The International Criminal Court Confronting challenges on the path to justice: Task Force Report 2013

Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies

Each chapter of this report identifies key factors which are crucial to ensuring justice is served and the Court’s mandate is fulfilled. Section one explains the internal and external factors that affect selecting situations (the distinction between “situation” and “case” will be defined in the  introduction). Problems in selecting situations stem from complications inherent to complementarity and determining gravity. To further complicate this issue, politics and a supposed “African bias” have inhibited international support for the Court. Section two identifies issues in the investigation strategy of the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP or the Office),particularly its charging strategy and the apparent neglect of gender crimes. It also addresses a structural problem concerning varying standards of proof. Section three examines the role of victims in the Court, including their participation as victims in the judicial process, efforts to conduct outreach to “information poor” communities, and reparations provided through the Trust Fund for Victims. Section four concludes with the inherent issues that come from the Court’s critical internal and external relationships.

This report finds that the ICC is at a decisive period in its path to establishing a global presence. It is therefore crucial that it produce more substantial results to ensure its longevity as a global presence aimed at deterring mass atrocities and maintaining international peace and security. The failures experienced in its formative years may be identified as growing pains of a young institution, but the ICC cannot afford to continue losing credibility. Already, it has faced resistance from many states—in particular several within the African Union—while many states parties are either delayed in meeting or do not fulfill their financial obligations.

Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies 2013

The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies (JSIS) - University of Washington, Seattle - combines the social sciences, humanities, and professional fields to enhance our understanding of our increasingly interconnected globe. 

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