International War Crime Tribunals
Write an essay on International War Crime Tribunals.
It was in the year 2003 that the ICC was opened and became active and hence it is quite a young institution. The court at this point to ensure that it realized its full potential must prove to the world that as a permanent institution it can become very successful in the area of international law and have clear goals and standards and also have indictments that are successful, convictions and prosecutions of criminals of war across different parts in the world (Enkhsaikhan, 2014).
The first success of the ICC was very quick had has been over time compounded, thus laying a foundation for a judicial entity that would be very successful and efficient. The passing of the Rome Statue in a victory that was lopsided indicated the fact that despite there being so many objections from various sides with respect to the documents semantics this itself was a huge victory (Frolich, 2011).
The rapidness at which the treaty was ratified after four years of the massive signing indicated there the world needed the presence of a criminal court. Since the court began, there are total fifty that joined the court, and this number continues to rise every day(Hoyle and Ullrich, 2014). There is definitely an increase towards the support for ICC. This is very evident especially in the world’s smaller countries as for them ICC forms a support system with respect to their own judicial system that has been established domestically.
At the current time, it is quite evident that for the ICC not appease the states that are reluctant to join it; it needs and to increase its importance internationally it needed to be complimentary (Mutua, n.d.).
The role of the ICC as an institution that is complimentary means that the domestic jurisdiction of the nations are maintained for prosecuting the criminals that they have in the case wherein evidence is found against them for prosecution as well the judicial body to be able to convene properly a trial that is just and fair (Un.org, 2016). Thus, by making the ICC complimentary to the member states under the Rome Statute, it was made an institution of last resort meaning thereby that it is only in the situation where the country is not willing or unable to prosecute the war criminals only then will the ICC be utilized. This meant that there were various factors which are required to be examined before the launch of an indictment or even an investigation by the ICC (Un.org, 2016).
Though through the Rome Statute and it amendment for including the Kampala aggression in the year 2010 being sufficient ground work for laying out the ICC to various nations there are various issues that have arisen from it. Despite the ICC being formed in the year 2003, it was not until the September of 2009 that the first case was opened in ICC and Thomas Lubanga Dyilo the warlord of Congolese was prosecuted (Schabbas, 2004). The court was completely dormant for nine years for various reasons. When the ICC was established, it began to immediately investigate the various issues especially crimes in Africa regarding the crimes that it was established to eradicate. Since the first election of Luis Moreno-Ocampo the chief prosecutor an lawyer from Argentina, who had gained fame due to his exposing of the corruption in Argentina at the time of the Juntas trial. He has opened various cases especially in the regions of Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda; however he has been criticized widely because he failed in these investigations and this led to the reluctant states to be disappointed further (The International Court of Justice, 1946).
Though in the recent trial of Thomas Lubanga Diylo the trial was completed and he was found guilty of the various charges against him in the year 2012 March 14th, however due to this Moreno-Ocampo stands at his departure from being the Chief Prosecutor, since for ICC at the time when under the Rome Statute it was established it was evident for the court to be successful the chief prosecutor will have a very important role to play and the success of the Chief Prosecutor would mean the success of the prosecutor (The International Court of Justice, 1975).
Another factor that ICC depends on is with respect to the cooperation from the various states that have ratified the statute however they do not turn over the suspects nor do they aid in the gathering of information for speeding up the process and thus completing a trial that is fair and efficient in actuality. Though at various times this is not the case wherein though there is evidence that the prosecutor has, issuance of indictment has been done however the trial does not ensue only because the indicted has not been given for trial to ICC by the states and the states do not co-operate with the ICC (Mulgrew, 2009). Though there is the very strong foundation that has been laid down by the Rome conference for ICC, which the ICC tries to play to its stride and resolves issues such as these. Though there are tangible flaws in the ICC since the time of its inception some of them can be attributed merely to the court’s youth but there are three main issues that are being faced by the ICC at the moment being (i) the prosecutor’s office’s ineptness which the ICC is trying to get over by bringing a change in the same as the success of the chief prosecutor will ensure the success of the ICC, the prosecution of Lubanga Dyilo is one of the starting steps that ICC has taken for prosecution and this needs to be continued to ensure that the faith is built on the ICC; (ii) the states are not willing to co-operate with the court’s wishes, this issue is one of the teething problems of the ICC and can be overcome by it with time and through decisions and prosecutions which has already been started by it; and (iii) the UN Security Council who have the veto power with respect to the cases that are dealt in the ICC do not at times support ICC, for this ICC, is attempting to make these countries such as the United States as a signatory to the Rome statute, however, US seems to be exhibiting a resistance towards the same. These have been the main struggles which have made it difficult for the ICC to carve its own nice in the international criminal law world (VAGIAS and FERENCZ, 2015).
According to me to ensure that ICC has stability and success in the long term it is necessary to address the failures and the achievements that have been made by it have to be enlisted so that they can be used as tools in the future. There are several adjustments that are required to be made by it so that it is able to secure in the global world its foot-hold. What is required to realize at first that ICC as a court is in its adolescence. Thus, for institutions like these which are crossing across various boundaries internationally, it is only time that will help in shaping and evolving the institution’s future (VAGIAS and FERENCZ, 2015).
It is also necessary that ICC focuses absolutely on the need for bringing the criminal and the crime to justice, prosecuting them successfully and sentencing these criminal for crimes that have been committed by them at the times of war. If the ICC continues to make unsuccessful prosecuting they will continue to face opposition internationally and hence this has to be made the priority for them. It is necessary for the ICC that it has to finish the task that it had been established for doing, this will ensure that they continue to receive the states support and also be able to enlist new members for support. These main functions that are required to be finished by them are the conviction of the criminals of was of the crimes of atrocious nature that has been committed by them.
If the ICC is able to succeed, then this would form the foundation of its power. There more justifiable and successful cases that the ICC handles the more will it be able to establish its niche internationally. It will only be then that major powers like China and US will not be able to ignore this court.
As it stands
• Enkhsaikhan, J. (2014). Promises and Challenges of the International Criminal Court: view from a small State. Mongolian Journal of International Affairs, 0(10).
• Frolich, R. (2011). Current Developments at the International Criminal Court. Journal of International Criminal Justice, 9(4), pp.931-946.
• Hoyle, C. and Ullrich, L. (2014). New Court, New Justice?: The Evolution of ‘Justice for Victims’ at Domestic Courts and at the International Criminal Court. Journal of International Criminal Justice, 12(4), pp.681-703.
• Mulgrew, R. (2009). On the Enforcement of Sentences Imposed by International Courts: Challenges Faced by the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Journal of International Criminal Justice, 7(2), pp.373-396.
• Mutua, M. (n.d.). The International Criminal Court in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities. SSRN Electronic Journal.
• Un.org. (2016). Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. [online] Available at: http://www.un.org/law/icc/index.html [Accessed 2 Jun. 2016].
• Schabbas, W. (2004). Introduction to International Criminal Court. [online] Cambridge University Press. Available at: https://www.issafrica.org/anicj/uploads/Schabas_Introduction_to_the_ICC.pdf [Accessed 2 Jun. 2016].
• The International Court of Justice. (1946). Washington: United States Government Printing Office.
• VAGIAS, M. and FERENCZ, J. (2015). Burden and Standard of Proof in Defence Challenges to the Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. Leiden Journal of International Law, 28(01), pp.133-155.