Governments’ nervous reactions to the ICC

May 31, 2010

Erna Paris reflects in The Globe and Mail on President Obama’s recent renunciation of the Bush national security doctrine and notes an increasing impact of the work done by the International Criminal Court, among other places in Spain:

Although the ICC is still a toddler in institutional terms, its impact has grown exponentially over its first years. One need only observe the fevered response of certain governments whose members may have been accused of war crimes. […] In Spain, Justice Baltasar Garzón, the man who initiated the new era of international criminal investigations in 1998 by issuing an arrest warrant for Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, was dismissed from judicial office after he dared open a file on the Franco years, when still-unaddressed major crimes were committed. […] What all of this means is that although the regulations of the International Criminal Court may need tweaking, the tribunal is having an effect. A decade ago, no one in Israel, Spain or Sri Lanka would have felt the need to deny, or defend, their practices. Now they do. And that’s good news for the still-young 21st century.

More here.