ARTICLE: CREATING A PERMANENT INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: THE OBSTACLES TO INDEPENDENCE AND EFFECTIVENESS * Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 1998 Columbia Human Rights Law Review 
Columbia Human Rights Law Review

ARTICLE: CREATING A PERMANENT INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: THE OBSTACLES TO INDEPENDENCE AND EFFECTIVENESS *



* This Article reflects developments through the inter-sessional meeting held in Zutphen (The Netherlands), from January 19-30, 1998, by members of the Preparatory Committee's Bureau, the chairs of the different working groups, coordinators, and members of the U.N. Secretariat.

Spring, 1998

29 Colum. Human Rights L. Rev. 291

Author

by Jelena Pejic **

Excerpt

Introduction

After several years of negotiations, the international community is entering the final stages of work on the establishment of a permanent International Criminal Court (ICC). A diplomatic conference will be held in Rome in June 1998 to finalize the text of the ICC Statute and adopt a treaty establishing the ICC. While currently no states oppose the creation of the court, the efficacy and independence of the ICC are principal underlying issues of the treaty-making process. The outcome will hinge more on the political readiness of states to establish a credible international judicial body than on the legal technicalities involved. This Article focuses on the unresolved political and legal problems surrounding the ICC.

I. Why an ICC is Needed

Fortunately, the reasons underlying the ICC's creation do not fall into the category of contentious issues. It is by now well known that in the fifty years since the Nuremberg trials, most perpetrators of human rights and humanitarian law violations have not been held accountable either by national or international bodies. There is an awareness that the time has come to create a permanent court before which such individuals could be brought to justice. It is recognized that human rights and the protections guaranteed under international humanitarian law will not be translated into practice unless potential offenders realize that a price for violations must be paid. Impunity not only encourages the recurrence of abuses against human dignity, but also strips human rights and humanitarian law of their deterrent effect.

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