Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 April 2012
Is it ethical for the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) to consider political factors, such as peace processes, in selecting situations to investigate or cases to prosecute? During the early years of the court, a number of documents and statements from the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) suggested that there were occasions when it was. Two OTP policy papers issued in 2003 recommended that the prosecutor assess “all circumstances prevailing in the country or region concerned, including the nature and stage of the conflict and any intervention by the international community,” and whether prosecution might “exacerbate or otherwise destabilize a conflict situation.” In the same spirit, the ICC's chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, referred to his decision-making as a “dialogue between many actors” with a “strategic dimension . . . [that] involves all stakeholders.” This language suggested a process of consultation and coordination with local and international actors involved in conflict resolution to adapt international criminal justice to on-the-ground political realities.
2 ICC-OTP, “Informal Meeting of Legal Advisors of Ministries of Foreign Affairs,” New York, October 24, 2005, p. 9.
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29 Allen, “Seven Questions.”
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34 Moreno-Ocampo, Luis, “Building a Future on Peace and Justice,” in Ambos, et al. , eds., Building a Future on Peace and Justice, p. 13Google Scholar.
35 Peter Eichstaedt, “ICC Chief Prosecutor Talks Tough,” Institute for War & Peace Reporting, May 7, 2008.
36 Rastan, “The Responsibility to Enforce,” p. 176.
38 Eichstaedt, “ICC Chief Prosecutor Talks Tough.”
39 The case for a U.S. Special Forces intervention as an alternative to the UPDF was made by the executive director of Human Rights Watch, which is one of the strongest supporters of the ICC. See Roth, Kenneth, “Get Tough on Human Rights,” Foreign Policy, November 2010Google Scholar. Human Rights Watch officials have also made arguments in favor of military intervention in other situations under ICC scrutiny. See Dufka, Corinne, “The Case for Intervention in the Ivory Coast,” Foreign Policy, March 25, 2011Google Scholar; and comments of Tom Malinowski in Landler, Mark and Bilefsky, Dan, “Specter of Rebel Rout Helps Shift U.S. Policy on Libya,” New York Times, March 16, 2011Google Scholar.
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42 Moreno-Ocampo, “The Role of the International Community,” p. 281.