Retreat or Retrenchment? An Analysis of the International Criminal Court’s Failure to Prosecute Presidents

Contracting Human Rights

Author/s (editor/s):

Kirsten Ainley

Publication year:

2018

Publication type:

Book chapter

Find this publication at:
Edward Elgar

Kirtsen Ainley, ‘Retreat or Retrenchment? An Analysis of the International Criminal Court’s Failure to Prosecute Presidents’, in Alison Brysk and Michael Stohl, eds, Contracting Human Rights: Crisis, Accountability, and Opportunity, Northampton MA: Edward Elgar, 2018, pp. 179-193.

This chapter examines the International Criminal Court’s (ICC’s) attempts to prosecute sitting heads of states, and their repercussions, to establish the extent to which the ICC is failing or dysfunctional. In examining the cases, the chapter highlights aspects of ICC process which, perhaps unexpectedly, give reasons for optimism about the Court’s ability to uphold human rights in the future. I argue that, while the Office of the Prosecutor would clearly have preferred to be able to move forward in its prosecutions of Presidents Omar al-Bashir and Uhuru Kenyatta, its failure to do so demonstrates the ways in which the Court is maturing.

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