International Criminal Court

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International Criminal Court

(ICC), first permanent world court created specifically to try individuals for genocide, war crimes, crimes of aggression, and crimes against humanity, est. 2002; located at the Hague, Netherlands. More than 110 nations have ratified the treaty that founded the court; those that have not include China, Russia, and the United States. The first judges were formally sworn in in 2003.

The ICC inaugurated its first investigations in 2004 when it began looking into crimes in Congo (Kinshasa) and Uganda. Its first arrest warrants were issued (2005) for five leaders of the Ugandan rebel Lord's Resistance Army, which was accused of causing nearly 20 years of conflict. In 2005 the United Nations voted to refer war crimes cases in Sudan's DarfurDarfur
, region and former sultanate, W Sudan. The region is mountainous, dominated by the central massif of Jebel Marra, which rises to 10,130 ft (3,088 m). Much of the terrain is dry plateau, and there are sand dunes in the extreme north.
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 region to the ICC, and the subsequent issuing (2009) of a warrant for the arrest of Sudan's President Omar Ahmed al-BashirBashir, Omar Hassan Ahmed al-
, 1944–, Sudanese military and political leader, president of Sudan (1994–2019). He graduated from the Sudanese military academy (1966) and a Cairo military college and became a career army officer, ultimately rising to the rank of
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 in connection with war crimes and other offenses in Darfur has been the ICC's most notable action. Enforcement of the the warrant, however, is dependent on the cooperation of national governments.

Among its other significant cases has been that of former Congolese rebel leader and interim vice president Jean-Pierre BembaBemba Gombo, Jean-Pierre,
1962–, Congolese politician. Born to wealthy parents, he was educated in Brussels and built a business empire in what was then Zaïre. In the early 1990s he was personal assistant to President Mobutu Sese Seko.
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, who was arrested (2008) in Belgium and was convicted in 2016 of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Central African Republic by a militia he headed; the verdict was later (2018) overturned. ICC judges also authorized (2010) the investigation of those responsible for murder, rape, and forced displacement in the ethnic violence that followed the 2007 elections in Kenya, and in Dec., 2010, six prominent Kenyans, including Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, were accused of crimes against humanity. A lack of cooperation from Kenya, where Kenyatta was elected president in 2013, led to the case's collapse. The ICC issued its first verdict in Mar., 2012, when Thomas Lubanga, a Congolese warlord, was convicted of having used child soldiers in an ethnic conflict in E Congo; his trial had begun in 2009. The first case involving the destruction of cultural artifacts and heritage involved Ahmad al-Faqi al-Madhi, who was tried and convicted (2016) of destroying historic Islamic shrines and other sites in Mali during fighting in 2012. Bosco Ntaganda, a Congolese militia leader and general, was found guilty in 2019 of having committed various war crimes, including sexual slavery, when he led (2002–3) a militia in the conflict in E Congo.

In 2016 the African Union accused the court of targeting African leaders (though most investigations were the result of country government or UN requests), and a number of African nations have announced that they would withdraw from the ICC. Burundi, which was the subject of a preliminary investigation (beginning in 2016) into the political violence there, withdrew in 2017. The Philippines withdrew in 2019; Rodrigo DuterteDuterte, Rodrigo Roa
, 1945–, Philippine lawyer and political leader. He joined the prosecutor's office in Davao, Mindanao, in 1977, served as mayor of the city (1988–98), was elected to the Philippine House of Representatives (1998–2001), and served again as
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, its president, who had supported attacks on alleged criminals and was accused of crimes against humanity, was the subject of a preliminary investigation.

In 1998, when the UN General Assembly approved a treaty authorizing a permanent international court for war crimes, China, Russia, the United States, and four other nations opposed the treaty, and 21 nations abstained. The United States subsequently signed the agreement, but the G. W. Bush administration opposed its implementation, fearing that American officials or military personnel might be arrested abroad on baseless charges. In May, 2002, with the treaty a few weeks away from taking effect, the United States repudiated the document and indicated that it would not cooperate with the court. The U.S. government subsequently insisted (2002, 2003) that American forces used as UN peacekeepers be exempted from prosecution by the court, and in 2003 it suspended military aid to nations that did not similarly exempt U.S. citizens serving within their borders. In 2004, following the Iraq prisoner abuse scandal, the United States was unable to secure a further exemption from the UN. In 2020 the Trump administration authorized the imposition of sanctions against court staff investigating Americans for war crimes in Afghanistan or Israelis for war crimes against Palestinians; in response, most of the nations who had signed the establishing treaty strongly criticized any attempts to undermine the court.

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References in periodicals archive ?
"We could have sent him straight away to the international criminal court, that would have been better, he added" Van Agt has been highly critical of Israel in recent years.
Bensouda said that the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court consisted of three Divisions, including an Investigations Division, a Prosecutions Division, and a Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division.
Malki will visit the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands on Tuesday.
Karim Khan (L), the lawyer for Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain (C) and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus (R), both suspected of having committed war crimes in Darfur, speaks at the International Criminal Court in The Hague June 17, 2010 (Reuters)
Gatilov said that Russia opposes Syria going before the International Criminal Court "since we consider that this is counterproductive in the current situation."
Negotiating the International Criminal Court: New York to Rome, 1994-1998
The negative voices about the International Criminal Court from Kenya and Sudan are beginning to make themselves more heard than the positive voices, of which the EU is meant to be the best representative.
Summary: Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, received on Tuesday at his palace the Coalition of International Criminal Court (ICC) delegation.
An acquittal of a former Congolese militia leader has prompted calls for reforming the International Criminal Court. "Since its inception, the [ICC] has faced criticism, sometimes over the sluggish pace of indictments and prosecutions, sometimes over its cost, and regularly over its exclusive focus on African crimes," reports the BBC News.
The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) is marking its 10th anniversary in Nuremberg, Germany, with a two-day international conference with the theme: 'Through the Lens of Nuremberg: The International Criminal Court at its Tenth Anniversary'.
Summary: Libya is determined to try former spy chief Abdullah Senussi who was arrested in Mauritania, the justice minister said Sunday, as France and the International Criminal Court also seek his extradition.
TRIPOLI: Libya is determined to try former spy chief Abdullah Senussi who was arrested in Mauritania, the justice minister said Sunday, as France and the International Criminal Court also seek his extradition.

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