International Criminal Court

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The International Criminal Court Independent Expert Review: questions of trust and tenure

I have previously written on the Independent Expert Review (IER) of the International Criminal Court and its findings on questions of governance structure and culture. In this blog post I’d like to turn to two other running themes through the report: trust and tenure.* The problem of trust My previous post noted the IER findings on a pervasive culture of fear within the Court. Unsurprisingly, this is also reflected in a culture of distrust: “The Court appears to suffer internally from distrust (inter-Organ, as well as between staff and senior/higher management) and a culture of fear. Such observations were shared with the Experts by staff at all levels. Individuals have pointed to the existence of an antagonistic approach between the organs, a mentality of ‘us vs them’ which naturally is not conducive to cooperation and coordination” (para 62). A previous independent report found that trust was either completely lacking or severely eroded throughout the institution, and the pervasive culture of distrust included a “tendency to…

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The International Criminal Court Independent Expert Review: questions of accountability and culture

The Independent Expert Review of the International Criminal Court commissioned by the ICC Assembly of State Parties (ASP) reported on 30 September 2020.* (Final report here, background here.) There were concerns this could be a dry, technocratic report. It is not. It is frank and forthright in setting down in black…

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Hate Speech as Persecution: Tackling the Gordian Knot

Two recent incidents have reignited the question of whether hate speech can constitute the actus reus for persecution, giving rise to a successful charge of crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). First, the report of the UN International Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar (FFM) to the United Nations Human Rights…

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EJIL: The Podcast! Episode 4 – Court Between a Rock and a Hard Place

For quite some time, the International Criminal Court (ICC) was criticised for focusing exclusively on Africa, as opposed to investigating situations in which powerful western states are heavily involved or have strong interests. In the first part of this episode, Kamari Clarke, Professor of Anthropology at the University of California Los Angeles and author of the recent book…

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Is the International Criminal Court destined to pick fights with non-state parties?

There have been reports of a communication to the International Criminal Court alleging that the treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang by Chinese authorities constitute international crimes within the Court’s jurisdiction. The jurisdictional basis of the claim is that China’s conduct involved forced deportations to Cambodia and Tajikistan, which are parties to the statute even though China is…

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