The International Criminal Court as a Court – An Evaluation

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) investigates and, where warranted, tries individuals charged with the gravest crimes of concern to the international community: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression.

The International Criminal court made a start Exact Nine years after its launch in July n2002. The difficulties are in it are inherited by its mission and context and the other one generated by states and officials. It is an international organization that many states are not willing to join or had not joined because of personal or political reasons and the independence is constrained by the sovereignty of the state.

What is ICC?

International Criminal court is there to be placed where the domestic justice system usually fails to investigate and to perpetrators of the crimes over which has its jurisdiction. It has jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes also the crimes against humanity that take place on the territory of the state.

It is a formal legal-judicial institution that has its action with major political ramifications and the states might use it for political ends where it has no enforcement capacity and it depends upon the states to apprehend suspects and to permit the collection of the information of their own territories.

Countries that are the members of the court:

There are 123 countries party in total to the Rome Statute in which there are some forty countries that never signed the treaty, including China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Korea. There are also some others who signed the statute but their legislatures never ratified it which includes Israel, The United States, Sudan, Egypt, Syria, Iran, and Russia

How does the Court work?

This Court carries out the investigatory work through the office of the prosecutor which is led since 2012 by Fatou Bensouda, a lawyer from the Gambia. The Court has 18 judges, each from a different member country and elected by the member states. They require their members to seek a balanced bench and the Judiciary must include Representatives of each of the United Nations Five Regions.

The Court has the jurisdiction for the four categories of crimes they are :

  • Genocide or the intent to destroy it in whole or in national , ethnic, racial , or religious group 
  • War crimes or the grave breaches of the laws of war which includes Prohibitions on torture or the use of child soldiers etc .
  • Crimes against the humanity or the violations committed as a large – scale attacks against populations or murder , rape , slavery and imprisonment and
  • Crimes of Aggression or the use of threat of armed forces by a state against the territorial sovereignty or political Independence .

The International Criminal Court has intended to complement rather than replace national courts and it can act only when the national courts have been found unable or unwilling to try a case. The ICC is different from the International Court of Justice which is the top UN Court, makes settles disputes between the states.

Funding of International Criminal Court

In the year 2020, the ICC’s annual budget stood at $180 million and the majority of that funding comes from the member states. In 2019, the largest contributions came from Japan, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom and some of the countries such as Brazil and Venezuela, have run up a million dollars in overdue payments. The UN general assembly can approve the funding for the cases which are referred to the court by the Security Council. Some of the government and organizations offer voluntary contributions.

Some of the experts have criticized the ICC as very expensive. While others counter it as that court’s cost-effectiveness cannot be based only on the number of cases it tries or convictions it secures.

Other Criticisms of ICC?

It is always two ways or says two directions while some believe the court has too little authority and it makes it inefficient and ineffective at putting away war criminals. While some worry about the prospect of international justice conflicts by war criminals. Several major powers echo U.S. complaints. China and India, in abstaining from the court argue that it would infringe onto the sovereignty. Many of the African nations have accused that the ICC of disproportionately targeting the African continent. Still, in Kenya and somewhere else, the court maintains Broad Public Support. It gives the right to the opposition of many African leaders to the ICC not necessarily aligned with the desire of many Africans for fairness and Accountability.

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