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Abstract

Within a short period the International Criminal Court (ICC) has become central to world politics. The dramatic diplomatic process that produced the Rome Statute in 1998 was followed by an unexpectedly rapid succession of state ratifications and the establishment of the court in 2002. As of late 2011 the ICC has indicted twenty-six individuals related to seven official investigations, all in Africa. Proceedings against one of these individuals were dismissed. Two other indictments, including one for Libya's Muammar Qaddafi, became moot because the individuals were killed before arrest or trial. The remaining list includes a sitting head of state, Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, as well as Kenya's sitting deputy prime minister, Uhuru Kenyatta. The United Nations Security Council referred both the Sudan and Libya situations to the court; three African states requested investigations of their own situations. The ICC prosecutor independently started an investigation in Kenya. Despite efforts by Kenyan state officials to halt ICC proceedings related to the widespread violence and killings following the 2007 national elections, opinion polls suggest that 73 percent of Kenyans want the ICC to remain involved.

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References
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NOTES

1 The ICC and Africa: Dim Prospects,” Economist, February 17, 2011.

2 Carr E. H., The Twenty Years' Crisis (Basingstoke, U.K.: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001[1939]), p. 219.

3 Shklar Judith N., Legalism: Law, Morals, and Political Trials (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1964), p. vii.

4 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, art. 5

5 Ibid., arts. 7 and 8.

6 Ralph Jason G., Defending the Society of States: Why America Opposes the International Criminal Court and Its Vision of World Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).

7 For an argument about the ICC in relation to Carl Schmitt's friendship/enemy dichotomy, see Nouwen Sarah M. H. and Werner Wouter G., “Doing Justice to the Political: The International Criminal Court in Uganda and Sudan,” European Journal of International Law 21, no. 4 (2010), pp. 941–65. The ICC has developed two means to help resolve tensions of promoting international justice in a decentralized political order: First, it has accepted and encouraged “self-referrals,” where states declare themselves unable to carry out the duty of prosecuting the core crimes. The Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, and the Central African Republic referred their own situations in this manner. Second, the ICC has promoted a doctrine of “positive complementarity.” This means that the ICC aims to support states' efforts to act domestically on a duty to prosecute.

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Ethics & International Affairs
  • ISSN: 0892-6794
  • EISSN: 1747-7093
  • URL: /core/journals/ethics-and-international-affairs
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