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?”
I think the ICC should engage in politics to some extent. It shouldn't turn into just a political institution but I think in order to promote its goals it is necessary to some degree to play the political game. For instance, here in the US, there was the civil rights movement, and ultimately part of that was the passing of new laws by congress to promote the civil rights cause. There was the desegregation of public places, education, and more. Then there were also decisions made in the supreme court which supported the civil rights movement as well. Now, I'm not a legal historian so this may just be blatantly wrong, but I think that the Supreme courts decisions which supported civil rights have had a positive role in coming closer to equal treatment in the US. If the supreme court had remained neutral and only aimed for justice instead of also playing politics, then they may have had a lesser, possibly even negative effect on the civil rights movement. Similarly, I think if the ICC chooses to abstain from politics then it will miss its chance to promote the most good and may end up slowing or even negatively impacting positive changes.
Second, I don't think it's justifiable for the court to do something which may be clearly against obtaining peace. So to avoid this it will need to at least make political considerations even if it doesn't play politics as was mentioned in the lecture. For example, suppose that the court wants to prosecute the head of a country, and the most obvious successor would be much worse than the current head and would likely cause all kinds of violence or ruin to the citizens of that country. In this case, I think that justice would call for finding some sort of solution to the problem of the successor and not just calling to trial those who have already commited crimes. I think the court should promote peace and so in cases like this, it should play politics. Admittedly, there will rarely be a time when bringing the criminal to trial is obviously bad for the country, but this examples illustrates the types of political considerations which may need to be made.
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