Africa and Beyond: Should the International Criminal Court Be the Sole International Organ of Criminal Justice?
9 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2012 Last revised: 31 Mar 2014
Date Written: April 23, 2012
Most of those at the Rome Conference which drafted the Statute of the International Criminal Court hoped that it would become, as its name says “The” International Criminal Court, the single international entity of international criminal justice for alleged offenses committed after its establishment. Ten years later, we might raise the question: Is it time for the ICC to become that sole organ?
First, this paper suggests some of the purposes of international criminal justice. Then it quickly reviews the existing institutions, ending with the International Criminal Court. It considers some of the strengths and weaknesses of the ICC in light of the purposes of international criminal justice. Finally, it suggests a few possible futures for the structures of international criminal justice, in the hope that this will encourage readers to imagine other futures. The material in this paper is intended to be selective and suggestive, but does not pretend to be complete or authoritative The purpose of the exercise presented here — not achievable in a few pages, and which will take years of hard legal and political work — is to develop structures that will best advance the goals of international criminal justice. Included in my definition of “best” is a requirement that the structures be realistically implementable.
This essay is a revised version of a talk given at the Seminar, Developments in Criminal Law in Africa: Between the Local and the Global, 21 April 2012, at the Max Planck Institute for International and Comparative Criminal Law in Freiburg, Germany.
Keywords: international criminal court, internationalized criminal tribunals, multi-level justice, criminal justice systems
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