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Challenges for the International Criminal Court: Terrorism, Immunity Agreements and National Trials by

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Chapter Summary

The Rome Statute came into effect on 1 July 2002, creating the world's first permanent International Criminal Court (ICC). There are undoubtedly some significant challenges to the future work of the ICC. First, the risk that the ICC could be marginalized has been fostered by the unprecedented attempt by the United States to protect its nationals from prosecution by the negotiation of 53 bilateral immunity agreements. Secondly, the ICC seems to have been overshadowed by national responses to international criminal acts. Thirdly, the jurisdiction of the ICC over war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide does not appear, quite to 'fit' the acts of national or international terrorists. This chapter concludes that while the Rome Statute has been inspirational in creating procedures under which individuals can be prosecuted for egregious crimes contrary to international law, initial enthusiasm for the new ICC has been dampened by a dose of pragmatic realism.

Keywords: bilateral immunity agreements; international criminal court; national trials; Rome Statute



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