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The International Criminal Court

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image of The Law & Practice of International Courts and Tribunals

This article covers the past two years of the activity of the International Criminal Court. Ten years after the signature of the Rome Statute, the Court has continued investigating situations in four countries (Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, the Sudan and the Central African Republic). The activity of the Court has accelerated, with four indictees in custody in the DRC situation, one public arrest warrant in the CAR situation and two in the Sudan situation. The Court has developed its case law on victim participation and refined its procedural framework, through constant debate between the Prosecutor and the pre-trial chambers. It has also pursued its goal of increasing cooperation with State parties, and raising awareness of the Court through outreach programs. The Court faces difficult challenges in establishing itself as a credible court, balancing the necessary requirements of fairness in a criminal trial and the high expectations of victims and the international community. The recent stay of proceedings and granting of release in the Lubanga case, which is supposed to be the first trial of the Court, is an illustration of this challenge and the difficulty in finding this balance.

Affiliations: 1: Researcher, European University Institute, Florence;, Email:; 2: Researcher, European University Institute, Florence;, Email:


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