Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Who's Afraid of the International Criminal Court? Read David Kaye in Foreign Affairs

A very thoughtful and reasonable discussion of the International Criminal Court, as it prepares to choose its second prosecutor, appears in the current issue of Foreign Affairs. Its author is David Kaye, who is executive director of the human rights law programme at the University of California at Los Angeles. Unfortunately, I cannot legally provide the entire text of the article. But it can be purchased on line, and the magazine is available on most newsstands.
Kaye reports on the progress of the Court and its shortcomings. His analysis is balanced and realistic. The International Criminal Court is not an institution that takes criticism easily. This is especially true of its Office of the Prosecutor. The Court has always had a tendency to circle the wagons and dismiss criticism, encouraged in this by rather slavish NGOs. Kaye constructively looks forward in an essentially positive manner.
In his conclusions he discusses the future Prosecutor of the Court. He takes a look at the previous prosecutors of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Then, speaking of the current Prosecutor, he says: 'Moreno-Ocampo is more Del Ponte than Arbour, and the ICC needs an Arbour.'
It is almost as if a trial balloon is being floated to promote Louise Arbour's candidacy. Does David Kaye know something that we don't know?
Louise Arbour. Is she a candidate for Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court?
Back in 2002, Louise Arbour's name circulated when the first ICC Prosecutor was being selected. At the time she was a Justice on the Supreme Court of Canada, a distinguished position for a Canadian jurist but perhaps a bit of an anti-climax after three years as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Shortly afterwards, she also resisted attempts to recruit her as High Commissioner for Human Rights. Then she changed her mind and resigned from the Supreme Court to take up the High Commissioner's job, which she held for one term, doing her job properly which meant she annoyed all of the usual suspects. Then she took a year's retirement back in Canada with her grandchildren, only to return to the fray as head of the International Crisis Group.
She would get a lot of support if she wanted to throw her hat into the ring.
Thanks to Maria Varaki.


Deborah said...

The race to the next elections in December will be interesting. In my view however, the next Prosecutor should be more of a Carla del Ponte. Her job was not to be popular but to get things done, and she did a great job. But I agree that the feelings among states is to have a likable Prosecutor, hoping that would ease cooperation with the Court (I'm not sure just because you like a Prosecutor you cooperate with him or her, but whatever those are the diplomatic calculations).
In any case, another, Professor what is your view about another judge and High Commissioner that I think would be a wonderful Ms. Pillay. Her being coincidentally African would give her at least 31 votes.
Deborah Ruiz Verduzco

African International Law Update said...

Apparently the text is freely acessible at http://www.cfr.org/international-criminal-courts-and-tribunals/justice-beyond-hague/p25119?cid=emc-[beyond_the_hague]-[press_release]-[06_06_11