I want to focus on a fundamental problem—specifically, the intersection of the court’s limited jurisdictional reach with the unevenness of the political terrain on which it carries out it judicial mission. By unevenness I mean the reality that the leaders of more powerful states and those they protect elsewhere are so much less vulnerable to ICC prosecutions than the leaders of smaller, weaker states. In other words, the Court’s writ does not apply equally to all. Unfortunately, the ICC has yet to realize the potential to minimize unevenness in accountability and this is a problem. Court critics use that failing to condemn it harshly and, I believe, unfairly. I think the roots of this failure need to be clearly understood in order to change it.
ICC, international criminal court, jurisdiction, accountability, unevenness