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Seeking Asylum before the International Criminal Court. Another Challenge for a Court in Need of Credibility

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image of International Criminal Law Review

In 2012 the International Criminal Court (ICC) celebrates its ten-year anniversary since its establishment. It is fair to say that the current age of the Court reflects its present maturity. At the time of writing, the Court has finally rendered its first verdict, by condemning the Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga for the conscription of child soldiers after a rather wobbly trial that took 6 years. In May 2011, the Court faced another unprecedented challenge. Four witnesses transferred from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to testify in the Lubanga and Katanga & Ngudjolo Chui (hereinafter: Katanga) trials, applied for asylum in the Netherlands. This matter, which was not anticipated in the Statute or secondary sources of ICC law, raises issues concerning the cooperation between the ICC, the Netherlands as host state and the DRC, and raises intriguing questions about the interaction of international criminal law and international refugee law.

Affiliations: 1: *PhD-Researcher, International and European Law Department Maastricht University, The Netherlands, ; 2: *PhD-Researcher, Institute for European Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium, Member, Research Group Fundamental Rights and Constitutionalism (FRC), Senior Analyst, Global Justice Section, Global Governance Institute (GGI),


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