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Feb 15, 2018: Event heralds 20th ICC anniversary and highlights court’s challenges

NETHERLANDS - The Coalition for the International Criminal Court holds a reception at the court’s home in The Hague, part of the build-up to events marking the 20th anniversary of the ICC on Jul 17, 2018. The coalition seeks to break down the challenges to the so-called court of last resort.

The ICC was created to deal with egregious crimes in which victims have no other recourse. Richard Dicker, international justice director of Human Rights Watch, detailed some of the challenges in a speech to the Coalition in Jun 2017. He noted that authority given to the ICC in 1998 was based on a consent-based international treaty negotiated by states. He cited incidents that demonstrated the difficulties of accomplishing the arrest and cooperation provisions attached to the treaty, even in parties bound by it.

Council referrals are one of two exceptions to the consent regime, but even this can be blocked by a veto from any one of the permanent five on the United Nations Security Council. The reality is that countries that don’t consent remain outside and immune from the court’s reach. It’s hardly surprising that the most powerful states – the United States, China and Russia – have not opted in and don’t allow their closest allies to be subject to the court by Security Council referral.

A non-governmental organization, the coalition bills itself as “the world’s largest civil society partnership advancing international justice.” A diverse range of civil society groups comprise the coalition.

#22388 Published: 11/28/2017

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