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    Schwöbel, Christine E. J. 2013. The Comfort of International Criminal Law. Law and Critique, Vol. 24, Issue. 2, p. 169.

  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: July 2015

15 - Justifying justice

from Part IV - Projects of international law

Until lions have their own historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter. (Ibo proverb)

Sudan, December 2008

In a camp for displaced persons in Darfur, children have tied a cord around a hedgehog’s neck. ‘This is President Bashir and we are taking him to the International Criminal Court.’ Awaiting the BBC and CNN, spokespersons for the displaced chant: ‘We need NATO, the EU and the ICC.’ Tribal leaders, asked why they no longer use traditional justice mechanisms, explain: ‘This is genocide and only the International Criminal Court can address genocide.’ New-born boys have been named ‘Ocambo’, after the Court’s Prosecutor. Bolstered by ‘brother’ Ocampo’s request for an arrest warrant for the Sudanese President on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, one of the rebel movements has launched an attack on the Sudanese capital and another has refused to participate in peace talks, arguing that one should not negotiate with ‘war criminals’. The Sudanese government, in turn, publicly denounces the International Criminal Court (ICC). Driving from the airport into Khartoum one is greeted by enormous billboards showing a strong President and reading: ‘Ocampo’s Plot: A Malicious Move in the Siege’, ‘Protect the International Law from Ocampo’s Illusions’ and ‘No for the Oppression of Peoples under the Name of International Law!’

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