Mon. Sep 26th, 2022
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Only 44 people have been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is now investigating 45 cases out of thousands that may have been probed. Furthermore, just 14 of the 45 cases culminated in a full trial, with only nine people convicted. Scholars in the subject have yet to thoroughly examine why cases are brought before the ICC and how this procedure can lead to a complete hearing and verdict. Because of these flaws, empirically-based recommendations for the ICC’s areas of development are scarce.

To start filling in the gaps, this study employs a systematic examination of ICC cases to answer a crucial question: Under what circumstances is the ICC most likely to succeed in obtaining confirmation of accusations, when the Prosecutor’s efforts result in a trial? This, I believe, stems from state prejudices, cooperation, and internal politics. This idea appears to be supported by case studies from Uganda, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Mali.

Following the ratification of the Rome Statute in July 2002, the International Criminal Court (ICC) was founded. The ICC’s purpose was to create a permanent, independent court to investigate and prosecute those who violate international law and human rights to the greatest extent possible. Only 44 people have been indicted, with 45 cases pending before the ICC, out of thousands of situations and prospective cases that could have been examined by the ICC and brought to trial. Furthermore, just 14 of the 45 cases culminated in a full trial, with only nine people convicted.

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Scholars in the subject have yet to thoroughly examine why cases are brought before the ICC and how this procedure can lead to a complete hearing and verdict. Because of these flaws, empirically-based proposals for areas of development and ways to overcome ICC issues are scarce. To start filling in the gaps, this study employs a systematic examination of dozens of ICC cases to answer a crucial question: Under what circumstances is the ICC more likely to succeed in obtaining confirmation of accusations, when the Prosecutor’s efforts result in a trial?

This research has multiple benefits, and it is critical to the area since the ICC sets precedents for international law, norms, and regimes. This study looks into the internal mechanics of the cases being investigated in order to understand the differences in how cases are pursued and the outcomes. To answer the research topic, I compiled a database of cases using a variety of primary and secondary sources, including the ICC Case Fact Sheets. I investigated each case from official ICC Situations and examined the various circumstances that could have influenced the outcome. I was also able to identify other intervening variables as a result of this.

I was able to identify similarities within the cases by establishing a database, which may assist explain under what conditions the ICC is able to get Confirmation of Charges and bring cases forward to trial. The views of the implicated state on the ICC’s legitimacy, I hypothesized, had the biggest impact on the outcome.

This theory was proven during my investigation and analysis. While there is a link between perceptions of legitimacy and the ICC’s ability to prosecute, it is unclear whether this is a direct causal relationship. More research on more cases may be able to demonstrate a possible direct causal association. Furthermore, there is a causal relationship between state cooperation and the ICC’s ability to hold a Confirmation of Charges Hearing. It’s also unclear whether this is a direct cause-and-effect relationship. Domestic politics was more likely an intervening component than a direct causal mechanism in determining whether the state would cooperate or refer the case to the ICC.

Another intervening variable, state capacity, was also mentioned. A state will not comply with ICC requests to capture and extradite accused persons if it has the competence to do so. When there is a lack of protection and secure borders, this lack of capacity is typically apparent. Those attempting to avoid prosecution are most likely taking advantage of the instability and uncertainty to “hide out.”

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Theoretically The International Criminal Court

In the present research, there are some tentative theories for what conditions could explain the outcomes of the cases prosecuted by the ICC. Some researchers believe that the ICC’s institutional structures influence how it prosecutes crimes. Others believe that states’ opinions on the ICC’s legitimacy, as well as the interests of powerful governments, have a factor in the case’s result. However, I believe it is the result of a combination of variables, such as state prejudices, state collaboration, and domestic politics. In this paper, I address the competing explanations in the context of the ICC, as well as how I use these theories in my research.

Some academics feel the ICC’s ability to prosecute is hampered by institutional mechanisms. The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) weak institutional powers, such as the lack of an enforcement mechanism, limit its ability to pursue crimes. When arrest orders cannot be enforced and states refuse to comply with the ICC, it is difficult to prosecute. The ICC’s inability to compel these states to comply further demonstrates its limitations. It is easier for the ICC to investigate and get Confirmation of Charges if the governments freely participate. My evidence supports this, as institutional mechanisms would limit the ICC’s capacity to get a Confirmation of Charges Hearing.

The ICC’s website and archives were the key data sources for cases, with Case Fact and Report Sheets for each case. Because my focus was on the method rather than any subjective interpretation of facts or outcomes of specific cases, the data I acquired from various sources is factual and unbiased. However, the ICC did not provide all of the material I need to determine the cases’ various characteristics.

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Future Research Directions

During the data collection stage, there were few issues. However, some material may be unavailable to the public, and some circumstances, such as who initiated the proceedings or whether other states exerted pressure, may be unclear. Multiple external variables, such as the ability of local or regional courts to prosecute and the ICC’s absence of an enforcement mechanism, make data collecting and analysis problematic. It was difficult to pinpoint specific causation factors in all of the cases. In the aggregation of cases, intervening and antecedent variables were present. With more cases and possibly more information, a stronger causal relationship or additional intervening, antecedent, or causal factors could be discovered in the future.

This study broadened the discipline by filling in information gaps. I was able to do a thorough analysis of ICC cases to understand how these many variables affect the ICC’s ability to prosecute. Further study would enable me to examine further ICC cases and continue this investigation. As can be seen from my analysis, the ICC has a lot of room for improvement. For example, the International Criminal Court (ICC) needs to modify its prosecution strategy so that it is not only focused on African states and that every case it brings is treated fairly and impartially. This will help states alter their minds about the ICC.

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