The International Criminal Court is independent. It stands alone. It isn’t a part of an independent international body like the United Nations. The International Criminal Court is a freestanding court headquartered in Hague, Netherlands.
The court becomes active when a country will not or cannot prosecute those who break international laws.
The most likely types of crime when the court would get involved would be genocide or war crimes to name just two.
Former President George W. Bush did not like the idea of the court because he felt countries would use it against the United States for political reasons. Therefore he made private deals with many, many countries to leave Americans alone.
It will be interesting to see what President Obama’s position will be.
The court’s budget is $127 million for 2009.
An example of their involvement is illustrated in a companion article posted on BBC News (Africa).
The article, “Confessions of a Sudanese deserter,” reports that the International Criminal Court is in the process of determining whether or not to arrest and prosecute Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.
Al-Bashir has by all accounts sent troops into villages around Darfur.
What these troops have done is the reason the court is considering al-Bashir’s arrest.
According to a deserter named Khalid, he and other soldiers were advised by the government to go into villages and kill everyone and burn the houses to the ground. Also, they were to rape young girls under 13 and 14.
Khalid has exonerated himself by saying he always “shot over people’s heads” or didn’t truly rape anyone only making it look like he did.
Was he as innocent as he says? He claims some did try to resist the orders and were summarily executed.
Khalid said that the orders for the wanton killing came from the top, President Omar al-Bashir. The logic was that the children supplied food to the revolutionaries that were battling the government and had been since 2003.
The United States had a chapter in its own history back in the late 1960’s when “Charlie Company” attacked a village in Vietnam. This is referred to as the “My Lai Massacre.” The soldiers had been told that villagers would leave by 7:00 am. Anyone left in the village after that would be a Viet Cong sympathizer.
They committed many war atrocities. I have linked to a site about it.
Something that is rarely mentioned and while I do not offer it as a complete excuse, I think it must be considered, (although it rarely is), involves the fact that just prior to this action Charlie Company found itself in a “land-mine field.” They all became disoriented and one after another of the soldiers “blew themselves up.” When the survivors hit My Lai they were out of it.
We never seem to learn that humans aren’t machines and war is an abnormal state of affairs.