The Modus Operandi of the International Criminal Court System: An Impartial or a Selective Justice Regime?

In: International Criminal Law Review
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  • 1 Legal Consultant, C.J.N. Ezennia & Co. (Legal Practitioners and Consultants), Abuja, Nigeria,

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The International Criminal Court (icc) is a global court created to administer independent and impartial international criminal justice. It, therefore, has jurisdiction over all persons who have committed ‘the most important crimes of international concern’, including genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. The court’s principal mission is to ensure the punishment of these crimes and the eradication of the impunity of their perpetrators in all parts of the world. However, the icc’s current justice administration system appears so selective and subject to external influence and manipulation as to defeat the global, independent, and impartial justice goal that the court is created to accomplish. This article examines this selectivity under the following sub-headings: geographic selectivity, situation selectivity, identity selectivity, and thematic selectivity. The article further explores some of the consequences of this selective justice regime and suggests some reforms in the system.

  • 31

    Bikundo, supra note 30 at pp. 27–28.

  • 32

     See Murithi, supra note 30 at p. 3.

  • 36

    Gondi, supra note 33 at p. 3. See alsoicep Sri Lanka, ‘Island of Impunity? Investigation into International Crimes in the Final Stages of the Sri Lankan Civil War: Confidential Embargo until 6 February 2014’, <>, 3 January 2016.

  • 54

    Murithi, supra note 30 at p. 5.

  • 57

    Du Plessis, supra note 11 at p. 2.

  • 59

    Wars in the World, supra note 43.

  • 60

    Bikundo, supra note 30 at pp. 9–10.

  • 66

    Guerreiro, supra note 1 at p. 36.

  • 71

    Phooko, supra note 11 at pp. 189–190.

  • 80

    Diana Johnstone, ‘Selective Justice for Failed States Only: Do We Really Need an International Criminal Court?’, Counter Punch, January 2007, pp. 27–29.

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  • 113

    Schabas, supra note 108 at p. 1108.

  • 126

    Johnstone, supra note 80.

  • 128

    Phooko, supra note 11 at p. 184. See also Michael Glennon, ‘The Blank-Prose Crime of Aggression’, 35 Yale j il (2010) 71 at p. 73.

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