Is some justice being done better than no justice at all?

the ICC, like any international mechanism intended to promote or protect human rights, faces the impossible task of acting morally in a political world rent by power inequalities, domination, and violence.

Thus, because it lacks a coercive capacity of its own, the ICC, in its quest for efficacy, must accommodate itself to political power, which it has done through two routes.

First, the ICC has prosecuted only Africans.  This decision has been a function of international power relations which make Africa the only region weak enough so that Western intervention and experimentation can take place there without accountability, and unimportant enough so that the West will allow the ICC to act as its sub-contractor there in place of more direct forms of intervention.

Second, the ICC has accommodated itself to political power within Africa—this is very clear in Uganda, where the ICC eagerly became an instrument of the Ugandan government’s counterinsurgency so as to ensure Uganda’s cooperation with its prosecution of the LRA.  In doing so the ICC also further proves its willingness to cooperate with US military interests in the region.

That is Adam Branch writing in African Arguments on what the ICC review conference cannot fix.

One thought on “Is some justice being done better than no justice at all?

  1. I think an overly rosy image of “in country” justice is taken for granted here. In essence, justice is always a force to accommodate the status quo, defending the powers that be. Just look at how the justice systems have managed only piecemeal effect on the war on terror in the US and the UK.
    The ICC is different as it creates some external standards, that are finding their way into the national systems and create a consensus of what kind of behavior is acceptable.