Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen (Denmark)
In today’s world we are constantly bombarded with news of wars and conflict taking place across the globe. Against this backdrop, the International Criminal Court (ICC) remains the only permanent international court with the mandate to try alleged perpetrators of the most heinous international atrocity crimes (i.e. genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression). However, during its 20-year existence, it has been mired by a series of crises. These have emanated due to criticism that the Court is biased, out of touch with affected communities and delivering distant justice with limited resonance in the atrocity crime affected states. The demands placed on the Court are extensive. However, it is important to realise that the Court has its limitations. Moreover, each situation and country it works with is different to the next. Given the recent virulent attacks by some predicting the death of the ICC, the question arises as to how the Court can address criticism and ensure its continued existence? The proposed paper argues that the Court should engage in a stocktaking exercise. It suggests that it should cement its relevance and maintain its legitimacy in the eyes of atrocity crime affected populations. In order to do so, it must empirically assess its domestic impact in the international atrocity crime affected states. For the Court, such an endeavour would act both as a stocktaking exercise and an opportunity for growth.
Aloka Wanigasuriya is a PhD Fellow at the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen (Denmark). Aloka’s PhD project explores the impact of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) interventions in international atrocity crime affected states. Aloka is an Australian lawyer who holds a Master of Laws (LLM) degree in international human rights law from Lund University (Sweden) and a conjoint Bachelor of Arts (BA)/Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from Deakin University (Australia). Aloka has previously been affiliated with the Special Court for Sierra Leone, The Danish Institute for Human Rights and The Raoul Wallenberg Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. Aloka’s main research interests lie in the fields of international criminal law, public international law and international human rights law.