U.S. Accepts ICC

April 28, 2008

In his speech last weekend at the event in Chicago marking the 10th anniversary of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, leading State Department lawyer John Bellinger said that despite continued reservations, the U.S. now accepts the “reality” of the ICC – especially in relation to Darfur.  Bellinger commented that “The U.S. must acknowledge that the ICC enjoys a large body of international support, and that many countries will look to the ICC as the preferred mechanism.”

This marks a significant rhetorical shift, although the rhetoric must be met by action and the U.S. must play a leading role in urging the U.N. Security Council to ensure that indicted individuals in Darfur are turned over to the Court.

Click here to read Bellinger’s full speech.


Ending the Culture of Impunity

April 22, 2008

This editorial talks about the need to break the culture of impunity in Kenya and highlights the urgency for ICC intervention where flawed domestic courts are incapable of doing the job.  It is also, however, worth noting that as the Court draws closer to its first trial in June, we are beginning to notice a shift toward a realization that it is here to stay and those who commit the most heinous acts will be held accountable for their crimes.  There is still, however, an ongoing debate over the roll of the ICC in Uganda where reconciliation is historically a large part of the judicial process.  This highlights the argument of justice and accountability versus reconciliation, but the fact that rebel leader Joseph Kony has refused to surrender until the ICC drops all charges against him demonstrates his realization that he is not immune from justice.

Interview with Silvana Arbia

April 18, 2008

Check out this interview with Silvana Arbia, the new Registrar of the ICC.  Ms. Arbia discussed her vision for the Court and her previous work as Chief of Prosecutions for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Upcoming Global Leaders Conference in Chicago

April 18, 2008

The International Human Rights Law Institute at DePaul University College of Law is set to host the Midwest Regional Conference on International Justice on April 25.  The event, entitled: “The International Criminal Court 10 Years After the Rome Conference,” will take a look back at the work and progress of the ICC over the last decade.
Among the speakers will be Philippe Kirsch, president of the ICC; Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the chief prosecutor; and Ambassador Richard Williamson, presidential special envoy to Sudan, who will speak about the situations in Uganda, Darfur and the DRC.  Also speaking at the event are Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and John Bellinger, legal adviser to the U.S. Secretary of State.
Click here for full information and agenda.


Domestic Trials to go Hand in Hand with the ICC

April 14, 2008

The government of Uganda has insisted that the impending peace agreement with the LRA will not detract from the ICC’s attempts to put rebel leaders on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity.  Officials have said that domestic trials can compliment the work of the ICC, and should be carried out in tandem.

Click here to read the full article.

How Joseph Kony is keeping his options open

March 26, 2008

Manisuli Ssenyonjo, a senior lecturer in international law at Brunel University, doubts that the Ugandan government ever seriously intended to see the leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army brought to justice by the International Criminal Court.

Check out the full article in The Guardian newspaper (UK).

ICC and R2P the Highlights of Annan’s Tenure

March 25, 2008

Honouring Kofi Annan at the conferral of a new MacArthur Award, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says that the establishment of the ICC and the acceptance of the principle of the responsibility to protect stood out as the culmination of his predecessor’s tenure.