Essay on International Criminal Court

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The International Criminal Court is an international tribunal and an intergovernmental organization that sits in Hague, Netherlands. The jurisdiction of the ICC includes prosecuting individuals for the international war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of genocide.

The ICC was instituted on 17th July 18 in Rome, Italy when the Rome Statute of the ICC was adopted through a vote which saw 21 countries abstain, 7 against, and 120 for the institution of the court (Schabas 34). On 1st July 2002, the Rome Statute entered into force following 60 ramifications marking the formal establishment of the ICC (Schabas 36).

Given that the ICC is governed by the Rome Statute, its functions are inhibited in the statute itself. As clearly stated in the Preamble of the treaty, the primary function of the ICC is firstly to prosecute or rather punish crimes considered to be of serious nature such as threatening the international community and secondly bring to an end the impunity of these crime’s perpetrators which may have been facilitated by their political standing (Schabas 28). In other words, the major functions of the ICC are to ensure that mass atrocities and crimes against humanity do not occur with impunity.

The functions of the ICC have changed over time to incorporate the peace process. In most of the cases when the ICC prosecutor carries out an investigation in the immediate aftermath or during a conflict, they are faced by accusations and claims that their actions are a potential or an actual obstacle to peace (Caesius 144). In this regard, the ICC finds itself in a position of trying to secure convictions in order to demonstrate its effectiveness and credibility. Its value as a deterrent has been consistently compromised by being regularly trumped by the peace processes (Caesius 144). 

Works Cited

Caesius, Antonio. "The Statute of the International Criminal Court: some preliminary reflections." European Journal of International Law 10.1 (2010): 144-171.

Schabas, William A. An introduction to the international criminal court. Cambridge University Press, 2011. Print.

August 01, 2023


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International Law

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