Comment on the Deterrence Lecture Question: “To what extent is the deterrence of mass atrocities an attainable goal of the ICC?”
I think that Professor Fearon made many good and intriguing points during his lecture on the ICC and whether or not they were capable of deterring mass atrocities. I think the biggest problem he brought up, and the biggest problem that I have always seen with the ICC, is that they lack the needed enforcement to really do any deterrence. They can issue out warrants and talk about crimes committed by certain individuals, but they (as they are right now) will always have to rely on others to get things done. Without the ability to assert yourself with the use of force, you do not really intimidate anyone. Do I ever think the ICC will have this capability? No, most likely not. This means then, that the ICC really needs to change from how it exists today to something more effective or it just needs to be done away with. The deterrence of mass atrocities could be an attainable goal of the ICC if they had a way to enforce the laws they are trying to persecute violators with. Until then, they will continue to have low conviction rates, little relevance on the international scene, and little respect from states who think about violating international law and choose to do so because the ICC is unable to deter their actions.
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