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The creation of the ICC has been controversial for both legal and ethical reasons. Explain how the ICC works and why it is controversial - Essay Example

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) functions like any ordinary criminal court, with the only difference being that member states, as opposed to individual claimants, or the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) refer situations of serious crimes to the ICC prosecutor. The…
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The creation of the ICC has been controversial for both legal and ethical reasons. Explain how the ICC works and why it is controversial
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College: ICC Legal and Ethical Controversy The International Criminal Court (ICC) functions like any ordinary criminal court, with the only difference being that member states, as opposed to individual claimants, or the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) refer situations of serious crimes to the ICC prosecutor. The crimes are usually war offences or crimes against humanity deemed to be of significant magnitude. It is after evaluating available information on the situation that the prosecutor decides whether it is reasonable to investigate further and present the case before the court.
Even though the ICC, which was established in 2003, seems to have genuine interest to seek justice for crime victims, it has not been devoid of legal and ethical controversy. For instance, since its establishment until now the ICC has only opened cases on African member nations. This has prompted many African organizations like the African Union (AU) to question the legitimacy of the ICC as an international platform for justice. The legality of the ICC has also been brought to question, owing to the lack of comprehensive evidence collection and procedural concerns.
In 2004 the then ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo issued an arrest warrant for Sudan’s President, Omar al Bashir, for war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. The prosecutor, however, failed to consider facts such as the commencement of the civil conflict in the country long before the president came into power. The prosecutor also ascribed land grabbing and ethnic cleansing solely to Bashir, failing to account for colonial land allocation disparities among peasant and nomadic communities. It was also not Bashir’s fault that climate change has resulted in expansion of arid areas hence reduction of productive land. In addition to these factual discrepancies that question the court’s ethics and legitimacy, the ICC has not focused on other countries. This has prompted many stakeholders to perceive it as a Western Court that seeks to judge African countries, without accounting for prior political and social concerns in respective societies. Read More
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