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March 2010: The ICC and Darfur

Introduction to the Month's Focal Piece Editor's introduction: ICC and DARFUR

Article under review: “The ICC's Blunder on Sudan” by Nesrine Malik. The Guardian. February 4, 2010.

~ The Editors

Richard BurchillCan the ICC Ever Get it Right?
by Richard Burchill

"The difficulty lies in expectations about justice and about the use of international law to pursue justice. If the Prosecutor publicly stated that he felt it would be counter-productive to take action regarding accusations of genocide in Sudan, his office would be criticized. Whether the Prosecutor does or does not take action, there is criticism. So, can the ICC ever get it right? The quick answer is, probably not."

Anthony ChaseConfronting the Politics and Law Behind Battles Over the ICC’s Bashir Indictment
by Anthony Chase

"Now is precisely the wrong time to become glib about the war crimes charges facing Bashir (…) Keeping that government and its crimes the target is essential to a political-legal strategy to contain the sort of violence Sudan has unleashed in the past, and threatens to unleash in the future. If efforts to create the ICC are to mean anything, now is its time to play that role."

Kurt MillsBashir and the ICC
by Kurt Mills

"Should the ICC Prosecutor take all of these things into account? What would happen if we expected domestic prosecutors to take political issues into account when they decided whether or not to charge somebody with a particular crime? No judicial mechanism is—or can be—perfect, but asking a prosecutor to take such considerations into account would immeasurably harm such processes, including those of the ICC."


Anna TalbotPolitics and the Law: Enforcing Judicial Integrity
by Anna Talbot

“To import political considerations into the application of the law would undermine the very fabric of the Rule of Law. This legal principle, which forms the basis of modern law, requires laws to be applied to all equally. The head of state is as bound by the law as any other citizen, regardless of what stage of the electoral process he or she is in. The law must be, and must be seen to be, independent of power dynamics within a community."

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