Five questions you may have asked about the ICC

2016-11-22 09:02
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The Hague - Maybe you have confused the International Criminal Court with the International Cricket Council. Or you thought the court was part of the United Nations. As the state party members meet this month, here are five questions you may have asked:

What is the ICC?

The International Criminal Court is an independent institution of 124 members at present. South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia recently announced their intention to withdraw, which will take effect after a year.

Once a year, the states come together in The Hague or New York as the Assembly of States Parties (ASP). They are bound to a treaty known as the Rome Statute. The ICC is a “last resort” court that has jurisdiction where crimes are committed by or against individuals of a member state. The headquarters of the ICC are in The Hague, Netherlands, which has a long-standing reputation as the city of peace and justice. The ICC prosecutes those responsible for crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes. It can only investigate crimes committed after its founding date in 2002.

How do cases come to the ICC?

There are three ways.

The first is for a member state to refer a case, with a very clear definition of a time frame and territory.

The second is when the ICC prosecutor decides of her own accord to launch a case after receiving information from non-government organisations or individuals. A pre-trial chamber authorises the investigation.

The third is if the United Nations Security Council refers a case. The council's permanent members are the United States, China, Russia, France, and the United Kingdom. They all have veto rights. Interestingly, only the France and the UK are member states. Some have accused the US, China, and Russia of having double standards for using the ICC, but not signing up as members. The position of these three nations is they do not want to give up some of their sovereignty (the authority to govern themselves).

What has been some of the criticism of the ICC? 

The ICC has often been accused of bias against Africa. Only one of 10 countries the ICC opened inquiries into are not in Africa. Other concerns include heads of state and senior government officials not enjoying immunity while in power.

Who funds the ICC?

The member states fund the ICC, based on a formula that considers a country's gross domestic product. Economic powerhouse Japan has been the biggest contributor for a while, whereas a country like Niger was too poor to give anything. Many countries are in arrears. While they could theoretically lose their voting rights for not being paid up, the ASP commonly waives voting restrictions.

Who is heading up the prosecution?

Member states appoint a chief prosecutor every nine years, for a single term. The current chief prosecutor is Gambian lawyer Fatou Bensouda. She took office in 2012. 

- ICC website

Read more on:    international criminal court  |  icc  |  the hague  |  human rights

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.