Comment on the Deterrence Lecture Question: “To what extent is the deterrence of mass atrocities an attainable goal of the ICC?”
Years from now, deterrence may be an attainable goal for the ICC, but as of current, the ICC lacks the authority to be an effective source of deterrence. Looking at the data over the past decade, the ICC has made one, only one, conviction, and eleven outstanding arrest warrants. The ICC has no authority or power to bring those charged to the Hague to be tried. Additionally, all of those investigated by the ICC deserve to be imprisoned for their actions, however, in four cases (nearly 20% of cases) the charges were dismissed. Someone with the power to commit mass atrocities will be little concerned with an agency which, in ten years, has only made one conviction. The likelihood that that an arrest warrant will be issued for them, let alone served or them being brought to the Hague, is so infinitesmal that it would not be a deterring factor for the vast majority of these criminals. However, if the ICC were to have a method to enter a country and carry out their arrest warrants it may gain credibility as a force to be reckoned with and may be able to become a deterring factor.
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