Comment on the Arrest Lecture Question: “What steps can and should the ICC take to secure the arrest and surrender of indictees?”
Securing the arrest and surrender of indictees, and the enforcement of its warrants seem to be a recurrent obstacle in the workings of the ICC. Different ideas have been advanced to remedy this situation, however, most require some major changes in the structure of the institution, and therefore are met with criticism or opposition. An international police force is often thought of as unlikely, inadvisable, or simply impractical. Specialized task forces in existing international police forces may be a possible alternative once the questions of funding, provenance, and structure are resolved. Questions of jurisdiction and sovereignty may remain issues however.
Short of establishing a diplomatic and police branch to the ICC, the court and the international community can use a combination of pressures, incentives, and possibly sanctions to remind state parties of their responsibilities and jurisdiction in the arrest of wanted war criminals. The State Parties, the Security Council, the United Nations and other multilateral organizations could all play a part in making it in a government’s best interest to comply and enforce ICC arrest warrants and surrender indictees.
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