The Challenges to the International Criminal Court

In response to the announcement by Burundi, the Gambia and South Africa of their intention to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, Radio Canada published a feature on the current situation and the challenges facing the Court. Dr. Aaron Matta, Senior Researcher at The Hague Institute, outlined the obstacles to the Court, such as the campaign against it by several African countries and the difficulty with opening an investigation in Syria.

The investigations into sitting heads of state in Kenya and Sudan engendered anti-ICC sentiment and spurred active bias campaigns by African states against the Court. Dr. Matta reiterated that despite the widespread calls for an investigation into alleged war crimes, the Court cannot act because Syria is not a State Party to the Rome Statute. Additionally, the situation in Syria has not been referred to the ICC by the UN Security Council due to Russia and China’s vetoes.

“A number of obstacles, originating outside the Court, render it incapable of acting in Syria.”

– Dr. Aaron Matta

Read the full article [in French] here.

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