U.S. involvement might provide at least a demonstration of the court’s screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-10-15-07-amwillingness to look elsewhere aside from Africa, it will prove extremely difficult to garner cooperation from U.S. or Afghan officials. This is an inherent drawback of the court. If the court is truly prosecuting both sides of a conflict equally it will likely make many enemies, especially as it is still young and struggling to establish and hold on to its legitimacy.



One response to “The ICC begins to look away from Africa – towards the U.S.?

  1. kmira471 November 3, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    I think that this is a very interesting article because launching investigations into the United States has never been done before by the ICC, and therefore would create some controversies on both the domestic and international level. I imagine that US officials would begin fighting the court and abandoning its previous support for the ICC. Furthermore, opening an investigation at the very beginning of a new presidency will be a difficult issue for a new president to walk right into and make important decisions that will affect our international relationships. Especially because of who our candidates are in this election and how little they have discussed real solutions to these kinds of issues. Although I did not watch every one of the debates, I did manage to see a few but opinions on the ICC or international solutions was not efficiently discussed. This upcoming election really scares me because it seems as though neither main candidates are ready to deal with the serious issues that our country will be facing in the next few years. This investigation could also pose serious criticisms towards the ICC from one of the biggest major powers, the United States, which could result in more countries wanting to pull out of cooperation with the court. Also, it may damage the international relationships of the U.S. by exposing atrocity crimes our country has committed against other countries, and their civilians. This may also damage the credibility of the U.S. government.

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