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Youthink! Teacher Module: What Happens to War Criminals?

Overview and Objectives: Students are given an introduction to the International Criminal Court (ICC)

Related Issue: Conflict

Level: Higher Education (18+ yrs)

Subject: Government and Citizenship

Learning Activity: Reading

Skill Builder: Conflict Resolution

International Criminal Court (ICC) website

Genocide, War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity

Step 1:
Ask students to explore the ICC website and to define the terms above and to answer the questions below:

What is the ICC?
The ICC is a court of law that prosecutes individuals accused of the most serious crimes, namely genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The court has a permanent seat in the Haag, Netherlands. Up until its establishment, no permanent court for the prosecution of war criminals existed. The international community set up temporary courts as the need arose. The most notable among these temporary courts which can be seen as predecessors to the ICC are: the Nuremberg and Tokyo Military Tribunals, the International Court for Yugoslavia, and the International Court for Rwanda. Prior to their establishment, perpetrators of the most serious crimes enjoyed for the most part total impunity.

Why was the court established?
The court was established to end impunity and to act as a deterrent against the commission of future crimes.

When was the court established?
The court was established in 2002 when 60 states signed an agreement known as the Rome Statute.

Who established the court?
The international community as expressed through the 110 countries who are currently signatories of the statute.

What situations and cases is the court currently reviewing?
As of August 2012, he court is currently reviewing the situations in:

  • Uganda: The Prosecutor v. Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo, and Dominic Ongwen
  • The Democratic Republic of Congo: The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda, The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mattieu Ngudjolo Chui, The Prosecutor v. Callixte Mbarushimana, The Prosecutor v. Sylvestre Mudacumura
  • Darfur, Sudan: The Prosecutor v. Ahmad Muhammad Haran and Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman, The Prosecutor v. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir, The Prosecutor v. Bahr Idriss Abu Garda, The Prosecutor v. Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus, and The Prosecutor v. Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein
  • The Central African Republic: The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo
  • The Republic of Kenya: The Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang, The Prosecutor v. Francis Kirimi Muthaura and Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta)
  • Libya: Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Senussi
  • Côte d’Ivoire: The Prosecutor v. Laurent Gbagbo

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