The conflict in Darfur is one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters. The fact that the Sudanese government, including its current sitting head of state, played a critical role in orchestrating the murder, rape, and displacement of hundreds of thousands of people in the regionmakes the violence perpetrated in this region particularly egregious. In an effort to address these problems, the U.N. Security Council referred the matter to the International Criminal Court (ICC). After its investigation, the ICC granted an arrest warrant for President Bashir, which charged him with crimes against humanity. Under the Rome Treaty, the U.N. Security Council can delay prosecution of President Bashir indefinitely, and certain sectors of the international community are pressuring it to do just that. Those that support the delay fear that allowing the prosecution to move forward will derail potential peace negotiations and result in more violence in the country. To support their contention, they cited threats made by the Sudanese government to escalate attacks. While the U.N. must address these threats, delaying prosecution is the wrong solution. This Note argues that allowing threats of violence to derail the pursuit of justice could irreparably damage the court’s international reputation and credibility. To bolster the legitimacy of the ICC, strengthen international criminal justice, and deter future leaders from following President Bashir’s destructive example, the U.N. and the rest of the international community must support the ICC in its apprehension of President Bashir and support the court in holding him accountable for his crimes.
Mary T. Reynolds,
Legitimizing the ICC: Supporting the Court's Prosecution of Those Responsible in Darfur,
B.C. Third World L.J.