International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court (Abbreviated ‘ICC’) is an international tribunal whose purpose is to investigate and prosecute individuals responsible for international crimes such as war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression. It was established on July 1st, 2002 under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. This is a multilateral treaty that has been ratified by several nation-states and as such it operates independently from the United Nations. However, the ICC works in cooperation with the United Nations and the United Nations Security Council can refer investigations to the ICC.
Nations that have ratified the treaty are under jurisdiction of the ICC. However, the ICC is not meant to replace national courts. Instead, it exists to complement these courts or to act as a last resort court if national courts are unable to honestly carry out a prosecution. The ICC heavily relies on the cooperation between itself and nations to conduct its tasks. These tasks include arresting suspects, transporting these arrested suspects, and freezing their financial assets. Another important aspect of the cooperation between the ICC and nation-states is the establishment of a trust fund. Under Article 79 of the Rome Statue, the Assembly of State Parties established a Trust Fund for Victims (Abbreviated ‘TFV’) to pay reparations to the victims and their families who have suffered from international crimes that fall under ICC jurisdiction. These tasks exemplifies that the scope of ICC is not just limited to the courtroom.
The International Criminal Court is a moderately different experience than normal United Nations committees. Students participating in the ICC will be arguing court cases against each other in teams of two. Cases in this year’s MUN will focus on prosecuting states instead of individuals. As such, it is important to study the case assigned to your nation and any related background information to aid in strengthening your arguments. It is also important to know that the ICC does not hold retroactive jurisdiction, which means that the ICC cannot undertake crimes committed before July 1st, 2002. Additionally, the crime of aggression was added to ICC jurisdiction in 2010 in an amendment to the Rome Statute and only applies to nations that have ratified this amendment.
- https://www.icc-cpi.int/ (The ICC’s website)
- http://www.iccnow.org/?mod=coalition (Website on the coalition between the ICC and numerous civic organizations around the world)
- https://www.icc-cpi.int/nr/rdonlyres/ea9aeff7-5752-4f84-be94-0a655eb30e16/0/rome_statute_english.pdf (The Rome Statute that established the ICC. You are NOT required to read the entire statute, but knowing its main components will be helpful.)
- http://www.amicc.org/icc/jurisdiction (Definitions and examples of the international crimes under ICC Jurisdiction)
- https://www.hrw.org/topic/international-justice/international-criminal-court (ICC section of the Human Rights Watch website)
- http://www.bbc.com/news/world-11809908 (Deeper explanation of the ICC)
- http://www.nytimes.com/topic/organization/international-criminal-court (Regularly updated feed of New York Times articles involving the ICC
- https://www.icc-cpi.int//Pages/item.aspx?name=pr1094 (ICC report on the non-cooperation between Sudan and the ICC on handing over Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir who was the President of the Republic of Sudan starting in 1993)
- http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/26/magazine/international-criminal-court-moreno-ocampo-the-prosecutor-and-the-president.html (Article on Kenya’s non-cooperation by attempting to stop the ICC investigative process of several government individuals with ties to the violence in Kenya after the 2007-2008 elections.)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Io_JyvytipU (Part of the trial of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo who was the first person convicted by the ICC for organizing numerous war crimes.)