Comment on the Deterrence Lecture Question: “To what extent is the deterrence of mass atrocities an attainable goal of the ICC?”
Deterrence or Peace? I’d argue that with an overarching intent to promote peace, the ICC would inherently consider the deterrence of mass atrocities as under their jurisdiction as well. Within the lens and scope of the ICC, I believe deterrence would happen through verbal conviction and threat, rather than physical persuasion or perhaps monetary incitement. Whether or not the Court is truly able to deter mass atrocities is an entirely different question. My stance on the matter founds its basis on the reality that the ICC has been severely unable to fully bring to court and prosecute many of the individuals which it has convicted. Its history is not one of successfully bringing to justice many of those who commit crimes against humanities. This said, I imagine the threats of the ICC hold little validity, which leads me to assume that an attempt to deter mass atrocities through a system of threatening corrupt national leaders would sadly fall flat. I wonder then if there are any other ways in which the ICC could positively affect the deterrence of mass atrocities, though with no military or monetary jurisdiction, I am unable to brainstorm any other effective methods. I’d argue that if the ICC was able to, say within the next 5-10 years, bolster the credibility of its courts and prosecution, then perhaps they would be able to play a much more powerful role in the deterrence of mass atrocities.
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