Ocampo at ICC - 9 years, 0 convictions

12 October 2011 by Bram Posthumus

Time is nearly up for the world’s first ever Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Human Rights Watch has published a report about his period in office, entitled “Unfinished Business”. International Justice Tribune talked with its author, Liz Evenson.

A cursory glance at the internet reveals all manner of labels attached to the ICC and its most visible official, Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo. At one end it is an “arm of Western imperialism”, at the other nothing more than a “paper tiger”. Criticism has been particularly virulent against the perceived bias of the ICC: why have, so far at least, all the defendants come from Africa?

Diverse role

The Chief Prosecutor and his team not only bring investigations and prosecutions and decide which countries to investigate. They must also protect victims and witnesses and above all seek the truth. That is: look for evidence that incriminates an individual – but also evidence that exonerates an individual, in the interest of a fair trial.’

There is one extra, intermediate step, known as the ‘confirmation of charges hearing’. Here, the ICC judges will hear the evidence and then decide to let a case go ahead or throw it out.

The Face of the ICC

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