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International Criminal Court:

GS Paper 2

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

 

Context:

The international criminal court’s new prosecutor has asked the court to relaunch an inquiry into alleged crimes against humanity committed by the Taliban and supporters of the Islamic State in Afghanistan since 2003.

  • ICC has notified the Taliban via Afghanistan’s embassy in the Netherlands that it intends to resume an investigation.

 

Background:

A previous ICC inquiry was deferred in April 2020 following a request by the then Afghan government of Ashraf Ghani to be given time to gather evidence in cooperation with ICC lawyers.

 

About ICC:

  • The International Criminal Court (ICC), located in The Hague, is the court of last resort for prosecution of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
  • It is the first permanent, treaty based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.
  • Its founding treaty, the Rome Statute, entered into force on July 1, 2002.

 

Funding:

Although the Court’s expenses are funded primarily by States Parties, it also receives voluntary contributions from governments, international organisations, individuals, corporations and other entities.

 

Composition and voting power:

The Court’s management oversight and legislative body, the Assembly of States Parties, consists of one representative from each state party.

  • Each state party has one vote and “every effort” has to be made to reach decisions by consensus. If consensus cannot be reached, decisions are made by vote.
  • The Assembly is presided over by a president and two vice-presidents, who are elected by the members to three-year terms.

 

Criticisms:

  1. It does not have the capacity to arrest suspects and depends on member states for their cooperation.
  2. Critics of the Court argue that there are insufficient checks and balances on the authority of the ICC prosecutor and judges and insufficient protection against politicized prosecutions or other abuses.
  3. The ICC has been accused of bias and as being a tool of Western imperialism, only punishing leaders from small, weak states while ignoring crimes committed by richer and more powerful states.
  4. ICC cannot mount successful cases without state cooperation is problematic for several reasons. It means that the ICC acts inconsistently in its selection of cases, is prevented from taking on hard cases and loses legitimacy.

Icj_vs_ICC

 

Insta Curious:

Sudan has decided to hand long-time autocrat Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court along with other officials wanted over the Darfur conflict. What is the Darfur conflict? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Differences between ICJ and ICC.
  2. Geographical locations of these organisations and overview of surrounding countries.
  3. Doha accord between US and Taliban.
  4. What is Rome statute?
  5. Location of Afghanistan.
  6. US taliban peace deal- overview.

Mains Link:

Write a note on ICC.

Sources: the Hindu.