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International Criminal Court celebrates its 20th anniversary

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The Associated Press

Associated Press

Mike Coder

FILE - The exterior view of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, March 31, 2021. International Criminal Court judges have issued arrest warrants for three men wanted on suspicion of committing war crimes during the 2008 Russo-Georgian War, the court announced Thursday, June 30, 2022. The Hague-based court opened an investigation into the conflict, which killed hundreds and left thousands of civilians displaced, in 2016.
File-International Criminal Court in The Hague, The Netherlands Court, March 31, 2021. Judges of the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants to three wanted men on suspicion of committing war crimes during the 2008 Russia-Georgia War, the court announced on Thursday, June 30, 2022. Did. .. A Hague-based court has begun investigating a dispute that killed hundreds and expelled thousands of civilians in 2016. Photo: Peter Dejong/AP Communications

The Hague, The Netherlands (AP) —The International Criminal Court Prosecutors celebrated their 20th anniversary on Friday as they investigated war crimes in countries around the world. pert called the "makeup or break" survey in Ukraine.

The court, which has long been criticized for failing to prosecute senior leaders in Kenya and Côte d'Ivoire, now only tackling crimes in Africa, is now from Afghanistan to Ukraine. We are conducting surveys in 17 countries. The majority of cases are in Africa.

David Crane, the founding prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, who convicted former Liberia President Charles Taylor and others as war criminals, criticized the Hague-based ICC for its activities. Nevertheless, he said it was an important legal body. ..

"The ICC is the cornerstone of dealing with atrocities at the international level," Crane told The Associated Press. "With the Russian Federation's attack on Ukraine, the ICC must take the lead in holding President Vladimirputin accountable. This is the ICC moment. They must do this right."

The court has ruled three convictions of war crimes and obstructed justice in the 20 years since the founding treaty Roman law came into effect on July 1, 2002. I have only registered 5 times. Taking the suspect to The Hague from the beginning, without its own police force and without relying on state authorities to carry out the arrest, could remain a serious obstacle to achieving justice. There is sex.

And that justice is not cheap. The 2022 court budget is approximately € 155 million ($ 161 million) and has spent more than € 2.2 billion ($ 2.3 billion) over its 20-year lifespan.

A total of 123 countries are members of the court and accept their jurisdiction, but not the world powers of the United States, Russia and China. This means that if an investigation by Prosecutor Karim Ahmad in Ukraine leads to prosecution of Russian suspects, Moscow is unlikely to make them actively available for trial in The Hague.

Friday's anniversary should be a moment to "look back and refresh the process of international justice," Khan said.

"I am convinced that if we work collectively, international justice can accelerate, move forward and have the necessary impact," he added.

In a statement commemorating the anniversary, the European Union emphasized the achievements of the ICC and called on countries that have not yet participated to do so.

"The groundbreaking decision contributed to the fight against impunity and the development of international criminal law, such as sexual and gender-based crime, the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict, For example, the destruction of cultural properties, "said the EU.

Cranes only file proceedings if the local government cannot or does not act, the court admitted that "sometimes stumbled and the reputation for feasibility was mixed."

Nonetheless, "ICC is a valuable international effort that must be supported. Frankly, it cannot fail," he said. "What the ICC does at work in Ukraine is a moment of success or failure."


AP coverage of the Ukrainian War

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