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The International Criminal Court: Justice Bound by Politics

Holly Knowles

The International Criminal Court has been described as ineffective, unaccountable, and dangerous. This article argues that these claims are refutable and used as a tool to mask political concern about the legal institution. Resistance from powerful States exacerbates barriers to prosecution posed by constraints on jurisdiction, resources, and enforcement capabilities. It concludes that if those States were to provide greater support, the court could far better achieve its aim of global justice.

In theory, the ICC holds perpetrators of the most egregious atrocities accountable for their crimes, provides justice to the victims, and deters future abuses. In practice, however, the court has been ineffective, unaccountable, and indeed, outright dangerous.


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