Monday, April 14, 2008

The ICC Prosecutor and Darfur

Provided with a public platform and his choice of topics, one might have expected the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to focus on the positive: the young institution (logo below right) has three Congolese defendants in the dock, and its first trial is scheduled to begin in June. But in his keynote address at the third annual Samuel Dash Conference on Human Rights held at Georgetown University Law Center last week, Luis Moreno-Ocampo (left) wanted to talk about Darfur.
Mr. Moreno-Ocampo called Darfur a “test” for the court, and decried the Security Council’s failure to press the Sudanese government to comply with the ICC’s arrest warrants. While calling the ICC “the court of last resort” and emphasizing that the primary responsibility to enforce the Rome Statute lies with states, Mr. Moreno-Ocampo also highlighted the Rome Statute’s call for prevention and deterrence of atrocities and expressed frustration at the ICC’s inability to protect the people of Darfur from ongoing attacks.
A few years ago, when the Security Council referred Darfur to the ICC, I wrote an op-ed for Jurist arguing that it was far from certain that the ICC would be able to obtain sufficient cooperation from Sudan to act effectively in Darfur. I had hoped to be proven wrong, but thus far the Security Council’s referral of the Darfur situation to the ICC -- over Sudan’s objection -- still presents a crucial challenge for the ICC in its quest for credibility.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.