The Case for Inclusion of Terrorism in the Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court
Forthcoming in Triestino Mariniello (ed.) The First Ten Years of the International Criminal Court: Achievements and Challenges, Routledge 2014 (or 2015)
Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2014-13
21 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2014
Date Written: March 17, 2014
The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has recently announced that she will start investigations into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Central African Republic. As far as war crimes are concerned, the success of this venture hinges on the question whether the situation in the CAF has reached the threshold of an armed conflict. Arguably, the unruly groups that engage in atrocities lack the required organizational capacities to warrant such a conclusion. The CAF is paradigmatic of failed states in which non-state armed groups vie for power.
In this article the authors advocate the inclusion of terrorism in the jurisdiction of the ICC, in order to plug the jurisdictional loophole. Taking the striking analogy between terrorism and war crimes - to wit, the attack on innocent civilians - as point of departure, the authors argue that it is rather arbitrary to depend jurisdiction on the crossing of the line of armed conflict. Moreover, in case of terrorism weak states are often incapable of prosecuting and trying the culprits and this situation reinforces the case for inclusion of terrorism as a separate crime in the jurisdiction of the ICC.
Keywords: International criminal law, international criminal court, international crimes, non-international armed conflicts, terrorism, war crimes, crimes against humanity
JEL Classification: K14, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation