Kinsman: Was the first decade of the ICC a more just one?

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April 16, 2012

Selectively, and gradually, yes, for citizens from defeated states. But it looks too much like victor’s justice. The US hold-out obsession with ensuring its own citizens stay exempt from the Court’s jurisdiction and even reticence to cooperate with the court on evidence-finding has hobbled effectiveness in the inaugural decade, as well as tarnishing the whole principle of universal justice. (See Ignatieff on this in the New York Review, April 5.) The ICC itself was too wrapped up in securing judges’ emoluments for too long, at the expense of vigorous prosecution of crimes. But the ICC is at last no longer an experiment. Justice does have some traction if only the politics can be kept at bay. Let’s hope Obama’s second term ends US hypocrisy on this and brings them in.