The ICC — Quo Vadis?

Document Type


Publication Date

July 2006


The International Criminal Court (ICC) has had to face many objective difficulties in its initial stage. The self-referrals by Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) pose problems. As for Uganda, the unsealing of the indictments is an achievement for the Court; however, the rhetorical conflict between the referring government and the ICC, the continued insecurity in northern Uganda and the fact that the accused commanders are not in the custody of the Ugandan authorities highlight the dependence of the ICC on the cooperation of national governments. As for the DRC, the transfer to The Hague of one of the indictees, Lubanga, is significant. Supporters of the ICC hope that this trial will help to ease many doubts about the direction of the Court, as the Tadić case was able to do for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The Security Council referral of Darfur is a mixed blessing, on a number of grounds. However, the posture of Sudanese authorities and the worsening of the situation in Darfur and eastern Chad clearly indicate that the ICC does not yet have a deterrence capability.