Kill one person, and you’re a murderer. Kill many, and you become a hero. It is this type of global injustice that the International Criminal Court was set up to prevent. The court, which is functioning since 2002, has the mandate to prosecute genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. It is the first international body that can legally hold accountable sitting heads of state, as became clear when an arrest warrant was issued against Sudanese president Al Bashir earlier this year. At the moment, the first trial is ongoing and more trials are on their way, all of which deal with crimes committed in or around central Africa. Meanwhile, the court has been increasingly criticised for its selection and timing of arrest warrants. One of the main questions is whether the court’s focus on justice can sometimes stand in the way of peace. This debate is particularly important in Uganda, where arrest warrants were issued against leaders of the notoriously violent rebel group The Lord’s Resistance Army in 2004. The ICC has made little visible progress in Uganda since the start of its investigations. Meanwhile, the LRA has found a scapegoat in the ICC which they hold responsible for the lack of progress in their peace talks with the Ugandan government. Is the ICC always acting in the best interest of the victims? Should it adapt its strategy to opinions on the ground? Can it maintain credibility if it holds off investigations to give room for local solutions? These issues are addressed in the documentary ‘Peace versus Justice’ which will be broadcasted Monday 23 November on Dutch television.
Interesting documentary on Monday 23 November at 20.55 hrs on Dutch channel 2