Lesson Series 46: The International Criminal Court

The Issue

The International Criminal Court is considered to be the most significant development in international relations after the creation of the United Nations. This is because it is the first permanent court with the authority to try perpetrators of grave crimes, no matter their official status. In this way, the Court is an attempt to end impunity for perpetrators and to genuinely provide justice to the affected victims and communities.

The last century has seen horrific crimes occurring in many different countries of the world. Very few of the perpetrators of these crimes have been criminally prosecuted. This serves to encourage the perpetrators, while demoralizing the victims. Furthermore, in the few instances where persons have been prosecuted, political elements have been present in their trials. With the establishment of an international court however, future such trials will be judicial in nature, excluding any political elements.

The Lessons

This lesson series is an introduction to the International Criminal Court, focusing on its key and distinctive characteristics; it is not an exhaustive narrative.

Lesson 1: Overview of the International Criminal Court and its unique characteristics

Lesson 2: Outline of the Court’s provisions for victims and witnesses

Lesson 3: Importance of the Court for Asia and some challenges