The Duck of Minerva

The Accused

16 May 2009

The latest Human Rights and Human Welfare roundtable is online at University of Denver’s Korbel School website. This month, I and several other human rights scholars debate the value of Julie Flint and Alex de Waal’s recent article condemning the International Criminal Court and, in particular, its Chief Prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo.

My two cents:

“Let us assume that Moreno-Ocampo erred, as has been ably described, in failing to launch a full-scale investigation of the atrocities in Darfur. But why single out Darfur as uniquely deserving such an investigation?…

Let us assume that the indictment of President Omar Bashir and Joseph Kony by the court are, as Flint and de Waal say, toothless acts that only undermine peace processes on the continent. At worst, are the authors not accusing the ICC simply of upholding its mandate to prosecute the law?…

Let us assume that Flint and de Waal have accurately depicted the Chief Prosecutor of the ICC as a hopelessly abrasive, procedurally obtuse, and personally corrupt individual whose behavior has undermined morale at the ICC. Must it therefore follow that his conduct has damaged the ICC’s legitimacy beyond repair?

I doubt it, and explain why here.