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The Role of Peacekeeping Operations in International Criminal Justice

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Obstacles to Assistance Following Security Council Referrals to the ICC

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International justice is inextricably intertwined with peace. However, where the UN Security Council has in the past referred situations to the International Criminal Court it has failed to provide follow-up support. Neither Libya nor Sudan have consented to the ICC’s jurisdiction, and without its own police force the ICC has faced enormous difficulty in conducting investigations and obtaining the accused. Despite being indicted by the ICC, the Libyan authorities are refusing to hand over Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, whom they have sentenced to death in a domestic trial, and despite repeated calls for his arrest, Sudanese President, Omar Al-Bashir is travelling around the world with impunity. This embarrassing deadlock has led to calls for UN troops, already present on the ground in both Libya and Sudan, to intervene. This paper highlights the practical difficulties of such cooperation, looking at case studies of successful cooperation between the ICC and peacekeeping missions in the DRC, Cote D’Ivoire, and Mali, as well as the role of NATO in the former Yugoslavia and contrasting these with the situations in Libya and Sudan. Ultimately, this paper suggests that to extend the mandates of the peacekeeping operations present in Libya and Sudan would compromise the missions, erasing impartiality, leading to a withdrawal of State consent, and requiring such excessive force as to constitute a threat to peace.

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