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The Human Law : The Crimes Of The African Criminal Court

Decent Essays
States’ interest in crimes against humanity and bringing justice for these crimes has increased significantly over the years. Primarily beginning with controversy over African slave trade, and then being brought to the world’s attention again and again over time through events such as the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, and the Nanking Massacre, crimes against humanity have continued to show themselves present. Because these crimes became international law through custom first, the Rome Statute was created as a formal law against these violations of human rights. This created the International Criminal Court (Frieden, Lake, & Schultz 2016, 462). The International Criminal Court (ICC) was created in 1998 with 122 states accepting its…show more content…
So, what kinds of cases fall into the category of “crimes against humanity”? The court’s first verdict was in March of 2012, was to sentence a militia leader of the Democratic Republic of Congo of 14 years in prison, for the use of children in the country’s conflict. Another example is the case against Ivory Coast’s former president, who was accused of rape, murder, persecution, and other “inhuman acts”. One last example is a charge of “crimes against humanity” against the president of Kenya, for being involved in a case of ethnic violence in which 1,200 people died (BBC, 2015). These are the types of events that the ICC wants to avoid, by prosecuting the individuals involved, and bringing them to justice. Although the ICC seems to have the best of intentions, it is highly controversial among various states, especially the United States, which has been greatly opposed to the ICC. Many critics have noticed that most cases brought to the ICC are based in Africa, while human rights are still being violated in other parts of the world as well. They believe that the ICC is either being deliberately racist, or giving preference to the cases in regions where major states do not have as many interests. They are concerned that the ICC is becoming less and less of a last resort (Frieden, Lake & Schultz 2016, 526). Although the U.S. signed the ICC treaty under Bill Clinton’s presidency, Bush “unsigned” it immediately
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