Comment on the Peace Lecture Question: “To what extent can the ICC advance peace around the world?”
I think that the rule of law is the greatest deterrence of crime in the world. As a consequence, the extent to which the ICC is able to advance peace is linked to its capability of complying with its mandate: To hold accountable and bring to justice individuals responsible for the worst crimes, namely genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. However, we have to bear in mind that if the ICC conducts investigations during or in the aftermath of a conflict, its actions could be a potential obstacle to immediate peace (for example, in cases where crime perpetrators are the ones signing a peace treaty). In that situation, I think the ICC should weigh if the benefits of peace (and the benefits of following its mandate) will outweigh the harm done to the cause of accountability. It is not an easy answer.
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