10 Years of the International Criminal Court (ICC): The Court, Africa, The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and Article 16 of the Rome Statute
Politicization of the International Criminal Court? - A Study of the UN Security Council's Power of Intervention in the ICC's Jurisdiction under the Rome Statute - Article 16 (2012)
16 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2012
Date Written: September 10, 2012
The International Criminal Court was one of the greatest achievements in the long and protracted efforts to create an international rule of law and bring to justice the perpetrators of heinous crimes. Through its 10 years of existence however, the ICC has endured accusations of bias and favoritism threatening its credibility as an independent and impartial judicial institution. At the root of these allegations is Article 16 of the Rome Statute that establishes the ICC; this provision allows an unprecedented degree of political interference in the judicial processes of the Court by granting the UN Security Council (a political body) the power to suspend the Court processes 'in the interests of peace'. This paper explores the legislative history of Article 16, its application so-far, the allegations of politicization that have arisen there-from and offers practical solutions to the resultant Africa-ICC stalemate focusing on the source of the problem itself - the delicate and controversial Article 16. The ICC being the first and only permanent international penal court, is the anchor of international criminal justice - its existence is crucial therefore its image must remain untainted.
Keywords: international criminal law, justice, ICC, Article 16, Rome statute, United Nations Security Council, politicization
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