Comment on the Politics Lecture Question: “To what extent should the ICC Office of the Prosecutor consider or engage in politics to advance international justice?”
The crux of this issue comes down to how we (citizens, academics, the international community) want the ICC to function. Should it be a political instrument used to pressure leaders? Should it be another tool in the world of international diplomacy? Or do we want an independent international court of law to promote justice, seek retribution, and eventually promote peace? Personally, I feel the court should pursue the second. We already have diplomatic means of pressuring leaders. We already pursue peace and justice through politicized bodies. If we allow the ICC to play politics rather than operate solely on principles of independence and jurisprudence, then its definition of peace and justice will inevitably grow politicized and more in line with the existing values of the international community. The ICC can only function if it can achieve the status of a universally-supported criminal court of law. This is predicated on two conditions. First, the court must demonstrate its commitment to a legal approach to justice that will not be swayed by any political demands. Two, it must demonstrate to the world that it serves a useful legal and moral purpose in the pursuit of justice. Thus, it is imperative that the ICC refrain completely from participation in politics, lest it grow resigned to be no more than another diplomatic tool of the international community.
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