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2 - Balancing Politics, Morality, and Culture

from Testing A New Court

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 September 2020

Richard Gaskins
Affiliation:
Brandeis University, Massachusetts
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Summary

The Court’s historic movement from theory to practice came with a round of investigations targeting specific conflicts and identifying specific suspects, centered mainly in Africa. The powers and constraints of the ICC Prosecutor were closely monitored by judges as the Court issued its first arrest warrants. The first three suspects to arrive in The Hague were Congolese men from the peripheral Ituri district; and a fourth Congolese suspect was soon apprehended for alleged crimes in the Central African Republic. Lasting more than a decade, each trial faced a series of crises and reversals, indicating fault-lines in the original design. Mixed evidence made it surprisingly difficult for the Court to establish crimes involving child soldiers, as well as sex and gender crimes; and even more difficult to attribute criminal responsibility to the individuals accused. The interests of victims had to be balanced with the legal principle of fair trials. From an initial overview, the reader understands the many difficulties – both practical and institutional – facing the new Court and its ambitious mission.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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