IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

Interesting Story about the ICC

In case you didn’t know, the ICC is “The International Criminal Court”.  Here is the link to the story from The Economist magazine (no less!).  Also, as usual, here are a few paragraphs to (hopefully) get you interested:


“EVEN fans of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague admit that its proceedings are interminable and expensive. But the court is the world’s backstop for prosecuting genocide, war crimes and other enormities. Some of the ICC’s troubles are longstanding. Big countries such as China, India and Russia have not signed up to its founding statute. America has not ratified it (though it is co-operating quietly).

But some troubles are new. One comes from a WikiLeaks cable on Britain’s view of the ICC’s highest-profile indictment, of Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir for genocide. Britain has publicly backed the indictment, which followed a mandate from the UN Security Council. But the cable suggests Britain regards it as “unhelpful”—a damning word in the mouth of a mandarin. At best, it seems, Britain sees it as a chip to be exchanged for setting south Sudan free and making peace in Darfur. That may be clever diplomacy, but it does nothing for the ICC’s credibility to be seen as a pawn in a foreign power’s chess game.

More troubles loom for the court’s active cases, all of them in Africa. The most recent, presented by the former UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, is over the murderous chaos that followed Kenya’s 2007 general election. The ICC’s Argentine prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, says over 1,100 people were killed and 600,000 displaced. He wants to bring six senior Kenyans to The Hague. They include the country’s top civil servant, its finance minister and its ex-head of police…”


Here we have what I like to call a “GGI”, ie a Global Governance Issue.  If you look into the matter you will see that there really is a need for the ICC or something like it; but you will also see that there were all sorts of complicated political issues and controversies surrounding its creation.  The article indicates that such problems continue.

So, what do we make of this?  Do we think “ah well, you see, that’s just the way international politics is…basically you can’t get to Justice from here…It don’t work that way.”  Or, do we face up to the fact that better and more just global governance is an absolute necessity, but that it will take a lot of effort and will probably involve numerous fits and starts.  Hint:  IGbarb favors the latter view 🙂 .


February 18, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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