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UN diplomatic conference for the establishment of an international criminal court, Rome 1998 (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
16 July 2018 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

The past few weeks have not been good for the public image of the International Criminal Court. After the much discussed and dissected acquittal of Congolese politician Jean Pierre Bemba the court has been embroiled in internal conflict.

At a time when the court is celebrating 20 years of its founding Rome Statute, the office of the prosecutor seems determined to be on a collision course with the judges over the Bemba acquittal, even though the appeals chambers verdict is final and without appeal. The prosecutor, even after the appeals chamber verdict, stressed she had a strong case against Bemba and that the judges departed from the usual standard of review on appeal.

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Former ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo at the confirmation of charges hearing for Jean Pierre Bemba in 2009 (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
18 June 2018 by Janet H. Anderson, The Hague (The Netherlands)

These last weeks have been all about the unexpected acquittal of former Congolese vice president Jean Pierre Bemba Gombo at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on war crimes charges. Or rather: it’s been about the many reactions and interpretations of this decision on a narrow 3-2 majority by the appeals chamber.

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In 2012 ICC judges in the case against Germaine Katanga visited Ituri in eastern Congo (Photo: Flicker/ICC-CPI)
29 March 2018 by Benjamin Duerr, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) have decided not to hold “in situ“ hearings in Eastern Congo where much of the court’s attention for the past fifteen years has been focused. As violence in the region is increasing, questions arise as to what impact the court has had and whether it will ever be able to hold hearings closer to the victims.

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Visitors must cross a moat before entering the International Criminal Court's new permanent premises (Photo: Tjitske Lingsma)
05 March 2018 by Benjamin Duerr, The Hague (The Netherlands)
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ICC Trial Chamber III declares Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
18 February 2018 by Janet H. Anderson, The Hague (The Netherlands)

“The first one slept with me, and he ejaculated in me. Then the second one came to do the same thing. He ejaculated in me. And finally the third one did the same thing as the two earlier ones had done.”

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Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte shows a copy of a diagram showing the connection of high level drug syndicates (Photo: Flickr/KING RODRIGUEZ/Presidential Photographers Division)
09 February 2018 by Stephanie van den Berg

The International Criminal Court (ICC) took another step this week away from its much-criticized Africa focus that could take the court beyond armed conflict situations and into the tactics used in peacetime by state security forces and police against alleged drug gangs and attacks on dissidents when it announced it was opening preliminary examinations in the Philippines and Venezuela.

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Nearly 300 000 have fled Burundi since the election-related violence of April 2015 to refugee camps in Tanzania (Photo: Flickr/EU/ECHO/Anouk Delafortrie)
23 October 2017 by Benjamin Duerr, The Hague (The Netherlands)

As Burundi becomes the first country to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) this week, the withdrawal is a test case for the commitment of the international community to global justice. Will there be consequences for the country?

The first ever member state is about to leave the ICC silently. About a year ago the Burundian government decided to withdraw from the Rome Statute, the ICC's founding treaty. It notified the United Nations, where the treaty is deposited, and now, one year later on 27 October, the withdrawal comes into effect.

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Families of disappeared persons, murder victims and victims of human rights abuses during a visit of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to Coahuila Mexico in September 2015 (Photo: Flickr/Ginnette Riquelme/CIDH)
26 September 2017 by Janet H. Anderson, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Every few weeks it seems one NGO or another is lobbying to get its issue onto the agenda of the ICC’s prosecutor. It’s a tribute to the way that the International Criminal Court has come to be seen as an avenue for justice. But it also means that there’s a lot of noise, without necessarily much action. 

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ICC premises (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
12 September 2017 by Tjitske Lingsma, The Hague (The Netherlands)

Several African governments complain that the ICC has been targeting Africans. But national authorities are by no means powerless when it comes to the court. Here are fifteen – successful - strategies that governments and allies have been using to keep the ICC off their backs.

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Preparations for the burial of Srebrenica victims at the Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial and Cemetery for the Victims of the 1995 Genocide in 2010 (Photo: Stephanie van den Berg)
28 June 2017 by Stephanie van den Berg, The Hague (The Netherlands)

The Srebrenica massacre always seems to boil down to numbers when it gets to court. I have sat through many hours of discussions about the actual number of victims, whether that number was large enough to constitute a genocide, the precise times to pinpoint who knew what and when at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and later in the genocide case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

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