International Criminal Court

Since its inception in July 2002, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has become a dominant organization in international relations and the premiere tribunal for the prosecution of war crimes. Despite being founded only a decade ago, the ICC has already investigated and prosecuted atrocities in countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Libya, Sudan and Uganda. As the court's ongoing investigations progress, the resulting verdicts and effects on international relations will define the legitimacy and efficacy of the ICC. The establishment of the ICC by the UN is the final product of fifty years of work aimed at developing an international judicial body with the capability of adjudicating cases of genocide and crimes against humanity. The efforts to create such a body began in 1872 with Hustav Moynier, one of the founders of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), who proposed a permanent court to respond to the crimes committed during the Franco-Prussian War. The drafters of the Treaty of Versailles raised the idea again in 1919, when an ad hoc international court tried the Kaiser and German war criminals for the events of World War I. Finally, the concept became a reality when the Allies created the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals to try Axis war criminals in the aftermath of World War II. At each step, it became clear that there was a definite need for an international body of justice.


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