Posted by Hannah Dunphy on 13 Jan 2012 | Comments
This summer, when International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo charged Libya’s Muammar al-Qaddafi and his son with crimes against humanity, it was a bold gesture that demonstrated how legal sanction could isolate a rogue government just as much as a military strike. As David Scheffer, the United States’ first-ever ambassador at large for war crimes and one of the handful of international jurists, politicians, and activists whose commitment to prosecuting the war criminals of the Balkans and Rwanda led to the creation of the ICC back in 2002, writes in his forthcoming memoirs, All the Missing Souls: “The modern pursuit of international justice is the discovery of our values, our weaknesses, our strengths, and our will to persevere and to render punishment.”
Eight years into Argentine jurist Moreno-Ocampo’s nine-year tenure, and despite America’s refusal to ratify the ICC treaty, he and Scheffer can point to a number of victories: the successful indictments and, in some cases, trials of war criminals from the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda, as well as the capture this year of Ratko Mladic, the infamous butcher of Srebrenica.
Scheffer calls it “conduct unbecoming of a great nation” that the country that led the charge to prosecute these evildoers also exploded the bounds of the Geneva Conventions while fighting the war on terror. But the work done by Moreno-Ocampo, Scheffer, and others ensures that the world is nonetheless gradually becoming a less cruel place.
Source: Foreign Policy