'A Contradiction in Terms': Crimes of Contempt at the International Criminal Court and the Case Against Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo's Legal Representatives
Author Draft; subsequently published in Eyes on the ICC, v. 10, 1-46 (2013-2014), ISSN: 1546-508X
43 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2015
Date Written: May 1, 2014
Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo and his counsel are currently detained at The Hague, awaiting trial for alleged attempts to bribe witnesses and submit falsified evidence. This article utilizes those proceedings as a starting point for a broader discussion of criminal contempt proceedings brought by the Office of the Prosecutor pursuant to Article 70 of the Rome Statute. Article 70 vests the OTP with exclusive discretion to instigate such proceedings, despite having an apparent conflict in every case brought against an attorney, whether a member of the OTP or opposing counsel. By vesting the OTP while such discretion, Article 70 also limits sanctioning options afforded to Chambers. Given these concerns, this article suggests that other alternatives, such as state referrals and disciplinary proceedings, should be employed in favor of Article 70 prosecutions. In the instant case and others where Article 70 is utilized, an independent counsel should be engaged at every step of the proceedings.
JEL Classification: K14; K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation