2016 set to be the International Criminal Court’s most challenging and decisive year yet

17 December 2015 by Benjamin Duerr, The Hague (The Netherlands)

In the face of financial and geopolitical realities and with several major judicial developments and administrative reforms coming up, 2016 could be a decisive year for the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The ICC presents its annual report to Assembly of States Parties in November 2015 (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
Image caption: 
The ICC presents its annual report to Assembly of States Parties in November 2015 (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)

Last month at the Assembly of States Parties, ICC members agreed on the court’s budget for next year. Set to increase by 7.1 percent, it is significantly lower than the court’s requested 17 percent and could thus render the ICC incapable of handling all the cases it wants to in 2016. Insufficient resources would, for example, hinder the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) from conducting necessary investigations in Libya [IJT-181], prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told the Security Council.

One reason for states’ unwillingness to raise their contribution is the current state of world economics, observers say. “The demand of governments in the context of global economic austerity – that the ICC do more and more with less and less – could be disastrous,” warns William R. Pace, convenor of the NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC).

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