Financing the International Criminal Court

in International Criminal Law Review
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In its first ten years, the International Criminal Court (ICC) cost approximately EUR 750 million. For this investment, it has conducted investigations in seven situations and commenced proceedings against 29 persons. However, it has only completed one trial and has yet to achieve significant impact in, arguably its most important function, promoting complementarity. With another eight situations under preliminary examination, its workload and budget requests are expected to increase. Some states are questioning its value for money and looking to restrict its expenditure. This paper examines the realities and challenges of financing the ICC. Firstly, it identifies emerging negative attitudes towards the cost of international criminal justice. Secondly, it describes ICC budgetary practice between 2002 and 2012. Thirdly, it considers the principle factors that should drive the ICC’s workload and therefore its budget. Finally, it examines proposals to cut costs and their potential impact on the ICC’s work.

Financing the International Criminal Court

in International Criminal Law Review



  • 2)

    Rome Statute (1998) 2187 U.N.T.S. 90.

  • 7)

    Ingadottir ibid. pp. 276 and 283.

  • 22)

    In 2008Amnesty International stated that the International Judges and Prosecutors Programme in Kosovo “has largely failed for a variety of reasons including flaws in its conception and execution limited resources and the low priority that international justice has been given in comparison to other UNMIK goals”. See Kosovo (Serbia): The challenge to fix a failed UN justice system (EUR 70/001/2008). The Special Panels for Serious Crimes in East Timor suffered from a serious lack of funding and cooperation and were suspended in 2005 with more than 500 cases outstanding. See David Cohen ‘Seeking justice on the cheap: Is the East Timor Tribunal Really a Model for the Future?’ 80 Asia Pacific Issues (August 2002). See also David Cohen ‘Indifference and accountability the United Nations and the Politics of International Justice in East Timor’ 9 East West Centre Special Reports (June 2006).

  • 66)

    Wierda and Triolosupra note 14 p.140.


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